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2015 NFL DRAFT
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Ricky Jean-Francois

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 295 | College: LSU
 
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Overview

Regarded as one of the nation's top prep defensive linemen during his days at Carol City High School, Jean Francois never lived up to that billing during his time at Louisiana State. While a member of the Tigers football team, he was suspended by the NCAA for 12 months for an alleged cheating incident, had academic problems and angered his head coach for unflattering comments made about Florida quarterback Tim Tebow before the teams met in 2008.

Jean Francois was being counted on to replace All-American Glenn Dorsey as the leader of the defensive front wall in 2008, but that plan was sidetracked by the junior's groin injury. "Nobody can replace Glenn Dorsey," defensive end Tyson Jackson said before the 2008 season, "but a guy like Ricky Jean can come in and be the man."

Jean Francois, a junior from Miami, is an inch taller than Dorsey at 6-feet-3 and about 10 pounds lighter at 290. He may not be able to clog the middle and toss linemen around as Dorsey did, but he can run better and can also play defensive end. "He's not as heavy," LSU coach Les Miles said of Jean Francois. "But I think he's more angular. I think he may be more athletic, and he plays with great leverage. He's really a very strong man, so I like both of them."

Jean Francois was rated the premier defensive line prospect in the state of Florida as a senior at Carol City High School. He was rated third in the country at his position by College Football News and selected All-American first-team by Prep Football Report and Riddell. The All-State first-team choice was a member of the Orlando Sentinel Top 100 for Florida and a member of the FSN South's Countdown To Signing Day" All-South" first-team.

He was named the Dade County Male Athlete of the Year in both 2004 and 2005, becoming the only two-time winner of the award in its 49-year history. The skilled pass rusher closed out his career with a remarkable senior season, registering 93 tackles, 15 sacks and three interceptions. He also forced six fumbles and recovered three. He set the Florida state record for sacks in a game with 6.5. He also had a breakout junior season with 87 tackles, including 27 for losses, 10 sacks and eight forced fumbles.

Jean Francois also excelled in track, competing in the shot put and discus. He won the state championships in the shot put and discus as both a junior and senior. He recorded the nation's third-best toss in the shot put with a throw of 65-5 3/4 in 2005.

Jean Francois enrolled at Louisiana State in 2005, but was red-shirted, concentrating on improving his academics. He appeared in 12 games in 2006, earning freshman All-American first-team honors from The Sporting News. He played most of the year behind Jackson at left defensive end, but started his first college game vs. Auburn at left tackle, replacing an injured Dorsey. He finished his first season with the varsity by making 27 tackles (10 solos) that included three sacks and 5.5 stops for losses.

After the 2006 season, Jean Francois joined the men's track and field team. One of the Tigers' top newcomers that season, he earned All-Southeastern Conference honors in the shot put at the SEC Indoor Championships by finishing in second place with a season-best heave of 60-1 1/4.

Primed for a breakout 2007 season, Jean Francois was called into the coach's office and informed he was being suspended from playing by the NCAA due to cheating allegations. He practiced with the team, but was not allowed to travel. After the conclusion of the regular-season schedule, he was re-instated, starting vs. Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference title game and earned Game MVP honors for his performance vs. Ohio State in the BCS Championship Game. In two games, he totaled nine tackles (5 solos), assisted on a sack and blocked a kick.

Jean Francois started six of 11 games at right tackle in 2008. He produced 20 tackles (8 solos) with two sacks, three stops behind the line of scrimmage and blocked a kick. A groin strain forced him to miss the second half vs. Mississippi State and sit out the Florida and South Carolina contests.

Before the Florida clash, Jean Francois apologized for what he described as an unfortunate use of diction when he spoke about the pressure the Tigers' defense hoped to put on Tebow. He told the Orlando Sentinel that if LSU defenders had a chance to tackle Tebow on Saturday in Gainesville, they would try their best to "take him out of the game."

"Every lineman wants to get a good hit on a Heisman Trophy winner," Jean Francois added. After those comments were published, he said they had been misinterpreted. "We never go into any football game trying to hurt a player from the other team," the junior said in a written statement released by the team. "We have great respect for Tim as player and a competitor. By taking him out of the game, I meant as a defense we are going to try to make him ineffective. I'm sorry that my initial comments were interpreted another way."

One of the top shot putters in the NCAA in 2008, Jean Francois stepped into the circle at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the first time in his collegiate career. He placed 18th at the national meet in Des Moines, Iowa, with a throw of 57 feet, 9 3/4 inches.

