MLB Rankings 2017 NFL Middle Linebacker Rankings Projected Rounds: 1. Reuben Foster, MLB, Alabama: 60 solo tackles, 55 assisted tackles, 115 total tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, 8 quarterback hurries, 5 sacks, and 2 deflections from pass breakups Top 10 Pick, 2. Jarrad Davis, MLB, Florida: 29 solo tackles, 31 assisted tackles, 60 total tackles, 6 tackles for a loss, 5 quarterback hurries, 4 deflections from pass breakups, and 2 sacks Round 2, 3. Zach Cunningham, MLB, Vanderbilt: 71 solo tackles, 54 assisted tackles, 125 total tackles, 16.5 tackles for a loss, 3 deflections from pass breakups, 1 quarterback hurry, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 blocked kick/punt Round 2, 4. Raekwon McMillan, MLB, Ohio State: 49 solo tackles, 53 assisted tackles, 102 total tackles, 7 tackles for a loss, 4 deflections from pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 quarterback hurries Round 2, 5. Anthony Walker Jr. MLB, Northwestern: 62 solo tackles, 43 assisted tackles, 105 total tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, 6 quarterback hurries, 2 sacks, 5 deflections from pass breakups, 4 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery Round 3, 6. Ben Boulware, MLB, Clemson: 58 solo tackles, 58 assisted tackles, 116 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, and 4 sacks Round 4, 7. Ritchie Brown, MLB, Mississippi State: 51 solo tackles, 51 assisted tackles, 102 total tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, 3 quarterback hurries, 2 deflections from pass breakups, and 1.5 sacks Round 4, 8. Kendell Beckwith, MLB, LSU: 33 solo tackles, 58 assisted tackles, 91 total tackles, 6 tackles for a loss, 4 deflections from a pass breakup, and 1 quarterback hurry Round 4, 9. Connor Harris, MLB, Lindenwood: 74 solo tackles, 64 assisted tackles, 138 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, 3 deflections from pass breakups, and 1 sack Round 4, 10. Riley Bullough, MLB, Michigan State: 20 solo tackles, 56 assisted tackles, 76 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, and 7 quarterback hurries Round 5, 11. Jalen Reeves-Maybin, MLB, Tennessee: 12 solo tackles, 8 assisted tackles, 20 total tackles, and 2 tackles for a loss Round 5, 12. Chase Allen, MLB, Southern Illinois: 49 solo tackles, 28 assisted tackles, 77 total tackles, 7 quarterback hurries, 7 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 1 deflection from a pass breakup, and 1 forced fumble Round 5, 13. Kevin Davis, MLB, Colorado State: 66 solo tackles, 44 assisted tackles, 110 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, 4 quarterback hurries, and 3 sacks Round 6, 14. Marquel Lee, MLB, Wake Forest: 63 solo tackles, 42 assisted tackles, 105 total tackles, 20 tackles for a loss, 4 quarterback hurries, and 7.5 sacks Round 6, 15. Keith Kelsey, MLB, Louisville: 48 solo tackles, 44 assisted tackles, 92 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, 4 quarterback hurries, 3 forced fumbles, 2 deflections from pass breakups, and 1 sack Round 6, 16. Stacy Thomas, MLB, Louisville: 49 solo tackles, 36 assisted tackles, 85 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, 3 deflections from pass breakups, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 interception Round 6, 17. Ben Gedeon, MLB, Michigan: 37 solo tackles, 63 assisted tackles, 100 total tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, 2 deflections from pass breakups, and 2 quarterback hurries Round 7, 18. Dakota Cox, MLB, New Mexico: 51 solo tackles, 40 assisted tackles, 91 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 2 deflections from pass breakups, and 1 forced fumble Round 7, 19. Jordan Herdmann, MLB, Simon Frasier: 56 solo tackles, 57 assisted tackles, 113 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, 3 deflections from pass breakups, and 3 forced fumbles Round 7, 20. Nick DeLuca, MLB, North Dakota State: 14 solo tackles, 12 assisted tackles, 26 total tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, 2 deflections from a pass breakup, and 1 interception Round 7


2017 NFL Draft: Middle Linebacker Rankings





Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Last Updated: February 23, 2017.



  1. Reuben Foster, MLB, Alabama Projected Round Top 10 Pick

    2016 Season Recap The 6-1 240 lb Reuben Foster will have to step up in 2016 without Reggie Ragland next to him. Foster has talent, but also looked pretty sloppy on tape at times even though he's much better at dropping back into coverage than Ragland.


    Reuben Foster had 2 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, 4 total tackles, and 1 tackle for a loss against USC. Foster has to build on that and execute more tackles in 2016.


    Reuben Foster only had 1 game with more than 10 total tackles against Ole Miss. Foster stepped up in his last two games with 12 total tackles against a previously unbeaten Texas A&M team along with 11 total tackles against LSU. Foster stepped up when it mattered.


    Before those games, Foster showed the same versatility Reggie Ragland had in the win over Tennessee. Foster showed he could play 4-3 right outside linebacker, 4-3 middle linebacker, 4-3 left outside linebacker, 3-4 right outside linebacker, 3-4 middle linebacker, and 3-4 left outside linebacker.


    Foster is great at pressuring the quarterback and dropping back into coverage, but he's not the run stuffer that Dont'a Hightower or Reggie Ragland was coming out of Alabama. Foster has excellent awareness and foot speed on tape too despite not being the tackler Hightower or Ragland was. It appears that Foster may have corrected that area of his game.


