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NFL Draft: Breaking Down the Top Outside Linebacker Prospects

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Buffalo Bulls linebacker Khalil Mack (46). Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

 

The 2014 NFL Draft is a little over a week away, and as we inch closer, I will continue providing my position rankings for the draft and discuss which prospects the Green Bay Packers may consider selecting come draft day.

I have already provided my rankings for safety, tight endinside linebackerwide receiverdefensive line, and offensive line. Click on the links if you’d like to check these outs.

Despite having signed Julius Peppers and re-signed Mike Neal this offseason, the Packers are still in need of more pass rushers on their roster.

The Packers struggled to generate consistent pressure with Clay Matthews sidelined by injury, and it still remains to be seen what the they have in Nick Perry, Andy Mulumba, and Nate Palmer.

The Packers need depth at this position, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they take a close look at some edge rushers come draft time, specifically on day two of the draft with players like Marcus Smith, Jeremiah Attaochu, and Trent Murphy likely available in the second or third round.

Here are my top 20 outside linebackers for the 2014 NFL Draft. I grouped the players into four tiers.

Tier One being potential impact players at the next level.

Tier Two being players who could be solid starters or make contributions as a rookie.

Tier Three being developmental prospects who have some upside but may not be ready to contribute immediately.

And Tier Four being role players who could offer depth on the roster.

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Tags: Anthony Barr Featured Green Bay Packers Khalil Mack Kyle Van Noy NFL Draft Popular

  • Phillip

    This is why drafting a guy like Shazier at 21 would be great, he has the potential to be a 3 down ILB and has the versatility to line up outside and get after the QB off the edge if needed. He has that speed and athletic ability where he could be a hell of a pass rusher all over. Ryan Shazier could possibly be the best fit for our defense of all the players in the draft, except Mack, but Shazier does have the potential and athletic ability to be just as good as Mack. Hopefully we get Shazier at 21 n find a way to add Ward or Bucannon in the 2nd somewhere, that’d potentially do wonders for our defense with everybody staying healthy, would give us 2 guys who could easily be in the running for DROY

    • Dan

      Well said. Shazier is an exciting player. Fellow Lombardi Ave writer, Kyle Fellows, is also really high on Shazier and mentioned the other day during our draft podcast that some believe Shazier could add some weight and be a really good pass rusher as a 3-4 OLB. It’s definitely possible. I’m all for the Packers picking the best defensive player available in round one regardless of position. Maybe that will be Shazier. They definitely need more playmakers on that side of the ball,