NFL Draft 2013: Tracking the Best Available OLBs

Knox Bardeen@knoxbardeenNFC South Lead WriterApril 25, 2013

NFL Draft 2013: Tracking the Best Available OLBs

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    One of the most important tools for any war room is knowing what available player ranks best at every position on the field. That's why on draft day the big board is such a crucial element of a team's draft.

    Bleacher Report draft expert Matt Miller assembled his final 2013 NFL draft big board on April 22 and ranked every player in the draft. From Miller's list I'll update the best available outside linebackers left on the board and also keep a running tally of where every outside linebacker went in the draft.

    So check back often during the draft Thursday through Saturday to keep track of every outside linebacker that's selected in the 2013 NFL draft.

11. Chase Thomas, Stanford

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    You can view Chase Thomas' complete scouting report from Sigmund Bloom by clicking here.

    Thomas seems to be fine in coverage when he's dealing with a running back in the flats, but he's over-matched in the middle of the field or if the route-runner gets deep into the defense. Per Bloom:

    Thomas is adequate when it comes time to drop into a zone and patrol his area. Sometimes he lacks the correct depth in his drops, and he's not athletic enough to make explosive plays on the ball or receiver. He does see the action developing and make the correct decision on when and where to run, but his lack of speed and initial burst keep him from making plays. Thomas isn't afraid to put his hands on tight ends and attempt to disrupt their routes, but many NFL tight ends will be a massive mismatch for Thomas in coverage.

    It doesn't matter if Thomas is coming from the line with his hand down or from a linebacker spot, he's very adept at getting to the quarterback or finding the ball on running plays. He's versatile enough to burst through the middle of the line too. Via Bloom:

    Thomas has an array of moves that he can use to create pressure on the quarterback, including a spin, swim and club. He uses his hands very well and looks about as sudden rushing the passer as he does in any aspect of his game. Thomas can stunt inside and generally achieves his best results when he goes at the inside shoulder of the offensive tackle.

    Overall, Thomas ranks as the No. 11 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.

    Drafted: TBD

14. Keith Pough, Howard

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    You can view Keith Pough's complete scouting report from Scott Carasik by clicking here.

    What Pough likes most in coverage is lighting a receiver up who dares to cross over the middle of the field on a short passing route. Pough has good timing when playing zone coverage and slips through traffic. Per Carasik:

    Pough can sniff out screens very well. He reads the blockers and knows how to engage and explode through them. He can drop deep on plays but shouldn't be expected to man-up receivers. He has trouble turning his head around and his ball skills in coverage are pretty much nonexistent.

    When sitting in zones, Pough is solid over the middle as a tackler and doesn't allow much after the catch. But he still allows too many catches right in front of him to trust him in coverage. Ideally, he plays more of a blitzing outside linebacker on third downs.

    Pough uses speed and great athleticism to track down quarterbacks and ball-carriers behind the line of scrimmage. He can alter his path to the ball at a moment's notice and fight through single-player blocks. Via Carasik: 

    Pough reads the snap count almost perfectly on every play he is designed to blitz. He knows how to read the blockers well and sheds away blockers on his way to the quarterback. He relies on his athleticism to create quick pressure on the quarterback and is very effective at doing so.

    Can close the deal most of the time, but will sometimes overrun the quarterback in the pocket. He loses contain a couple times when rushing the passer, but overall does a nice job as a pass-rusher. The only thing that he could really improve here is closing the deal against mobile quarterbacks.

    Overall, Pough ranks as the No. 14 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.

    Drafted: TBD

17. Lerentee McCray, Florida

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    You can view Lerentee McCray's complete scouting report from Scott Carasik by clicking here.

    McCray is athletic enough to drop back into coverage, but he just doesn't have the necessary skills to succeed at the NFL level unless improvement's are made. He has good hands if he can get to the football to make a play. Per Carasik:

    His coverage skills are minor if even there. He was able to cover short ground effectively in the zone, but his role in the flats and short zones has been minimal at most. McCray does have a couple of solid cover plays and even an interception, though he would need to be in a Terrell Suggs role to be effective in coverage.

    McCray is very quick when bursting past blockers and turning the corner to attack a quarterback. He also has the versatility to rush from a standing position and can go at the quarterback from either side. Via Carasik:

    McCray can run the arc very effectively and relies on his exceptional speed off the edge to win those battles. He also has an extremely active bull rush and can create pressure on both mobile quarterbacks and pocket passers. He creates pressure extremely quickly off the snap and forces the tackle he faces to feel uncomfortable on the line.