Analysis

Positives: Tall, but can still use leverage to bull rush his man into the pocket. … Violent with his hands, able to rip off blocks inside to make plays on the ball. … Impressive in his ability to stand his man up and discard him to either side. … Rarely gets moved when facing a one-on-one block. … Moves fluidly down the line, able to eat up a wide running lane with his length. … Recognizes the screen. … Imposing figure when closing, will work toward the quarterback if he's in sight. … Impacts passing lanes and can block kicks using his height and reach.

Negatives: A bit lean for some NFL defensive coordinators, but not considerably light. … High pad level allows double-team blocks to sweep him aside. … Inconsistent initial quickness off the snap and he guesses the snap count at times. … Could hustle and chase the ball more often. … Not quick enough to keep off a cut block, but recovers well. … Does not consistently play to his timed speed, lumbering in space and lacking elite stop-start quickness.

Compares To: JON BRADLEY, Detroit -- Jean Francois has exceptional playing strength, but has failed to live up to his lofty press clippings. He has had academic issues, off-field problems and an overall inconsistent performance on the field. He can easily shed blocks and power through the line, but lacks focus. He runs his mouth more than Warren Sapp, but with 56 tackles in 25 games, it is obvious he can't back up his bold comments. Unless someone feels that they have patient veterans to mentor him, it is doubtful that he will live up to his own opinion of himself.

Scouting Report

GENERAL REPORT: GRADE: 5.1

Body Structure: Jean Francois has a thick body frame with room for additional growth. He has smooth muscle development, good-sized legs and calves and adequate arm length and shoulder width.

Athletic Ability: Jean Francois has the size and strength to be a dominant force in the middle of the field, but his inconsistent motor is his biggest culprit. The coaching staff claimed he was a workout demon, but based on his mediocre Pro Day and questionable Combine, it is obvious that he does not have the speed and initial quickness you look for in someone to consistently penetrate the gaps. He seems to have better success when he tilts over to play under tackle or as an undersized nose guard. He is an adequate athlete with adequate quickness off the snap, but does not have the acceleration for long pursuit. He has adequate agility to adjust on the move, but plays better in a stationary position at the point of attack. He has the functional strength to hold ground when he plays at a good pad level. He looks stiff working his way down the line, and it is rare to see him play with a high motor and good effort. GRADE: 5.5

Football Sense: On the field, Jean Francois has just adequate instincts and an inconsistent motor. He gets excited about making a big play, which rarely occurs and is not alert to the snap cadence, generally guessing where the flow of the ball will go. He is not alert to cut blocks and while he is a force to try and move out when he plants and anchors, the low blocks will generally cause him to be neutralized. He's struggled throughout his academic career and that brings up major concerns about his ability to grasp the mental aspect of the game. He can sometimes recognize blocking schemes, but does get fooled by play-action. Fifty-six tackles in 25 games gives a strong indication that he is not productive. GRADE: 4.9

Character: Jean Francois has a lot of Warren Sapp in him, as he will shoot from the lip rather than let his play speak. He was suspended for an academic (cheating) infraction in 2007 after being ruled academically ineligible for the Sugar Bowl the previous season. Then, after only 20 tackles in 11 games as a junior, he decides he's ready to test NFL waters. GRADE: 4.8

Competitiveness: When his head is in the game, Jean Francois is a load to handle. The problem is, those plays are far and between. He plays with an inconsistent motor and while he can do a good job of tossing and shucking blockers out of his path, he lacks technique and any semblance of pass rush moves. He needs to show better urgency chasing down plays and must become more alert to cut blocks. GRADE: 5.3

Work Habits: Jean Francois has excellent strength, but based on his agility tests it was obvious that he was totally unprepared for Pro Day and the NFL Combine. He lingered with a groin injury longer than he should have and was also taken to task by the coaching staff and made to apologize for some ridiculous comments he made before the 2008 Florida game. GRADE: 5.0

ATHLETIC REPORT: GRADE: 5.60

Explosion/Pursuit: Jean Francois flashes good initial quickness on ball movement and some suddenness to gain advantage. He plays with an inconsistent high motor, but has very good strength and a punishing hand punch, making him a terror to contain in the short area. While he likes to loop and twist, he is best staying in run containment, as he lacks ideal pass rush moves. He needs to stay lower in his pads, but even when he rises out of his stance he has enough power to generate a good bull rush. He lacks sideline range and looks sluggish moving in pursuit, but does a good job of clogging the rush lanes and his first step explosion lets him get leverage and be very efficient shooting the gaps. GRADE: 6.1

