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2016 NFL Draft: Complete Linebacker Rankings

The 2016 linebacker class was meant to be led by two fantastic talents, both who suffered significant injuries and now appear to have very d

The 2016 linebacker class was meant to be led by two fantastic talents, both who suffered significant injuries and now appear to have very different outlooks for both their immediate and long-term future. Injuries and durability are a common theme throughout this group, which makes them difficult to assess in many cases. There’s a lot of talent overall though, and a very large number of prospects in a potential log jam around the 5th and 6th round grades in these rankings. Overall, 40 linebackers have been assigned a draft grade and 12 as priority free agents, out of 133 in total who have been scouted, graded and ranked. Sr = Senior, Jr = Junior, So = Sophomore. An “r” prefix indicates a redshirt year (sat out for a year without playing, usually their first year of college) 1. Myles Jack, UCLA, Jr – 1st Round Unfortunately, the two best linebackers in the country both suffered season ending knee injuries this year. Jack was in a way relatively fortunate that his occurred early, as though his surgically repaired ACL is still being heavily scrutinised in medical checks, he is expecting to heal ok. That said, there are still those who remain a little concerned, following his recent medical re-check. That should be kept in mind if he starts slipping a few spots. Back to his play on the field, Jack’s superb film and obvious talents are on full display over the course of two outstanding seasons of play for the Bruins, with the star defender making an immediate impact as a true freshman. A lot of the early attention came from the fact that Jack was proving an effective and exciting playmaker on both sides of the ball, seeing significant time at running back in particular during that first season, on top of his starting linebacker role. Jack ended up winning both the PAC-12 offensive and defensive freshman of the year awards, a first ever in the history of the conference. While he showed enough ability as a runner to lead some scouts to say he could have been a fairly high draft pick solely as an RB, there’s no doubt that his true calling lies at linebacker. Jack has sensational instincts, and is one of the rare and elite modern-style LB pros[ects who really excel in space and coverage, a true three down linebacker who can not only stay on the field, but make big impact plays against the passing game. At times, Jack even lined up essentially as a cornerback on some plays, a real testament to his athleticism, versatility and playmaking skills, and will quite likely see some time at safety as well. Those talents were fully reflected in his production on the stat sheet. His freshman season of 76 tackles, 11 tackles for loss (TFLs), 11 pass break ups (PBUs) and 2 interceptions was followed by 87 tackles, 8 TFLs, 7 PBUs and 1 interception his sophomore season. Not to mention his 5.7 yard per carry career average on 68 touches as a running back too! 2. Darron Lee, Ohio State, rSo – 1st Round In addition to the continuing trend for high numbers of underclassmen to enter each draft, it seems that the presence of redshirt sophomores on that list is on the up, with quite a number choosing to make themselves a part of the 2016 draft, and three from the Ohio State Buckeyes alone. Lee can back it up though, with two years of strong play and a prominent role on one of the best teams in the country over that period. His play in 2015 wasn’t quite as impressive as his spectacular redshirt freshman season for the 2014 national title winners, but that was a hard act to live up to. Lee isn’t ideally sized, but is another who fits the skill set looked for by NFL teams to make plays in space, drop in to coverage, cover a large area of the field and impact the pass game as much as the run game. Lee is smaller than the former Buckeye linebacker, but has received plenty comparisons in certain aspects to the man he replaced – the Steeler’s Ryan Shazier, with Lee also a fantastic athlete who can make highlight plays all over the field. Lee’s role is varied, being asked to do a lot of work in coverage where he looks natural and fluid, but also frequently deployed as a blitzer to great effect, particularly in his 2014 season where he totalled 16.5 TFLs and 7.5 sacks. However, he does tend to get too enthusiastic, leading to missed tackles that could have been losses. Though he is a superb athlete, and doesn’t shy away from contact, his determination often only gets him so far, getting stuck on blocks and overpowered by bigger stronger players. There’s no questioning his instincts and field awareness though, along with a knack for making critical plays at big moments. Having a less than ideal body type isn’t going to keep him out of the first round. 3. Reggie Ragland, Alabama, Sr – 1st Round Once again it will be another year with a draft packed full of underclassmen who have chosen to leave school early. For many though, the decision to stay can be a highly profitable one, as is the case for the Crimson Tide’s big-hitting middle linebacker Reggie Ragland. Most likely a day 2 selection had he taken the leap in the 2015 draft, his outstanding senior season, in which he took his game to a whole new level, ought to see him go perhaps as high as the middle of the first round. I don’t consider him to be anywhere near as good as C.J. Mosley before him, whose instincts were off the charts, but his understanding and awareness have certainly improved greatly with another year of experience. Though he featured in all 13 games during his sophomore season, he wasn’t a full time starter until his junior campaign in 2014, and now has completed his second year starting as a national champion and a high impact player on one of the best defences of recent years in college. The fact that he has shown such steady progress over the past three seasons is something that will be highly encouraging to scouts, that the progression can