    Overall, McCray ranks as the No. 17 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.

    Drafted: TBD

19. Etienne Sabino, Ohio State

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    You can view Etienne Sabino's complete scouting report from Scott Carasik by clicking here.

    There is a chance that Sabino might be a two-down linebacker at the NFL level. He's not the most agile outside guy when moving laterally. Per Carasik:

    He reads outside screens well and flows to the ball effectively. Against play action, he can diagnose effectively and cover the flats well. On short passes, he does a good job of limiting yards after the catch and stopping first downs.

    Sabino chases down quite a few passes where his teammates have been beaten by their man to help clean the play up. He covers his short zones well, but he probably shouldn't be responsible for anything past that. He is not very good in man-to-man coverage unless matched with a running back.

    Even though Sabino works mostly from the outside, he's a very effective A-gap blitzer and is tough to stop when he builds up a head of steam. Via Carasik:

    Sabino takes good paths to the passer when rushing from the outside. On outside stunts, he works effectively to create pressure on the quarterback quickly. He can work from any angle to the ball and excels when he can get a direct lane to the quarterback.

    He needs to get better at finishing the play with a sack, but he creates pressure to change plays, which is the goal of pass-rushing. He also is effective on a delay blitz-style play because he can contain and then rush effectively.

    Overall, Sabino ranks as the No. 19 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.

    Drafted: TBD

21. Brandon Magee, Arizona State

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    You can view Brandon Magee’s complete scouting report from Scott Carasik by clicking here.

    As a two-sport athlete Magee possesses extreme athleticism. He moves well in coverage and has a strong base to set when defending the run. Per Carasik:

    Overall Strengths

    + Diagnoses plays well and reads the offense pre-snap effectively

    + Has good athleticism, especially in a straight line

    + Great tackler who makes sure ball-carrier goes down on first hit

    There are injury (Achilles) concerns and issues with his size, but his biggest knock is having just average man coverage skills. Per Carasik:

    Overall Weaknesses

    - Change of direction is lacking burst

    - Over-pursues both in the run and passing games

    - Understands hand usage, but needs more effective strength

    - May not be 100% interested in the sport of football

    Overall, Magee ranks as the No. 21 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: TBD

22. Eric Martin, Nebraska

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    You can view Eric Martin’s complete scouting report from Scott Carasik by clicking here.

    Martin is a versatile pass-rusher that can play out of a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme. Per Carasik:

    Overall Strengths

    + Martin has great athleticism and good size for an outside linebacker in both 3-4 and 4-3 sets.

    + Rushing the passer is a true strength for Martin.

    + He's a very secure tackler and delivers hits with good pop.

    + He shows good hand usage for a defensive end, but it would be great at linebacker.

    Martin has played only on the defensive line in college and will need to work on transitioning to linebacker in the NFL. Per Carasik:

    Overall Weaknesses

    - He was never used at linebacker and always had his hand in the dirt compromising his potential in college.

    - He was rarely used in coverage and therefore is very unknown there.

    - There are times when his size becomes a huge disadvantage against the run, and he gets blocked out of plays.

    Overall, Martin ranks as the No. 22 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: TBD

23. John Lotulelei, UNLV

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    You can view John Lotulelei’s complete scouting report from Scott Carasik by clicking here.

    Lotulelei is good at avoiding offensive line traffic and can pursue either quarterbacks or ball carriers from sideline-to-sideline. Per Carasik:

    Overall Strengths

    + He's got good short-area quickness that helps in all aspects

    + He's intelligent and diagnoses plays well

    + His hands are violent and talented

    There’s a strong possibility that Lotulelei will struggle in man coverage at the NFL level. His technique may keep him a step behind receivers. Per Carasik:

    Overall Weaknesses

    - Shorter and squattier than other linebackers in this class

    - Top-end speed is just average

    Overall, Lotulelei ranks as the No. 23 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: TBD

24. Travis Johnson, San Jose State

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    You can view Travis Johnson’s complete scouting report from Ryan Alfieri by clicking here.

    Johnson is a versatile pass-rush specialist that can start from a standing up or hand-in-the-dirt stance. He’s also able to go around or through offensive tackles. Per Alfieri:


    + Array of pass-rush moves.

