Words on Every Drafted Linebacker

Round 1:

Bradley Chubb (5th overall) Denver Broncos

Yes, the LB designation sucks. However, teams still respect and avoid Von Miller (who will play on the opposite side of the field as Chubb). He could get highly tested as a rookie in the running game. Also just because Chubb is LB doesn’t mean he will always be an LB even if Denver remains a 3-4 team for the next handful of years. Ideally, Chubb would need to 10 maybe 15 pounds to create firmer base while jostling with OTs.

Roquan Smith (8th overall) Chicago Bears

With Danny Trevathan’s injury history Smith might be the coverage backer as a rookie. The good news is Trevathan can be cut after 2018, and the Bears can save 6.4 million dollars. However is it too crazy to think that Smith too athletic to be a stay-at-home LB? I never thought that until Smith was drafted to a 3-4 team. Georgia also runs a 3-4, but it is less traditional than Vic Fangio’s. Also at Georgia Roquan was technically listed at the WILL. 

Evans is an exciting addition to the Titans.

Tremaine Edmunds (16th overall) Buffalo Bills 

Will the current Bills coaching staff last long enough to see Edmunds fully mature. Edmunds is raw and he will have a lot on his plate immediately in Buffalo. He should eat but it is not always that easy. I really don’t want Edmunds to wear the green dot as a rookie.

Leighton Vander Esch (19 overall) Dallas Cowboys

Sean Lee, Jaylon Smith, Vander Esch? The Cowboys have a type and its flawed. Many reports circulating that Vander Esch has neck and shoulder concerns. That may be an overreaction but if you miss in round 1 of the NFL draft it can really hurt. You can feel comfortable taking him in the late second of your rookie draft. 

Rashaan Evans (22nd overall) Tennessee Titans

Still not sure where he plays. I do not want upset my dude @DFF_DWin but Tennessee needs legitimate edge player. Evans could play ILB on rushing downs and slip to the edge for passing downs. Although didn’t we think the same thing about Haason Reddick last year? Then of course the Titans traded up for a true edge presence in Harold Landry. Thus making most of this paragraph null and void.

Round 2:

Leonard is ready to EAT!

Darius Leonard (36th overall) Indianapolis Colts 

He is an absolute uncorked animal. The Colts have needed grit like this since Bob Sanders retired. Leonard should start day one with a 70 tackle floor.

Harold Landry (41st overall) Tennessee Titans

Like I mentioned early Tennessee needs a edge presence. That is something this organization hasn’t had for a decade (circa Jevon Kearse & one season of a peaking Jason Babin). Enter Landry, a machete-armed speed rusher who can force edge and give chase. Some may hate this landing spot as it likely means Landry will be a 3-4 OLB rather than DE. I believe at OLB Landry can have a longer and therefore more serviceable career.

Uchenna Nwosu (48th overall) Los Angeles Chargers

Nwosu will likely be a rotational pass rusher. The Chargers needed to replace Jerry Attaochu and Nwosu could be an upgrade. Unfortunately if Nwosu is successful as a rotational player the Chargers might drop him into the SAM role. That may limit his future ceiling.

Kemoko Turay (52nd over) Indianapolis Colts

The Colts got themselves a raw yet savage cat to pair with Leonard. Turay is actually listed as a DE on MFL. Which is awesome but don’t be surprised if he gets LB designation at some point in his career. That is the risk when you are under 250 pounds.

Round 3:

Lorenzo Carter (66th overall) NY Giants

With a quality summer Carter could find himself as the starting WLB in the Giants new look 3-4 base. Like his predecessor (Devon Kennard) Carter is fast, very fast. The Giants will need somebody to collapse the edge now that JPP is gone. Carter could grow into a very serviceable LB2 or LB3 much like Matt Judon was for the Ravens in 2017.

Fred Warner (70th overall) San Francisco 49ers

Speed and coverage ability the Niners are very fortunate. He could be the heir to the WILL after Malcolm Smith leaves. As for now he is Reuben Foster’s backup and likely a special teams and sub-package ace.

Jerome Baker (73rd overall) Miami Dolphins

I love the landing spot more than the player. Baker should be a sub-package commodity as rook while he backs up Stephone Anthony at SAM. Unfortunately he is a better coverage backer than a tackler.

Malik Jefferson (78th overall) Cincinnati Bengals

Before you rag on the landing spot remember Teryl Austin is the new sheriff for Cincy Defense. Austin has a proven track record with LBs. His most recent success is now Oakland Raiders Tahir Whitehead (2012 5th rounder). Jefferson needs a mentor like this to reach his full potential. With Vontaze Burfict serving his annual suspension (four-gamer), Jefferson and Austin have the summer to hatch on his potential.

Arden Key (87th overall) Oakland Raiders

Key is currently listed as a DE on MFL. That is awesome

but I am not sold it is going to remain the way. Regardless he is pass rusher above anything else. So unless you are in a sack heavy format Key can be left to waiver dogs.

Oren Burks (88th overall) Green Bay Packers

Hybrid player (S/LB) with solid instincts and agility. Could replace Jake Ryan come 2019 at ILB.

Dorian O’Daniel (100th overall) Kansas City Chiefs

Speed Backer Alert. I like the pick but he is likely a 3rd down backer with Justin Houston and Dee Ford patrolling the edge ahead of him on the depth chart. There is also some legitimate talk of O’Daniel make the move to safety.

