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Top 10 Linebackers of the 2022 NFL Draft

Top 10 Linebackers of the 2022 NFL Draft

1) Devin Lloyd, Utah

Key Measurables: 6026, 237 lbs, 4.66 40 Yard Dash,

Notable 2021 Stats: 111 tackles, 22 TFLs, 7.0 Sacks, 4 INTs

Best Trait: Physicality

Player Comp: Roquan Smith

Background:

Devin Lloyd is a RS Senior that came to Utah as a three-star safety having also played receiver and serving as the punter in high school. He played in every possible game either on special teams or as a contributor on defense after redshirting his freshman year. He made 47 career appearances with 32 starts for the Utes. Aligned primarily as an off-ball backer in the box and would occasionally line up on the edge as a stand-up end. Was Utah’s leading tackler every season he was a full-time starter, and his production increased with each season.  He was a three-time All-Pac-12 selection, was the conference’s DPOY in 2021, the 2021 AP DPOY, a consensus 2021 All-American, and a two-time Butkus Award finalist.

Projection:

Scheme versatile off-ball linebacker you win because of who can contribute immediately at the next level as a three-down starter.

Full Scouting Report

2) Nakobe Dean, Georgia

Key Measurables: 5110, 229 lbs. Did not run at Combine or Pro Day

Notable 2021 Stats: 72 tackles, 10.5 TFLs, 6.0 sacks, 2 INTs

Best Trait: Instincts and Football IQ

Player Comp: Deion Jones

Background:

Nakobe Dean is a Junior that came to Georgia as a five-star prospect ranked as the No. 2 linebacker and No. 19 player in the country in the 2019 recruiting class. Also competed in baseball, basketball, and track while in high school. Tallied over 400 tackles, 61.5 TFLs, and 18 sacks in his high school career, and was the 2018 High School Butkus Award winner. Named UGA’s Defensive Newcomer of the Year in 2019. He appeared in all 39 possible games during his time at Georgia, making 25 starts in the process.

Was one of four permanent team captains, as voted on by his teammates. Led Georgia in TFLs while also being second on the team in total tackles, sacks, and QB pressures. Aligned primarily in the box and was the designated play caller for the Georgia defense. Was named a Unanimous 2021 First Team All-American and All-SEC selection while winning the Butkus Award and being a finalist for the Lott IMPACT trophy as well as a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik award. Was also named the captain of the AFCA Good Works Team for his commitment to community service.

Projection:

Projects as a 4-3 Will linebacker who will be a win because of, three-down starter at the next level.

Full Scouting Report

3) Quay Walker, Georgia

Key Measurables: 6036, 241 lbs, 4.52 40 Yard Dash

Notable 2021 Stats: 67 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 1.5 Sacks

Best Trait: Closing Speed

Player Comp: Troy Reeder

Background:

Quay Walker is a Senior who came to Georgia as a four-star prospect ranked as the No. 2 OLB and No. 31 overall player in the 2018 recruiting class. Also competed in basketball. He appeared in 51 of 52 possible games in his four seasons at Georgia, starting 17 of them. Was a major contributor on special teams in all four seasons. Aligned almost exclusively in the box for Georgia’s hybrid defense, and only occasionally bumped out to the slot for coverage purposes. Finished the 2021 season tied for third on the team in tackles.

Projection:

Projects as a scheme versatile off-ball backer that you can win with, who can contribute on all three downs in several ways. Will be an immediate special teams impact player while he competes for an early career starting spot and improves his technique and refines his instincts to get to most out of his physical tools.

Full Scouting Report

4) Troy Andersen, Montana State

Key Measurables: 6035, 243 lbs, 4.42 40 Yard Dash

Notable 2021 Stats: 147 Tackles, 14.0 TFLs, 2.0 Sacks, 2 INTs

Best Trait: Closing Speed

Player Comp: Zach Cunningham

Background:

Troy Andersen is a RS Senior who has played in 50 career games on both sides of the ball during his Montana State career. Father played college basketball and cousin is a pitcher in the Chicago Cubs organization. Was a 1st Team All-State level player as both a safety and quarterback in high school and was the state DPOY as a Senior, while also competing in basketball and track (10.88s 100M, 22.11s 200M, 20’11 Long Jump, and 47’4 Shot Put).

