2019 NFL DRAFT LINEBACKER RANKINGS

  1. Devin White 6’1 240 LSU Tigers (JR)

STRENGTHS: Devin White’s game is tailor-made to that of the modern day NFL…a sideline to sideline linebacker…White can cover ground as well as any linebacker prospect in recent memory…Devin White is a blur on the football field…incredibly elusive and offensive lineman have fits trying to get their hands on him…even if they do get their hands on him, White is able to shed the block and continue his pursuit to the ball carrier…quick, nimble feet…good hands…a versatile LB who could play either outside or middle…Devin White is a leader on and off the football field…his intangibles are off the charts…

WEAKNESSES: The major issue with Devin White is that he needs to be a bit more physical at the point of contact…not the best, and most assured tackler out there…needs more work as a pass defender…knows where he needs to be, but needs work on the ‘read and react’ part of pass defense…will not project to be a linebacker who rushes the pass or consistently pushes the edge…

COMP: Sean Lee

OVERALL: Devin White has the physical abilities that NFL teams covet in their linebackers, and he brings the high IQ and intangibles to boot…Devin White is the type of leader who can transform a defense and will elevate the play of his teammates around him…he does need to develop more of a physical presence—especially to combat the bigger, more physical athletes at the NFL level…that being said, I anticipate that White makes the required leap…I see no reason why Devin White won’t be a Top 15 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

2) Devin Bush 5’11 220 Michigan Wolverines (JR)

STRENGTHS: Devin Bush can cover a ton of ground in a short period of time…a playmaker…a high IQ football player…work ethic is strong…plays to the whistle every down…great intangibles and leadership…raises the level of play of the teammates around him…processes the play quickly…reads and reacts…excels in pass coverage—can match up with offensive weapons where others in this class cannot…a fluid athlete who can transition platform to platform seamlessly…an underrated pass rusher…

WEAKNESSES: Devin Bush is a limited linebacker prospect—purely based on his measurables at 5’11 220…some will look at him more like a safety than a linebacker…despite is smallish stature—he doesn’t blow you away with his quickness or explosiveness…against bigger, more physical blockers at the NFL level—the fear is that he will be engulfed…does not have the length of some of his contemporaries, and that lack of length will cause him to not make tackles, that others would…

COMP: Shaq Thompson

OVERALL: Devin Bush is a prospect that has a role in the modern day NFL—where years ago, he would not have…very smallish—Devin Bush would have been pushed back to the Safety position 5-10 years ago…Devin Bush can develop into a plus player at the NFL level in pass defense, and in a league where it is more pass-happy than ever—this skill set will be coveted…that being said, he is limited physically due to his stature, and will likely never develop into an asset in stopping the run…a great locker room guy who brings the attitude teams are looking for…Devin Bush is shaping up to be a late 1st-early 2nd round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

3) Mack Wilson 6’2 240 Alabama Crimson Tide (JR)

STRENGTHS: Mack Wilson has a high-level skill of having a nose for the football, and not just that, but when he gets there, being able to make a play, or force a turnover…has shown the ability to travel from the middle of the football field to the sideline in order to make the play on the ball…a hard hitter that destroys the ball carrier…when Mack Wilson is dropping into coverage—he is a plus defender…has a good feel for the routes around him and can jump the route and cause the interception…you see the upside with Mack Wilson on film…has shown the ability to be tough in run defense…

WEAKNESSES: For a player with his profile and pedigree, Mack Wilson sure doesn’t make many plays in the opponents backfield…some attribute these lack of statistics due to a lack of football IQ—slow diagnosing the play, and a lack of instincts on the ‘Read and React’ plays…Mack Wilson is not the explosive athlete that we have seen as of late from our upper echelon LB prospects…Wilson is an uneven tackler—more misses than you would like to see…has a bad habit of playing with poor angles and leverage…a liability in pass defense…will get his eyes caught in the backfield and beaten by the receiver…his effort gets called into question giving his wild inconsistencies…from play to play, you’re not exactly sure what player you’re getting…

