NFL Draft: Breaking Down the Top Inside Linebacker Prospects
By Dan Dahlke
Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley (32). Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
The 2014 NFL Draft is a little over three weeks 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.
Last week, I provided my rankings for the safety and tight end position, and today, I will take a look at what I perceive as the Packers’ third biggest need on the team, inside linebacker.
Not to take anything away from starters, Brad Jones and A.J. Hawk, but the Packers could use more competition and depth at inside linebacker going into next season.
Inside linebacker isn’t seen by many to be a very deep position in this year’s draft, but there are still some notable names that could go in the early rounds, like Alabama’s C.J. Mosley and Wisconsin’s Chris Borland.
Speedy linebackers, like Ryan Shazier and Christian Kirksey, are players that seem best suited as 4-3 weakside linebackers, but could play inside in a 3-4 defense.
They add some depth to a thin crop of inside linebackers.
Here are my top 15 inside 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.