    + Quick first step, underrated flexibility and balance.

    + High-effort, smart, physical player.

    + Tremendous production.

    The only way Johnson is going to be a three-down linebacker is if he adds weight. If he gets tangled with offensive linemen he tends to get swallowed up. Per Alfieri:


    - Tweener who is undersized for a defensive end.

    - Little to no experience in coverage.

    - Gets tied up in the run game.

    - Played against lesser competition.

    Overall, Johnson ranks as the No. 24 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: TBD

25. Michael Clay, Oregon

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    You can view Michael Clay’s complete scouting report from Scott Carasik by clicking here.

    Clay is an intelligent outside linebacker prospect with leadership skills and a instinctual knowledge of where to be on the field and when to get there. Per Carasik:

    Overall Strengths

    + Michael Clay is a positive influence that everyone would want on his team.

    + He's got great quickness and uses it to flow to the ball effectively.

    + His instinctual zone-coverage abilities can be a true asset.

    + He can read the gaps effectively on blitzes and knows where to attack.

    + Over-pursuit is not an issue for Clay in the run game.

    + He's a pure-form tackler who racks up tackle stats all game.

    Clay knows where to be but sometimes doesn’t utilize his tools properly (think fails to bring hands up or rapidly push opponents to evade). He must find a way to get through blocking traffic. Per Carasik:

    Overall Weaknesses

    - Poor hand usage is a huge weakness that spills over into other parts of his game.

    - While he can stack blockers, he has trouble shedding them against the run.

    - In pass rush, his inability to effectively shed blockers hurts him here as well.

    - Man coverage isn't his game and should be schemed around.

    Overall, Clay ranks as the No. 25 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: TBD

26. Ja’Gared Davis, Southern Methodist

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    You can view Ja’Gared Davis complete scouting report from Scott Carasik by clicking here.

    Davis does a great job of attacking at the line of scrimmage and maneuvering at the tackle. He gets after the quarterback and makes tackles behind the line. Per Carasik:

    Overall Strengths

    + Davis is an ideal pass-rushing linebacker for a 3-4 defense.

    + His run defense is effective both as an edge setter and a run blitzer.

    + He's a very solid tackler with good strong hand usage to complement it.

    Davis is destined to be an NFL two-down linebacker because his cover skills are lacking.  Per Carasik:

    Overall Weaknesses

    - He's not effective in coverage and should not add this to his game.

    - He doesn't have great size or speed, but has potential to get bigger.

    Overall, Davis ranks as the No. 26 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: TBD

27. Herman Lathers, Tennessee

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    You can view Herman Lathers’ complete scouting report from Wes Stueve by clicking here.

    Lathers gets after plays by utilizing an always-on motor, which also impresses upon the rest of the defense a good work ethic. Per Stueve:


    A solid athlete, Lathers can move from side to side, and he's capable of running down plays from behind. Lathers does a solid job of recognizing the run and flowing with the play, always looking to make a tackle. He will, at times, display surprising strength.

    As a blitzer, Lathers accelerates through holes and closes on the quarterback with impressive speed.

    At 6’0” Lathers tends to get swarmed by blockers in traffic. He’s unable to see to get to the proper vantage point and lacks the necessary speed to make up for it. Per Stueve:


    Lathers struggles to get off blocks and make plays in the run game. Though he is a decent athlete, Lathers doesn't play with true sideline-to-sideline speed, and he struggles in coverage. Lathers also isn't a great pass-rusher, and he won't be working past many offensive linemen on his way to the quarterback. 

    Overall, Lathers ranks as the No. 27 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: TBD

28. Travis Long, Washington State

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    You can view Travis Long’s pro potential projection from Matt Miller by clicking here.

    Long can rush the quarterback from a standing position or with his hand on the ground and also has enough speed to get into coverage. He’s not the best against the run because he can be blown off his spot by bigger offensive linemen. Per Miller:

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 245 pounds

    Key Stats: 61 tackles, 13.0 TFL, 9.5 sacks in 2012 season

    Overall, Long ranks as the No. 28 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: TBD

4. Barkevious Mingo, LSU

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    You can view Barkevious Mingo's complete scouting report from Sigmund Bloom by clicking here.