    Foster had 60 solo tackles, 55 assisted tackles, 115 total tackles, and 13 tackles for a loss in 2016. Foster has shown he can be a reliable middle linebacker with Jarrad Davis and Kendell Beckwith injured.


    Reuben Foster SWOT Report

    Strengths: Reuben Foster has the rip and swim moves that you expect a defensive end to have and he plays middle linebacker. Foster is an outstanding run stuffer and does an excellent job dropping back into coverage. Reuben Foster is a complete linebacker and one could argue he's the best NFL prospect on Alabama's defense. Foster's play recognition and instincts function at such a high level. Is versatile enough to play anywhere.


    Weaknesses: I don't see any weaknesses with Reuben Foster. I see a complete plug-in-play linebacker.


    Opportunities: 7. Los Angeles Chargers, 9. Cincinnati Bengals, 13. Arizona Cardinals, 14. Indianapolis Colts, 16. Baltimore Ravens. Reuben Foster is going to get drafted in the top half of the draft even though he's missing the 2017 NFL Combine.


    Threats: Reuben Foster had high rotator cuff surgery. That will keep him out of the 2017 NFL Combine, but Foster should be back for training camp. I think that's the only threat to Foster's stock and I don't think that affects his stock at all.



    Before 2016

    Reuben Foster had 48 solo tackles, 25 assisted tackles, and 73 total tackles in 2015. Foster had 9 deflections from pass breakups and 8 tackles for a loss. Foster can execute a tackle if someone comes his way, but he gets pushed back quite frequently. Foster's ability to play man and zone coverage is superior to Ragland's because there were plays where Alabama moved Foster to free safety in passing situations because hardly got pressure on the opposing quarterback.




  2. Jarrad Davis, MLB, Florida Projected Round 2nd Round

    2016 Season Recap The 6-2 230 lb Jarrad Davis will have to play 3-4 middle linebacker all on his own in 2016. Antonio Morrison is gone, but Davis is a far superior middle linebacker on tape. Davis needs to show the same leadership Morrison showed now that Morrison is gone.


    Jarrad Davis had 2 solo tackles, 7 assisted tackles, 9 total tackles, 0.5 sack, and 0.5 tackle for a loss. Davis needs to do more against Kentucky in week 2 despite an impressive start in week 1.


    Davis seems like the top middle linebacker on tape at this point. His only breakout games were against Massachussets in the opener and his game where Florida beat Vanderbilt. Davis has done excellent stopping the run while playing effectively in coverage even though he had 1 quarterback hurry against Tennessee.


    Davis got injured against Arkansas and missed the LSU game with an injury, but he's extremely versatile on tape. Davis showed the versatility to play 4-3 right outside linebacker, 4-3 middle linebacker, 4-3 left outside linebacker, 3-4 right outside linebacker, 3-4 middle linebacker, or 3-4 left outside linebacker. Davis only has one game of more than 15 against Vanderbilt, but his versatility, ability to rush the quarterback, and rop back in coverage is through the roof.


    Jarrad Davis SWOT Report

    Strengths: Jarrad Davis can rush the quarterback, stop the run, or drop back into coverage. He can be a turnover machine and is versatile enough to play anywhere at linebacker just like Reuben Foster.


    Weaknesses: I don't see any weaknesses with Jarrad Davis. I see a complete plug-in-play linebacker who can do everything. he only issue with Davis is that he's not a tackling machine. His 98 total tackles in 2015 were 2 short of the 100 total tackle mark you expect your middle linebacker to hit.


    Opportunities: 22. Miami Dolphins, 24. Oakland Raiders, 32. New England Patriots, 46. Baltimore Ravens, 49. Washington Redskins. Jarrad Davis is a first to second round prospect. We currently have a second round grade on Davis, but if he shows he's recovered at Florida's Pro Day he can re-enter the first round conversation.


    Threats: Jarrad Davis will miss the 2017 NFL Combine, but Davis will be back for Florida's Pro Day. Durability concerns are a huge issue with Jarrad Davis.



    Before 2016

    Jarrad Davis had 46 solo tackles, 52 assisted tackles, 98 total tackles, and 11 tackles for a loss in 2015. Davis plays in a 3-4 defense at Florida, but is versatile enough to play in the 4-3 as well. Davis is also great at dropping back into coverage.




  3. Zach Cunningham, MLB, Vanderbilt Projected Round 2nd Round

    2016 Season Recap The 6-4 230 lb Zach Cunningham has the versatility to play 4-3 middle linebacker or 3-4 middle linebacker. Cunningham may have the best play recognition of any middle linebacker in this draft class despite being a junior redshirt. He isn't as consistent on tape as some of the other linebackers which is why Cunningham fell to this spot.


    Cunningham began the season with 6 solo tackles, 6 assisted tackles, 12 total tackles, and 3 tackles for a loss against South Carolina. Cunningham made a statement against South Carolina, and will move up my board if he can keep having statement games like that.


    Cunningham has had 7 total tackles in all 7 of Vanderbilt's first seven games this season. Cunningham has had at least 9 total tackles against all 5 SEC teams he's played in his first five games against SEC opponents.


    Cunnigham had 6 solo tackles, 13 assisted tackles, and 19 total tackles in Vanderbilt's upset win over Georgia. Cunningham held Nick Chubb to 40 rushing yards on 16 carries and kept Chubb out of the end zone. Cunningham already has 13 tackles for a loss through 7 games in 2016 after having 16.5 tackles for a loss in 2015 as a sophomore. Cunningham is a first round prospect after showing how consistent he can be on tape. Cunningham is on the brink of passing Jarrad Davis as the top middle linebacker in the 2017 NFL Draft.