continue over time at the next level as well. There’s no doubt that he has everything looked for from a physical perspective. Ragland not only is one of the heavier linebackers in this class, he brings power and strength too, and though he is better moving downhill, can cover laterally to the sidelines too. He’s not going to ever be great in coverage, but he can still impact the play on obvious passing downs as well, where he moved down to the line as an additional pass rusher, bringing the same overpowering physicality and motor channelled into a bull rush. A little bit of additional versatility is never a bad thing. Another trait for the pro column with Ragland is toughness. In one of the key games of the season against then-ranked #2 LSU, Ragland played and helped secure the win despite only days earlier having surgery on a broken bone in his left hand. After 93 tackles in his breakout junior season, Ragland hit triple digits his final year with the team, totalling 102 tackles along with 6.5 TFLs, 2.5 sacks and 7 pass breakups. His consistent performance over the season for the national champs earned him SEC defensive player of the year and a unanimous first team all-American selection. 4. Joshua Perry, Ohio State, Sr – 2nd-3rd Round If you love Reggie Ragland’s game, there’s no reason not to also love Perry’s, who also brings a similar big impact and high production particularly in the run game, doing so with better length and athleticism arguably too. On such a stacked team on both sides of the ball, it’s easy for some talent on the Buckeyes’ defense to go relatively unnoticed. Perry is far from the first name that comes to mind when thinking of Ohio State stars, yet Perry led the entire defence in tackles with 124 in 2014 on route to a title, and was second only to sophomore phenom Raekwon McMillan in 2015, but still with 105 in another big year. Perry has a big body for the position at 6ft 4, 254 lbs, and is all-go every snap, his effort getting him in on additional plays. He plays steady, consistent and reliably, but not one who will necessarily make too many of the flashy, highlight plays. That does limit his upside somewhat, but Perry has next-level size, a great work ethic and attitude, and gets the most out of his abilities each and every game. He wasn’t thought of as particularly fast or athletic, yet he tested rather well at the combine with 4.58 speed as part of some very solid numbers all round. In addition to his tackles and primary job on the 2nd level, Perry broke up 4 passes, as well as making a solid impact in the backfield with 7.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, and 4 quarterback pressures. He may not appear on the highlight reel too often, but there’s no holes in Perry’s game. 5. Kentrell Brothers, Missouri, rSr – 3rd Round After two superb seasons that saw the Tigers reach the SEC title game in consecutive years, it was a down season in 2015 for Missouri. National attention drifted away fairly early, due to an ineffective offense that couldn’t score and a strong defence who wouldn’t let opponents score either. That resulted in the fantastic season by senior Brothers not getting as much attention as it deserved. Brothers was consistently brilliant from start to finish in his final collegiate year, leading the entire nation in tackles with 152 (that’s 12.7 a game on average!). He was more than just a tackle machine on the second level, chipping in with 12 TFLs, a forced fumble, 2 interceptions and another 3 passes broken up. The defensive leader for Missouri, Brothers is a fiery, emotional character on the field, who plays aggressive every snap. He seems like the type of guy who plays with a chip on his shoulder and highly motivated. If that’s the case, it might be based around his height which is shorter than ideal for the position, barely checking in at six feet flat, but while he probably doesn’t have room to add much additional weight, has a sturdy filled out frame that is more that capable of holding up at the next level. It’s no surprise given the stats he piles up, but Brothers has excellent instincts that sees him in position constantly to make plays on the ball carrier, and make game changing plays. While there are other linebackers with better speed and range, he has enough to cover to the sidelines, which is helped by his quick reactions and motor in pursuit. Indeed, his testing numbers this off-season were pretty poor, and likely keeps him out of the second round, which included a slow 4.89 dash time at the combine. That said, he’s quick changing directions, which does help. The exceptional instincts despite fairly poor athleticism results in some obvious comparisons to Paul Dawson out of TCU who went to the Bengals in round 3 last year. 6. Deion Jones, LSU, Sr – 3rd Round Last year, a player I under-estimated for the 2015 draft was LSU linebacker Kwon Alexander. As a Buccaneers fan I’m pleased that NFL teams did the same in letting him be available in what looks to be turning into a 4th round bargain. Teams will want to avoid doing the same thing this time around with the man who replaced him in the Tigers line-up, who like Alexander is also a little undersized but highly athletic. Jones stood out early and often this season, looking like a veteran with thirty or forty starts under his belt. The Mississippi game in the SEC opener for LSU was a real standout performance early. The range he displays is as good as anyone in this class, as is his closing speed in pursuit. Jones frequently ends plays before they start in the backfield, sniffing out sweeps and bubble screens early, then flying in to make the tackle. His physical style and the momentum he builds up as he charges toward the ball carrier helps him to play bigger than he actually is. Obviously, LSU are always very deep with talent, but it is still a shock how Jones could have been stuck as a backup for the first three seasons of his career. Scouts need to avoid marking him down too much for his lack of size, because outside of that there aren’t really any flaws or weaknesses in his game. His single season starting saw him finish with 100 tackles, 13.5 TFLs, 5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 3 pass breakups and a forced fumble. 