    Mingo has amazing explosiveness off the snap and uses that initial push to get past blockers around the edge. He can turn the corner quickly and also knows how to use his arms to keep blockers from slowing him down. Per Bloom:

    Mingo has a sprinter's first step, but it rarely results in a direct path to the quarterback. He can still be redirected away from or past the passer easily, and doesn't effectively harness his quickness and explosiveness to get the blocker off balance.

    Until Mingo can add weight to his frame, he's going to be targeted in the run game. He's currently too lean to be on the field for every down and his body can tend to get tangled when plays come directly at him. Via Bloom:

    NFL teams are going to run at Mingo until he makes it harder to wall him off. Mingo can get drive-blocked right out of the play pretty easily by larger competition, but if he can get his hands on the blocker and extend his arms, he can hold up at the point of attack and set the edge on outside runs. 

    Overall, Mingo ranks as the No. 4 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.

    Drafted: Round 1, Pick 6, Cleveland Browns

1. Jarvis Jones, Georgia

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    You can view Jarvis Jones' complete scouting report from Eric Stoner by clicking here.

    Jones has the versatility to play inside or outside and uses his body and arms well to get after the quarterback and get his hands into passing lanes to cause trouble. Per Stoner:

    Despite his high sack totals, Jones actually has some untapped pass rush potential if he can learn to alter his pace and incorporate more slow and inside rushes against offensive tackles who over-set against his speed.

    Since he was only a one-year starter, Jones needs more experience fighting off blocks and learning how to occupy space but not get eaten up by linemen or blocking backs. Via Stoner:

    Jones will give good effort as a playside run defender, but his lack of size and bulk can get him engulfed at the point of attack by offensive linemen and larger tight ends. 

    Overall, Jones ranks as the No. 1 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.

    Drafted: Round 1, Pick 17, Pittsburgh Steelers

2. Alec Ogletree, Georgia

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    You can view Alec Ogletree's complete scouting report from Eric Stoner by clicking here.

    Ogletree has outstanding speed and he uses it well in pass coverage. He's a fierce attacking linebacker who actually plays the pass like a safety trapped inside a linebacker's body. Per Stoner:

    Pass coverage is where Ogletree can make an instant impact in the NFL. A fluid athlete who truly moves like a defensive back, Ogletree can high point the football, flip his hips, change direction and burst in and out of breaks with ease. He’s at his best in man coverage and figures to be a weapon to match up with “Joker” tight ends and space-playing running backs. 

    When Ogletree learns to use his hands to fight off blockers, he'll grow as a pass-rushing linebacker. Right now he attacks blockers using his speed and agility and depends on edge quickness instead of redirection to get to the quarterback. Via Stoner:

    Ogletree is easily neutralized as a blitzer when blockers get their hands on him cleanly. However, his first step, closing speed and ability to reduce his surface area and get skinny through rush lanes suggest he could be used creatively as an inside blitzer.

    Overall, Ogletree ranks as the No. 2 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.

    Drafted: Round 1, Pick 30, St. Louis Rams

7. Jamie Collins, Southern Mississippi

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    You can view Jamie Collins' complete scouting report from BJ Kissel by clicking here.

    Collins uses his hands and arms well at the line of scrimmage to interrupt receivers as they try to get into their passing routes. He has long legs that allows him to stick with backs in coverage. Per Kissel:

    Collins looks smooth when he's asked to drop in coverage. He has the prototypical size for an outside linebacker and shows surprisingly fluid hips for a player who's around 250 pounds. 

    In the pros, Collins will need to get off the line quicker and use his size to beat blocks. As it is now he gets slowed down too frequently by tackles who move well or have have a big strength advantage. Via Kissel:

    Collins will get a chance with an NFL team because of hopes that he can develop as a pass-rusher. He doesn't display a great first step off the line of scrimmage, but he does have good closing speed and the athletic ability to chase down a play outside the pocket. 

    Overall, Collins ranks as the No. 7 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: Round 2, Pick 20 (52), New England Patriots

3. Arthur Brown, Kansas State

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    You can view Arthur Brown's complete scouting report from Eric Stoner by clicking here.

    Brown is very capable at using his hands in coverage and wins his fair share of footballs that are up for grabs. He's quick and has the right frame to cover tight ends and running backs as they go out toward any part of the field. Per Stoner:

    An excellent pass defender, Brown shows the ability to cover slot receivers and running backs in man coverage with ease. He’s also a disciplined and instinctive defender in zone coverage.