    Zach Cunningham had 71 solo tackles, 24 assisted tackles, and 125 total tackles on the season. Cunningham only had 5 total tackles against Ole Miss which was Cunningham's lowest number of total tackles against an SEC foe. Cunningham is the best run stuffer and the only tackling machine among the prospects in the 2017 NFL Draft.


    Zach Cunningham SWOT Report

    Strengths: Zach Cunningham can stop the run or drop back into coverage. Cunningham played like the best run stuffer at times in the 2017 NFL Draft.


    Weaknesses: Foot speed is the biggest issue with Zach Cunningham. Cunningham lacks the foot speed or pass rushing that you want from a middle linebacker. He also needs to add some more muscle to fill out his frame in order to get stronger. Cunningham has a window of opportunity to correct this and re-enter the first round conversation at the 2017 NFL Combine, but its a very thin window of opportunity.


    Opportunities: 24. Oakland Raiders, 27. Kansas City Chiefs, 45. Arizona Cardinals, 46. Baltimore Ravens, 54. Miami Dolphins. Zach Cunningham is a first to second round prospect. We currently have a second round grade on Cunningham, but if he shows he's corrected his foot speed issues at the 2017 NFL Combine he re-enters the first round conversation.


    Threats: I don't see any threats with Cunningham. Zach Cunningham is the healthiest tackling machine at the moment. The only concern that I have with Cunningham is his foot speed which was exposed against North Carolina State. Having that poor foot speed makes you wonder if Cunningham has the ceiling that Reuben Foster and Jarrad Davis have despite dealing with injuries.



    Before 2016

    Cunningham had 69 solo tackles, 34 assisted tackles, 103 total tackles, 16.5 tackles for a loss, and 4.5 sacks in 2015 as a sophomore redshirt. Cunningham will be a player to watch in 2016 if he can improve those numbers.




  4. Raekwon McMillan, MLB, Ohio State Projected Round 2nd Round

    2016 Season Recap At 6-2 243 lbs Raekwon McMillan is the top middle linebacker prospect in the 2017 NFL Draft. He needs a big year without Darron Lee and Joshua Perry in 2016 if he wants to maintain his spot as the top ranked middle linebacker in the 2017 NFL Draft.


    Raekwon McMillan only had 2 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, and 4 total tackles against Bowling Green. McMillan needs to do more moving forward.


    McMillan does not have a single game with more than 8 total tackles. All 8 of his tackles against Oklahoma were assisted tackles with no solo tackles. McMillan struggled against Wisconsin as he had trouble stopping Corey Clement. McMillan is still a solid second round prospect, but no longer a first round prospect.


    McMillan has improved as a tackler down the stretch. His major improvement in coverage this season will get McMillan drafted in the first two rounds.


    Raekwon McMillan SWOT Report

    Strengths: Raekwon McMillan can stop the run or drop back into coverage. McMillan is a tackling machine that can get double digit tackles.


    Weaknesses: McMillan lacks athleticism at times. Raekwon McMillan can drop back into coverage and tackle well, but his lack of athleticism has some teams believing he's limited to a strong side role at 4-3 left outside linebacker. I still believe McMillan can play middle linebacker, but if a majority of teams feel like he is a strong side player at best that will cause McMillan to slide to the third round and potentially day three in rounds 4-7.


    Opportunities: 54. Miami Dolphins, 55. New York Giants, 56. Oakland Raiders, 59. Kansas City Chiefs, 64. New England Patriots. Raekwon McMillan second round prospect. We currently have a second round grade on McMillan, but if teams place a higher emphasis on his athleticism more than anything else he may drop.


    Threats: I don't see any threats with McMillan. In fact, if he can correct his issues with athleticism at the 2017 NFL Combine he's guaranteed to go in the first two rounds. If McMillan runs a 4.4 40 time like his teammate Darron Lee, I would not rule out the possibility of McMillan sneaking into the late first round even though that seems like a stretch at this point.



    Before 2016

    Raekwon McMillan got more exposure in 2015 after getting limited action in 2014. McMillan had 57 solo tackles, 62 assisted tackles, and 119 total tackles. McMillan has more versatility than Darron Lee or Joshua Perry. McMillan is a tackling machine plus he had more tackles than both Buckeye linebackers.


    There is no question that McMillan will be the top middle linebacker taken if he matches those numbers in 2016 with Lee and Perry in the NFL. The only question is what team he ends up on if he declares for the 2017 NFL Draft, because McMillan can be a 4-3 middle linebacker or a 3-4 middle linebacker with his versatility. McMillan possesses the play recognition and leadership to be an NFL middle linebacker.




  5. Anthony Walker Jr., MLB, Northwestern Projected Round 3rd Round

    2016 Season Recap The 6-1 235 lb earned the nickname, "The Terror" as a sophomore redshirt at Northwestern and this junior redshirt middle linebacker could declare for the 2017 NFL Draft after being nicknamed "The Franchise". Northwestern's 4-3 middle linebacker is an extremely skilled tackler despite being an underclassman.


    Anthony Walker Jr. had 5 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, and 7 total tackles against Western Michigan. Walker Jr. needs to show he can do more by helping Northwestern win their next game after losing their season opener to Western Michigan.