7. Tyler Matakevich, Temple, Sr – 3rd Round Speaking of players who just make plays, what a four years it has been for the Owls defensive leader. Matakevich became just the seventh player in NCAA history to reach at least 100 tackles in each of his four seasons playing in college. That’s 101 as a true freshman, followed by 137, 117 and 138 this year. It was a historic season for the team as a whole, getting off to an undefeated start to earn them a game of the week billing against the mighty Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, and pushed them deep in the 4th quarter before eventually losing. Much of the success was due to an outstanding defence all round, but led by Matakevich who was omnipresent in space, off the edge, versus the run, versus the pass; it didn’t matter. Along with his standard tackle-machine antics each week, he padded out the rest of the stat sheet this season with 15 TFLs, 4.5 sacks, 5 interceptions and 5 more pass breakups. The senior’s instincts are sensational, and can translate well to the next level. However, it is absolutely clear the difference in his game this season compared to his previous years. He admitted himself that he let himself get by on those instincts in years past, but really changed his preparation in 2015, with so much more film study off the field, and it showed up with much more consistent play. That sounds strange referring to the consistency given his stats above, but there were times each of the previous two years where he had a tendency to get out of position and leave some big gaps that offenses exploited. The discipline as well as understanding of the opposing offense made that less of an issue this time around. Tyler is another whose frame isn’t quite what scouts are ideally wanting, but you can balance that out somewhat when as talented at what you do as Matakevich is. 8. Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame, Jr – 3rd-4th Round This has to be up there with the sadder draft stories in recent years. Smith suffered an ACL injury right at the end of the season on New Year’s Day vs Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. It was gutting to see a great talent who was supposed to be enjoying his final college game go down like that, and unlike Jack, the injury occurred so late that he has a much less clear picture medical-wise on his recovery, with missing all his rookie season pretty much a certainty at least. In addition, his recent re-check did not have positive results, and the nerve damage is the worrying big issue. This grade is a bit of a compromise, to maybe be worth a shot late day 2 or early day 3. He could go the way of Marcus Lattimore and never play, or he might end up a risk that pays off. This is someone who was realistically in contention for a top 5 selection prior to the injury. As a high profile recruit to the Irish, Smith delivered on expectations and then some, including early on in his career. He is highly active and around the ball all game, every game. What leaps off the game film is the incredible explosiveness and speed that he has as a natural athlete. When combined with his boundless energy when flying around the field, Smith is breath-taking to watch. The enthusiastic, non-stop style of play, as well as being highly effective, clearly inspires his teammates and lifts their game as well. What is great about his game as well though, from a more mental side is how decisive he is. Smith not only recognises plays early, but importantly he trusts his reads, is very decisive, never second guessing himself. That in tandem with the explosion and speed makes him deadly in pursuit and in impacting the backfield too. While a very forceful hitter that ball carriers won’t forget, an area of relative weakness right now is that Smith is not always the best at stacking and shedding off of blocks, he can tend to get stuck on blocks, as well as struggling to fight through traffic on some plays. He has the size and power to overcome any issues there with a bit of work though. Before his injury, the junior linebacker, who chose to still enter the draft, was completing a superb year where he had 114 tackles, 9 TFLs and 5 pass break ups. When and where he ends up will likely be one of the bigger storylines of the 2016 draft. 9. Travis Feeney, Washington, rSr – 3rd-4th Round Elite athleticism and the versatility to be productive at multiple levels of the defense will see Feeney coveted quite early on in the draft. Though he’s currently recovering from a sports hernia surgery that prevented him from working out at his pro day, he was able to show his physical abilities as one of the stars of this year’s combine, that backs up the excellent play on film over the past four seasons for the Huskies. Starting out at safety as a redshirt freshman (after making a late switch from linebacker near the end of camp), he made an immediate impact that included 76 tackles and a pair of interceptions. He has gone on to move more into the box, and then primarily as an edge rusher most recently. Some of the statistical numbers since haven’t looked quite as impressive at times over the years that have followed, but that is in part due to the role asked of him to play in coverage over slot receivers and tight ends almost as an additional cornerback at times. He looked the part as well, as a natural in space and making plays in defending the pass game, impressive at his 6ft 4, 230 lb size. He’s continued by being highly effective getting in to the backfield to complete his extremely versatile skill set, finishing his senior year with 17.5 TFLs and 8 sacks, along with 56 tackles. With so many talented players leaving last season (Danny Shelton, Shaq Thompson, Hau’oli Kikaha etc.), Feeney really stepped up as a leader this year on another strong Washington defense. Along with his speed and athleticism, Feeney loves to hit hard as well, playing very physical. Arguably he can be overly so