Strength at Point: Jean Francois has above average overall strength. He is a force to be reckoned with when he plants himself in the middle of the line and is very combative with his hands. He strikes with suddenness and force, easily walking back a blocker once he gets under the opponent's jersey. GRADE: 7.1

Use of Hands: Jean Francois has a very strong punch. He does a good job of keeping his hands inside the framework and will dominate and shed blockers with them. Even though he can use more bulk, when he is alert to double teams he has the ability to destroy them. He gets good leverage pushing the pocket on the bull rush. GRADE: 6.7

Lateral Pursuit/Effort: Jean Francois has adequate lateral agility, but his feet just die when having to move long distances. He does not always use proper leverage on the move and does too much guessing coming off the snap rather than developing a feel for the flow of the ball. He has decent linear speed, but can't move with the same efficiency when going laterally. GRADE: 5.2

Tackling Ability: When Jean Francois brings his hands up to wrap and secure, he will generally make contact with the ball carrier. But when he tries to take a side, runners will slip off a more than a few of his tackle attempts. He has the strength to face up strike and wrap, but needs to improve his awareness to get himself into position to make the play in the short area (fooled by play-action). When he plays square at the Xs, he can stack and control with force. GRADE: 5.3

Run Defense: Jean Francois uses his hands with force to shed blocks and impact the rush lanes. He is best served in the trenches than on the move, as he lacks the sustained speed to give good chase on the perimeter. He has a tendency to leave his feet and plays high too often, resulting to him succumbing to cut blocks. He also needs to show better knee bend in order to sink his pads better. While he had good success as a freshman, perhaps it was due to his groin injury, but double teams in 2008 gave him fits when he tried to hold his ground. GRADE: 5.3

Pass Rush: Jean Francois has a penchant for getting tall in his stance and needs to play with a lower center of gravity. He gets too combative with blockers at times, perhaps getting too over confident in his power, but this results in him being engaged too long to make much of a pocket impact. He needs a clean lane to get to the quarterback, as his feet are not going to get him to the passer in a hurry. He is more of a bull rusher and should be limited to three-technique work rather than be utilized on the outside, even in a 3-4 alignment. GRADE: 5.0

Closing on the QB: Jean Francois has just an adequate burst into the backfield and is not going to have much success if he has to go long distances to get to the quarterback. He guesses too much with the snap cadence and relies more on his strength to get past blockers rather than develop an array of pass rush moves to help him elude. He just does not have the valid burst needed to close. GRADE: 4.8

Instincts/Recognition: Poor class room habits and slow reactions to play-action and misdirection are a big concern when looking at film of Jean Francois. He plays with an inconsistent motor and seems to lose sight of the ball when moving laterally. He needs to play the three-tech, where his lack of play recognition will not be as exposed as it would on the edge. GRADE: 4.9

Compares To: JON BRADLEY, Detroit -- Jean Francois has exceptional playing strength, but has failed to live up to his lofty press clippings. He has had academic issues, off-field problems and an overall inconsistent performance on the field. He can easily shed blocks and power through the line, but lacks focus. He runs his mouth more than Warren Sapp, but with 56 tackles in 25 games, it is obvious he can't back up his bold comments. Unless someone feels that they have patient veterans to mentor him, it is doubtful that he will live up to his own opinion of himself.

OVERALL GRADE: 5.52

--Report by Dave-Te' Thomas

Career Notes

Jean Francois started nine of 25 games at Louisiana State, recording 56 tackles (23 solos) with 5.5 sacks for minus 38 yards, 10.0 stops for losses of 47 yards and two quarterback pressures … Recovered one fumble, deflected four passes and blocked three kicks.

2008 Season

Jean Francois started the team's first four games vs. Appalachian State, North Texas, Auburn and Mississippi State before a groin injury vs. MSU would sideline him for the second half of that clash and the next two contests vs. Florida and South Carolina. He returned to play in seven more games, starting vs. Alabama and Georgia Tech at right defensive tackle … Finished with 20 tackles (8 solos), two sacks for minus 14 yards and three stops for losses of 15 yards … Deflected two passes and blocked one kick.

2008 Game Analysis

Appalachian State … with a threat of a hurricane announced before the game, Francois was not making any noise on the field in the season opener, as he only managed to deflect a third-&-4 pass by Armanti Edwards to force a punt early in the first quarter … Asked how he kept focus throughout the game knowing a storm was coming, he replied, "When we came in the game, Coach (Miles) told us for now to think about the game. Now that the game is over we can focus on our family and loved ones. Being from Miami, I see six or seven of these every year. I know the steps the take to get prepared for a storm." … Head to Head Competition: OG#61-Mari Acitelli (6:02-277).