    Walker had 5 solo tackles, 5 assisted tackles, and 10 total tackles against Iowa. He had 7 total tackles in a win over Michigan State. Walker had 2 tackles for a loss in a loss to Duke and 1 tackle for a loss in the win over Michigan State. Walker had 1 sack against Duke and Michigan State as well.


    Anthony Walker Jr. did well against Indiana, Ohio State, and Wisconsin. Anthony Walker Jr. is a more consistent tackler on tape than Reuben Foster, but he doesn't have the versatility Foster has. Anthony Walker Jr. has 89 total tackles in 2016 after having 120 total tackles the year before.


    Anthony Walker Jr. SWOT Report

    Strengths: Anthony Walker Jr. is an excellent run stuffer and can play in coverage. Has the work ethic and leadership you want from a middle linebacker.


    Weaknesses: Anthony Walker Jr. gained too much weight too soon. Anthony Walker Jr. now weighs 245 lbs instead of the 235 he weighed back in the preseason.


    Opportunities: I'm not sure where Anthony Walker Jr. will fall to. I currently have a third round grade on him.


    Threats: I don't see any threats with Anthony Walker Jr. In fact, if he can correct his issues with athleticism at the 2017 NFL Combine he can get picked in the first two rounds. Anthony Walker Jr. has the work ethic you covet, but he needs to lose weight and improve his athleticism.



    Before 2016

    Anthony Walker Jr. had 63 solo tackles, 57 assisted tackles, 120 total tackles 20.5 tackles for a loss, 4 deflections from pass breakups, and 4 sacks in 2015. Anthony Walker Jr. enters his junior redshirt season at Northwestern as the top defender on Northwestern's roster. He gave Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg major problems on tape in both of his games against Penn State during his freshman and sophomore seasons after being redshirted in 2013.




  6. Ben Boulware, MLB, Clemson Projected Round 4th Round

    2016 Season Recap The 6-0 240 lb Ben Boulware is Clemson's 4-3 middle linebacker. Boulware can play 4-3 middle linebacker or 3-4 middle linebacker with his versatility.


    Ben Boulware had 4 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, 6 total tackles, and 1 tackle for a loss against Auburn. Boulware seems like he's slightly improved so far in 2016.


    Ben Boulware got off to a rough start. He dominated against Louisville though and had 9 total tackles in each of his last four games.

    Ben Boulware dominated against Florida State. Boulware showed he could stop the run or drop back into coverage against the Seminoles. Boulware struggled with Pittsburgh's running backs and looks like a day 2 pick at this point.


    Ben Boulware SWOT Report

    Strengths: Ben Boulware showed he could stop the run or drop back into coverage against Florida State and Alabama. Has the work ethic and leadership you want from a middle linebacker plus he rushes the quarterback well.


    Weaknesses: Ben Boulware lacks size. That's really the only glaring weakness with him.


    Opportunities: I'm not sure where Ben Boulware will fall to. I currently have a fourth round grade on him.


    Threats: Ben Boulware's lack of size may be the only thing that hurts him. Some see that as such a liability that he may get demoted to a backup role or perhaps even special teams.



    Before 2016

    Ben Boulware had 44 solo tackles, 38 assisted tackles, and 82 total tackles in 2015. Boulware can sneak into the first two rounds if he gets 100 total tackles in 2016.




  7. Richie Brown, MLB, Mississippi State Projected Round 4th Round

    2016 Season Recap The 6-2 240 lb Richie Brown is a smart instinctive middle linebacker. He gets things done on and off the field with his 3.52 GPA.


    Ritchie Brown did a solid job tackling. Brown was vital on Mississippi State's defense even though they lost their season opener to South Alabama.


    Brown had two breakout games on tape against South Carolina and Auburn. Brown finally recorded his first deflection for a pass breakup against BYU. Taysom Hill had trouble throwing with Brown dropping back into coverage.


    Brown was excellent against Samford and Texas A&M. Brown did enough to jump Riley Bullough on tape.


    Ritchie Brown SWOT Report

    Strengths: Ritchie Brown has great size and showed he could stop the run or drop back into coverage. Has the work ethic and leadership you want from a middle linebacker.


    Weaknesses: Ritchie Brown lacks the athleticism that you want in a middle linebacker. Brown needs to improve this area of his game before starting in the NFL.


    Opportunities: I'm not sure where Ritchie Brown will fall to. I currently have a fourth round grade on him.


    Threats: Ritchie Brown's lack of athleticism may be the only thing that hurts him. Brown did not get an invite to the 2017 NFL Combine and is a day 3 pick at this point.



    Before 2016

    Richie Brown had 51 solo tackles, 58 asssited tackles, and 109 total tackles in 2015. Brown established himself as a tackling machine after taking over for Bernardrick McKinney.




  8. Kendell Beckwith, MLB, LSU Projected Round 4th Round

    2016 Season Recap The 6-2 252 lb Kendell Beckwith would have been a top 100 pick if he declared for the 2016 NFL Draft. Beckwith returned for his senior season. With a strong senior season, Beckwith will be a 2017 first round pick since Beckwith is one of the top senior middle linebackers outside of Jarrad Davis.


    Kendell Beckwith had 3 solo tackles, 4 assisted tackles, 7 total tackles, and 1.5 tackles for a loss against Wisconsin. Beckwith needs to help LSU win their next game after losing to unranked Wisconsin.


    Kendell Beckwith had at least 7 total tackles in all 6 of LSU's games during the first half of the season. I see Beckwith as the only other first round linebacker outside of Jarrad Davis. Most of his tackles are assisted tackles with only 21 solo tackles, 39 assisted tackles, and 60 total tackles. Beckwith has been pretty consistent as a run stuffer, but I'd like to see him grow as a pass rusher and do more in coverage.