at times, that can see him throwing himself and missing, occasionally letting poor technique let him down. It’s an area to certainly work on as he transitions to the next level. His play on special teams has always been strong despite being a key starter, and will continue to play well there too in the pros. There’s so much potential and upside with Feeney and so many different ways to deploy him. 10. Scooby Wright III, Arizona, Jr – 4th Round It was a rough year for big name linebackers this season, and Wright was another who went down early, suiting up for just two games before suffering a knee injury as well. Wright was able to return in time for the Wildcats’ bowl game versus New Mexico, to give the Arizona fans one last reminder of the type of performance that saw him snap up just about every defensive award available in 2014. He announced his intention to enter the draft shortly after the bowl win, choosing not the return to play a full season again in 2016. He’s no doubt satisfied by the film scouts can look at from his sophomore season in which he totalled 163 tackles, 29 TFLs, 14 sacks and 6 forced fumbles – crazy numbers. However, there’s plenty questions on how he projects to the next level: Wright weighs in at a solid 239 lbs, but comes with a lot of upper body build. He is lacking a bit in ideal strength in his lower body and legs which causes notable issues at times with leverage and anchoring, which will lead him to being outmuscled and pushed around quite a bit. He also lacks the athleticism ideal to cover to the sidelines. Crazy as it is given his huge production, but digging into his game film frequently draws attention to rather a lot of missed tackles on plays that should be routine to make. There’s no questioning the instincts though, along with excellent intangibles and toughness, with a very real chip on his shoulder from being called just a two-star prospect coming out of high school. He can be a good player as a pro, but despite being one of the more well-known names in this LB class, I’m not sold on him going before day 3 of the draft. 11. B.J. Goodson, Clemson, rSr – 4th Round Despite most of the attention being on the two edge rushers Lawson and Dodd, the Clemson linebackers were massive factors in the outstanding Tigers defense that helped lead the team toward a national title appearance. Goodson was superb throughout and deserved greater recognition for the energy and presence he provided in the middle of the unit. Goodson is physical, tenacious and emotional, but also smart, disciplined and so effective and productive. The playmaker flies around the field, making plays in the backfield and in coverage to go with his staple of stuffing the run, frequently showing excellent awareness to read and react, and get around the ball. The team captain piled up 108 tackles, 14 TFLs, 5.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 3 pass breakups and a forced fumble as a senior. 12. Dominique Alexander, Oklahoma, Jr – 4th-5th Round He’s put in three strong seasons for the Sooners after making an impact as a redshirt freshman, but it was still a slight surprise he chose to add his name to this draft class with a year of eligibility remaining. He’s the type to rack up a large number of tackles over the course of a season, getting around the ball a lot, reflecting his good football IQ and vision. He moves smoothly around the field and can work pretty well in space, something he needs in his game to offer, as Alexander lacks the desired frame looked for in a linebacker manning the middle of the field. Unlike some smaller linebackers, Alexander doesn’t really bring that big hitting to make up for it, and his technique doesn’t always see him wrap up sufficiently. A concern I’ve had difficulty shaking from when watching his in 2014 against Baylor, was how much his effort dramatically dropped off after a good start. Once the game got away from the Sooners, Alexander’s effort went out the window, strolling through the rest of the game, rather than fight to the end. There’s limitations, but his consistent production ought to see an early day 3 selection if he’s still on the board for those final rounds on the Saturday. 13. Antonio Morrison, Florida, Sr – 4th-5th Round It’s pretty incredible that Morrison was able to play the entire season in 2015. After a terrible knee injury in the previous year’s bowl game, he was expected to not be back till about the mid-point of his senior year, yet recovered in only around 6 months ready to go. It speaks to the kind of determined, driven personality he is. That is absolutely part of his on-field game as well, with a highly aggressive and intimidating style of play that sees him charge around the field and hitting exceptionally hard when tackling. He can be over-aggressive at times to his detriment, but for the most part is highly effective leading to triple-digit tackles the past two years. His instincts and competitiveness will translate well to the next level. The issue is his durability, with that bad knee injury not his first, with another in 2013 as well. Added to his relatively small stature, he could fall further in the draft than his excellent play deserves. 