North Texas … The right defensive tackle collected three solo tackles, breaking up a third-&1 pass attempt by Giovanni Vizza to bring out the North Texas punting unit after the game's opening series … Head to Head Competition: OG#62-Gabe Hollivay (6:03-360).

Auburn … Jean Francois had just two tackles, but he stopped Chris Todd for no gain on a run at the Auburn 34 and then took down Ben Tate for a 1-yard loss on a toss sweep in the fourth quarter … Head to Head Competition: OG#71-Tyronne Green (6:02-307).

Mississippi State … Jean Francois sacked QB Tyson Lee for a 5-yard loss late in the first quarter, but was helped off the field in the second quarter after he strained his groin and did not return to the game … Asked about the upcoming bye week and he told the post-game press throng, "The off week could not have come at a better time. There are a couple of people nicked here and there. The extra week for healing will help. We will be in the training room and on the field preparing every day for this Florida team." … Head to Head Competition: OG#53-Andrew Strauder (6:02-297).

Florida and South Carolina … Missed both games due to his groin injury.

Georgia … Returned to action, coming off the bench to deliver three tackles, including one that leveled tailback Knowshon Moreno for a 2-yard loss on the first possession of the second half …

Head to Head Competition: OG#71-Cordy Glenn (6:05-331).

Alabama … Limited to a pair of assisted tackles, Jean Francois made an impact on special teams, as he blocked Alabama place-kicker Leigh Tiffin's 29-yard field goal attempt as time expired in regulation in an eventual 26-21 LSU loss … Record Watch: This marked the third field goal that the defensive lineman blocked during his career, including one vs. Ohio State in the 2008 BCS National Championship Game in the second quarter … Head to Head Competition: OG#78-Mike Johnson (6:06-299).

Mississippi … Jean Francois managed just two solo tackles, but one stopped tailback Cordera Eason for no gain on a mid first quarter attempt … Head to Head Competition: OG#71-Reid Neely (6:06-311).

Arkansas … The junior's only tackle resulted in a 9-yard sack of QB Casey Dick late in the third quarter … Head to Head Competition: OG#71-Wade Grayson (6:04-292).

Georgia Tech (Chick-fil-A Bowl) … In what would be the right defensive tackle's final college game, he posted two solo tackles, stopping tailback Jonathan Dwyer twice for no gains on rushing attempts … Head to Head Competition: OG#71-Cord Howard (6:05-310).

2007 Season

Was suspended by the NCAA for the regular season due to an academic infraction, but was reinstated in time to play in the postseason, starting vs. Tennessee at left defensive tackle for an injured Glenn Dorsey and then shifted to right tackle vs. Ohio State … Made nine tackles (5 solos) with an assisted sack, 1.5 stops for losses of 4 yards and a pass deflection … Added a pressure and blocked a kick.

2007 Game Analysis

Had three tackles vs. Tennessee in the SEC title game … Named Defensive MVP after he delivered six tackles (3 solos), assisted on a sack of QB Todd Boeckman and blocked a field goal vs. Ohio State in the BCS National Championship Game.

2006 Season

Freshman All-American first-team selection by The Sporting News and Freshman All-SEC pick by the league's coaches … Played in twelve games, lining up mostly behind Tyson Jackson at left defensive end … Earned his first career start as a replacement for the injured Glenn Dorsey at left defensive tackle vs. Auburn … Finished with 27 tackles (10 solos), three sacks for minus 23 yards and 5.5 stops for losses of 28 yards … Credited with one QB pressure, a fumble recovery, one pass break-up and a blocked kick … Was ruled academically ineligible to play vs. Notre Dame in the Sugar bowl.

2006 Game Analysis

Finished the Auburn game with three tackles, including one for loss, and a sack … Posted a season-high four tackles twice, first vs. Tulane and then vs. Alabama … Also recovered a fumble and blocked a field goal vs. the Green Wave and vs. the Tide, he had a sack and a pass break-up.

2005 Season

Red-shirted as a freshman.

Injury Report

2008: Missed the second half vs. Mississippi State (9/27) and sat out the Florida (10/11) and South Carolina contests (10/18) with a right groin strain.

2009: Could not complete agility tests at the NFL Combine due to his right groin injury.