    Beckwith showcased his ability in coverage against Alabama. Beckwith is playing like a first round talent on tape, but he's a pure 4-3 middle linebacker and he may fall to the second round because he doesn't have the versatility you want plus there may not be as big of a market for middle linebacker as I originally thought.


    Beckwith has 33 solo tackles, 57 assisted tackles, 90 total tackles, 6 tackles for a loss, 4 deflections from a pass breakup, and 1 quarterback hurry so far in 2016. Beckwith has really improved his ability to drop back into coverage. Beckwith may not have the versatility you covet in a middle linebacker, but he can tackle and cover consistently on tape.


    Kendell Beckwith had an assisted tackle in the second quarter against Florida before leaving the game injured. Beckwith is a second round linebacker prospect at the moment.


    Kendell Beckwith SWOT Report

    Strengths: Kendell Beckwith has the size you want in a middle linebacker. He can stop the run and has a very high football IQ. Displays the vision and play recognition to diagnose plays.


    Weaknesses: Kendell Beckwith needs to be more consistent in coverage. This is a huge issue with me and one reason why some NFL scouts see him as a two-down linebacker. Luckily for Beckwith he can correct this at the 2017 NFL Combine.


    Opportunities: I'm not sure where Kendell Beckwith will fall to. I currently have a fourth round grade on him.


    Threats: Durability is the one threat with Kendell Beckwith. Beckwith suffered an injury in 2016 that has killed his stock.



    Before 2016

    Beckwith started next to Deion Jones and Kwon Alexander as a sophomore in 2014. Alexander only had 36 solo tackles, 41 assisted tackles, and 77 total tackles that year. He improved once Alexander left with 50 solo tackles, 34 assisted tackles, 84 total tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, and 3.5 sacks in 2015. and now Beckwith will have to improve once again now that Deion Jones is gone.




  9. Connor Harris, MLB, Lindenwood Projected Round 4th Round

    2016 Season Recap The 6-0 243 lb Connor Harris is the leader of Lindenwood's defense. Harris had 74 solo tackles, 64 assisted tackles, 138 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, 3 deflections from pass breakups, and 1 sack in 2016.


    Connor Harris SWOT Report

    Strengths: Smart enough to know where he fits in against the run as was able to consistently make tackles from sideline to sideline as well as make plays in the passing game as he came away with 6 career interceptions. Connor Harris showcases outstanding zone coverage for a middle linebacker at times.


    Weaknesses: Harris has the footwork to drop back into coverage, but lacks the vision to recognize where receivers and tight ends are in coverage. Suffered a Grade 3 separation to his AC Joint and had to have reconstructive surgery after tearing all 3 of his ligaments that held his collarbone in place.


    Opportunities: I'm not sure where Connor Harris will fall to. I currently have a fourth round grade on him.


    Threats: Connor Harris's lack of athleticism may be the only thing that hurts him. Now his grade 3 separation to his AC JOint has a mesh wire connecting his clavicle to his shoulder blade. His short arms also limit what he can do.



    Before 2016

    Connor Harris had 60 solo tackles, 66 assisted tackles, and 126 total tackles right away as a true freshman at Lindenwood. An injury in 2013 caused Harris to have a medical redshirt.


    Connor Harris had 83 solo tackles, 69 assisted tackles, and 152 total tackles in 2014 as a sophomore redshirt. Connor Harris had 86 solo tackles, 98 assisted tackles, 184 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss, and 4.5 sacks in 2015 as a junior redshirt.




  10. Riley Bullough, MLB, Michigan State Projected Round 5th Round

    2016 Season Recap The 6-2 227 lb Riley Bullough will be the defensive team captain for Michigan State in 2016. The younger brother of Max Bullough could garner late first round consideration with a huge senior season.


    Riley Bullough had 4 solo tackles, 4 assisted tackles, 8 total tackles, 2 quarterback hurries, and a tackle for a loss against Furman. Bullough made some critical tackles, but you'd like to see him execute more tackles moving forward.


    Riley Bullough hasn't impressed like I thought he would in 2016. Bullough has missed time with injuries which is why he has a fourth round grade after entering the preseason as a second round prospect.


    Bullough has impressed since returning from his injury with 10 assisted tackles in 4 of his 5 games against Northwestern, Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio State on tape. Bullough may move back up my rankings if he finishes the year on a high note.


    Riley Bullough SWOT Report

    Strengths: Riley Bullough has the run stuffing and ability to drop back into coverage that you look for in a middle linebacker. Is very instinctive and alert on plays. Has good, but not great play recognition.


    Weaknesses: Riley Bullough plays too aggressive at times. He got ejected for targeting vs Maryland.


    Opportunities: I'm not sure where Riley Bullough will fall to. I currently have a fifth round grade on him.


    Threats: Riley Bullough has durability concerns. That's why I have a fifth round grade on him after previously having a fourth round grade on him.



    Before 2016

    Michigan State's Riley Bullough had 48 solo tackles, 58 assisted tackles, 106 total tackles, and 7.5 tackles for a loss in 2015. Bullough may sneak into the first round if he can match those numbers in 2016. Bullough started his first game at middle linebacker in 2014 at 4-3 middle linebacker.