COMP: Dont’a Hightower

OVERALL: Mack Wilson makes for a tough evaluation…there are moments on film, glimpses if you will, where he has the looks of a sure-fire 1st round pick…the more you watch, the more inconsistencies abound…the talent is there—there is no questioning that, but he needs work on reading the play as it is unfolding and instinctually reacting to the play…Wilson is one of the few prospects where it’s his football IQ holding him up, not his physical limitations…I wouldn’t recommend drafting Wilson as a three down LB to begin his career…that being said, again, the talent is there to become one with work…I expect Wilson to have many teams shaking their heads—what to think…currently I expect him to be a high-mid 2nd round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

4) Joe Giles-Harris 6’2 240 Duke Blue Devils (JR)

STRENGTHS: Joe Giles-Harris is one of the smarter football players in the entire 2019 Draft…very high football IQ…diagnoses the play rapidly and makes the play accordingly…quick read and react skills…outstanding tackler—if he gets his hands on the ball-carrier, he is making the play…wraps up consistently…uses his hands very well…able to get off of blocks with proper fundamentals…non-stop motor on Giles-Harris…plays to the whistle and never stops…

WEAKNESSES: Joes Giles-Harris does not have elite burst or quickness that you like to see from your high-end LB prospects…his measurables at the Scouting Combine will likely be mundane…Giles-Harris is a bit stiff in the hips, and does not possess the fluidity that you would like to see…lack of athleticism will allow him to overrun the play on occasion…

COMP: Lorenzo Alexander

OVERALL: Joe Giles-Harris was one of the more fun evaluations that I completed…my opinion and evaluation of him got better and better the more tape that I reviewed…Giles-Harris has the making of a true Middle Linebacker at the NFL level due to his read and react skills, leadership abilities in able to diagnose the play and adjust/audible to the proper defensive front…Giles-Harris does not have the high end athleticism that some of his contemporaries do, but he makes up for it with a high football IQ…I like Joe Giles-Harris as a mid-late 2nd round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

5) Vosean Joseph 6’0 225 Florida Garors (JR)

STRENGTHS: Vosean Joseph is a sideline to sideline LB prospect who can make plays all over the football field…Vosean Joseph plays with a motor that just won’t quit…Joseph is a heavy hitter who not only runs fast, but plays fast…Joseph does a good job on read and react plays…good acceleration to the ball-carrier…Joseph does a good job playing through traffic and getting to a position to make the play…projects to be able to pass the rusher from the Weakside LB position…

WEAKNESSES: You have to be concerned with whether Vosean Joseph is big enough in order to sustain his play against bigger, larger NFL athletes…if you watched some of the film on Joseph—you can see him being beaten up a bit by larger blockers and larger backs…does not project to be a pass-rusher type of LB off the edger…questionable skills in pass coverage…does he possess the size to matchup with the TE position in the NFL…

COMP: Mychal Kendricks

OVERALL: Vosean Joseph plays with a high-end motor that shines on film…Joseph is a bit on the smaller side—so his likely fit will be on the Weakside position…Vosean Joseph does a good job of transitioning through larger athletes with his fluidity and quickness…he may not be an every down starter to begin his NFL career, but the line of thinking is that he can transition to this with a little work…given his athletic traits and projection, I would expect Vosean Joseph to be a late second day pick, likely in the mid-late 3rd round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

6) Bobby Okereke 6’2 234 Stanford Cardinal (SR)

STRENGTHS: Bobby Okereke has as much sideline to sideline range as anyone in the 2019 NFL draft…you have to like Okereke’s aggressiveness…always looking to make a play…Bobby Okereke projects to be a plus defender in pass defense…quick feet which allow him to cover a lot of ground…

WEAKNESSES: The biggest issue that you see from Bobby Okereke is that if blockers get their hands on him, they can neutralize him…poor hand play leads to his inability to disengage blockers…a smallish LB prospect who has the measurables of a Safety, not a Linebacker…I question Okereke’s consistency…at times he looks lost out there…not a quick linebacker—needs start-up speed…his tackling is also wildly inconsistent…he gets in position, but does not wrap up…stiff in the hips…does not have the fluidity that you would like to see…his change of direction is disappointing…

COMP: Mark Barron

OVERALL: I’m not quite certain that I know what to do with Bobby Okereke…an undersized prospect is one thing, but an undersized prospect who doesn’t play physical enough and can get engulfed by blocking is another one entirely…Okereke doesn’t read and react the way some of his contemporaries do…that being said, the NFL is becoming an increasingly pass-happy game, and Bobby Okereke can play well in pass defense…his physical limitations will be an issue, but I still expect Bobby Okereke to be drafted early on the third day, around the 4th-5th round range of the 2019 NFL Draft.

