2015 NFL Draft: Early Look at Inside Linebackers

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Baylor Bears linebacker Bryce Hager (44). Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Late-Round Gems

It’s always good when you can find a late-round prospect that can carve out a role for himself on the team. After being a sixth-round pick in 2013, Sam Barrington has shown a lot of growth this season and ended the year starting for the Packers.

So are there any Barringtons or Desmond Bishops in this year’s class?

A few guys that might be found in the last few rounds of the draft but could develop into key contributors are Baylor’s Bryce Hager, Georgia’s Amarlo Herrera, and Michigan State’s Taiwan Jones.

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Both Jones and Herrera are tough, downhill players who excel as run defenders but may struggle dropping in coverage or playing out in space, which will limit them at the next level.

They may both be two-down players, but they should also make their mark on special teams. Their physical style of play is hard to ignore and would be welcomed on most NFL rosters.

Hager is a solid all-around linebacker prospect who plays smart. There’s nothing flashy about his game, but he finds a way to make plays on the field.

Doubts about how well he’ll project to the next level will cause him to drop. Some team might find really good value by picking him up in a later round.

Let me know what you think about this year’s linebacker group. Which player would you like Green Bay to draft?

Next week, I’ll take a look at the deep crop of edge rushers in this year’s class.