Inside Linebackers

2019 NFL Draft:  Top Ranked ILBs

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

***April 13, 2019***

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.