14. Steve Longa, Rutgers, rJr – 5th Round It’s pretty surprising that a player with the skills and production of Longa hasn’t received more attention since he chose to declare early for the draft; he’s a little bit of a sleeper entering the event. It doesn’t help that the Scarlett Knights have been a fairly poor team recently, but the linebacker has totalled over 100 tackles in each of his three seasons, including as a redshirt freshman. He doesn’t make a lot of game changing plays (he’s never had a career interception for example), but processes situations quickly and has outstanding closing speed and tackling technique that sees him making plays continuously. His good speed, range, and sideline-to-sideline coverage are excellent, and though short, is well built with a powerful lower body. Though he reacts well and closes quickly, he generally isn’t anticipating and recognising plays pre-snap very often. Hopefully that improves with time, as he is still relatively new to the game compared to many. 15. Jatavis Brown, Akron, Sr – 5th Round Players with the incredible instincts and playmaking skills of Brown are worth ignoring the measurables for. That said, Brown is really pushing it in that regard, at just 5ft 11 and 217 lbs; it has to be factored in to some extent. His film is fantastic though. On top of having a superb feel for the game, he’s a nice athlete who moves fluidly around the field, flows to the ball through traffic, is always in the right place, almost never taking false steps out of position. Making plays on every level of the defense, he finished his senior year with 116 tackles, 20 TFLs, 12 sacks, 4 force fumbles and an interception. Yes, he played in the MAC against mostly relatively poorer opposition, and some of his less effective games over the last couple seasons have been against tougher teams such as Oklahoma and Penn State, but he’s given Pittsburgh nightmares over two meetings, and stood out at the NFLPA Bowl game this off-season. He should be able to have a good impact on special teams as well initially. 16. Terrance Smith, Florida State, rSr – 5th Round There’s something about this position group in 2016, they all seem to be banged up. Smith is another who has had some struggles keeping healthy enough to stay on the field, with a knee issue for part of 2014, and limited by an ankle issue this season. He has added a bit of weight and muscle to his previously thin frame over the past couple years, so that will help, but does need to prove he can stay available to contribute. When he is fit, Smith is a very active linebacker, using his length and athleticism to his advantage to cover a large portion of the field effectively. A big plus to his game is his ability to run fairly well with opponents in coverage as well, on top of his strong play versus the run. Smith has a very physical game, loving to hit hard with momentum. He has experience at both outside and middle linebacker in a 4-3, and should be another who can make the most of his athletic gifts on special teams as well. 17. Nick Kwiatkoski, West Virginia, rSr – 5th Round Looking at him now, it’s hard to believe that he originally arrived with the Mountaineers as a safety. He’s really bulked up into a stout, tough and physical run defender. It’s easy to forget though that he has good athletic traits, even though he proved that with very solid all-round numbers at his recent pro day. He might no longer have great top-end speed, but changes direction very well and looks comfortable in space. He made an exceptional diving interception against Oklahoma State, one of 3 picks and 7 pass breakups he made in coverage this year, to go with 86 tackles and 10 tackles for loss he also made. Kwiatkoski should make for a very reliable and solid final day selection. 18. Cassanova McKinzy, Auburn, Sr – 5th-6th Round The injury stories continue with another one here. In Auburn’s bowl game, McKinzy sprained his knee, then proceeded to hurt his hamstring afterward, which limited him in his recent pro day, and is still not fully healthy. That hurts his stock a bit, but he’s on his way back and held a day 3 grade with me beforehand. He’s still worthy of a later round pick. McKinzy brings a strong build, fantastic attitude as someone who truly loves the game, and some versatility. He’s able to play in the middle, but also outside as an off-ball linebacker, and was pretty effective as a edge rusher in the second half of the 2015 season, after need led to him making the transition. He’s a bit short to do that too often in the NFL, but the added skill set to occasionally come off the edge is useful to have. His physical play, including doing a solid job getting off blocks, is effective. The area that needs work is his anticipation and instincts, which are a little bit slower than many. Film work is a must if he wants to progress, but his high character and determination to be as good as he can be should mean he’s the type who will put in the necessary work. 19. Nick Vigil, Utah State, rJr – 5th-6th Round I preferred his brother Zach more, and was shocked he didn’t get drafted last year, but not surprised he made the Dolphins roster in the end anyway. Zach got a 5th round grade, Nick gets a slightly lower one. The younger brother will surely hear his name called though, and some like him a couple rounds earlier than this. He piles up stats, totalling an exceptional 144 tackles this year, along with 13.5 TFLs, 3 sacks and a forced fumble. The football IQ is good, as is his work ethic. There’s limitations physically though, lacking natural core strength and despite the high tackle stats, he can get pushed around a bit and doesn’t always work through traffic very well. He tested quite well in terms of change of direction and decent speed, but it doesn’t really show up on film, looking a bit limited in his general movement. 20. Dominique Tovell, Louisiana-Lafayette, rSr – 5th-6th Round A very under-rated player, who certainly isn’t helped by where he plays. The 6ft 2, 235 lb Tovell is highly athletic with 4.56 speed, explosion and strength. His play reading skills and awareness are excellent that sees him make so many plays in space, helped by always taking the right angles to the ball carrier. He really impressed in his opportunity against better opposition in the 2015 season opener vs SEC team Kentucky. After a quiet first half, he exploded in the second for 5 TFLs, a pair of sacks and 7 tackles, as the Sunbelt team nearly made an unbelievable comeback win, falling just short. What really stood out was his reading of QB roll-outs and quick pitches to the sidelines, which he read and took down before they got going for losses. Tovell makes plays in space, but also spends a lot of snaps rushing off the edge, where his initial burst and speed can make him tough to handle, chipping in with 14 TFLs and 7 sacks to go with his 79 tackles this year. Not sure if he will get drafted, but he deserves to, and wouldn’t be surprised to see him make a roster.

