2017 NFL draft rankings: Linebackers
Those dynamic tight ends this class appears to offer? A lot of times, these are the players responsible for them in coverage. Linebackers—at least quality, three-down linebackers—have to be able to take on 300-pound blockers, chase running backs sideline to sideline and drop in coverage. This year’s class has several prospects who have done that throughout their college careers, as well as a handful of sleepers.
|1||Reuben Foster||Alabama||6' 1", 240 lbs.|
|2||Jarrad Davis||Florida||6' 2", 238 lbs.|
|3||Zach Cunningham||Vanderbilt||6' 4", 230 lbs.|
|4||Haason Reddick||Temple||6' 1", 237 lbs.|
|5||Raekwon McMillan||Ohio State||6' 2", 243 lbs.|
|6||Kendell Beckwith||LSU||6' 3", 247 lbs.|
|7||Anthony Walker||Northwestern||6' 1", 235 lbs.|
|8||Jalen Reeves-Maybin||Tennessee||6' 0", 230 lbs.|
|9||Elijah Lee||Kansas State||6' 3", 228 lbs.|
|10||Vince Biegel||Wisconsin||6' 4", 245 lbs.|
The two big moves since our latest positional-rankings update are Davis leapfrogging Cunningham and Reddick climbing to No. 4. The Reddick move certainly was fueled by the Senior Bowl. Because of his size, the Temple standout likely will wind up transitioning to a linebacker-heavy role at the next level, and that week in Mobile was one of the first glimpses at how he could handle that responsibility. He was, in a word, phenomenal.
Davis’s coverage abilities, provided he’s healthy, could make him the next best thing to Foster, the runaway No. 1 linebacker prospect this year. Davis can be matched up against backs or tight ends and hold his own.
Lee was among the most notable combine snubs. He had 110 tackles this past season, and he’s well-rounded enough to be counted on for all three downs in the NFL.