McClain won the Butkus Award as college football's best linebacker in 2009 while leading Alabama to a National Championship. Scouts say McClain's size and instincts should translate into immediate NFL impact, and he projects as an early- to mid-first round pick.
2 of 10Damian Strohmeyer/SI
Kindle played defensive end his junior and senior seasons at Texas, but his speed and athleticism makes him a better fit for linebacker in the NFL. Praise of Kindle centers on his intensity, his speed in pass rushing situations, and his relentlessness. But off-the-field issues (in one instance, Kindle drove his car into an apartment building before fleeing the scene) give NFL teams pause.
3 of 10Bob Rosato/SI
Another converted defensive end, Hughes was highly productive at TCU, disrupting opponents' passing attacks to the tune of 11.5 sacks his senior season. Hughes is durable, reliable, and never gives up on a play. His biggest weakness -- that he may not have a true position in the pros -- could also be a strength, as Hughes is versatile enough to make big plays from anywhere on the field.
4 of 10Dustin Bradford/Icon SMI
100 tackles and 4 sacks from the linebacker position will get you noticed. And in Weatherspoon's case, his leadership and toughness back up the statistics. The knock on the Defensive MVP of the '08 Alamo Bowl vs. Northwestern is that he lacks size and has unimpressive football instincts.
5 of 10Bill Frakes/SI
Spikes possesses neither high-end speed nor top-notch footwork, and his production declined each of the past three years, but he's also been hampered by injury and targeted by opponents. He's a playmaker in coverage (2 interceptions in 2009, 6 in his career at Florida) and can play multiple positions, despite not being a speed demon.
6 of 10Bob Rosato/SI
Thrust into a starting role in 2009, Washington exceeded expectations by racking up 109 tackles, 2 sacks and 3 interceptions on a TCU team that ended the year as the nation's top-ranked defense. Scouts want Washington to continue to get bigger (he's put on 20 pounds over the last year) to be strong enough for his talent to translate to the next level.
7 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Bowman is known as a hard-hitting linebacker who plays with intensity and throws his body around. But few players in the draft have had off-the-field issues quite like Bowman, who was suspended multiple times during his college career for incidents including assault and drug use. He is also considered small for a linebacker, at just 6-foot, 242 pounds.
8 of 10Peter Read Miller/SI
Primarily a defensive end at OSU, Gibson is versatile and explosive. The Buckeye defender has enough speed to pursue ball carriers from the linebacking spot, and enough awareness to read plays from the snap. But he likely needs to bulk up a bit to avoid getting run over in the pros, and at times his speed is neutralized by a lack of discipline, as he had a knack for picking up unnecessary penalties in college.
9 of 10Gary Bogdon/SI
Norwood is the only player in the history of South Carolina football to earn first-team all-SEC honors three straight years. His production over four years was incredible -- the former Gamecock averaged more than 70 tackles and 7 sacks per season since his freshman year. Still, scouts worry about his size, ability to cover running backs at the pro level, and lack of discipline at times.
10 of 10Damian Strohmeyer/SI
After returning from major knee surgery a year earlier, Lee finished 2009 with 86 tackles. Lee's strengths are his intelligence, awareness and toughness, but the question is whether he has enough speed and strength for the NFL. The PSU product is simply not the freakish athlete many of his fellow linebacker classmates are.
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