10 Linebackers Detroit Lions Could Target in NFL Draft

John Maakaron

The Lions' linebackers were a weakness all throughout the 2019 season.

As a result, veterans Jamie Collins, Reggie Ragland and Elijah Lee were acquired during the free agency period last month.

In this year's draft, Detroit could still look to add a talented, versatile linebacker to aid in both pass and rush coverage.

Let's take a look at 10 linebackers the Lions could consider selecting in the upcoming draft:

Isaiah Simmons, Clemson 

Listed as a linebacker, Simmons can also play in the slot, at free safety, and even out wide occasionally.

In the Lions scheme, he may be more of a safety due to his lack of size and amazing athleticism. His versatility is a huge plus if a coach is willing to play Simmons to his strengths. 

Zack Baun, Wisconsin

Baun offers a unique skill set the Lions will love. Quinn has mentioned in the past the importance of their linebackers being able to play all the linebacker positions -- including the JACK backer role on the edge.

Malik Harrison, Ohio State

Harrison is known more for his run-stopping abilities. He doesn't have any issues taking on linemen and maintaining gap control, which his very important in Matt Patricia's scheme.

Due to limited athletic ability, he is likely only a two-down middle backer, but that hasn't stopped Patricia and the Lions from bringing aboard these types of players. 

Logan Wilson, Wyoming 

The playmaker gene is definitely there. Wilson is one of the best run defenders in the class. He has the old-school thumper mentality and is a reliable tackler. More explosive than agile, his instincts and football IQ help his pursuit to the football.

Khaleke Hudson, Michigan

A hybrid safety/linebacker who led Michigan with 102 tackles, two sacks and three pass breakups in 2019. 

He is best when in man coverage and made several disruptive plays for Michigan's defense.

Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma

There is a ton to like about Murray. He might be on the lighter size right now, but the Lions could like Murray's "thumper" mentality if he falls to them in later rounds of the draft.

Super athletic, jacked, a missile to football, great at blitzing, yet he can be over aggressive which can get him in trouble with gap responsibility.

Patrick Queen, LSU

As most saw in the National Championship game, Queen can fly all over the field. He is today's type of linebacker in the NFL -- rangy and can cover. Despite his smaller stature, he still packs a punch when taking down ball carriers.

Evan Weaver, California

Weaver actually had a pretty solid Senior Bowl showing. It matched his productive college career. He isn't necessarily a big linebacker, but he plays with a ton of physicality and rarely misses tackles. 

Akeem Davis-Gaither, Appalachian St.

Davis-Gaither is an interesting prospect. Given he looks like a safety, he recorded several snaps on the edge while at Appalachian State. 

On the positive side, he moves very well and is aggressive in pursuit. Despite his smaller stature, he still was super productive in just about every phase of the game. 

Cameron Brown, Penn State

Brown was highly productive for Penn State in 2018, starting 12 of 13 games. He led the Nittany Lions with three forced fumbles and recorded 63 tackles, two sacks, and six pass breakups. In 2019, Brown started all 13 games and secured 72 tackles, two sacks, and four pass breakups.

Cameron Brown is a late-round prospect who could develop into a productive linebacker in the right defensive scheme. 


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Comments (2)
No. 1-2



Baun looks like a really solid fit