2014 NFL Draft: Updated Outside Linebacker Rankings and Analysis

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2014 NFL Draft: Updated Outside Linebacker Rankings and Analysis
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

What it means to be an outside linebacker is not as easy to define as it once was. With the steady proliferation of the 3-4 defense, the NFL needs an increasing number of outside linebackers who serve a dual role.

Not only do they need to be able to defend the run in a traditional sense, they also have the added responsibility of rushing the passer as a hybrid defensive end. This entire dynamic really clouds the water on positional rankings.

Outside linebackers who can play in a 3-4 are typically coveted over your typical 4-3 outside linebacker and therefore their draft stock will reflect that.

The 2014 class is a very disparate group with specific strengths. This means that when a player is selected could depend as much on the fit in the scheme as an individual player's talent.

Let's take a closer look at some of the top outside linebackers in this 2014 class.

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