Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch declares for draft

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Boise State has produced a number of early-round draft picks on defense in recent years and another player hopes to join them in 2018.

Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch announced on Tuesday that he will be entering the NFL Draft after his redshirt junior season with the Broncos.

Vander Esch didn’t play much in his first two seasons, but played a big role in all 14 games for the Mountain West champs this season. He finished the season with 141 tackles, 14.5 tackles for losses, four sacks and two interceptions and caught the eye of scouts as a three-down inside linebacker who could come off the board in the first three rounds.

If he does, he’ll join Kamalei Correa, Darian Thompson, DeMarcus Lawrence, Jamar Taylor, Shea McClellin and Tyrone Crawford as Boise State products drafted that early since 2012.