Late grades:

21. Don Cherry, Villanova, Sr – 6th Round. 22. Antonio Longino, Arizona State, rSr – 6th Round. 23. Joe Schobert, Wisconsin, Sr – 6th Round. 24. Eric Striker, Oklahoma, Sr – 6th Round. 25. Luke Rhodes, William & Mary, rSr – 6th Round. 26. Antwione Williams, Georgia Southern, Sr – 6th Round. 27. De’Vondre Campbell, Minnesota, rSr – 6th Round. 28. Blake Martinez, Stanford, Sr – 6th Round. 29. Shakeel Rashad, North Carolina, Sr – 6th-7th Round. 30. Brandon Chubb, Wake Forest, rSr – 7th Round. 31. Beniquez Brown, Mississippi State, Jr – 7th Round. 32. Jared Norris, Utah, rSr – 7th Round. 33. Josh Forrest, Kentucky, rSr – 7th Round. 34. Kris Frost, Auburn, rSr – 7th Round. 35. Larry Butler, Southern Nazarene, Sr – 7th Round. 36. Joe Walker, Oregon, Sr – 7th-PFA (Priority Free Agent). 37. Elandon Roberts, Houston, Sr – 7th-PFA. 38. Myke Tavarres, Incarnate Word, Sr – 7th-PFA. 39. Steven Daniels, Boston College, Sr – 7th-PFA. 40. Cole Fisher, Iowa, Sr – 7th-PFA.

