Category Archives: Inside Linebackers

Inside Linebackers: Final Position Rankings

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.

Ed Alexander (95) and LSU Tigers linebacker Devin White (40) make the sack.
Photo: Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire

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:

  1. Cole Holcomb, North Carolina, 6-1/234
  2. Jahlani Tavai, Hawai’i, 6-2/250
  3. Otara Alaka, Texas A&M, 6-3/239
  4. Terrill Hanks, New Mexico State, 6-2/242
  5. Tre Lamar, Clemson, 6-3/253
  6. Joe Dineen, Kansas, 6-2/235
  7. Drew Lewis, Colorado, 6-2/225
  8. Dedrick Young II, Nebraska, 6-1/233
  9. Alex Figueroa, Central Oklahoma, 6-2/242
  10. Ulysees Gilbert III, Akron, 6-1/235
  11. Jordan Kunaszyk, California, 6-3/235
  12. Kyle Rachwal, Eastern Michigan, 6-3/240
  13. Kendall Joseph, Clemson, 6-0/233
  14. Tre Watson, Maryland, 6-2/235
  15. Curtis Akins, Memphis, 6-2/235
  16. Chris Peace, Virginia, 6-2/245
  17. Jeffrey Allison, Fresno State, 6-0/250
  18. Sterling Sheffield, Maine, 6-3/240
  19. Josh Smith, Vanderbilt, 6-3/240
  20. Rick Gamboa, Colorado, 6-0/240
  21. T.J. Holl, Colgate, 6-1/230

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Team Needs:

AZ | SF | NYJ | OAK | TB | NYG | JAX | DET | BUF | DEN | CIN | GB | MIA | ATL | WASH | CAR | CLE |MIN | TEN | PIT | SEA | BALT | HOU | CHI | PHI | IND | DAL | LAC | KC | NO | LAR | NE

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The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.

2019 Player Profile: Devin White, ILB, LSU

LSU Inside Linebacker Devin White possesses a nice blend of size, speed, aggression, instinct, and leadership. He’s built like an old-fashioned fullback. He flies to the ball like a heat seeking missile. He’s a reliable tackler and was the heart and soul of the LSU defense. White’s appears to be in the 5-11 overall draft range. It looks like he could go as high as number five overall to Tampa Bay, and probably wouldn’t fall any further than Cincinnati at number eleven.

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2019 NFL DRAFT: DEVIN WHITE | ILB | LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY

Height: 6-0| Weight: 237 | Class: Junior | 40 time: 4.42

A former running back, White displays outstanding athleticism for a middle linebacker. He was named “permanent” team captain and and receives high praise from coaches and players alike. He was the centerpiece of LSU’s blitz-heavy defense under defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. With outstanding straight line speed and sideline-to-sideline range, he can chase down most any running back when in pursuit. He is agile and flexible enough to sift though garbage and is strong enough to disengage from larger opponents.

White is a built for impact and has some serious speed.

In his three years with LSU, White played in 34 games. He had 286 total tackles; 114 solo; and 172 assists. He had 28.5 tackles-for-loss and 8.5 sacks. He also had a interception, 9 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles and 4 fumble recoveries in his career.

In 2018, White was named the recipient of the Butkus Award, which goes to the nation’s best linebacker. A first-team All-American and All-SEC honoree, White made plays all over the field this season, registering 115 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. In LSU’s biggest win of the season, White was a beast racking up 13 tackles against Georgia.

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Check out the updated Position Rankings: QBWRDEDT, and more.

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(Updated) Team Needs:

AZ | SF | NYJ | OAK | TB | NYG | JAX | DET | BUF | DEN | CIN | GB | MIA | ATL | WASH | CAR | CLE |MIN |TEN | PIT | SEA | BALT | HOU | CHI | PHI | IND | DAL | LAC | KC | NO | LAR | NE

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The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.

