The outside linebacker position is one that is constantly evolving and is more scheme-dependent than ever before.
Each team values different qualities in an outside linebacker, depending on whether or not the scheme calls for pass rushing from that position. A few prospects can play either role, but most have a specific style of defense that fits their strengths best.
UCLA's Anthony Barr is a player that has the potential to develop into a scheme-diverse force off the edge. He's the closest thing to Dion Jordan that this draft class has to offer, but he has skill set to be even better as a pass rusher. A former running back, Barr has shown tons of development in just one season at the position.
The talent at the top of these rankings is strong after Barr. Alabama's Adrian Hubbard could be an ideal 3-4 rush linebacker with more refined pass rushing technique, Khalil Mack will have to answer questions about the level of competition he's played but has a bright future, and Ryan Shazier of Ohio State could be the most explosive linebacker in the entire country.
Farther down the list, Jeremiah Attaochu of Georgia Tech is worth monitoring. He's a player that can get after the passer from a two-point stance or a three-point stance and do some damage.
Here's our full list.
|1. Anthony Barr | 6'4, 248 pounds | Outside Linebacker | UCLA - Preseason notes|
|2. Adrian Hubbard | 6'5, 260 pounds | Outside linebacker | Alabama - Preseason notes|
|3. Khalil Mack | 6'3, 244 pounds | Outside linebacker | Buffalo - Preseason notes|
|4. Christian Jones | 6'4, 232 pounds | Outside linebacker | Florida State - Preseason notes|
|5. Ryan Shazier | 6'2, 222 pounds | Outside linebacker | Ohio State * - Preseason notes|
|6. Kyle Van Noy | 6'3, 235 pounds | Outside linebacker | BYU - Preseason notes|
|7. A.J. Johnson | 6'2, 240 pounds | Outside linebacker | Tennessee - Preseason notes|
|8. Jeremiah Attaochu | 6'3, 240 pounds | Outside linebacker | Georgia Tech
|9. Trent Murphy | 6'6, 261 pounds | Outside linebacker | Stanford
|10. Morgan Breslin | 6'2, 250 pounds | Outside linebacker | Southern California - Preseason notes|
|11. Jonathan Brown | 6'1, 235 pounds | Outside linebacker | Illinois
|12. Denicos Allen | 5'11, 215 pounds | Outside linebacker | Michigan State
|13. Dee Ford | 6'2, 238 pounds | Outside linebacker | Auburn
|14. Chris McCain | 6'6, 250 pounds | Outside linebacker | California *
|15. Jeff Luc | 6'1, 248 pounds | Outside linebacker | Cincinnati *
|16. Anthony Hitchens | 6'1, 233 pounds | Outside linebacker | Iowa
|17. Gabe Martin | 6'1, 224 pounds | Outside linebacker | Bowling Green *
|18. Prince Shembo | 6'1, 258 pounds | Outside linebacker | Notre Dame|
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