  11. Jalen Reeves-Maybin, MLB, Tennessee Projected Round 5th Round

    2016 Season Recap The 6-0 225 lb Jalen Reeves-Maybin may not be the biggest middle linebacker in the 2017 NFL Draft if he declares. Jalen Reeves-Maybin has more versatility than any 3-4 middle linebacker.


    Jalen Reeves-Maybin had 2 solo tackles. He got ejected for targeting on a punt return in the first quarter. I doubt it affects his stock at this point, but its something to keep an eye on moving forward.


    Jalen Reeves-Maybin dominated against Virginia Tech with 8 solo tackles, 5 assisted tackles, and 13 total tackles. It sucks that Reeves-Maybin suffered a season ending injury because if you exclude that injury, Reeves-Maybin is a first round middle linebacker on tape, but with his season ending injury are teams gonna look past it like the Raiders with Karl Joseph or does Reeves-Maybin fall to the second or third round. That's my biggest question with Reeves-Maybin at this point because I think Reeves-Maybin is twice the linebacker prospect Myles Jack was despite his injury.


    Jalen Reeves-Maybin SWOT Report

    Strengths: Jalen Reeves-Maybin has the run stuffing and ability to drop back into coverage that you look for in a middle linebacker. Jalen Reeves-Maybin can rush the quarterback as well. Jalen Reeves-Maybin is a three down linebacker. He's more versatile than Myles Jack and happens to be a tackling machine when healthy.


    Weaknesses: Jalen Reeves-Maybin plays too aggressive at times. He got ejected for targeting vs Appalachian State on a punt return. His lack of size at 6-0 225 lbs also hurts him.


    Opportunities: I'm not sure where Jalen Reeves-Maybin will fall to. I currently have a fifth round grade on him. Jalen Reeves-Maybin could realistically go anywhere between the third and seventh round depending on what he does at the 2017 NFL Combine.


    Threats: Jalen Reeves-Maybin has durability concerns. That's why I have a fifth round grade on him after previously having a first round grade on him back in the preseason.



    Before 2016

    Jalen Reeves-Maybin has the same versatility Myles Jack had plus better awareness. He can play 4-3 right outside linebacker, 4-3 middle linebacker, 4-3 left outside linebacker, 3-4 right outside linebacker, 3-4 middle linebacker, 3-4 left outside linebacker, nickel cornerback, dime cornerback, free safety, and strong safety. Myles Jack had that exact same versatility and Jack wasn't a tackling machine like Jalen Reeves-Maybin.


    Jalen Reeves-Maybin had 63 solo tackles, 38 assisted tackles, 101 total tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, and 2 sacks as a true sophomore in 2014. Jalen Reeves-Maybin improved on that in 2015 with 66 solo tackles, 39 assisted tackles, 105 total tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, 6 sacks, 4 deflections from pass breakups, 3 quarterback hurries, and 2 forced fumbles.




  12. Chase Allen, MLB, Southern Illinois Projected Round 5th Round

    2016 Season Recap The 6-4 241 lb Chase Allen will start at 4-3 middle linebacker in 2016. Allen is the second middle linebacker from the FCS that could get drafted.


    Chase Allen had 8 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles, 11 total tackles, and 1 tackles for a loss in Florida Atlantic's 38-30 win over Southern Illinois. Allen was the only player on Southern Illinois's defense that played well against Florida Atlantic.


    Chase Allen has 49 solo tackles, 28 assisted tackles, 77 total tackles, 7 quarterback hurries, 7 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 1 deflection from a pass breakup, and 1 forced fumble in 2016. Allen looks like an FCS player with a shot of going in the first three rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft.


    Chase Allen SWOT Report

    Strengths: Chase Allen has the physical tools to start at middle linebacker. Allen has the pass rushing, run stuffing, and work ethic that you want in a three down middle linebacker. Is versatile enough to play outside linebacker as well.


    Weaknesses: Chase Allen needs to drop back into coverage more often. This isn't a weakness with Allen just something I'd like to see more of moving forward.


    Opportunities: I'm not sure where Chase Allen will fall to. I currently have a fifth round grade on him. Chase Allen played in the 2017 NFL Collegiate Bowl, but did not play in the East West Shrine Game or the 2017 Senior Bowl. To top that off he did not get an invite to the 2017 NFL Combine. That realy limits his opportunity to make an NFL roster even though I'm extremely high on him.


    Threats: Playing FCS teams makes you question how good he can be. He was also limited to the 2017 Collegiate Bowl and Southern Illinois's Pro Day as the only chances to impress NFL teams.



    Before 2016

    Chase Allen had 45 solo tackles, 50 asssisted tackles, and 95 total tackles as a sophomore in 2014. Allen had 120 total tackles as a junior in 2015.




  13. Keith Davis, MLB, Colorado State Projected Round 6th Round

    2016 Season Recap The 6-2 240 lb Keith Davis led Colorado State with 66 solo tackles, 44 assisted tackles, 110 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, 4 quarterback hurries, and 3 sacks in 2016. Davis is someone to keep an eye on leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft since he impressed to an extent during the 2017 East West Shrine Game plus he got an invite to the 2017 NFL Combine.


    Keith Davis SWOT Report

    Strengths: Keith Davis is a consistent tackling machine. Can stop the run and pressure the quarterback consistently.


    Weaknesses: Keith Davis struggles with dropping back into coverage. Lacks the physical ability to play middle linebacker.


    Opportunities: I'm not sure where Keith Davis will fall to. I currently have a sixth round grade on him.


