- By Mac
Middle linebackers, Usually the captain of your defense. What did CJ Mosley do for Baltimore last year? Having a 3 down middle line backer who can drop in coverage, rush the passer, and tough against the run can instantly transform your defense.
This year’s draft is interesting for middle linebackers… I like 3 at the top, but I’m not sure who I like more. I’m feel like I’ve changed my mind on the order a dozen times over the past week, and probably will dozens more until draft day.
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Either way, here is my middle linebackers for the up coming draft!
1. Eric Kendricks – ILB – UCLA
Some view him as an OLB, but I think he is a playmaker in the middle. I like how he’s able to get after the QB and drop in coverage. What I like more is his 149 tackles last season, strikes me as a sideline to sideline backer who will make the tackle. He could go late first or early second… same is true for all of this tier.
2. Denzel Perryman – ILB – Miami
Tough call to go with Perryman. He looks a lot like Kendricks, but he’s smaller and slower. I have concerns about him in coverage. Still, he looks like he is a 3 down backer.
3. Benardrick McKinney – ILB – Mississippi State
Maybe the best of the bunch, but he has some character issues. He could also play outside linebacker he’s that talented, but if he keeps his head on straight could be a rock in the middle of someone’s defense.
4. Stephone Anthony – ILB – Clemson
Anthony has all the measurable you want, he’s big and fast. Faster than the tier 1 guys, but he’s raw. He may need a season or two and then he could be a 3 down linebacker. I like him a lot… you’ll have some growing pains but should be worth it.
5. Hayes Pullard – ILB – USC
Pullard looks life a solid pick on day 3. He has 4 years of experience and production.
6. Jake Ryan – ILB – Michigan
Ryan was recovering from an ACL, and didn’t play to his best. But if he returns to form he could be atop tier 2.
7. Paul Dawson – ILB – TCU
Not a huge difference between tier 3 and 4, but I see a gap. Monster season last year, but may be to slow for coverage in the NFL.
8. Mike Hull – ILB – Penn State
Solid player, nothing special. But he is solid and that said something.
9. Taiwan Jones – ILB – Michigan State
Big middle linebacker, but slow… his size may help him in coverage, but I doubt it.
There you have it! What is your order for the top 3? Should anyone be in a different Tier?
Let me know in the comments!