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1. Jarvis Jones, Georgia
The original rumors were Jones didn't pass the evaluations of most NFL team doctors. That's now been rebutted and the reviews are mixed on Jones' spinal stenosis. Chances are Jones is going to drop on some boards and stay high on others. Some are dropping him to the late teens in the first round. Some are keeping him at the top of draft boards. I'm splitting the difference. He's still the top LB on my list, but does need to go knock out his pro day workout to help himself.
2. Barkevious Mingo, LSU
Mingo often disappeared on film during his junior year, but nothing like his teammate Sam Montgomery did. Mingo is an exceptional athlete, and still has a lot of football to learn. He cemented his value as a top 10 selection at the Combine.
3. Jamie Collins, Southern Mississippi
Collins absolutely blew up the Combine. He was about the only bright spot for a winless So. Miss. squad last season. He's got elite athleticism and explosion for an athlete his size (6-3, 250). Expect Collins to be an early second round selection. I see him as a very versatile LB capable of playing inside or outside in a 3-4 and as a strongside LB in the right 4-3 scheme.
4. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers
Greene actually weighed in a little heavier than expected, but still ran well enough to keep his second-round value. His film is incredible as he routinely makes plays all over the field. Teams running the Tampa 2 scheme will value him greatly.
5. Sean Porter, Texas A&M
I love Porter on film. Admittedly, he could have had a better combine and did come in on the light side (6-1, 229). Throw on the tape, though, and you see a guy making plays in every phase of the game, whether reacting to the run, rushing the passer or dropping back in coverage. Porter will slip into the late second round because of his size, but he's going to make a team very happy.
Biggest rise: Sio Moore, Connecticut -- I could have put Collins here, but I wanted to give another player some love. Moore was great at the Senior Bowl and wonderful at the Combine. His stock is climbing as fast as any other player at the position. Don't be shocked if he ends up being the fourth LB taken in this draft.
Biggest drop: Chase Thomas, Stanford -- Thomas looks solid on film, but he is very limited athletically. The draft process hasn't been kind to the Stanford standout thus far, and he's seen his stock drop to the fifth or sixth round.
The Rest of the field
|9||Gerald Hodges||Penn State|
|12||DeVonte Holloman||South Carolina|
|13||Brandon Magee||Arizona State|
|14||Etienne Sabino||Ohio State|
|17||Travis Long||Washington St.|
|19||Jonathan Stewart||Texas A&M|
|20||Cameron Lawrence||Miss. St.|
|21||Meshak Williams||Kansas State|
|22||Michael Mauti||Penn State|
|26||Nathan Williams||Ohio State|
|28||Jake Knott||Iowa State|
1. Alec Ogletree, Georgia
Red flags and inside linebackers are synonymous for one another in this draft class. We'll get into the other guy at this position for a moment because no player has more red flags than Ogletree. The fact he finished at Georgia is a testament to how talented he is. It also tells you how much Georgia coach Mark Richt and his staff are willing to put up with to keep a great player. Ogletree has good instincts, but incredible athleticism that allows him to make plays all over the field. It wouldn't be shocking if he ends up as a 3-4 OLB in the NFL. How far he drops with all his red flags remains to be seen.
2. Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
Speaking of red flags, do I need to even go into the Te'o debate? I personally am looking past the whole catfish debacle. It really does affect his stock some because one has to consider how his teammates will look at him, especially when a MLB is counted on to be a leader. Too much is being made of his 4.8 40 time because he did have a strong 1.62 10-yard split. Ten yards is about the most a LB is going to have to run to make a play, and you can't measure his instincts, which are second to none. The fact two pro-style offenses in Stanford and Alabama gave him trouble is most alarming. I don't consider him a two-down player, though. He intercepted seven passes last year -- a great number for a LB. He's going to fall to the second half of the first round, but Te'o can still be a fantastic pro.
3. Kevin Minter, LSU
Minter's 40 time was about the same as Te'o's but I don't hear nearly as many people throwing him down draft boards. If there is a two-down player at this position, it's Minter. He shouldn't be trusted as much in pass coverage. That said, he's still a very good LB, but he's not the late first-round pick some thought he could be.
4. Kevin Reddick, North Carolina
I was tempted to move Reddick ahead of Minter. Reddick had an impressive Combine, but doesn't grade as well as Minter on film. Still, he's a guy who could play three downs as a MLB and can fit a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. There's questions about his effort at times, but this is the best blitzing MLB in the draft.
5. Jonathan Bostic, Florida
No ILB helped his stock more than Bostic, but running a 4.5 40 at this position has a way of turning heads. He was the most consistent player on a very good Florida defense last season, and is proven as a reliable cover man as well. He's worked his way into third-round consideration.
Biggest rise: Bostic, Florida -- The biggest rub on Bostic was an apparent lack of top-notch speed. That can no longer be said, though, after a 4.5 40. He's definitely got the speed to be an impact player all over the field.
Biggest drop: Te'o, Notre Dame -- It's hard to deny the 40 time did affect his stock. I still think he'll be taken closer to 20th overall than 30th.
The Rest of the Field
|7||Vince Williams||Florida State|
|9||Arthur Brown||Kansas St.|
|10||A.J. Klein||Iowa State|
|14||Bruce Taylor||Va. Tech|
|15||Brandon Hepburn||Florida A&M|
|17||Nick Clancy||Boston College|
|20||Sam Barrington||South Florida|