7) Terrill Hanks 6’2 230 New Mexico State (SR)

STRENGTHS: Terrill Hanks has the looks of a modern day weakside linebacker…he has experience playing at Safety and the movement skills that come with it…a very fluid athlete who drops into coverage well…covers a lot of ground…in a league where offenses are constantly trying to cause mismatches—Terrill Hanks can matchup with RB out of the backfield and TE…Hanks plays full throttle…sideline to sideline range and potential…

WEAKNESSES: The biggest issue that pops up when watching the film on Terrill Hanks is a lack of a physical presence…his tackling is inconsistent as he doesn’t always wrap up the ball carrier…another smallish LB that can get swallowed up by blockers…doesn’t mind sticking his nose in there, but bigger, stronger athletes can have their way with him…questionable football IQ…does not seem to properly diagnose the play quick enough to be a high end playmaker…

COMP: Duke Riley

OVERALL: Terrill Hanks fits the profile of an uneven NFL Draft prospect…you can see some value of Terrill Hanks in pass defense…the range and ability to match up with high level pass catching options…Hanks does not offer much position versatility as he is only a fit at weakside linebacker, due to his lack of physicality…he is going to be a negative value in run defense to whatever team drafts him…I don’t imagine teams will project Terrill Hanks as a NFL starter early on—will need to earn his role…I would expect Terrill Hanks to be a selection on day three, around the 4th-5th round range in the 2019 NFL Draft.

8) Germaine Pratt 6’3 245 NC State Wolfpack (SR)

STRENGTHS: Germaine Pratt is a tackling machine…powerful at the point of contact…if Germaine Pratt gets his hands on you, you’re going down…Pratt plays with all-out effort…no wasted movement…quick initial movement give him a chance…flashes potential to make it as a NFL starter…better as a run stopper than he is in pass defense…

WEAKNESSES: Germaine Pratt does not play with the highest football IQ and has trouble diagnosing the play initially…does not have the length that the NFL scouting community covets…Germaine Pratt does not play the game with proper leverage…needs to lower his pad level to have any success in the NFL…not the quickest or most fleet of foot athlete…super tight and lacks fluidity in his game…

COMP: Paul Worrilow

OVERALL: You may be seeing a pattern here, but the vast majority of the linebacker prospects in this range have a great deal of difficulty alluding, and getting off of blocks, especially the smaller prospects…there’s nothing about Germaine Pratt’s game that translates to the NFL and the direction the game is going…Pratt will be a liability in pass defense and does not adapt well as the play move along…I like Pratt more as a special teamer to start with, and a potential part-time rotation piece eventually, but I don’t foresee full-time duties in his future…a late round flier, placing a 6th-7th round value on Germaine Pratt in the 2019 NFL Draft.

9) Tre’ Lamar 6’2 245 Clemson Tigers (JR)

STRENGTHS:

WEAKNESSES:

COMP:

OVERALL:

10) Ben Burr-Kirven 6’0 225 Washington Huskies (SR)

STRENGTHS: Ben Burr-Kiven gives you all the effort that you could ask for…great motor…plays like his hair is on fire…a high IQ football player who normally makes the play if he can get in position to make it…plays with an aggressive mentality…does a good job of diagnosing the play and adapting in pass defense…does a good job of avoiding contact when tracking the ball carrier…

WEAKNESSES: The first thing that pops is that Ben Burr-Kiven is not gifted athletically…he looks very small in comparison to other prospects…at first glimpse, I thought he was indeed a safety…despite being safety size—remains slow to react to a play as it is unfolding…lack of impact plays…where are the sacks and tackles for loss..? Burr-Kiven lacks length to make up for a lack of quickness…many ball carriers will move the pile when locked up with Burr-Kiven…stiff hips…doesn’t transition speeds smoothly…

COMP: Najee Goode

OVERALL: Ben Burr-Kiven has the makings of a NFL special teamer, nothing more at this point…Burr-Kiven is vastly undersized…it’s tough to see him holding up to the physical nature of the NFL where bigger, stronger athletes are going to push him around…some might suggest a transition to safety—but I don’t see the speed or fluidity to cut it there either…essentially he is a ‘tweener’ in the wrong direction…Ben Burr-Kiven could be a 6th or 7th round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.