New Mexico Bowl – Dec 15

North Texas Mean Green (9-3)  vs  #23 Utah State Aggies (10-2)

NORTH TEXAS  |  CONFERENCE USA

Coach:  Seth Littrell

North Texas Players to watch: 

Senior LB E.J. Ejiya (6-3/230)

No. Texas Lineback E.J. Ejiya
Photo: No Texas Athletics

Ejiya ranks fourth nationally in tackles for loss with 23.0 and leads the Mean Green in sacks with 9.0, which ranks fourth in C-USA. His 113 total tackles are also fourth most in the conference. 

* Junior QB  Mason Fine (5-1/180)

Fine was name CUSA Offensive Player of the Year for the 2nd year in a row.  He was also a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien and Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Awards.  He was on watch lists for the Manning and Walter Camp Awards.  He was voted 2nd Team All-CUSA.

**Sophomore RB DeAndre Torrey  (5-7/186)

Torrey has been a touchdown machine for the Mean Green and ranks sixth in FBS in total touchdowns with 17. He is averaging 5.9 yards per carry, with 161 attempts for 942 yards and 14 rushing scores, while also providing a dynamic presence as a receiver out of the backfield. 

*Junior WR Rico Bussey, Jr. (6-2/208)

Bussey, Jr. leads the Mean Green in every major receiving category and is among the nation’s most productive receivers. 

Senior CB Kemon Hall (5-11/190)

Hall ranks third in FBS in passes defended (1.7 per game) and has posted five interceptions, two of which he has brought back for touchdowns

Senior CB  Nate Brooks  (6-0/192)

Brooks has 61 tackles, 3.0 of which are for loss, nine pass break-ups, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a quarterback hurry in 12 starts. Brooks has helped lead a ball-hawking group for North Texas, who have totaled 17 interceptions, which ranks fifth in FBS.

*Junior DE LaDarius Hamilton  (6-3/256)

Hamilton has been a force from his defensive end position for the Mean Green and is second on the team in sacks with 6.5 and 10.0 tackles for loss.

Senior PK Cole Hedlund  (5-10/166)

Hedlund was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award and is 19 of 22 on field goals, including a perfect 2 of 2 from 50-plus yards. 

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UTAH STATE AGGIES | MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE

Interim Coach:  Frank Maile

Utah State Players to watch:

*Junior TE Dax Raymond  (6-5/245)

  Utah State TE Dax Raymond has accepted an invite the the Reese Senior Bowl.
Photo:  Salt Lake Tribune

Despite missing four games this year with a broken hand, Raymond earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors after catching 25 passes for 335 yards (13.4 ypc) and two touchdowns. For his career, he has caught 70 passes for 863 yards (12.3 ypc) and three TDs.

**Sophomore LB David Woodward (6-2/230)

The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Woodward started all 11 games he played in — ranking first in the Mountain West and 10th in the nation with 124 tackles (11.3 pg). He is also fifth in the conference in tackles for loss with 12.5 (1.1 pg) and ninth in sacks with 5.0.

**Sophomore WR/RS Savon Scarver  (5-11/185)

Scarver has returned 21 kickoffs for 719 yards, including four returns of 50-or-more yards. His two kickoff returns for touchdowns (100 yards vs. New Mexico State and 96 yards at Wyoming) rank as the second-most in a single-season in school history, behind Kevin Robinson (three in 2007).

**Sophomore QB Jordan Love  (6-4/220)

Sophomore QB Jordan Love is 11th in the nation in points responsible for with 204 (17.0 pg); ninth in the nation in passing touchdowns with 28 (2.3 pg); 12th in the nation in passing efficiency (159.9); 21st in the nation in completion percentage (.658);18th in the nation in passing (267.3 ypg); 27th in the nation in completions (20.5 pg), and fifth in the MW and 28th in the nation in total offense (272.3 ypg).

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New Mexico Bowl Presented by Progressive
Utah State 52, North Texas 13