Tag Archives: Linebackers

Top 10 linebackers in the 2021 NFL Draft:

Continuing our series of the top ten prospects at each position in the draft – we already broke down the best available running backs earlier this week, so now it’s time look at their defensive counterparts. Once again, I evaluated the talent on the field and how I think these players project to the next level, without consideration of injuries and off-the-field concerns that may be hurt these names when NFL front offices make their decisions come late April.

In this edition, we are looking at the linebacker position, which I categorize as all off-ball second level defenders. So this won’t include edge rushers, like 3-4 outside backers, even though some of them may have been used as that to some degree. This class might not be very deep necessarily, but in terms of this top ten in particular, it might actually be an underrated one.

Here is how I have these names stacked up:

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Top 10 linebackers in the 2020 NFL Draft:

After putting out my top running back prospects on Tuesday, we will follow that up today with the linebackers – as we will jump back and forth between offense and defense until all these rankings are released.

First of all, this to me are primarily off-ball linebackers, meaning no true edge rushers or 3-4 outside linebackers, who I don’t expect to stand up a whole lot.

This group of off-ball backers might not have a big names after the top four, but they are all more athletic than I would have thought before I saw them perform at the combine and they are just absolute freaks at the top as well as a few likely day three selections.

We have one headliner, whose versatility will probably make him a top-ten pick, with two other likely first-round selections and another fringe guy, who played on the edge primarily in college. After that there is a lot of disagreements among the draft community and question marks for pretty much every prospect.

This is the list:

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Top 10 linebackers in the 2019 NFL Draft:

We started our positional rankings on Tuesday with the running backs and the way we are going to do this is alternate between offense and defense with kind of the direct matchups in one week (so tackles vs. edge rushers, wide receivers vs. cornerbacks, etc.). So that leads us to the linebackers in this edition and the opinions about this group seem to be all over the place.

While I do believe there is a clear order of one, two and three, after that there is a lot of disagreement. I think there are two clear first-rounders and another guy, who should go somewhere early on day two, but from my number five prospect on these guys might not even hear their names called before day three when I look at many of these rankings out there. Two that are frequently among the top five or so didn’t even make my list at all. I am looking for fast, athletic linebackers who fit the modern game, while also being able to defend the downhill run game, as I could see a trend of more power football being played in the near future.

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