Breakdowns

2023 NFL Draft Watch List: Tiering the Best College Linebackers

2023 NFL Draft Watch List: Tiering the Best College Linebackers

The conclusion of the 2022 NFL Draft means that teams and fans alike can start looking forward to next year’s crop of players. While it is far too early to have conclusive opinions on where each player will rank due to a full season of games and the player development ahead of us, this tier ranking previews how these players go into the season ranked against their position group. These tiers are subject to change, but give a quick outlook on the expectations of these players.

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Running Back Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Quarterback Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Tight End Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Offensive Line Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Defensive Line Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Edge Rusher Tier List Here

​​​Tier 1: The Top Talents

Noah Sewell, Oregon 

Trenton Simpson, Clemson

Henry To’oTo’o, Alabama

Tier 1 of this position group can be considered the best combination of instinctual linebacker prowess and physical gifts in the draft. It takes more than being a great athlete to be successful at the professional level. These players are aggressive in their pursuit of the run and have the potential coverage skills to be impactful against the pass. Overall, these players have the skill sets and film to be considered towards the top of the draft. 

Tier 2: Elite Traits or Play Style

Justin Flowe, Oregon

DeMarvion Overshown, Texas 

Jack Campbell, Iowa

Tier 2 of this position are the players who have either very good athletic abilities or show high-end instincts for the position. These players have high ceilings that will allow some to move up higher after the 2022 college season. This fall they will look to show their development in order to be considered a top player at the position. 

Tier 3: Potential Draft Picks

Owen Pappoe, Auburn

Ventrell Miller, Florida

Merlin Robinson, Arizona 

Tier 3 of the linebackers is a collection of players who show good enough athletic traits along with the film to be drafted. They have the potential to be role players or possibly even starters at the NFL level. Players in this category have the physical tools to be successful but are limited to either 1st-2nd down or 3rd down usage. Developing their skills and athleticism is essential for this group to climb in the draft rankings. 

Tier 4: Next Year’s Sleepers

Stephen Dix Jr., Florida St. 

Bumper Pool, Arkansas

Tyler Grubbs, LA Tech

Jacoby Windmon, UNLV

This group of tier 4 linebackers are all counting on a big 2022 season to propel their name into the draftable section on NFL teams’ boards. There are multiple reasons as to why these players are considered sleepers. Some may have had limited playing time while others play in a lower level of competition. These players have the physical tools and instincts to be good college players, but have question marks around their abilities to play at the next level. The 2022 will be significant in how they are ranked and considered for the draft next spring.