He began his career as a two-way player making starts at both LB and RB as a true freshman and was named Big Sky Freshman of the Year. Was Montana State’s starting QB as a sophomore and took snaps at RB and LB while dealing with a broken bone in his hand. Named 1st Team All-Big Sky QB, 3rd Team All-American All Purpose, and FCS Sophomore of the Year. Switched back to LB as a Junior and started three games on both sides of the ball while being named 1st Team All-American at LB. As a senior was a unanimous 1st Team All-American, as well as the Big Sky and FCS DPOY. Also named to the NFF All-Scholar Team as the only FCS honoree and was a three-time team Captain.

Projection:

Projects as a WILL in a 4-3 scheme you can win with while also contributing on special teams early on in his career. Has the potential to develop into a high-level starter in that role once he has a better feel for the position and adds strength while fine tuning his technique.

Full Scouting Report

More Top 10 2022 NFL Draft Prospect Lists:

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends | Offensive Tackles |Interior Offensive Line | Edge Rushers | Interior Defensive Line | Linebackers | Cornerbacks | Safeties

5) Chad Muma, Wyoming

Key Measurables: 6026, 239 lbs, 4.63 40 Yard Dash

Notable 2021 Stats: 142 Tackles, 8.0 TFL, 1.5 Sacks, 3 INT

Best Trait: Physicality

Player Comp: Logan Wilson

Background:

Chad Muma is a Senior that came to Wyoming as a three-star Safety. He appeared in 43 career games over 4 years at Wyoming, with 20 starts. Father was a two-time letterman for Wyoming in the early ’90s. Contributed immediately on special teams while working his way into the role of full-time starter. Saw a jump in his level of production in every season, culminating in a 1st Team All-Conference worthy final year that saw him finish as one of the nation’s leaders in total tackles and be named a Butkus Award finalist. He aligned almost exclusively as an in the box but would occasionally slide out to the slot against TEs or to the edge as an overhang.

Projection:

Projects as a win with, scheme versatile inside linebacker at the next level whose main contributions will come as a punishing two-down run defender, and can contribute in the passing game by bullying tight ends and crossers over the middle. Can have an immediate special teams impact while he develops and competes for a starting spot.

Full Scouting Report

6) Christian Harris, Alabama

Key Measurables: 6005, 226 lbs, 4.44 40 Yard Dash

Notable 2021 Stats: 80 Tackles, 11.5 TFLs, 5.5 Sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles

Best Trait: Change of Direction

Player Comp: Matt Milano

Background:

Christian Harris is a Junior that came to Alabama as a four-star prospect ranked as the No. 6 linebacker and No. 110 overall player in the 2019 recruiting class. Was a three-phase player in high school on back-to-back state championship teams. He was an immediate impact player for Alabama after arriving on campus, playing in all 41 possible games with 40 starts. Aligned primarily as an off-ball backer in the box for Alabama and would occasionally line up as a standup end in blitzing situations. He also has experience bumping out into the slot to align over tight ends and running backs. Was named a Freshman All-American in 2019 and was a two-time Butkus Award Semi-Finalist. Ranked 5th in total tackles for Alabama in 2021.

Projection:

Projects as a rotational inside linebacker that you can win with. Has the potential to develop into a starter by improving his consistency and the mental aspects of his game while being a significant contributor on special teams.

Full Scouting Report

7) Leo Chenal, Wisconsin

Key Measurables: 6026, 250 lbs, 4.53 40 Yard Dash

Notable 2021 Stats: 115 Tackles, 18.5 TFLs, 8.0 Sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles

Best Trait: Physicality

Player Comp: Ja’Whaun Bentley

Background:

Leo Chenal is a Junior who came to Wisconsin as a three-star athlete and the No. 2 player in the state of Wisconsin in the 2019 recruiting class. Was also an All-Conference selection for basketball and track. He appeared in 29 career games, starting 18 of them in his three collegiate seasons. Aligned as an off-ball linebacker in Wisconsin’s base 3-4 defense. Led the Badgers in total tackles and sacks during the 2021 season despite missing two games with a positive Covid-19 test. Was a two-time All-Big 10 selection and the 2021 Big 10 Linebacker of the Year.

