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College Football: Top 10 Outside Linebackers

Oct. 09, 2019 - Michael Stewart

College Football: Top 10 Outside Linebackers

Introduction: The 2020 class at the OLB position in college football offers and wide variety of talented play making prospects that should intrigue many of the NFL teams on draft day. This could be one of the deepest positions on the defensive side of the ball and expectations has possibly 20 outside linebackers could be selected in the 2020 draft.

  1. Curtis Weaver (Boise State) 6’3/265: Weaver is also listed in my top 10 defensive ends mostly because it is unclear which position he will be at the pro level. Weaver is an explosive edge/OLB who can disrupt any offense game plans. Weaver would fit in well as a OLB in a 3-4 alignment; which will enable him to utilize his strengths; which are pass rushing and defending the run.
  2. Terrell Lewis (Alabama) 6’5/252: Lewis could have entered the 2019 draft, but injuries caused him to miss a majority of the games and he decided to stay in school. When healthy, Lewis has displayed 1st round ability with speed and strength on the edge. Lewis can play in either a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme at the Pro level and should be one of the 1st OLB taken in the draft.
  3. Anfernee Jennings (Alabama) 6’3/262: Jennings can play with his hand in the dirt or in a two-point stance. Jennings is strong enough against the run and can also create havoc on the pass rush.  Jennings can also play in pass coverage; which makes him a 3-down OLB/Edge.
  4. K’Lavon Chaisson (LSU) 6’4/240: Chaisson’s ACL injury set him back a bit, but all indications look good thus far. Chaisson can beat you in many ways and he utilizes all his weapons throughout the game. Chassion is also versatile to drop back into coverage and assist in pass defense.
  5. Josh Uche (Michigan) 6’2/250: Uche plays everywhere on the field and is extremely productive whether he is in between the tackles or on the edge. Uche is also extremely productive in pass coverage and gives the Wolverines a high energy defensive weapon.
  6. Julian Okwara (Notre Dame) 6’5/240: Okwara has a rare combination of speed and athleticism which enables him to dominate on the field. Okwara is probably more suitable to play in a 3-4 scheme; but could excel in a 4-3 if he can add more bulk.
  7. Evan Weaver (California) 6’3/245: Weaver is a converted defensive end who has transitioned well at OLB. Weaver is a read and react type player who excels in all facets on defense. Weaver is highly intelligent and could start from day one in the NFL.
  8. Jabari Zuniga (Florida) 6’4/257: Zuniga unique name matches his unique ability as he has all the intangibles to be a solid player in the NFL. Zuniga more often than not wins the one on one battles with his combination of speed, power and balance.
  9. Kenneth Murray (Oklahoma) 6’2/238: Murray is athletic and extremely versatile and can play inside or outside well; but is projected to be an OLB in the NFL. Murray is a sound tackler that rarely misses his target.
  10. Jonathan Garvin (Miami) 6’4/255: Garvin has excellent acceleration off the ball and does a great job using his hands to create separation from opposing blockers. Garvin also utilizes his long arms to create leverage on the edge.

Final Thoughts: The OLB group in this year’s class is solid and deep (projected 15-20) as we should hear quite a few names being called on draft day. Teams looking for play makers will have a good selection to pick from on all three days of the draft.