Day Two Linebackers
Beyond the top-five, there are quite a few linebackers I like but still in the process of evaluating and ordering in my position rankings.
Joshua Perry is often overlooked because he played alongside Ohio State standouts Darron Lee and Joey Bosa. However, don’t underestimate him as a linebacker prospect. He reminds me a lot of former Clemson linebacker Stephone Anthony, who was the first inside linebacker off the board last year when the New Orlean Saints selected him with the 31st overall pick.
Towering at 6-foot-4, 254 pounds, Perry can be a hammer against the run. He’s a classic “thumper” who can shed blocks, hold the point of attack, and slice through the line and make plays at the line of scrimmage. He’s also an underrated athlete, moves well in space to make plays in pursuit, and does a decent job when dropping in coverage.
He’s a solid starter for any team that drafts him and can play any spot at the second level, but I particularly like him at inside linebacker in the Packers 3-4 defense.
Brothers, Jones, and Brown are also really interesting prospects. After leading the entire FBS in tackles with 152 as a senior, Kentrell Brothers may be the most underrated prospect in this class at this point. The former Missouri standout has made plays all over the field, including five interceptions, 10 pass breakups, and 23 tackles for loss as a three-year starter. It’s surprising more people aren’t talking about him leading up to the draft.
Some teams may have size concerns with Brothers, given he only measures in at 6-1, 235. However, Brothers is a feisty linebacker, who packs a punch when he hits and has shown the ability to slip or shed blocks to make plays against the run. Plus, he’s an excellent pass defender, which makes him a three-down player in the NFL.
Deion Jones‘ stock rose this past year with a solid senior campaign and many now consider him a likely day two prospect. However, weighing in at only 225 pounds, he seems like a more natural fit as a weakside linebacker in a 4-3 defense and is probably a guy the Packers won’t regard as highly as other teams.
Beniquez Brown is a guy that wasn’t on my radar until recently. Last week, Tony Pauline reported Green Bay has shown a strong interest in the former Mississippi State linebacker, which led me to find whatever I could about Brown as a prospect.
I was able to find and evaluate five games on Brown, and I like what I’ve seen so far. As of now, I could see him going in the third round. Maybe the Packers move up to take him, or they take the chance he falls in their laps at the the end of day two. Every year the Packers have certain prospects they seem to rate higher than everyone else, and usually, they spend a third or fourth round pick on these type of players.
Maybe this year, this guy is Brown. He seems to fit well at ILB in the 3-4, and his ability to drop in coverage and make plays in pursuit would fit well alongside either Jake Ryan or Sam Barrington in the Packers defense.
Next: Mid-Round Steals?