NFL Draft – OLB Rankings

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

10.) Jordan Zumwalt, UCLA (6’4, 235): Intense linebacker who was asked to tone it down by Senior Bowl coaches. Zumwalt had a good week of practice at the Senior Bowl, showing better than expected coverage ability, violent pass rush moves, and the aforementioned intensity. He also ran a respectable 4.76 40 at the combine and had a 3-cone time under 7 seconds. Zumwalt has the versatility to play almost any LB position in either a 3-4 or 4-3 and his intensity would play well on special teams. Good value in the middle rounds. Draft Projection: 3rd-4th round

11.) Adrian Hubbard, Alabama (6’6, 257): Measured as the tallest and heaviest linebacker at the combine but still ran the 7th fastest 40-time (4.69) and had the 4th best vertical leap. Pretty impressive numbers for a guy his size and it also helped his draft stock considerably. Hubbard was considered primarily a 3-4 OLB pre-combine, but his surprising 40-time gives him more versatility and opens up the option of playing strong-side backer in a 4-3. His technique needs works, but Hubbard has a ton of potential. Draft Projection: 3rd-4th round

12.) Howard Jones, Sheppard (6’2, 235): Made some money at the combine by running the 3rd best 40-time (4.6), having the best vertical (40.5″), the 2nd best broad jump, and the 5th best 3-cone time of all the defensive linemen at the combine. Jones was a pass rushing terror at Shepard (DII), is the NCAA active leader in sacks (62.5) and he proved he has NFL athleticism at the combine. He’s too small to be a defensive end but is plenty fast and fluid enough to play OLB in a 3-4. He’s not going to be much of a coverage linebacker, but Jones should be able to get to the QB at the NFL level. Draft Projection: 4th-5th round

13.) Ronald Powell, Florida (6’3, 240): Great athlete who was the #1 recruit coming out of high school ( Two ACL injuries derailed Powell’s college career, but he still moves very well for his size. Powell has good pass rush skills and if he passes team’s medical checks he could be drafted earlier than expected. He can provide good depth at OLB with the potential to develop into a starter. Draft Projection: 4th-5th round

14.) Prince Shembo, Notre Dame (6’2, 254): Max effort linebacker with good strength, but very raw technique. Shembo had 17 QB hurries last season so there is some potential there. Some recent, fairly serious off-field allegations might scare most teams off, but Shembo has potential as a pass rusher so some team will probably give him a shot regardless. Draft Projection: 5th-6th round