    Threats: Keith Davis is an effective two year starter at Colorado State. A poor 2017 NFL Combine could put him in jeopardy of being drafted.



    Before 2016

    Colorado State's Keith Davis had 48 solo tackles, 53 assisted tackles, 101 total tackles, and 14 tackles for a loss in 2015. Keith Davis outplayed Cory James who the Oakland Raiders drafted in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.




  14. Marquel Lee, MLB, Wake Forest Projected Round 6th Round

    2016 Season Recap The 6-3 240 lb Marquel Lee led Wake Forest with 63 solo tackles, 42 assisted tackles, 105 total tackles, 20 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, and 4 quarterback hurries in 2016. Lee is someone to keep an eye on leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft since he got an invite to the 2017 NFL Combine.


    Marquel Lee SWOT Report

    Strengths: Marquel Lee is a consistent tackling machine. Can stop the run and pressure the quarterback consistently. Lee is a natural at generating tackles for a loss as well.


    Weaknesses: Marquel Lee has the physical tools you want your middle linebacker to have, but lacks the speed. Lee also struggles in coverage.


    Opportunities: I'm not sure where Marquel Lee will fall to. I currently have a sixth round grade on him.


    Threats: Marquel Lee is an effective two year starter at Wake Forest. A poor 2017 NFL Combine could put him in jeopardy of being drafted.



    Before 2016

    Wake Forest's Marquel Lee had 37 solo tackles, 34 assisted tackles, 71 total tackles, and 10 tackles for a loss in 2015. Lee needs to improve those numbers in 2016 if he wants to get drafted in 2017.




  15. Keith Kelsey, MLB, Louisville Projected Round 6th Round

    2016 Season Recap The 6-1 236 lb Keith Kelsey can play 4-3 middle linebacker or 3-4 middle linebacker with his versatility. Kelsey could be a player that makes the 2017 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama with a strong senior season.


    Keith Kelsey only had 2 solo tackles, 4 assisted tackles, and 6 total tackles. Charlotte focused more on running towards his teammate Stacy Thomas after Kelsey came off a career season in 2015.


    Keith Kelsey has been better than Stacy Thomas in 2016. Kelsey has not had a single game with 10 total tackles yet despite having 60 total tackles. Kelsey showcased impressive tape against Syracuse, Florida State, Clemson, and Duke despite not having 10 total tackles in a single game this season until Louisville's Bowl game against LSU.


    Keith Kelsey SWOT Report

    Strengths: Keith Kelsey has the size and versatility that NFL teams covet. He outplayed teammate Stacy Thomas in 2016.


    Weaknesses: Keith Kelsey has the physical tools you want your middle linebacker to have, but lacks the speed. Kelsey also struggles in coverage.


    Opportunities: I'm not sure where Keith Kelsey will fall to. I currently have a sixth round grade on him.


    Threats: Keith Kelsey was an effective starter at Louisville. A poor 2017 NFL Combine could put him in jeopardy of being drafted.



    Before 2016

    Keith Kelsey had 57 solo tackles, 50 assisted tackles, 107 total tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, 7 quarterback hurries, and 3 deflections from pass breakups in 2015. Keith Kelsey can surge up boards if he matches those numbers in 2016.




  16. Stacy Thomas, MLB, Louisville Projected Round 6th Round

    2016 Season Recap The 6-1 225 lb Stacy Thomas can play 4-3 middle linebacker or 3-4 middle linebacker with his versatility. Thomas enters his first season as a full-time starter in 2016 as a junior redshirt.


    Stacy Thomas had 5 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles, and 7 total tackles against Charlotte. I'm interested to see what Thomas does against Syracuse in week 2.


    Thomas had two spectacular games against Florida State and Duke on tape. Those were games where Thomas had effective tackles as well as tackles for a loss.


    Stacy Thomas isn't the tackling machine Keith Kelsey is. I think Thomas has better hands since he has 2 fumble recoveries and 1 interception on tape.


    Stacy Thomas SWOT Report

    Strengths: Stacy Thomas has the size and versatility that NFL teams covet. Thomas entered the year with a higher grade than Keith Kelsey, but got outplayed by Kelsey in 2016.


    Weaknesses: Stacy Thomas has the physical tools you want your middle linebacker to have, but lacks the speed. Thomas also struggles in coverage.


    Opportunities: I'm not sure where Stacy Thomas will fall to. I currently have a sixth round grade on him.


    Threats: Stacy Thomas was an effective starter at Louisville. Thomas won't compete in the 2017 NFL Combine though.



    Before 2016

    Stacy Thomas had 17 solo tackles, 14 assisted tackles, and 31 total tackles in 2015. Thomas did that as a substitute and should do more as a starter starting in 2016.




  17. Ben Gedeon, MLB, Michigan Projected Round 7th Round

    2016 Season Recap The 6-1 243 lb Ben Gedeon stepped up for Michigan in 2016. Gedeon was so dominant on tape in 2016 that he got an invite to the 2017 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Gedeon also accepted an invite to the 2017 NFL Combine.


    Ben Gedeon SWOT Report

    Strengths: Ben Gedeon had 106 total tackles and showed he could be a tackling machine in 2016. He also dominated on special teams in 2014 and 2015 taking up a lot of space unleashing extremely hard hits.


    Weaknesses: Ben Gedeon struggles in coverage. He gets beat in coverage very easily plus only having one year of experience as a starter also hurts him.


    Opportunities: I'm not sure where Ben Gedeon will fall to. I currently have a seventh round grade on him.


