NFL Draft best available: No surprises with outside linebackers


Three outside linebackers were considered likely first round picks and three were selected on Thursday night, but there are plenty of strong prospects left on Day 2 of the draft.

The top of the outside linebacker draft class in 2013 was considered elite, with three players selected in the first round and two among the first six picks of the draft. The Miami Dolphins traded up to the No. 3 spot in the draft for the right to select Oregon's Dion Jordan and the second outside linebacker wasn't far behind as the Cleveland Browns took LSU's Barkevious Mingo with the sixth pick of the draft.

Jarvis Jones out of Georgia rounded out the group of outside linebackers taken in the first round when the Pittsburgh Steelers selected him with the No. 17 pick. No other outside linebackers were expected to go in the first round and none did, leaving a number of intriguing prospects for the second and third round on Friday.

Top outside linebackers available

1. Jamie Collins, Southern Miss, 22

2012 stats: 12 games, 92 tackles (20 for loss), 10 sacks, 4 forced fumbles

Collins wowed scouts at the combine with his speed and leaping ability, soundly out performing all linebackers in both the vertical (41.5 inches) and broad jumps (11'7).

2. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers, 24

2012 stats: 13 games, 136 tackles (12 for loss), 6 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions

Perhaps the most versatile outside linebacker in the draft class, Greene played safety for his first two years at Rutgers before moving to linebacker. He would likely do best as a weak-side linebacker in a 4-3 defense.

3. Sio Moore, Connecticut, 22

2012 stats: 12 games, 72 tackles (15.5 for loss), 7.5 sacks

Moore doesn't have elite speed, but can both rush the quarterback and drop back in coverage (11 pass break ups in 2012).

4. Brandon Jenkins, Florida State, 23

2012 stats: 1 game, 3 tackles, 1 sack

Jenkins had first round pick potential before suffering a Lisfranc injury in the opening game of the season. Between his sophomore and junior seasons he totaled 21.5 sacks.

5. Chase Thomas, Stanford, 23

2012 stats: 14 games, 71 tackles (15.5 for loss), 7.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 interception

Not elite in any one aspect of the game, Thomas is a high effort player who is capable both in coverage and rushing the QB.

Honorable mention

Jelani Jenkins, Florida
Gerald Hodges, Penn State
Lerentee McCray, Florida
Cornelius Washington, Georgia
Sean Porter, Texas A&M

More from SB Nation:

NFL mock draft: Who goes in the second round?

Geno Smith's nightmare becomes reality

NFL draft results: First-round picks and analysis

The Drafty Hour: First-round reactions

NFL draft grades: Reviewing the first round

Recapping the NFL Draft's Day 1 trades

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