Leighton Vander Esch
Leighton Vander Esch
22-Year-Old LinebackerLB
Dallas Cowboys
2018 Fantasy Outlook
The 19th overall pick in the 2018 draft, Vander Esch joins a Cowboys linebacking corps packed with talent but also fraught with uncertainty. The Boise State product has outstanding speed and athleticism for his size, giving him plenty of upside in a three-down role as he racks up tackles, handles coverage assignments and makes the occasional blitzing foray. Whether he sees a three-down role on a roster that already features oft-injured Sean Lee and third-year LB Jaylon Smith is the big question, but Dallas' initial depth chart lists the rookie as the starting middle linebacker, seemingly putting him ahead of Smith in nickel packages. There were also concerns about a possible neck issue prior to the draft, but the Cowboys presumably didn't consider him a health risk when they used a first-round pick on him. If the workload is there for Vander Esch, elite production could follow. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $11.85 million contract with the Cowboys in May of 2018.
Pro Bowl rookie campaign
LBDallas Cowboys
January 19, 2019
Vander Esch finished the regular season with a team-high 140 tackles, including 102 solo, and two interceptions on seven passes defended.
ANALYSIS
The 19th overall pick in the 2018 draft had an explosive rookie campaign for the Cowboys, with his tackle total being all the more impressive considering he wasn't even a full-time player until Week 4. Vander Esch's exploits earned him a Pro Bowl nod, and he figures to pair with Jaylon Smith for the foreseeable future as one of the most aggressive and punishing young linebacking duos in the NFL.
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Dallas CowboysCowboys 2018 LB Snap Distribution See more data like this
% of Team Snaps

1105
0
894
0
305
0
245
0
62
0
8
0
1
0
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Measurables Review
How do Leighton Vander Esch's measurables compare to other linebackers?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
Height
6' 4"
 
Weight
256 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash
4.65 sec
 
Shuttle Time
4.15 sec
 
Cone Drill
6.88 sec
 
Vertical Jump
39.5 in
 
Broad Jump
124 in
 
Bench Press
20 reps
 
Hand Length
9.75 in
 
Arm Length
44.88 in
 
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Leighton Vander Esch
Exploiting the Matchups: Week 17 Start/Sit
84 days ago
Trust players with playoff stakes on the line in Week 17, including the Eagles' Nick Foles. Luke Hoover has several other competitors in mind.
Streaming Defenses: Week 16 Options
93 days ago
Following a Week 15 shutout win on the road, the Titans return home for a cupcake matchup with Josh Johnson and the injury-ravaged Redskins.
Exploiting the Matchups: Week 15 Start/Sit
98 days ago
Derek Carr is revving up for another big game under center, and Luke Hoover doesn't think the Raiders' embattled quarterback should be ignored against the Bengals.
Exploiting the Matchups: Week 13 Start/Sit
112 days ago
Can fantasy players safely start Tom Brady in this all-important Week 13? Luke Hoover suggests to use caution.
Weekly Rankings: Week 11 Value Meter
128 days ago
Luckily for fantasy owners the Rams-Chiefs game has been moved to Los Angeles, so we'll have full use of all the great options, such as the Chiefs' Tyreek Hill.
More Fantasy News
Ready for playoffs
LBDallas Cowboys
January 1, 2019
Vander Esch (shin) isn't listed on the Tuesday injury report for Saturday's playoff game against the Seahawks.
ANALYSIS
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Dealing with minor injury
LBDallas Cowboys
Shin
December 30, 2018
Vander Esch (shin) is only dealing with a minor bruise, Jon Machota of the Dallas News reports.
ANALYSIS
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Sets new career high
LBDallas Cowboys
December 24, 2018
Vander Esch totaled 15 tackles (11 solo) during Sunday's victory over Tampa Bay.
ANALYSIS
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Leads defense in tackles
LBDallas Cowboys
November 30, 2018
Vander Esch had 10 tackles (six solo) in Thursday's 13-10 win over the Saints.
ANALYSIS
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Logs another impressive game
LBDallas Cowboys
November 18, 2018
Vander Esch recorded eight tackles (four solo), three passes defended and one interception during Sunday's 22-19 win over the Falcons.
ANALYSIS
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