The line backer position in this draft is not very deep at 4-3 linebacker positions but has a lot of depth with 3-4 pass rushers . The popularity of the 3-4 defense has made ranking the position harder.
So, this is a compilation of the 10 best 4-3 and 3-4 line backers. Rolando McClain is the gem of the group and could go as high as the top 10.
As is true with every position in this draft there is one prospect in each position group that stands head and shoulders above the rest. McClain is that prospect for the LB. The ILB and defensive captain for the national champion Alabama Crimson Tide, McClain is adept at reading offenses and possesses great physical tools. His experience playing inside linebacker at Alabama will only boost his value.
Graham is the only player I ranked on two separate lists. He has a great all-around skill set and his versatility will be a big asset for him the draft.
Weatherspoon is the best pure 4-3 OLB in this draft. He has all the physical tools and has shown a lot intangible leadership qualities. Weatherspoon is coming off of two monster years at Missouri and should be effective if asked to play right away.
Jerry Hughes is an excellent 3-4 pass rush prospect. Hughes had 11.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for last season for a very good TCU squad.
Spikes hurt his draft stock a bit by returning for his Senior season. Spikes is a bit big for a MLB which hurts him against the pass but helps him against the run. Look for Spikes to go off the board in the late first or early second round.
Kindle will likely wow teams at the combine with his physical ability. Sergio struggled at times last season but does possess some very good pass rushing skills.
Daryl Washington is one of my favorite prospects in this years draft. Washington had a great season and excelled at the Senior Bowl. I believe Daryl will be a tackling machine in the NFL. My only concern is that a coach might try and convert him into a safety.
Physical skills have never been the question for Bowman. Navorro has had several off-field issues that have his value falling through the floor. He will be a big risk for what ever team takes him but it also could pay off big time if he gets his act together.
Norwood was a monster pass rusher who looked unblockable at times this season. I believe Eric has the skills of more than just a pass rusher but will need some time to develop.
Sapp will have to prove he is healthy before teams will see him as an elite talent. He has great speed and should be a solid pass rusher in the pros.