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2019 NFL Draft: Linebacker Big Board

Who are the best linebackers in the 2019 draft class?

Stanford v Oregon
Stanford’s Bobby Okereke
Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

1. Devin White 6’0 237 LSU

  • White was as good as advertised as a junior and subsequently did very well at the Combine. He’s one of the best regardless of inside or outside.

Grade: Top 15 selection

2. Devin Bush 5’11 234 Michigan

  • The much hyped junior did not disappoint during his last season in Ann Arbor. He’s a bowling ball all over the place. Is a little undersized both height and weight. Should test well. Father Devin Bush, Sr was a legendary linebacker for Florida State.

Grade: Top 25 selection

3. Mack Wilson 6’1 240 Alabama

  • There has been 0 drop off in talent replacing current Tennessee Titan Rashaan Evans. In fact, Wilson could be better. Can play both outside and inside but I see him sticking at inside in the pros.

Grade: Round 2

4. Ben Burr-Kiven 6’0 230 Washington

  • BBK is a stat sheet monster. He leads the entire country in tackles with a whopping 165 to go with one sack and an interception. He’s an athlete at the position. A bowling ball of energy. Ball skills are a plus. Size will limit him to a specialized role at the next level.

Grade: Round 2

5. Vosean Joseph 6’1 230 Florida

  • Joseph is a fearsome hitter that has been ejected for targeting several times. He will need to clean that up at the next level as he will pay fines instead of just penalties. Started out as a defensive back but moved up a level to linebacker. Undersized for the role but he makes it work. Look out for him as he will level an offensive player with 0 hesitation.

Grade: Round 2

6. David Long 5’11 227 West Virginia

  • Long has been a playmaker for the Eers on defense. He’s seemingly everywhere on the field. A rangy athletic linebacker type that can cover sideline to sideline. The size is a question though as 227 is rather small for the next level. Maybe a transition to safety is in the cards? Had a good Senior Bowl week. Followed up with an OK Combine performance.

Grade: Round 4

7. Blake Cashman 6’1 237 Minnesota

  • Cashman has been blowing up during the offseason. The former Golden Gopher had a surprising Combine effort with a 4.5 40 and 37.5” vertical jump. He’s an athletic sideline to sideline coverage type of linebacker.

Grade: Round 3

8. Bobby Okereke 6’1 239 Stanford

  • Okereke had an inconsistent Senior Bowl week. Came in at the Combine undersized as well. Just didn’t stand out. He has wowed during the process with an impressive wingspan. He’s a lengthy linebacker that can play both inside and outside. Teams will love that trait and it will get him drafted really high.

Grade: Round 3-4

9. Terrill Hanks 6’2 242 New Mexico State

  • Hanks had a case for being the best outside linebacker in Mobile. He won most of his reps everyday. He has great instincts and burst off the snap, which allows him to make all the plays in the gaps. Plus ball skills. Led the South team in tackles during the game. He had a poor Combine, running a less than optimal 4.8 40 yard dash.

Grade: Round 5

10. Drue Tranquill 6’2 234 Notre Dame

  • The defensive general for the Fighting Irish. He’s a tackling machine and technically sound, albeit as a limited athlete so it takes him some time to get going. Probably limited to inside backer duties at the next level.

Grade: Round 4

11. Cody Barton 6’2 237 Utah

  • Barton got all the love from the scouting community instead of fellow teammate Chase Hansen. Very fundamentally sound. Stood out at Shrine Game. Put up a monster 30 reps on the bench press at the Combine.

Grade: Round 4

12. T.J. Edwards 6’0 230 Wisconsin

  • He’s a typical Wisconsin type of linebacker i.e. slow of foot compared to others but is extremely talented in fundamentals as most Wisky defenders are.

Grade: Round 4

13. Chase Hansen 6’2 222 Utah

  • Has been a terror for opposing offenses to line up against. He’s a stat sheet monster, posting 114 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, and two interceptions. An undersized linebacker prospect that moved from safety this past season. Instinctive even for a first year linebacker convert. Senior Bowl participant.

Grade: Round 4

14. Te’Von Coney 6’1 234 Notre Dame

  • He has enough athleticism to be a sideline to sideline defender when needed. A playmaker for the legit Fighting Irish defense. Football IQ and tackling ability are major pluses.

Grade: Round 4

15. Jahlani Tavai 6’2 250 Hawaii

  • High motor type of of linebacker who doesn’t quit at all. Seemingly always around the ball. Bloodlines are there as brothers Jordan and J.R. also played college football. He just explodes off the ball. Very noticeable off the screen. Medical and off field history wasn’t good during senior season.

Grade: Round 5

16. Sione Takitaki 6’2 231 BYU

  • Very good at reading and reacting to the play. Versatile athlete in that he’s been played both as a defensive end and outside linebacker. Lined up everywhere. Very good athlete. Due to size, he gets lost in the wash rather easily. He was a late Senior Bowl call up.

Grade: Round 4

17. Deshaun Davis 5’11 234 Auburn

  • Davis was the field general type of leader for the underrated Tigers defense. He won’t wow anyone physically but his IQ and instincts just pop off the tape that I’ve watched. Almost always right on top of the play.

Grade: Round 5

18. Gary Johnson 6’0 226 Texas

  • An undersized linebacker that can flat out move as evidenced by his Combine (4.43 40). Hw was the Longhorns’ best linebacker last season. Could play some big safety in certain packages. Amazing athlete.

Grade: Round 5

19. Kendall Joseph 5’11 223 Clemson

  • Joseph is a talent that had to wait a while before his career got going due to the talent in front of him. He’s an excellent athlete that cover in space. While he gets to benefit from having a monster line to work with, he’s very sharp. Fits what modern defenses look for physically. East-West Shrine Game participant.

Grade: Round 6

20. Germaine Pratt 6’2 240 NC State

  • A converted safety and his ball skills shows on tape. He’s a pretty good athlete but can work on some things technically. The athleticism will get him by until he’s coached up on fundamentals of the linebacker position. Production was great in 2018.

Grade: Round 4