2021 Draft Prospect Rankings: Linebacker Edition (2/9/2021)

*Unofficial height/weight for most prospects unless reported at the Senior Bowl. If reported, height will be rounded up to nearest foot, if over 4/8th (1/2).

Terms to get familiar with:

(MIKE – Middle LB)

(SAM – Strong Side LB)

(WILL – Weak Side LB)

1.) Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah – 6’1″ 220 lbs.

“Owusu-Koramoah possesses elite level processing skills. J.O.K is pound for pound one of the more physical players in this draft class. He will battle in the trenches with offensive linemen and also has the ability to cover tight ends. He’s a big hitter with a penchant for causing turnovers via stripping ball carriers and separating them from the ball. He has some length limitations and coverage issues vs. shiftier RBs. His best fit is a 3-4 ILB or SAM/WILL in 4-3.”

2.) Nick Bolton – 6’0″ 235 lbs.

“Bolton has excellent play diagnostics, plays behind his pads, and can run all day. While in pursuit he knows how to evade blocks while keeping gap integrity. He lacks length and coverage ability but he’s probably the most traditional LB in the class and I can easily see him be the first to impact his team amongst the Top 3. His best fit is MLB in 4-3 or 3-4 ILB.”

3.) Micah Parsons – 6’3″ 245 lbs.

“Parsons has a ton of traits that make him a high upside prospect. He and Bolton are certain versatility traits away from a 3 way tie for LB1. It’s really that close. He has the closing speed and burst of an OLB in a 3-4 scheme but the size and grittiness of an ILB. This evaluation exudes ‘prospect who just needs a change of scenery to really take off.’ There’s uncertainties on some of the routes he takes in run fits which can be coached. Absorbs OL blocks which he could easily avoid, therefore absorbing unnecessary punishment en route to making the play. Several trivial concerns but this is a talented LB that can close fast and plays hard. “

4.) Zaven Collins – 6’4″ 255 lbs.

“Collins is a versatile talent. He can play every LB position. The question is what position does he play the best? I honestly believe it doesn’t matter. Play him to the strength or weakness of your roster depth. Most importantly, line him up situationally and based on the opponent you’re facing. The most intriguing position for Collins is as an edge defender. If he can get with a program that works on that part of his game he could be a one man wrecking crew that offenses would have to figure out. He’s incredibly cerebral and has ball skills but also has the size and power to penetrate and get tackles for loss. He’s not refined at any particular position and can be inconsistent with his impact on some games. Success will be heavily predicated on whichever system he’s drafted to.”

5.) Chazz Surratt – 6’1″ 224 lbs.

“Surratt is above average as an off the ball backer who gets clean looks pursuing the ball carrier. He was asked to blitz a lot in his ’20 season and showed he can excel in that role. Has zone coverage skill due to recognition and his ability to drive on the ball. I believe he needs to get bigger and secure tackles better. Ideal role would be a WILL LB in a 4-3 scheme.”

6.) Tony Fields II – 6’1″ 222 lbs.

“Fields II succeeds with grit. He’s an alpha that is tough as nails and fearless. Has a high football I.Q. and above average quickness. Will be good in zone coverage due to his agility and speed. Will need to add another 5 to 10 pounds to survive consistent battles with o-linemen in the trenches. His best fit is 3-4 ILB.”

7.) K.J. Britt – 6’0″ 239 lbs.

“Britt is a leader. Big hitter who fills alleys with authority. Has thin lowers (injury indicator) and is late to run fits at times. He won Senior Bowl honors as one of the best LBs there and behind Bolton he’s as traditional as they come as a true MIKE LB.

8.) Baron Browning – 6’3″ 241 lbs.

“Browning needs coaching but the height/weight/speed aspect of his game is promising. He moves well linearly not so much when asked to change direction quickly. I see his best fit as a 4-3 OLB. He needs a good year of NFL coaching but his power, length, and competitiveness is something to be excited about.”

9.) Jabril Cox – 6’3″ 233 lbs.

“Cox has really good coverage potential as a LB. That’s his best trait in my opinion. He has room to add bulk on his frame. You project that with a NFL weight program and with NFL coaching, the position will slow down for him. With the game becoming more cerebral the physicality should come later. Until then, he’s a project prospect that you can have fun with on later downs in coverage or just let him just run and go hit someone as an off ball LB.”

10a.) Grant Stuard – 5’11” 230 lbs.

“Stuard is a natural at the ILB position. He’s incredibly instinctive, competitive as they come and is a tackling machine. There’s not many examples these days of sub 6’0” LBs making a huge impact but Stuard has the makeup to make some noise. He doesn’t necessarily have the length you covet and had some soft tissue injury concerns at the Senior Bowl but battled through it. All in all he provides explosive special teams value as a gunner and that aspect of his game is a big reason why he’s in the top 10. “

(10b-37 – Justin Hilliard, Pete Werner, Dylan Moses, Shaka Toney, Ky’el Hemby (SS projected as ILB), Dorian Etheridge, Tavante Beckett, Buddy Johnson, Isaac Slade-Matautia, Tuf Borland, David Curry, Anthony Hines III, Lakia Henry, Jahad Woods, Ventrell Miller, C.J. Avery, Nate Landman , Garret Wallow, Jamin Davis, Monty Rice, Derrick Barnes, Ernest Jones, Paddy Fisher, Rayshard Ashby, Amen Ogbongbemiga, Riley Cole.)

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