Projection:

Projects as a MIKE linebacker you can win with who is either taken out in favor of better coverage options or tasked with blitzing to generate pressure in passing situations and will be a significant special teams contributor. Improving his lateral mobility will increase his opportunities.

Full Scouting Report

8) Channing Tindall, Georgia

Key Measurables: 6015, 230 lbs, 4.47 40 Yard Dash

Notable 2021 Stats: 67 Tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 5.5 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble

Best Trait: Closing Speed

Player Comp: Cole Holcomb

Background:

Channing Tindall is a Senior who came to Georgia as a four-star prospect ranked as the No. 5 OLB and No. 103 overall player in the 2018 recruiting class. He appeared in 50 games of a possible 53 during his four seasons at Georgia, starting none of them. Saw limited action on defense while being a four-phase special teamer in his first three seasons on a deep Georgia roster.

Broke into the LB rotation for his senior season and saw increased action as the season went on while still serving as a major special teams contributor. Finished the season as Georgia’s third leading tackler in spite of his limited role for most of the season and was an AP 2nd Team All-SEC selection. Aligned almost exclusively in the box as a part of Georgia’s hybrid defense and excelled in his assigned rotational role.

Projection:

Projects as a quality backup off ball linebacker that you can win with while he gets more game reps under his belt. Potential to develop into an average level starter with time to improve the mental aspects of his game. Will be an immediate impact special teams player due to his athletic ability and experience.

Full Scouting Report

9) Darrian Beavers, Cincinnati

Key Measurables: 6040, 252 lbs,

Notable 2021 Stats: 99 Tackles, 12 TFLs, 5 Sacks, 1 INT

Best Trait: Physicality/Toughness

Player Comp: Brandon Copeland

Background:

Darrian Beavers is RS Senior and former three-star safety recruit who began his career at UConn where he appeared in 24 games with 6 starts. Also competed in basketball and track in high school. He transferred to Cincinnati in the spring of 2019 where he appeared in 38 games, starting 34 of them over his three seasons. Earned 2nd Team All-AAC in 2020 and followed with a 1st Team selection in 2021 along with being named a Butkus Award finalist. Was the fifth leading tackler in the AAC for the 2021 season.

Projection:

Projects as a versatile backup linebacker you can win with. His best fit is in a 3-4 scheme, where he can be further used on both the inside and outside depending on the team’s needs. He will initially be a two-down run stopping player that gets removed in favor of coverage or pass rush specialists but improving his consistency as a pass rusher will increase his ability to contribute at the next level by virtue of his positional versatility. He has the speed and toughness to be a core special teams contributor while he works on developing his technique.

Full Scouting Report

10) Damone Clark, LSU

Key Measurables: 6025, 239 lbs, 4.57 40 Yard Dash

Notable 2021 Stats: 135 Tackles, 15.0 TFLs, 5.5 Sacks, 1 INT

Best Trait: Size and Length

Player Comp: Jamie Collins

Background:

Damone Clark is a Senior who was a four-star prospect ranked as the No. 18 inside linebacker in the 2018 recruiting class. Started 20 of 50 career games, including all 12 in 2021 before opting out of the team’s bowl game. Played almost exclusively on special teams as a freshman. Role player in 2019 in base package, slowly increased snaps in 2020 to tie for team lead in tackles with only 5 starts. Aligned almost exclusively in the box for LSU’s 4-3 defense.

Led the SEC and was 2nd nationally in tackles in 2021 as a finalist for the Butkus Award and was named 2nd Team All-SEC. Awarded the prestigious No. 18 jersey in 2020 and 2021. Diagnosed with a herniated disc in his back at the NFL Combine, underwent spinal fusion surgery, and will miss 2022 season but is expected to make a full recovery.

Projection:

Rotational off-ball LB you can win with when protected by strong two-gapping DL and free to flow sideline-to-sideline. Size/speed/length prospect who flashes coverage ability and can cover ground quickly. Recent back surgery will have a major impact on early career.

Full Scouting Report

More Top 10 2022 NFL Draft Prospect Lists:

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends | Offensive Tackles |Interior Offensive Line | Edge Rushers | Interior Defensive Line | Linebackers | Cornerbacks | Safeties