2014 NFL Draft middle linebacker rankings

Kevin C. Cox

For now, C.J. Mosley of Alabama remains at the top of the middle linebacker rankings. He may not be there in May, by no fault of his own.

Through five weeks of the college football season, Alabama's C.J. Mosley remains the top middle linebacker prospect for the 2014 NFL Draft. It's true that Alabama lists Mosley as a weak-side linebacker. But that's simply a function of keeping a box score. When Alabama takes true middle Trey DePriest out of the lineup, Mosley often shifts over. Maybe Mosley will end up in the outside linebacker rankings by the draft. That will depend on what he does at the Senior Bowl, which he'd be wise to attend. For now, he's staying here.

That's a good thing because of the quality of the position. Connecticut's Yawin Smallwood is an athletic linebacker, but not particularly standout in any single area. Same with Michigan State's Max Bullough. Andrew Jackson of Western Kentucky is a between the tackles thumper, same with DePriest.

The name to keep an eye on the rest of the season is Kentucky's Avery Williamson. He's an instinctual linebacker with solid tackling skill.For now, C.J. Mosley of Alabama remains at the top of the middle linebacker rankings. He may not be there in May, by no fault of his own.

The wild card in the middle linebacker group is Wisconsin's Chris Borland. The first thing you notice – fairly or not – is Borland's size. He's listed at 5-foot-11, and there just aren't that many linebackers of that height in the NFL. But Borland more than makes up for it with instincts and quickness. Wisconsin has been using Borland as an edge rusher this season, which should help his draft stock. Borland could be attractive as a player who can play middle and weak side linebacker and special teams as well.

1. C.J. Mosley | 6'2, 232 pounds | Middle linebacker | Alabama - Preseason notes
2. Yawin Smallwood | 6'3, 244 pounds | Middle linebacker | Connecticut
3. Andrew Jackson | 6'1, 265 pounds | Middle linebacker | Western Kentucky
4. Max Bullough | 6'3, 242 pounds | Middle linebacker | Michigan State
5. Shayne Skov | 6'3, 245 pounds | Middle linebacker | Stanford
6. Trey Depriest | 6'2, 245 pounds | Middle linebacker | Alabama *
7. Chris Borland | 5'11, 248 pounds | Middle linebacker | Wisconsin
8. Lamin Barrow | 6'2, 232 pounds | Middle linebacker | LSU
9. Preston Brown | 6'2, 257 pounds | Middle linebacker | Louisville
10. Avery Williamson | 6'1, 241 pounds | Middle linebacker | Kentucky
11. Amarlo Herrera | 6'2, 244 pounds | Middle linebacker | Georiga *
12. Bryce Hager | 6'2, 235 pounds | Middle linebacker | Baylor *
13. Greg Blair | 6'2, 252 pounds | Middle linebacker | Cincinnati
14. Nick Forbes | 6'1, 230 pounds | Middle linebacker | California *
15. Mike Hull | 6'0, 227 pounds | Middle linebacker | Penn State *
16. Bernardrick McKinney | 6'5, 235 pounds | Middle linebacker | Mississippi State **
17. DeDe Lattimore | 6'1, 237 pounds | Middle linebacker | South Florida
18. Jack Tyler | 6'1, 230 pounds | Middle linebacker | Virginia Tech *
19. Jabari Hunt-Days | 6'3, 252 pounds | Middle linebacker | Georgia Tech **
20. Marquis Spruill | 6'0, 224 pounds | Middle linebacker | Syracuse
21. Erick Kendricks | 6'0, 228 pounds | Middle linebacker | UCLA *

As always, if we missed anyone, let us know in the comments.

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