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' 0", 229 lbs.|
|2||Haason Reddick||Temple||6' 1", 237 lbs.|
|3||Zach Cunningham||Vanderbilt||6' 3", 234 lbs.|
|4||Jarrad Davis||Florida||6' 1", 238 lbs.|
|5||Raekwon McMillan||Ohio State||6' 2", 240 lbs.|
|6||Duke Riley||LSU||6' 0", 232 lbs.|
|7||Kendell Beckwith||LSU||6' 2", 243 lbs.|
|8||Anthony Walker||Northwestern||6' 1", 238 lbs.|
|9||Jalen Reeves-Maybin||Tennessee||6' 0", 230 lbs.|
|10||Vince Biegel||Wisconsin||6' 3", 246 lbs.|
Because of his size, Reddick likely will wind up transitioning to a linebacker-heavy role at the next level, and Senior Bowl week was one of the first glimpses at how he could handle that responsibility. He was, in a word, phenomenal. He helped himself even further with an excellent NFL combine.
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.
Kansas State’s Elijah Lee was among the most notable combine snubs—and he lands just outside the top 10 here. He had 110 tackles this past season, and he’s well-rounded enough to be counted on for all three downs in the NFL.