    With his powerful lower body, Brown keeps his legs pushing forward and his feet moving to get through blockers and get after the quarterback. He tends, however, to use his legs to push blockers rather than absolutely maul them away from the play. Via Stoner:

    Kansas State blitzed Brown a handful of times a game (both inside and off the edge). He has the type of speed and closing burst to get pressure when he has a clear run to the quarterback but isn’t a true pass-rusher by any means.

    Overall, Brown ranks as the No. 3 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: Round 2, Pick 24 (56), Baltimore Ravens

6. Sio Moore, Connecticut

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    You can view Sio Moore's complete scouting report from Sigmund Bloom by clicking here.

    Moore is known for having a good football brain and makes coaches happy by handling assignments and using his training without varying from the game plan. He's more than capable of using his arms to break up passes and alter passing lanes. Per Bloom:

    At home in man or zone coverage, Moore processes what he sees very quickly and can stay with offensive players who are more athletic than he is.

    While not a bull-rushing type of rusher, Moore uses his quickness to beat his blocker off the snap and get around him with an open lane to the quarterback. Via Bloom:

    Moore is not just an adequate edge-rusher, he's very good. He isn't a quick-twitch athlete, but Moore still exhibits a good enough first step and burst to create pressure. He bends and turns the corner like a defensive end should, and Moore engulfs a quarterback when he has the chance. 

    Overall, Moore ranks as the No. 6 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: Round 3, Pick 4 (66), Oakland Raiders

9. Corey Lemonier, Auburn

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    You can view Corey Lemonier's complete scouting report from Sigmund Bloom by clicking here.

    One of the nice things about Lemonier is his high motor and size and the fact that he has upside potential. He has strong arms and uses them well to get the football on the floor or get his hands up into passing lanes. Per Bloom:

    At 6'3" and 255 pounds with 34.5" arms, Lemonier has the natural size and length to stay at 4-3 defensive end in the pros, which is a good thing because he lacks the speed and quickness to successfully move to 3-4 outside linebacker. He doesn't play as fast as his 4.6 40 time, but he does play as strong as his 27 bench press reps (even more impressive considering his arm length). 

    Lemonier has great vision of the field in front and to the side of him and uses that information well to hustle to the right spots. He always seems to be one of the first people to the action. Via Bloom:

    Lemonier is a constant hustle player who led a losing team by example. He is a high-character player who processes information quickly on the field. His intangible qualities offset worries that his game might not be as good in the NFL because of his limited athletic ability.

    Overall, Lemonier ranks as the No. 9 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: Round 3, Pick 26 (88), San Francisco 49ers

18. Jelani Jenkins, Florida

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    You can view Jelani Jenkins' complete scouting report from Scott Carasik by clicking here.

    Jenkins' best trait is his coverage skills. He turns well and is even adept at multiple head turns while in coverage of both running backs and slot receivers. Per Carasik:

    Jenkins drops back almost seamlessly into zone coverages. He's able to read the quarterback's eyes well and gets good depth. He makes the plays on the ball that you want a linebacker to make and can cover at tight end well.

    His ability to locate a ball in air has allowed him to snag multiple interceptions and even a punt block out of the air. He has a ton of potential to get even better in man coverage than he is. He just wasn't used in man very much. He sniffs out screens and flat passes effectively.

    When facing quarterbacks that can move, Jenkins can cover ground all over the backfield, even hitting the sidelines if need be. He's a good pursuit guy. Via Carasik:

    On blitzing schemes that use an open lane, Jenkins is very effective at creating pressure and using his excellent short-area athleticism to gain ground on the quarterback quickly. He does well versus mobile quarterbacks by keeping inside contain on zone-read plays. 

    Overall, Jenkins ranks as the No. 18 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: Round 4, Pick 7 (104), Miami Dolphins

8. Zaviar Gooden, Missouri

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    You can view Zaviar Gooden's complete scouting report from Chris Roling by clicking here.

    Gooden doesn't have a lot of experience rushing the passer, and that's likely because he had trouble beating blocks off the line of scrimmage. Per Roling:

    Gooden does not offer much in the way of pass-rushing. 

    During his time at Missouri, Gooden was rarely used in this capacity, and for good reason. When tasked with doing so, he would routinely lose battles with offensive linemen and at some times even running backs. 