Priority Free Agent:

41. Zeek Bigger, East Carolina, rSr 42. Brett McMakin, Northern Iowa, Jr 43. Devante Bond, Oklahoma, Sr 44. James Burgess, Louisville, Sr 45. Jake Ganus, Georgia, Sr 46. Ejiro Ederaine, Fresno State, Sr 47. Quentin Gause, Rutgers, rSr 48. C.J. Johnson, Ole Miss, rSr 49. Peter Jinkens, Texas, Sr 50. Reggie Northrup, Florida State, Sr 51. Kyrie Wilson, Fresno State, rSr 52. Jeremiah Kose, Montana, rSr

Potential to make a roster or practice squad:

53. T.T. Barber, Middle Tennessee, Sr 54. Joe Bolden, Michigan, Sr 55. Raphael Kirby, Miami (Fla.), Sr 56. Will Ratelle, North Dakota, Sr 57. Great Ibe, Eastern Michigan, rSr 58. Tyler Gray, Boise State, Sr 59. Gionni Paul, Utah, rSr 60. Trevor Bates, Maine, rSr 61. Jeff Schoettmer, North Carolina, rSr 62. Desmond Morgan, Michigan, Sr 63. Jason Whittingham, Utah, rSr 64. Joe Schmidt, Notre Dame, rSr 65. Hunter Kissinger, Louisiana-Monroe, Sr

