NFL Draft: Breaking Down the Top Outside Linebacker Prospects

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UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11). Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports



Buffalo Bulls linebacker Khalil Mack (46). Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

1. Khalil Mack, Buffalo: 6-3, 251 (4.55)

Mack combines a high motor with elite athleticism, making him a perfect fit at outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

Mack will probably not make it out of the top-ten come draft day. He’s an elite talent that knows how to terrorize quarterbacks and still has plenty of room to develop.

He is one of the more exciting players in this draft. 3-4 teams will be drooling over him.

(Draft Projection: Top-10)


UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11). Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2. Anthony Barr, UCLA: 6-5, 255 (4.41)

Barr is a former running back who converted to outside linebacker only two seasons ago, but he recorded an impressive 23.5 sacks and nine forced fumbles in that in time.

Barr is an explosive pass rusher who is just scratching the surface of his potential. He has all of the athleticism and speed off the edge to excel as a 3-4 rush backer, but he needs to still develop his game against the run.

Barr may not have the immediate impact that Mack will have in the NFL, but give him some time to further develop on the defensive side of the ball and he could be one of the better players coming out of this draft.

(Draft Projection: Top-15)


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

  • 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,