    Threats: Ben Gedeon lacks the speed to execute tackles consistently. He had 13 missed tackles in 2016 and will face faster players on offense in the NFL. He's a bigger version of Ben Heeney and that's why he's a two-down linebacker and a late-round pick.



    Before 2016

    Michigan linebacker Ben Gedeon made one start in 2015. Gedeon is expected to be a full-time starter in 2016.




  18. Dakota Cox, MLB, New Mexico Projected Round 7th Round

    2016 Season Recap The 6-0 231 lb Dakota Cox may not be the biggest middle linebacker in the 2017 NFL Draft in terms of size, but he plays with a lot of heart. He regressed on tape in 2016 with only 51 solo tackles, 40 assisted tackles, 91 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 2 deflections from pass breakups, and 1 forced fumble this past season.


    Dakota Cox SWOT Report

    Strengths: Dakota Cox is more durable than Jalen Reeves-Maybin despite his size. He loves contact and is excellent at blitzing the quarterback and stopping the run.


    Weaknesses: Dakota Cox has short arms and terrible range. He also struggles in coverage and that's why many consider him a two-down linebacker. The lack of size also hurts Dakota Cox.


    Opportunities: I'm not sure where Dakota Cox will fall to. I currently have a seventh round grade on him. The Kansas City Chiefs and the Chicago Bears were the only NFL teams that sent their scouts to see New Mexico's football team in 2016 so those teams probably have the best insight on Cox at this point.


    Threats: Dakota Cox is extremely talented. His lack of exposure hurts him more than anything else because he did not play at the East West Shrine game and did not receive an invite to the 2017 NFL Combine. He's capable of playing special teams though in the NFL.



    Before 2016

    Dakota Cox had 50 solo tackles, 49 assisted tackles, and 99 total tackles as a true freshman. Cox showed extreme promise as a freshman in 2013 and reached double digit tackles in 2014 as a sophomore getting 116 total tackles. Cox had 39 solo tackles and 77 assisted tackles so you didn't see him take charge like he did asa freshman though.


    Dakota Cox had 51 solo tackles, 45 assisted tackles, 96 total tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, and 5 sacks in 2015. Dakota Cox needs to have at least 100 total tackles once again in 2016 in order to guarantee any shot of getting drafted with his size.




  19. Jordan Herdmann, MLB, Simon Frasier Projected Round 7th Round

    2016 Season Recap The 5-10 238 lb Jordan Herdmann had 56 solo tackles, 57 assisted tackles, 113 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, 3 deflections from pass breakups, and 3 forced fumbles in 2016. Herdman played well enough in Canada to earn an invite to the 2017 Senior Bowl.


    Jordan Herdmann SWOT Report

    Strengths: Jordan Herdmann has the play recognition to start at middle linebacker. He does well stopping the run, rushing the quarterback, and dropping into coverage, but needs to develop the rest of his game.


    Weaknesses: Jordan Herdmann has short arms and small hands. That may make tackling a liability for Jordan Herdmann in the NFL.


    Opportunities: I'm not sure where Jordan Herdmann will fall to. I currently have a seventh round grade on him.


    Threats: Jordan Herdmann was okay, but not great in Mobile. Not being in the 2017 NFL Combine hurts his draft stock. He's planning on attending medical school if he fails to make an NFL roster.



    Before 2016

    Jordan Herdmann got named to the Don Hansen All Amercian second team in 2015. If Herdmann can improve on that in 2016 he has a shot to get drafted in the late rounds.




  20. Nick DeLuca, MLB, North Dakota State Projected Round 7th Round

    2016 Season Recap Carson Wentz was North Dakota State's leader on offense the last two seasons. On defense their leader was Nick DeLuca.


    Nick DeLuca disappointed with 1 solo tackle, 2 assisted tackles, 3 total tackles, and 1 tackle for a loss in North Dakota State's home opener that they barely won in overtime against Charleston Southern. North Dakota State faces Iowa in a few weeks in a game that will see what DeLuca can do against better competition.


    Nick DeLuca has 14 solo tackles, 12 assisted tackles, 26 total tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, 2 deflections from a pass breakup, and 1 interception in 2016. Those are great numbers for someone that only started in three games because I see DeLucas as someone who can be awesome in coverage.


    The 6-3 245 lb Nick DeLuca had season ending shoulder surgery on September 19, 2016. That may keep him from getting drafted, but I think he's a top 20 middle linebacker if he can come back from that and show up at the Senior Bowl and 2017 NFL Combine.


    Nick DeLuca SWOT Report

    Strengths: Nick DeLuca has the play recognition to start at middle linebacker. He does well stopping the run, rushing the quarterback, and dropping into coverage. Has the size to be a three down middle linebacker and is versatile enough to line up anywhere in a 4-3 defense. Called plays on North Dakota State's defense.


    Weaknesses: Nick DeLuca doesn't face quality competition at the FCS level. That's the only thing I can think of. I think DeLuca is a pretty complete player when watching his tape.


    Opportunities: I'm not sure where Nick DeLuca will fall to. I currently have a seventh round grade on him.


    Threats: Nick DeLuca's should surgery kept him from getting an invite in Moible and getting an invite to the 2017 NFL Combine. I love DeLuca's tape, but that injury may keep him from getting drafted.



    Before 2016

    Nick DeLuca had 59 solo tackles, 76 assisted tackles, 135 total tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, 3 sacks, and 6 deflections from pass breakups in 2015. DeLuca will be North Dakota State's best player in 2016 with Carson Wentz gone.







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