Outside shot at making a team:

66. Deon King, Norfolk State, Sr 67. Tyler Drake, Pennsylvania, Sr 68. Trent Voss, Toledo, rSr 69. Boomer Mays, Northern Illinois, rSr 70. Lamar Louis, LSU, Sr 71. Darnell Sankey, Sacramento State, Sr 72. Ryan Simmons, Oklahoma State, rSr 73. Jared Barber, West Virginia, rSr 74. Frank Shannon, Oklahoma, rSr 75. James Ross III, Michigan, Sr 76. Akil Blount, Florida A&M, Sr 77. Matthew Lyons, Nevada, rSr 78. Tyson Coleman, Oregon, rSr 79. Keyen Lage, South Dakota, Sr 80. Ryan Flannigan, Kentucky, Sr 81. Deon Clarke, Virginia Tech, Sr 82. Tyler Marcordes, Georgia Tech, rSr 83. Zach Fetters, William & Mary, Sr 84. Graham Stewart, Connecticut, rSr 85. Manoa Pikula, Brigham Young, rSr

Something to like about their game, but longshot to make a team:

86. Jalen Jefferson, California, rSr 87. Kent Kern, Miami (Ohio), Sr 88. Darien Harris, Michigan State, rSr 89. Anthony Sarao, Southern California, rSr 90. Nate D. Smith, Temple, Sr 91. Micah Awe, Texas Tech, Sr 92. Jarrett Grace, Notre Dame, rSr 93. Ronny Vandyke, Virginia Tech, rSr 94. Rodney Hardrick, Oregon, rSr 95. Zack Bullock, South Florida, Sr 96. Darryl Monroe, Akron, Sr 97. Evan McKelvey, Marshall, Sr 98. Nicholas Grigsby, Pittsburgh, rSr 99. Mason Monheim, Illinois, Sr 100. Justin Garrett, Auburn, Sr 101. Chase Murdock, Toledo, Sr 102. Nick Thomason, Louisiana Tech, Sr 103. Lamar Dawson, Southern California, rSr 104. Kendrick Van Ackeren, Montana, rSr 105. Zach Jackson, Mississippi State, Sr 106. Jovan Santos-Knox, Massachusetts, Sr 107. Jeremiah Allison, Washington State, Sr 108. Marquise Vann, Connecticut, Sr

The rest:

109. Jordan Dobrich, Nevada, Sr 110. Hunter Williams, Wake Forest, Sr 111. Justin Cooper, Samford, rSr 112. Terrell Davis, British Columbia, rJr 113. Edward Muldrow III, West Virginia, rSr 114. Drew Smith, Northwestern, rSr 115. Jake Fely, San Diego State, Sr 116. Kaiwan Lewis, Rutgers, Sr 117. A.J. Hampton, Chattanooga, Sr 118. Bryan Lane Jr., Nevada, rSr 119. Nick Gilbo, Buffalo, Sr 120. Kassan Messiah, Massachusetts, Sr 121. Cory Magwood, Furman, Sr 122. Blake Dees, South Alabama, rSr 123. Alex Donnelly, Illinois State, Sr 124. Clarence Green, Missouri, Sr 125. Akil Anderson, New Hampshire, rSr 126. Torrey Green, Utah State, Sr 127. TJ Lally, South Dakota State, Sr 128. Kenny Murphy, Valdosta State, Sr 129. Pat Meehan, Illinois State, rSr 130. Damon Watkins, Alcorn State, Sr 131. Devon Brant, Coastal Carolina, Sr 132. Okezie Alozie, Buffalo, Sr 133. Dwayne Beckford, Marian, Sr

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Rebecca Rennie

RealSport College Football Editor, as well as writer and NFL Draft analyst, while occasionally contributing to the NFL section as well.  A fan of most sports and enjoy discussing with fellow fans, so do please comment on articles and interact.  A big fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and of the Central Florida Knights in college.

2016 NFL Draft: Complete Linebacker Rankings

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