Primetimek9s 2018 LB Rankings
For the Dallas Cowboys
** Note some prospects I could not find enough tape on to make an accurate report. I do not base reports off of highlight tapes. Others not on the list where to one dimensional I. E. only good in coverage or only good against the run. Also 34 olb edge rushers not on the list.
#1 TREMAINE EDMUNDS- Virginia Tech-
Old school LB Size/ New school LB athleticism. Smooth athlete who effortlessly sheds blocks and makes plays. Only 19 years old has a ton of upside. Quickly locates the ball. Naturally diagnoses plays. Closing speed is off the charts. Rangy sideline to sideline LB. Versatile player who can play any lb position in any defesne.
#2 ROQUAN SMITH-Georgia
- Cerebral LB quicky reads and reacts. Nose for the football. A little undersized for the position but nicely built for contact. Twitchy Athlete with elite speed and quickness. Rarely gets blocked sift through traffic with ease. Great ball skills and excellent in both zone and man coverage. High effort player. Uses hands well to shed blocks. NFL Ready player day one.
#3 RASHAAN EVANS-Alabama-
Good size… sturdy frame… Ultimate Alpha Dog mentality wants to make every hit. Ferocious tackler. He is a super twitched up athlete with a non stop motor. Great blitzing from just about anywhere. Fills holes hard. Wasn’t asked to cover a lot but when he did it look natural due to good hips. Inconsistent tracking the ball… and inconsistent shedding blocks. Moved around the formation and was used in a variety of ways. Violent hitter.
#4 LEIGHTON VANDER ESCH, Boise State
Excellent size… Good athlete. Only a one year starter who improved each game. Excellent in pass coverage. Diagnosing plays wasn’t great but showed a lot of promise for a first year starter. Huge upside. Once he sees it he looks like a top 20 pick. Gets lost in traffic at times. Improved every game this season.
Player Comp: Jaylon Smith pre injury
#5 MALIK JEFFERSON, Texas
Decent size… super athletic player. Plays fast and aggressive… can over run plays. Raw from a technical perspective. A little tight hipped. Not afraid of contact… This guy will light you up. Uses hands well to shed. Works through traffic. Good blitzer. Can cover. Tough player who plays with a chip on his shoulder. Competitive player who gets stronger as the game goes on.
#6 JOSEY JEWLL- IOWA
Not a big player but has a durable build. Better athlete then perception. quick change of direction. Smart football player. Great instincts. Understands passing lanes. Reads are super quick and reacts with no wasted movement… Football speed faster then combine times. Trusts his eyes/sheds well and tracks ball carrier with ease.
#7 DARIUS LEONARD -SC-State
Long lean LB. Plays much faster then times speed. 40 time and vertical (38inch) do not match. Uses long arms to shed. Great on the blitz. In good position in coverage. Tackles and tracks ball carrier well. Racks up tackles. Has nice range and good closing speed. This guy is a gamer. Had a great senior bowl game.
#8 FRED WARNER – BYU
Adequate size for position. Fluid athlete who moves like a safety. Isnt a physically imposing player. However, he isn’t afraid of contact. Smart player. Not real aggressive but is a solid tackler. Excellent in coverage understands assignments. Needs to add strength. Uses arms to shed. Jack of all trades. Weak side lb/S hybrid type.
#9 SHAQUEM GRIFFIN – UCF
Heady player. A bit undersized for position. Great blitzing off the edge. Solid in zone coverage. High motor. Finds a way to disrupt the offense on almost every snap. Hard to block. Relentless pursuit. Used in a Variety of ways. I do not see him as a mike LB. I believe he could be a starter at the WLB position especially in an attacking 43. Does miss some tackles due to having only one hand.
#10 OREN BURKS – Vanderbilt
Good sized long limbed LB. Really good athlete who flashes nfl starter however, he is inconsistent. High character and good work ethic. Tackling is good as well as being solid in coverage. I think his best days of football are ahead.
#11 JACK CICHY – Wisconsin
Good size. Very good athlete. Excellent game speed. Natural in coverage. Quick diagnosing plays. Energizer bunny. Wants to make every tackle. Alpha male mentality. Gamer
Medicals are a big factor in his draft status. In my opinion he would be a first round talent if injuries not a factor.
Honorable Mentions- guys that are intriguing but not enough tape for me to evaluate or a little one dimensional.
Garrett Dooly Wisconsin- Just an edge rusher? Or can he be an off the ball LB?
Andre Smith NC- Hard hitting “HAMMER”
Christian Sam Arizona State- Ok at a lot… but good at what?
Nick Delucka- smart LB with great size… but is he athletic enough for the nfl. Hope he gets a legit shot. A lot to like.
Zaire Franklin Syracuse- Good size LB with some pop- Not enough game tape.
Joel Iyiegbuniwe w. Kentucky- not enough tape