2019 NFL Draft: Top Ranked ILBs
Devin White and Devin Bush are heads and tails above all the rest. They will be drafted high because of the lack of top notch talent below them. The Inside Linebacker position group is a lot stronger and deeper than the outside linebacker position group. From Walker to Wilson, you’ll find late second to fourth round players. And then a frenzy from the fifth to the UDFAs, where a whole bunch of these guys will find a home; athleticsm and the ability to play special teams will be key.
1. Devin White, LSU, 6-0/237
White is well-built and hits like a hammer. He’s got football acumen and plenty of athleticism. Rare speed for a guy his size. Was college football’s top linebacker. Like a General on the field. Team leader. Community leader. He’ll end up being the face of somebody’s franchise. Could go as high as top five to Tampa Bay.
2. Devin Bush, Michigan, 5-11/234
Quick feet and hands help him sift through traffic. Like White, Bush is a physical, punishing tackler. Sideline-to-sideline speed. Aggressive upfield style of play suits him best.
4. De’Andre Walker, Georgia, 6-2/251
Sure tackler with plenty of size and strength making him a better fit on the inside. Likes to get in the mix and lower his pads and hit somebody. Quick to fill the hole. Looks like he could be a good blitzer at the next level and could also slide up to rush off the edge on occasion.
4. Germaine Pratt, NC State, 6-2/240
Pratt was a Senior Bowl standout. He was clocked at 20 mph on one play – which was faster than any other player on his squad (including running backs, wide receivers, corners and safeties). So, in short, Pratt has plays fast. Gets to the hole and fills fast. That’s what coaches like to see.
5. Bobby Okereke, Stanford, 6-1/239
Okereke is another guy that loves contact. Looks to blow opponents up with aggressive enthusiasm. Has enough athletic ability to drop into coverage.
6. Ty Summers, Texas Christian, 6-1/241
Summers wrapped up his college career with the second-most tackles (318) in the Patterson era. He had a frustrating senior season with an injury, but finished the season with 46 tackles, including 5 1/2 for loss and four sacks.
7. Cameron Smith, USC, 6-2/238
Smith has been called “your prototypical run-stuffing middle linebacker.” He has a background in wrestling which helps him against larger linemen. Very mature and self-motivated.
8. Mack Wilson, Alabama, 6-1/240
Has good closing speed in backside pursuit. Sideline-to-sideline range. Has the versatility to play any of the linebacker positions. Plays well in coverage and has enough speed to cover tight ends all over the field.
9. Ryan Connelly, Wisconsin, 6-2/242
Connelly has been recovering from a core muscle injury, but still showed well at the NFL Combine. He did everything but the bench press. Connelly is assignment sound. He is athletic enough to stay on the field for all three downs. He plays disciplined football. Lunch bucket kind of player.
10. Emeke Egbule, Houston, 6-2/245
Team captain. Shows good short area burst and downfield acceleration. Shifts well through trash, but is hesitant to take on bigger blockers. Hustles on every play. Could start career on special teams until he gets stronger.
11. Te’Von Coney, Notre Dame, 6-1/234
Coney is smaller than some of the other guys on this list in terms of weight, but his compact frame is idea for a middle linebacker. Will be most successful in a 4-3 with big tackles eating up blockers – leaving Coney to slip through the gaps and make the tackles.
12. Andrew Van Ginkel, Wisconsin, 6-3/241
Van Ginkel played DE for Iowa Western Community College and then FCS program South Dakota before transferring to Wisconsin and settling in at linebacker. He has enough athletic ability to make it the next level.
OTHER PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON:
- Cole Holcomb, North Carolina, 6-1/234
- Jahlani Tavai, Hawai’i, 6-2/250
- Otara Alaka, Texas A&M, 6-3/239
- Terrill Hanks, New Mexico State, 6-2/242
- Tre Lamar, Clemson, 6-3/253
- Joe Dineen, Kansas, 6-2/235
- Drew Lewis, Colorado, 6-2/225
- Dedrick Young II, Nebraska, 6-1/233
- Alex Figueroa, Central Oklahoma, 6-2/242
- Ulysees Gilbert III, Akron, 6-1/235
- Jordan Kunaszyk, California, 6-3/235
- Kyle Rachwal, Eastern Michigan, 6-3/240
- Kendall Joseph, Clemson, 6-0/233
- Tre Watson, Maryland, 6-2/235
- Curtis Akins, Memphis, 6-2/235
- Chris Peace, Virginia, 6-2/245
- Jeffrey Allison, Fresno State, 6-0/250
- Sterling Sheffield, Maine, 6-3/240
- Josh Smith, Vanderbilt, 6-3/240
- Rick Gamboa, Colorado, 6-0/240
- T.J. Holl, Colgate, 6-1/230
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- MORE: Small School Prospects
The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.