    Gooden has the rare ability of being exceptional at both coverage in the flat as well as over the middle of the field. This makes him versatile in coverage and able to move with tight ends and running backs. He's very good at making up distances after the pass has been thrown. Via Roling:

    This is where Gooden's skill set really shines as a prospect. He excels at taking on blockers and navigating his way through piles to get to the ball-carrier. 

    Overall, Gooden ranks as the No. 8 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: Round 3, Pick 35 (97), Tennessee Titans

5. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers

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    You can view Khaseem Greene's complete scouting report from Chris Roling by clicking here.

    He may have to juke or use sneaky methods to get to the quarterback, but Greene is actually a very effective pass-rush specialist, especially against tackles that are slower. Per Roling:

    Thanks to his stunning athleticism and flexibility, Greene is an effective pass-rusher when asked. He is able to duck and twist his way around would-be blockers as he makes his way to the quarterback.

    Greene is a very intelligent tracking linebacker against the run. As long as he's not eaten up with multiple blockers, he can find ways to get to the football and shows football IQ to beat the play. He's a sure tackler who can also use his arms to strip the football. Via Roling:

    Greene is extremely effective at tracking ball-carriers and darting through the proper holes to bring them down. He excels at sniffing out screen passes and play-action, which typically puts him in the right position to make a play. 

    Overall, Greene ranks as the No. 5 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted:  Round 4, Pick 20 (117), Chicago Bears

15. Sean Porter, Texas A&M

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    You can view Sean Porter's complete scouting report from Scott Carasik by clicking here.

    Porter made great strides in coverage during his final season at Texas A&M, actually getting to the point where he was playing well against tight ends and slot receivers, not just running backs. Porter also has great closing speed. Per Carasik:

    If he has the athletic advantage on who he is covering, he blankets him in man or in matchup zones almost perfectly. He covers the inside short zones very well and closes on the receiver once the ball gets to him to minimize yards after the catch.

    In simple zones, he does really well getting his depth while still mirroring the players within his area. He can make plays with heads-up ball skills. Will sometimes drop deep into pass coverage as if he is the safety. He could be very useful for some amoeba looks with his ability there.

    Porter has good athleticism and can switch directions in full stride. He has a good first step and can power through blocks. Via Carasik:

    He gets off the snap well but takes way too many false steps when rushing off the edge. On stunts inside versus lesser athletes, he can beat them quickly to create pressure and even get his hands on the quarterback. He needs to get better at finishing the plays, though.

    Against guards he can get ridiculous pressure relying on a quick move and then use his burst to get past them. Too many times Porter has gotten stood up by a running back or a fullback or even a tight end on a blitz, but for whatever reason he has no issue getting around the tackle or guard he goes against.

    Overall, Porter ranks as the No. 15 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: Round 4, Pick 21 (118), Cincinnati Bengals

16. Gerald Hodges, Penn State

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    You can view Gerald Hodges' complete scouting report from Scott Carasik by clicking here.

    Not only does Hodges handle both zone and man coverage, but he can also switch targets in stride on the fly. He's capable of covering the flats, the middle of the field or even getting into deep coverage. Per Carasik:

    Hodges will line up over slot receivers and can effectively snuff out screen passes. He's one of the few linebackers in this draft who can do that. He covers like someone who was a former safety and it shows on the field. He doesn't allow many yards after the catch despite going against bigger, more athletic targets regularly. 

    He flows to the ball well even when it's not his man or zone for him to get the player. He tracks the ball well in the air and can knock it away. He's able to show up on broken plays where he is called on for coverage and tackle a mobile quarterback trying to scramble. Overall, his man-to-man coverage is terrible, though.

    Hodges is a converted safety that covers well but needs work to produce at the NFL level as a pass-rush specialist. He's not big enough to take on large linemen or very athletic blockers. Via Carasik:

    On a delay blitz, there are few who can let the lane open and burst through it better. However, his deficiency in shedding blocks really hurts him here. He can set the edge well as a blitzer and tends to hold his contain well against mobile quarterbacks.

    His best role would be to stunt and be used on delay blitzes. If he can ever learn how to not let the offensive linemen get their hands on him, he could be a much better player altogether as a blitzer. But as of now, this is something that would be better off doing sparingly.

    Overall, Hodges ranks as the No. 16 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: Round 4, Pick 23 (120), Minnesota Vikings

12. Trevardo Williams, Connecticut

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    You can view Trevardo Williams' complete scouting report from Scott Carasik by clicking here.

