2018 NFL Draft Prospects – Inside Linebacker

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2018 NFL Prospects - Inside Linebacker

2018 NFL Mock DraftDraftGeek’s Mock Draft


2018 NFL Draft Prospects by Position:


Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | Offensive Tackle | Offensive Guard | Center


Defensive Tackle | 3-4 Nose Tackle | Defensive End | Outside Linebacker | Inside Linebacker | Cornerback | Safety

Extra: Sleepers


2018 NFL Draft Inside Linebacker Ranking

2018 NFL Mock Draft: Roquan Smith1. Roquan Smith, Georgia

Height: 6-0 Weight: 225 lbs

One of the best tacklers in college football, Smith has both the natural instincts and the football smarts to avoid blockers and find his way to the ball carrier… Full Profile


2018 NFL Mock Draft2. Rashaan Evans, Alabama

Height: 6-3 Weight: 234 lbs

After moving from being a pass rush specialist from the edge to linebacker, Evans is finally gaining experience after sitting behind future NFL high drafts picks at Alabama… Full Profile


Leighton Vander Esch NFL3. Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State

Height: 6-4 Weight: 240 lbs

Coming off a year where he was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, Vander Esch saw his draft stock soar, and declared for the draft relatively early…Full Profile


Josey Jewell - 2018 NFL Draft4. Josey Jewell, Iowa

Height: 6-1 Weight: 236 lbs

An instinctive and smart inside linebacker that can captain an NFL defense… Full Profile


Micah Kiser - 2018 NFL Draft5. Micah Kiser, Virginia

Height: 6-1 Weight: 240 lbs

Excels at moving downhill, plugging gaps, and getting into the backfield… Full Profile


Christian Sam NFL6. Christian Sam, Arizona State

Height: 6-2 Weight: 237 lbs

A tackling machine that can maintain the interior gaps on the defense. After suffering a season ending injury in 2016, Sam bounced back in his Junior year, becoming one of the nation’s best tacklers…Full Profile


Dakota Allen NFL7. Dakota Allen, Texas Tech

Height: 6-1 Weight: 235 lbs

A solid tackler that has had an up and down college career to say the least. After being kicked off the team for some serious behavior issues, Allen rebuilt his reputation and was accepted back… Full Profile


Nyles Morgan NFL8. Nyles Morgan, Notre Dame

Height: 6-1 Weight: 245 lbs

A key component to the Notre Dame 4-2-5 defense, Morgan has been a team leader for much of his college career… Full Profile


Josh Watson9. Josh Watson, Colorado State

Height: 6-1 Weight: 240 lbs

A very physical and technique sound tackler that has developed into an instinctual and intelligent inside linebacker… Full Profile


Shaun Dion Hamilton NFL10. Shaun Dion Hamilton, Alabma

Height: 6-1 Weight: 235 lbs

The signal caller and a natural leader, and was off the field for the only two games that Alabama has lost the last two years… Full Profile



Example Draft Considerations:

  • Maybe the toughest scouting reports to make, because a lot of confusion:
    • Inside linebackers in 3-4 aren’t generally premium players in the draft, but there is always a couple that have exceptionally well rounded skillsets that sneak into early rounds.
    • The two inside linebacker positions in a 3-4 often have fairly varied responsibilities, one being the move-forward, run stopping, gap-filling player that needs to be a strong, reliable tackler, and the other being the playmaker that has more freedom to roam.
    • The inside linebackers in the draft that more often get drafted high are really going to be Middle Linebackers in a 4-3.
  • If a linebacker in college is a tackling machine, is big and strong, a violent tackler that wraps up well, and they seem to be much better moving forward than back, they are probably going to be an ILB in a 3-4 at the next level.
  • The star Inside Linebackers are most often playing OLB in college, and need certain skills:
    • Ability to diagnose plays quickly.
    • Able to call defenses, so smarts and experience.
    • Chase down running backs and wide receivers.
    • Move forward to defend the run.
    • Drop into coverage.
    • Blitzing ability.
    • Able to tackle.
    • Relentless.
    • Loves football…this is mentioned for this position more than any other (referring to linebackers in general).
    • Do they “wrap up” tacklers.
    • Often referred to as “off-ball” linebackers, just another term for a guy suited for ILB in 3-4 or middle linebacker.
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