Welcome to another edition of the weekly draft position rankings! In this edition, we will be taking a look at the inside linebacker position. As previously stated, this post is where I can take questions via the comments section or hit me up on gmail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have a Facebook as well (my name). My Twitter handle is @DuckinNoles247 With that said, onto the rankings!
1. Denzel Perryman 5'11 236 Miami Senior
- Perryman is one of the best inside linebackers in this class. He's a big hitter with a nose for the football. A good athlete that can cover fleet footed slot receivers and is almost impossible to block due to his instincts and strength. He also has the talent to play outside 'backer as well but is better suited inside. Perryman's fundaments and instincts are very good. Would be a first round pick but for his short stature. Senior Bowl participant.
2. Stephone Anthony 6'3 243 Clemson Senior
- Anthony ran a 4.56 40 (good for third best among all linebackers) and had a decent session in the field drills. He's a good enough athlete to play three downs without losing a step on tight ends and backs. One of the more underrated inside linebackers in the country. He also maintained his high level of play from the Senior Bowl. Anthony is the field general type that will command the entire defense. A quintessential modern day run and chase inside linebacker with great instincts. Senior Bowl participant
3. Eric Kendricks 6'0 232 UCLA RS Senior
- Kendricks is a big hitter with a somewhat limited frame, which will likely keep him out of the first round. While he isn't one to take charge of the defense, he has good instincts and is very quick on his feet. Great first step and above average closing speed once ball is located. He also can drop back into coverage without losing much due to his great hips and agility. Gets lost in the wash easily on a frequent basis due to small size. Too overly reliant on getting by the blocker instead of taking them on. Can take himself out of the play due to aggressiveness. I see him better as an outside linebacker using his pass rush skills rather than at inside linebacker. NFL bloodlines as brother, Mychal plays for the Eagles and was a dominant linebacker for Cal.
4. Benardrick McKinney 6'4 246 RS Junior Mississippi State
- McKinney was an all world defender for the Bulldogs who played inside, outside, and end for them. He possesses great athleticism for a guy his size. Limited by a lack of explosion, he's a man without a defined position. Much like Kendricks, he attempts to go by the blocker instead of taking them head on, which is curious given his big frame and long arms. Lateral movements are above average. Fundamentally and instinctually sound, he can diagnose plays but takes a roundabout journey getting to the ball, which results in false steps. Not the greatest in coverage, could be useful as an outside rusher.
5. Paul Dawson 6'0 235 Senior TCU
- Dawson had a terrible Combine performance but recovered some of his stock at his Pro Day. TCU is known for churning out very well coached and fundamentally sound defenders, Dawson is just another extension of that. A good athlete with above average lateral quickness and fluid hips to account for sudden movements. He's a relentless worker on the field and will get after it on every play. Instincts are good as well. A wrap up tackler who rarely goes for the big hit. While the player is good enough, I do have questions about his small frame being able to hold up. His frame questions could move him to outside linebacker where his athleticism could be exploited better.
Best of the rest
6. Taiwan Jones 6'3 245 Senior Michigan State
7. Jeff Luc 6'0 250 RS Senior Cincinnati
8. Bryce Hager 6'1 234 RS Senior Baylor
9. Ramik Wilson 6'2 237 Senior Georgia
10. Ben Heeney 6'0 231 Senior Kansas