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)