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Ell’s Top 5 Linebackers NFL Draft 2022

Utah Defensive Player to Watch: Linebacker Devin Lloyd - Land-Grant Holy  Land

1. Devin Lloyd, Utah

Strengths: athleticism/size, playmaking/coverage skills (mostly zone)      

Weakness: run stopping/taking on O-line, change of direction

Draft Projection: Top 10 – Top 15

2. David Ojabo, Michigan

Strengths: pass rush/bend around the edge, length/athleticism

Weakness: run stopping, finesse rusher/strength

Draft Projection: Top 10 – Top 15

Draft Focus: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

3. Nakobe Dean, Georgia

Strengths: speed/sideline to sideline tackling, coverage/awareness

Weakness:  size/length, ability to take on big O-line and TEs

Draft Projection: Top 15 – Late 1st Round

4. Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State

Strengths: pass rush/pass rush moves, speed around the edge/quickness

Weakness: strength/run stopping, raw (3 years at Temple 1 big year at Penn State)

Draft Projection: Late 1st Round – Mid 2nd Round

5. Quay Walker, Georgia

Strengths: size/athleticism, quickness/high motor

Weakness: strength, technique issues/change of direction

Draft Projection: Late 1st Round – Mid 2nd Round

Position Grade: B+

It was tough to rank pure LBs as now some are considered edge like Ojabo and Ebiketie, but this should be the position where they are listed as a starter. Lloyd and Dean are in the debate for who is the best LB in the draft, but Lloyd offers the size and coverage advantage while Dean has the high motor and pure tackling advantage; Lloyd can play outside or inside and Dean may be limited inside due to his size. Ojabo is one of the top pass rushers in the draft and the best pass rushing LB in the draft, with the size and speed to get around the bend so he may be a pass rush specialist only as a rookie, same for Ebiketie who is even more raw, but offers more against the run but less length; both should be weakside LBs or edge rushers. Walker impressed with his speed and athleticism at the combine, he is a solid tackler who needs to continue to improve as a pass rusher and in coverage; some teams view him as OLB while others believe he would be best in the middle so a 3-4 defense would be best.

Chad Muma, Wyoming, almost made the cut with good size and sideline to sideline tackling he has impressed scouts and has a good comp in another Wyoming LB Logan Wilson from the Bengals, while Christian Harris, Alabama, Damone Clark, LSU, and Brandon Smith Penn State, are some other names to look out for.   

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