    Williams is a versatile pass-rusher who can get after the quarterback from a standing starting point or with his hand down. He times the snap well in both instances and can even move inside and attack through the interior gaps. Per Carasik:

    Trevardo Williams was used with his hand in the dirt. He was used in a two-point stance. He was told to set the edge both standing and with his hand down. He was rarely told to drop back into coverage, but he was told to get after the quarterback and used effectively on stunts and pass-rushing calls.

    Williams doesn't backpedal well, which is why he was rarely asked to release into coverage. In the pros he's going to have to learn man schemes and get much better with his zone knowledge. Via Carasik:

    After going through three full games of film on Williams, there weren’t enough plays to even judge what he could do in coverage. As he sits right now, he’s going to be a completely clean slate in coverage. But with his excellent athleticism, he could be very solid in coverage as a linebacker.

    Overall, Williams ranks as the No. 12 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: Round 4, Pick 27 (124), Houston Texans

13. Brandon Jenkins, Florida State

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    You can view Brandon Jenkins' complete scouting report from Chris Roling by clicking here.

    Jenkins battled through a left foot injury during the 2012 season, but a more glaring issue is the fact that he has just a few moves to get past offensive linemen when he rushes the passer. He has good initial quickness but will be swallowed up by NFL tackles unless he grows as a player. Per Roling:

    At Florida State, Jenkins was used exclusively as a pass-rusher from the defensive end position. Very rarely was he asked to drop into coverage, and rarely was he asked or actually had an impact on the running game. 

    When he can meet offensive linemen on his terms, Jenkins eats up blockers and knows how to drag quarterbacks down when he gets there. Via Roling:

    Thanks to his length and flexibility, Jenkins is able to rip away from blockers after applying his wicked first step and get into the backfield in a hurry. On film, he's routinely in the backfield so far that backs staying in to block whiff completely. 

    Overall, Jenkins ranks as the No. 13 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: Round 5, Pick 29 (162), Washington Redskins

10. DeVonte Holloman, South Carolina

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    You can view DeVonte Holloman's complete scouting report from Sigmund Bloom by clicking here.

    Holloman has the ballhawking skills of a defensive back and always seems to know how to influence the pass from the quarterback, whether it's getting his hands up in a receivers face or actually making a play on the football. Per Bloom:

    As a former safety, you would expect Holloman to be a natural here, and he is. He can line up in space or over the slot, and he can play man or zone coverage. In man coverage, Holloman is excellent at sticking to tight ends, but quicker slot receivers can shake him somewhat easily. In zone, Holloman drops at the correct depth and can react well to receivers passing through his area, as long as he isn't caught trying to read the quarterback's eyes. 

    Holloman has the athleticism to chase down both quarterbacks and running backs. He uses his hands well to beat blockers. Via Bloom:

    Holloman can create pressure from the edge and flashes the hand-fighting and moves to not get overwhelmed by a larger pass-blocker. He times his blitzes well, and Holloman bears down on the passer very quickly once he has him in his sights.

    Overall, Holloman ranks as the No. 10 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.


    Drafted: Round 6, Pick 17 (185), Dallas Cowboys

20. Ty Powell, Harding

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    You can view Ty Powell's complete scouting report from Scott Carasik by clicking here.

    Powell showed good athleticism and has the size necessary to make a successful transition from safety to linebacker. Those skills that he learned coming up as a defensive back show through in coverage. Per Carasik:

    Despite playing safety at lower levels, he was never talented as a coverage player and should not be used in man coverage. He's best in shorter zones where he can read the play and react to it after it happens. He flies to the ball and limits yards after the catch, but for the most part he needs work as a coverage player.

    Powell shows a very explosive first step and is able to get into the backfield with regularity. He brought down 15 ball-carriers for a loss and sacked the quarterback 8.5 times in 2012. Via Carasik:

    As a pass-rusher, Ty Powell is what a team wants. He flies off the snap and uses his quickness to beat slower offensive tackles around the arc. He has an effective bull rush as well, but he needs to develop some pass-rushing moves to be even better. He is a high-motor player, and if he loses a battle initially, he will still try and get after the quarterback every play 100 percent.

    Overall, Powell ranks as the No. 20 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.

    Drafted: Round 7, Pick 2 (231), Seattle Seahawks