Before the 2019 NFL Draft kicks off this Thursday night in Nashville, Tenn., we’re breaking down each position group to bring you our ranking of the best prospects.
Here’s a look at our top 10 linebackers:
1. Devin White, LSU (6-foot, 237 pounds)
2018 stats: 123 total tackles, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles
Since the start of his college football career, White has grown into one of the most promising linebacker prospects. His work ethic and competitiveness have stuck out among his fellow prospects, while his speed has been a constant strength. Although he still has some work to do on his control and general efficiency, there’s a solid chance the junior be the first linebacker selected in the draft.
2. Devin Bush, Michigan (5-foot-11, 234 pounds)
2018 stats: 67 total tackles, 4.5 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss
Bush isn’t the tallest linebacker prospect entering the draft, but he doesn’t play small. Although his size could lead some teams to pass him by, the Michigan product will more than likely to play fast and free on the outside for whichever team selects him. The junior presents a solid pick for any team that wants strength and speed on their side.
3. Mack Wilson, Alabama (6-foot-1, 240 pounds)
2018 stats: 71 total tackles, 1 sack, 2 interceptions
With a great sense of coverage and good hands to boot, Wilson is certainly one of the top linebacker picks this year. He was voted second-team All-SEC in 2018 after a wildly successful junior season. As an Alabama product, he also has plenty of experience in a high-leverage environment, which could be somewhat tempting for some teams.
4. Tre Lamar, Clemson (6-foot-2, 234 pounds)
2018 stats: 79 total tackles, 3 sacks, 1 interception
Size and strength are just some of the biggest assets Lamar brings to the table. He was nominated for the Butkus Award (given to the top linebacker in the nation) last season in addition to earning second-team All-ACC honors. He may lack some fluidity, especially in coverage situations, but makes up for that with his skill on special teams.
5. Germaine Pratt, NC State (6-foot-2, 240 pounds)
2018 stats: 104 total tackles, 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles
Pratt proved himself to be a key player for the Wolfpack down the stretch thanks to his speed and coverage skills. The senior earned first-team All-ACC honors in 2018 in addition to his team-leading six sacks over 11 starts. Pratt sat out NC State’s bowl game this year to rest an injured ankle ahead of the draft, so we’ll see how that decision ultimately pans out for him.
6. Te’von Coney, Notre Dame (6-foot-1, 234 pounds)
2018 stats: 123 total tackles, 4 sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss
Teams looking for a player with great transition skills would fare well by picking Coney. Last season was quite the campaign for Coney, who racked up 123 total tackles and four sacks for the Fighting Irish in his senior year. There is still work to be done in his coverage skills, but Coney’s resiliency is certainly a quality to be admired.
7. Terrill Hanks, New Mexico State (6-foot-2, 242 pounds)
2018 stats: 101 total tackles, 1 forced fumble, 9 tackles for loss
This versatile backer has plenty to offer NFL teams, like his instinct in coverage and his ability to force fumbles. The New Mexico State product is known for bringing plenty of energy to the table and is not afraid to get physical. He can be inefficient at times and tends to play downhill, but his skill on special teams can hopefully make up for that.
8. Blake Cashman, Minnesota (6-foot-1, 237 pounds)
2018 stats: 104 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble
Cashman collected 62 solo tackles in 2018, 15 of which were for a loss. This former walk-on-turned-team captain has the potential to play with instinct and could likely add something special to someone’s special teams. If teams are looking for someone with plenty of tenacity, this Minnesota product could be just the right pick.
9. Jahlani Tavai, Hawaii (6-foot-2, 250 pounds)
2018 stats: 82 total tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble
Tavai could draw plenty of attention to himself on draft day with his size alone, but there are plenty of other reasons for teams to be drawn to him. The senior racked up some impressive stats in 2018 but was sidelined for the last month of the season with a shoulder injury. Despite this, his impressive strength and aggression should still bode well in the draft. It is worth noting, however, that Tavai was suspended for the first game of his senior year after being arrested in June for assault at a Honolulu night club.
10. Vosean Joseph, Florida (6-foot-1, 230 pounds)
2018 stats: 93 tackles, 4 sacks, 9 tackles for loss
Thanks to his athleticism and explosiveness, Joseph could likely end up as one of the top 10 linebacker picks of the 2019 draft. But the junior’s lack of field awareness could prove troublesome down the road. Despite this lack of instinct, teams should consider his speed and overall potential.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images