1. Khalil Mack, Buffalo
Mack is a physical, speedy outside linebacker with ideal height, weight, and speed. He produced incredible times at his pro day for being his size. Mack could play either 34 or 43 outside linebacker but probably fits best in a 34 defense. He is a disruptive force when rushing the passer and is also strong against the run. Mack has made some amazing plays at Buffalo but some scouts question if his play making ability will translate to the NFL. While Mack hasn’t played against the best of competition at Buffalo, he has dominated in nearly every game. That being said it will be a huge learning curve from playing at Buffalo to playing in the NFL. I believe he will translate well and be a disruptive force in the at the next level.
2. Anthony Barr, UCLA
Much Like Khalil Mack, Anthony Barr could play either 34 or 43 outside linebacker but probably is a better fit in a 34 scheme. Barr played running back in his first two seasons at UCLA and was moved to outside linebacker his junior year. The transition was success and he became a dominate edge rusher. He won’t really beat you with a bull rush, but he is a very agile and quick linebacker. Barr also has top end speed for his position. Having switched from running back to linebacker, Barr is still somewhat raw but has tons of potential. From a pure tackling standpoint, Barr could use a bit of improvement.
3. Kyle Van Noy, BYU
Surprisingly Van Noy came back for his senior season. It may have hurt his stock a bit seeing as teams began game planning against and running to the opposite side of him. Despite this he still had a solid season with BYU. He is a sure tackler, and a playmaker in all facets of the game. Van Noy can be a three down linebacker with the ability to stop the run, rush the passer, and drop back in coverage. He is a very fundamentally sound football player who is said to have a great work ethic. Kyle Van Noy should be a safe pick come May.
4. Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
Ryan Shazier’s best fit is as a 43 outside linebacker but could probably play 34 outside linebacker as well. He has great speed on tape but sometimes takes bad angles in the run games. He totaled an outstanding 143 tackles this season with Ohio State. Shazier has shown a great playmaking ability in pass rushing and run stopping, but shows questionable cover skills. He could really use improvement in block shedding but it can sometimes be masked by his speed. I don’t think Shazier is a finished product at the moment, but he has the potential to be a very good player in the NFL.
5. Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia State
Attaochu’s best quality is his ability to rush the passer seeing as he totaling 12.5 sacks this past season. As a speed rusher his best fit is a 34 outside linebacker but could possibly play 43 defensive end. Attaochu was a bit under average in terms of run defense but is mostly just a raw prospect with room for improvement. He could benefit from improved vision and better angles in the run game. Attaochu could be a three down linebacker if he improves his run defense as his underneath pass defense is adequate. Teams will draft Attaochu based off of his potential as a pass rusher.