Isaiah Simmons is the big dog when it comes to linebackers in the 2020 NFL Draft. However, there’s plenty of value at the position after him, from Oklahoma stud Kenneth Murray to National Championship Defensive MVP Patrick Queen.
Below we break down the top-10 linebackers in the 2020 Draft class.
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Top-10 LB Draft Prospects
1) Isaiah Simmons | LB | Clemson
He’s a linebacker, he’s an edge rusher, he’s a safety, but most importantly, he’s a playmaker. Simmons is in consideration as the top player on our big board, and will help fill multiple voids on defenses with fewer bodies. He’s a jack-of-all-trades and has the chance of proving to be a master of all as well.
2) Kenneth Murray | LB | Oklahoma
Murray was uber-productive at Oklahoma, accumulating 257 tackles over the past two seasons. His sideline-to-sideline ability is arguably top in the class. He does a tremendous job of shooting gaps. Murray can struggle with diagnosing plays at times, and will need to speed up that process at the next level.
3) Patrick Queen | LB | LSU
Queen, a one-year starter at LSU playing behind the likes of now-Tampa Bay Buccaneer Devin White, shot up draft boards during the latter part of the college season. He differs from Kenneth Murray in the fact that his processing time is excelled, but can get washed while attempting to jump gaps. Queen possesses the upside of becoming an elite cover linebacker.
4) Zack Baun | LB | Wisconsin
Baun was an excelled pass-rusher for Wisconsin, but his lack of length has led many to project him as a stand up backer at the next level. He shows well in coverage and possesses an impressive get-off. Baun is scheme-diverse and can work out of numerous positions
5) Logan Wilson | LB | Wyoming
Wilson is a three-down linebacker who excels in coverage. The Butkus Award finalist picked off 10 passes and broke up another 14 over his four-year career at Wyoming. He can be hesitant at times to diagnose and attack blockers. He should see the field early in sub packages.
6) Akeem Davis-Gaither | LB | App St.
Davis-Gaither is undersized but extremely slippery at avoiding blockers. He’s better going forward than side-to-side. Despite being built like a safety, he’s shown well coming off the edge, compiling five sacks a season ago.
7) Malik Harrison | LB | Ohio St.
Harrison is a downhill thumper, and possesses impressive change of direction agility for a man of his size (nearly 250-pounds). He can be a bit-slow footed off the snap as he takes time to diagnose. He also has experience playing all three linebacker positions.
8) Troy Dye | LB | Oregon
Dye is built lean and will need to add mass in the pros. However, his instincts are above average and he shows good range from sideline-to-sideline. His length allows him to separate from blockers, and he has shown quality movement in pass-coverage.
9) Willie Gay Jr. | LB | Miss St.
He explodes off the whistle and beats blockers with angles, but can struggle when engaged. He needs to develop better use of his hands. He’s quick to react, but can sometimes get himself caught in precarious positions. He excels in space.
10) Jacob Phillips | LB | LSU
Phillips’ ceiling may be limited, but he’ll prove to be serviceable in the pros. He was a team leader with plus-production while at LSU. He has flashed on special teams and is a sure tackler. His athleticism likely limits his three-down usage.
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