2010 NFL Draft: Inside Linebacker Rankings

Zack NallyCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2010

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 07:  Rolando McClain #25 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Louisiana State University Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

1. Rolando McClain (Alabama)

Height: 6'4" Weight: 256 lbs.

40 Time: 4.68

McClain is the unquestioned leader in his class of linebackers. His rare combination of size and speed makes him a potentially lethal run-stopper and blitzer at the next level. He was an honor student at Alabama and is a bona fide film junkie, a captain in the backfield that can serve as a primary defender in any roster. 

2. Brandon Spikes (Florida)

Height: 6'3" Weight: 256 lbs.

40 Time: 4.76

There are still some character issues surrounding Spikes after his attempt to gouge out the eyes of an opposing Georgia player, but his athleticism is unquestionable. He didn't show much progression at Florida, but he has great upside and elite NFL size. 

3. Sean Lee (Penn State)

Height: 6'2" Weight: 236 lbs.

40 Time: 4.74

After suffering from a number of injuries during his sophomore year, Lee really hit the wall when he tore his ACL in the spring of '08. During that time, he spent a year travelling with the team as a coach and when he got back on the field, it showed. He has an incredibly high football IQ and a great understanding of the game. He's a bit undersized, but he has the quickness to make up for it on the field.

4. Daryl Washington (TCU)

Height: 6'2" Weight: 226 lbs.

40 Time: 4.57

As one of the quickest linebackers in his class, Washington doesn't need the elite size of Spikes or McClain. He has great lateral speed and a keen sense of the big picture on the field. His true strength is in pass support. He has fluid hips and a low, tight backpedal, perfect for an undersized linebacker in a cover scenario. 

5. Pat Angerer (Iowa)

Height: 6'0 Weight: 235 lbs.

40 Time: 4.52

Angerer is a true football fundamentalist. Although he may lack elite size, his quickness, paired with near-perfect technique, will be enough to propel him to a second or third round pick. At times, it appears he is only effective when he has an elite defensive tackle to tie up the interior, but if he ends up with a good team, that won't be an issue.

6. Daryl Sharpton (Miami)

Height: 6'0 Weight: 229 lbs.

40 Time: 4.63

Sharpton is as versatile as they come and can play them all-will, mike, and sam as good as the other. He ended his senior year with 106 tackles. He is a little smaller than scouts would like, but he has the quickness and straight-line speed to atone for it. 

7. Donald Butler (Washington)

Height: 6'1" Weight: 244 lbs.

40 Time: 4.80

Butler's stock is rising fast. After a breakout year in '09, his performance in the Senior Bowl earned him a last-minute invitation to the combine in Indianapolis. He doesn't have the size of the typical inside linebacker and he has a tendency to lean forward at the line and square off on blocks, but with time and effort, he will eventually be effective at the next level.

8. Jamar Chaney (Mississippi State)

Height: 6'1" Weight: 241 lbs.

40 Time: 4.64

Considered a hot commodity when he entered the college scene, Chaney hasn't exactly lived up to his expectations. After sustaining a season-ending injury in '08, it was unclear whether or not he would return to the football field. He returned for his senior year though, and has done wonders to improve his draft stock. 

9. Micah Johnson (Kentucky)

Height: 6'2" Weight: 258 lbs.

40 Time: 4.78

Johnson leaves Kentucky as one of the most productive players in school history. However, recurring knee injuries are of concern for scouts. When he's healthy, he has the ability to be a dominant inside run-stuffer, but after tearing his MCL again in the final game of the season, it's unclear whether or not he'll ever be fully healthy.

10. Boris Lee (Troy)

Height: 6'0 Weight: 238 lbs.

40 Time: 4.74

One of the more productive and experienced linebackers entering the draft, Lee has the physical athleticism to dominate at the next level, but the film shows weak fundamentals at times, flaws that are easily taught, but will also serve as a speedbump for Lee in April. 

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