The 2013 NFL Draft outside linebacker rankings are dominated by juniors. The reality is that this is not a good class if some of the juniors decide to stay in school.
If some of the top juniors decide to declare early, this class has a shot at being one of the better classes, top to bottom, in the 2013 NFL Draft. Again, our early rankings are based on collegiate positions, so you won’t find Barkevious Mingo in these rankings. After the college football season ends and underclassmen declare for the draft we will update our rankings to reflect potential position changes.
The senior class will be headlined by Khaseem Greene who has had a fantastic season at Rutgers. Greene’s move from safety to outside linebacker has proven to be a terrific move. There are no seniors that will hear their name called on the first day of April’s draft.
The junior class is loaded and will be headlined by Jarvis Jones. Jones is arguably the best defensive player in the collegiate ranks and could challenge to be the top pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, if his medical checks out. Alabama, as always, is producing a first round linebacker. This year’s version comes in the form of C.J. Mosley. Mosley could go higher than anticipated.
The other caveat with this class is that some of the inside linebackers have the potential to move outside in the NFL, specifically Arthur Brown and Alec Ogletree.
Here’s a look at our 2013 NFL Draft outside linebacker rankings.
1. Khaseem Greene I Rutgers I 6’1″ I 230
Greene moved to linebacker after starting his career at safety. He’s a WILL LB in the NFL as he has speed to burn and covers with the best of them. Greene flies all over the field for Rutgers and will always be around the ball. He struggles to get off blocks when he gets engaged by blockers. Before the season, Greene was considered an early third day prospect but has worked his way into the second round.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 2
2. Jamie Collins I Southern Mississippi I 6’3″ I 240
Collins may be one of the more underrated prospects in the draft but probably rises after the Senior Bowl and Combine. He added some weight and maintained his signature athleticism. Collins could check in at above 240 and run in the 4.5′s. He will is almost assured to see his stock rise after scouts get their eyes on him at the Combine. Outside of the physical skills he has underrated instincts and makes a ton of plays in opponents backfield.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 2-3
3. Gerald Hodges I Penn State I 6’2″ I 238
Hodges is another WILL LB that has loads of athleticism. Hodges is a three-down linebacker that has plus instincts at the position. He could stand to add a little bulk to his frame in order to be a force against the run at the next level. He’s not as good as Lavonte David but is similar in skill sets.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 2-3
4. Chase Thomas I Stanford I 6’4″ I 248
Thomas is unlike any of the guys rated above him. He’s not as fast or athletic but could be the most disruptive of any senior OLB in this draft. He’s a high-motor guy that has a knack for creating havoc wherever the ball is. Thomas is limited in that he won’t make plays sideline to sideline but he doesn’t have to with his ability to move the pocket. He’s a great value guy with a high football IQ that could wind up a steal if he could be had in the third round.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 2-3
5. Sean Porter I Texas A&M I 6’2″ I 230
There was a time that many considered Porter a lock to be a top pick. He has loads of speed off the edge but hasn’t been as impactful in over a year. Porter lacks the physicality to be considered in the top two rounds of the draft. I think his best fit is as a WILL LB in the 4-3. He excels in coverage and making plays horizontally. He struggles to get off blocks and has been non-existent in games this season.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 3-4
6. Sio Moore I Connecticut I 6’1″ I 230 I DRAFT PROJECTION: 5
7. Jake Knott I Iowa State I 6’3″ I 252 I DRAFT PROJECTION: 4
8. Trevardo Williams I Connecticut I 6’1″ I 234 I DRAFT PROJECTION:3-4
9. Travis Long I Washington State I 6’4″ I 245 I DRAFT PROJECTION: 4
10. Cornelius Washington I Georgia I 6’4″ I 268 I DRAFT PROJECTION: 5-6
11. Kenny Tate I Maryland I 6’3″ I 230 I DRAFT PROJECTION: 4-5
12. DeVonte Holloman I South Carolina I 6’2″ I 241 I DRAFT PROJECTION: 5-6
1. Jarvis Jones I Georgia I 6’2″ I 242
Jones has Von Miller-like talent but concerns with spinal stenosis could have teams leery of taking a shot in the top five. He’s a top five talent and one could make an argument that he’s the most talented player in this draft. If Jones checks out medically for teams, it’s conceivable that he could go No. 1 and at least in the top five. Jones isn’t quite as explosive as Miller as a pass rusher but he’s further along in coverage and at stopping the run.
2. C.J. Mosley I Alabama I 6’2″ I 232
Mosley was asked to fill the mammoth production of Courtney Upshaw and he’s done just that. Mosley is adept in all aspects of the game and could hear his name called earlier than expected should he declare. He doesn’t have Upshaw’s or Dont’a Hightower’s size but could wind up being the better NFL player with his blend of instincts and athleticism.
3. Anthony Barr I UCLA I 6’4″ I 235
Anthony Barr was playing FB a year ago and is now being talked about as first round OLB. That’s the impact he’s made in his first year at the position. Barr is a superior athlete with impressive instincts for a first year linebacker. Sure, he struggles to keep contain and doesn’t do a great job of setting the edge but he’s a special talent.
4. Khalil Mack I Buffalo I 6’3″ I 244
Mack comes with some baggage but he may be worth the risk. The guy has dominated MAC opponents as he’s racked up 18 sacks and 52.5 tackles for loss in three seasons at Buffalo. Mack’s blend of size, speed, and nastiness should have teams calling his name early on day two.
5. Jelani Jenkins I Florida I 6’0″ I 230
6. Trent Murphy I Stanford I 6’6″ I 261
7. Denicos Allen I Michigan State I 5’11″ I 230
8. Jonathan Brown I Illinois I 6’1″ I 235
9. Jeremiah Attaochu I Georgia Tech I 6’2″ I 240