After looking at the top three edge rushers of the draft, now I am moving up a level on defense to the top three linebackers in the NFL draft. Linebackers are some of the most athletic and versatile players on the field. From rushing the passer to playing in pass coverage, linebackers fly around the whole field. The best of the best are the ones that are limitless with what they can do out on the field. Are there going to be any of these types of linebackers in this year’s draft? Well, let’s find out. Here are the top three linebackers in the NFL draft.
Top Three Linebackers in the NFL Draft
The first linebacker of the top three linebackers is Micah Parsons. Micah Parsons is listed at 6’3″ and 244 pounds. He is a junior that played two seasons for Penn State. Many scouts have ranked him as the number one linebacker in the draft.
Parsons played only two seasons due to opting out in 2020, but Parsons showed flashes of talent out on the field. 2019 was the eye-opening season for many scouts. Parsons had 109 total tackles five sacks, four forced fumbles, and five passes deflected. Those were very impressive numbers that exemplify that Parsons isn’t a linebacker that just sits in the middle of the field, but one that moves around the whole field, whether it’s him running towards the quarterback or getting back in pass coverage.
Micah Parsons has great size and length, which allows him to play pass coverage. Besides playing well in pass coverage, Parsons is also a very solid pass rusher which shows his all-around talent and versatility. Lastly, Parsons is very energetic and has great instincts. Parsons still has room for development and he needs to improve his quickness, but overall he has a high upside.
That upside and his production are key factors in why Parsons is considered to be a top 15 pick. He has the potential to be one of the best linebackers in the NFL.
The second linebacker of the top three linebackers in the NFL draft is Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Owusu-Koramoah is 6’1″ and 215 pounds. He played two seasons at Notre Dame and he was the key to why they were one of the best defenses during that time. He is expected to be drafted between the late first round and the first half of the second round.
In the aforementioned two seasons, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah had 134 total tackles, seven passes defended, 10 sacks, five forced fumbles, and one interception. His numbers did drop from 2019 to 2020 and most significantly in the sack category, but Owusu-Koramoah still has tons of talent.
Speaking of that talent, he is a very fast linebacker that can move side to side and is very good in pass coverage. He is also an exceptionally good blitzer. Additionally, with his speed and energy, Owusu-Koramoah can fly around the field. Despite these skills, Owusu-Koramoah needs to improve some things.
First, he needs to improve as a run defender. Also, he needs to get bigger. His is currently small compared to other linebackers, which is why scouts believe that he can actually play safety meaning he could potentially be a linebacker-safety hybrid.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah has great athletic abilities that allow him to run all over the field. He is great in pass coverage and blitzing. Though he is underweight, it shouldn’t discourage teams from drafting him because there is something special about him.
The last linebacker of the top three linebackers in the NFL draft is Zaven Collins. Zaven Collins is listed at 6′ 4″ and 260 pounds. He played three seasons for the University of Tulsa. This past season he was awarded the Bednarik Award and Bronko Nagurski Award which are both awarded to the best defensive player in college.
What did Collins accomplish statically to get those awards? Well, this past season, Collins recorded 54 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles, four interceptions, two touchdowns, and two passes defended. Collins did everything possible from a statistical defensive perspective. He was an absolute machine out on the field.
Zaven Collins is freakishly athletic as seen above with those statistics. Collins has great size, length, and speed. Most importantly, his versatility is phenomenal. He can blitz with ease, can stop the run, makes tackles, and is also very good in pass coverage.
There is no easier way to say it: Zaven Collins can literally do anything out on the field on defense. He has proven himself on tape and with his production. With his versatility, size, and athleticism, Collins is expected to go in the late first-round or early second round. To finish off, all those skills that Collins has are shared with the best linebackers in the NFL.