Round 4:

Josey Jewell (106th overall) Denver Broncos

This is not the greatest landing spot. Both starting ILBs (Brandon Marshall & Todd Davis) are locked up through 2019 (the team has fiscal outs prior to the 2020 season). The okay news is that current backup Zaire Anderson is a free agent after 2018. Jewell is an animal who was born to play ILB. However patience you will be needed if you wish to roster him until he gets a chance to prove himself.

Joel Iyiegbuniwe (115th overall) Chicago Bears

He is swift and instinctual. I am not expecting much from him as rookie besides some special teams explosions. He should be able to backup all LB positions as well much like former Bear and current Lion Christian Jones did during his time in Chicago. 

Kenny Young (122nd overall) Baltimore Ravens

Although Young was a mid round pick I expect him to push Patrick Onwuasor at WILB as well as spell the 70-year old Terrell Suggs at designated pass rusher. Young is a thick and quick prospect who should stick in the league for a long time. Seriously, the dude is rocked up.

Marquis Haynes (136th overall) Carolina Panthers

Here is another current DE on MFL. He is 230 pounds max and Carolina lists him at OLB. Haynes is another quick-twitch pass rusher who could eventually replace the aging Thomas Davis at WLB.

Round 5:

Shaquem Griffin (141st overall) Seattle Seahawks

The brothers Griffin reunite and yes it will be good. Shaquem should see sub-package and special teams looks as a rook. Can’t wait to see him patrol the deep middle.

Ja’Whaun Bentley (143rd overall) New England Patriots

Sound tackler with fluid and thick hips. He can shed blocks and he delivers crushing blows.

Micah Kiser (147th overall) Los Angeles Rams

Two down player that lacks a certain freakness. Hopefully Wade Phillips can unleash the true beast within.

Genard Avery (150th overall) Cleveland Browns

He is a stunner in a crowded and talented LB room. The Browns must tap his potential to keep him hungry. Late round flier? Oh hell yes! #BigTimeSleeper

Jermaine Carter (161st overall) Carolina Panthers

Can Kuechly stay healthy? Carolina must have their doubts. Carter is an above coverage player who will see some sub-package looks as an understudy.

Round 6:

Christian Sam (178th overall) New England Patriots

He needs hand work and to learn how wrap better. New England should be able to squeeze the sweetest juice out of him.

Chris Covington (193rd overall) Dallas Cowboys

He was just a one-year starter at Indiana. He has shown very good work and upper body strength. Covington was initially a college QB. He should be a solid depth piece as an edge player in the NFL

Shaun Dion Hamilton (197th overall) Washington Redskins

Great landing spot and replacement for the soft Su’a Cravens. He could see quality snaps earlier than most sixth rounders. He is quick and fundamentally sound. I will be drafting him late.

Foyesade Oluokun (200th overall) Atlanta Falcons

Hybrid 200 pound thumper. He could be a coverage box player (4.48 40-time).

Jack Cichy (202nd overall) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

He is a whistle to whistle grinder who could get his feet wet with Kendell Beckwith suffering a broken ankle.

Peter Kalambayi (214th overall) Houston Texans

This Jadeveon Clowney understudy has good range and speed but he needs to play more frantic.

Azeem Victor (216th overall) Oakland Raiders

Here we have a backup to a backup. Victor seemingly fell off the face of earth in 2017. Oakland must see something there but I would not suggest you risk anything to acquire him.

Keishawn Bierria (217th overall) Denver Broncos

I would be surprised if he develops into anything more than a sub-package box player.

Round 7:

Seventh round stunner?

Matthew Adams (221st overall) Indianapolis Colts 

Another vicious and nasty player goes to Indy. Normally seventh rounders don’t make a big impact but the Colts may set their phasers to stun us all.

Quentin Poling (227th overall) Miami Dolphins

The Ohio University product is just a depth piece. He is not exceptional at anything. Definitely a development practice squad type with alright instincts.

Leon Jacobs (230th overall) Jacksonville Jaguars

He is a solid athlete who needs a redshirt year to find some inner aggression. He could be a potential edge setting SAM.

Travin Howard (231st overall) Los Angeles Rams

A stay-at-home box slasher who is currently listed as a LB on MFL and as a SS on ourlads.com. Stay tuned but he is not worth a rookie pick

Andre Smith (234th overall) Carolina Panthers

If Smith makes the squad, he has a bland two-down thumper ceiling. Will he actually see the field or is he just more Luke Kuechly insurance?

Zaire Franklin (235th overall) Indianapolis Colts

He is a smart tackler and a level-headed thumper. Just picture a more athletic Antonio Morrison.

Kendall Donnerson (248th overall) Green Bay Packers

The Packers draft diamond is a small town kid and small school project with big-time upside.

Priority UDFAs:

Skai Moore (Colts)

Excellent coverage skills and loads of experience.

Tegray Scales (Rams)

Who needs Micah Kiser? I am okay with grabbing Scales in the final round of a rookie draft.


I am searching for the meaning of every bump on the pigskin. From leather helmets to a league with no point after attempts, I am researching with a wide shovel. -married/father/music fan/Raider Nation baby/deli meat enthusiast/three-cone extremist

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