Agility Tests

Campus: 5.19 in the 40-yard dash … 1.78 10-yard dash … 2.99 20-yard dash … 4.72 20-yard shuttle … 7.89 three-cone drill … 27.5-inch vertical jump … 8'0" broad jump.

Combine: 26-inch vertical jump … 7'9" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 25 times.

Track

2008 SEASON

One of the top shot putters in the NCAA in 2008 … Stepped into the circle at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the first time in his collegiate career … Placed 18th at the national meet in Des Moines, Iowa, with a throw of 57 feet, 9 3/4 inches … Earned an automatic berth into the NCAA meet with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships in Fayetteville, Ark … Helped lead the Tigers to a runner-up finish at both the SEC Indoor and Outdoor Championships … Scored six points with a third-place finish in the shot put at the SEC Indoor Championships where he threw an indoor seasonal best of 59-1 1/2 … Added two points at the SEC Outdoor Championships with a seventh-place finish in the event … Opened the outdoor campaign with a seasonal best throw of 59-1 1/4 at the LSU Tiger Relays … Won four shot put titles on the year, including the LSU Twilight (56-7 1/4) and LSU NCAA Indoor Qualifier (56-6 1/2) during the indoor season and the LSU Tiger Relays (59-1 1/4) and LSU Alumni Gold (58-4 1/2) during the outdoor campaign … Earned a runner-up finish at the prestigious Penn Relays with a throw of 58-8 and a fourth-place finish at the Texas Relays with a throw of 55-6 1/4 … Threw the discus at three home meets during the outdoor season, including the LSU Tiger Relays (147-1), Tiger Invitational (150-7) and LSU Alumni Gold (150-11).

2006 SEASON

One of the Tigers' top newcomers in the 2006 season … Earned All-SEC honors in the shot put at the SEC Indoor Championships by finishing in second place with a season-best heave of 60-1 1/4 … Posted first-place marks in the event at both the LSU Twilight and LSU Invitational with distances of 57-11 1/4 and 59-9 1/2, respectively … Was a participant in the NCAA Mideast Regional during the outdoor season after posting a regional qualifying mark of 58-8 in his first outdoor meet at the Texas Relays in April … Finished in second place at the Texas Relays … Earned a third-place finish at the Miami Elite with a distance of 59-3 … Also competed in the discus during the outdoor season … Posted a season-best mark of 154-3 at the Miami Elite to finish the meet in seventh place … Earned a 12th-place finish at the LSU Alumni Gold (154-2) and a 18th-place finish at the SEC Outdoor Championships (148-2).

High School

Attended Carol City (Miami, Fla.) High School, playing football for head coach Walt Frazier … Rated the premier defensive line prospect in the state of Florida as a senior …

Rated third in the country at his position by College Football News and selected All-American first-team by Prep Football Report and Riddell … The All-State first-team choice was a member of the Orlando Sentinel Top 100 for Florida and a member of the FSN South's Countdown To Signing Day" All-South" first team … Named the Dade County Male Athlete of the Year in both 2004 and 2005, becoming the only two-time winner of the award in its 49-year history … Closed out his career with a remarkable senior season, registering 93 tackles, 15 sacks and three interceptions … Also forced six fumbles and recovered three. He set the Florida state record for sacks in a game with 6.5 … Had a breakout junior season with 87 tackles, including 27 for losses, 10 sacks and eight forced fumbles … Also excelled in track, competing in the shot put and discus … Won the state championships in the shot put and discus as both a junior and senior … Recorded the nation's third-best toss in the shot put with a throw of 65-5 3/4 in 2005 … Won the 2005 Florida state titles in both the shot put and the discus … Was named one of the three top performers of 2005 in the shot put by USA Today … Produced career-bests of 190-1 in the discus and 65-7 in the shot put.

Personal

General Studies major, with an emphasis in Communication Studies and Sports Studies … Son of Zora Jones and Celhomme Jean Francois … Nicknamed, "The Freak" … Born Ricky Barkley Jean Francois on 11/23/86 … Resides in Miami, Florida.

 
Latest News
04/28/2009 - A closer look at the 49ers' picks: Round 7/244 - Ricky Jean Francois, DE, 6-2, 295, Louisiana State...In their extensive film study of Tyson Jackson (third overall pick by the Chiefs), Jean-Francois kept showing up making plays. Although he was inconsistent, the 49ers believe he has a chance to be a good player in their 3-4 scheme.

02/06/2009 - PRO POTENTIAL: DT Ricky Jean-Francois decided to pass up his senior season after being hampered by injuries and academic problems the last three years. He is somewhat of a mystery who could go anywhere from the first to third round.

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