NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken
We are just a few days away from the kickoff to college football and the official start to the draftnik season. Soon the DVR will be filled with another season full of games and my wife will yell at me because some reality show didn’t tape because there was not enough memory left for it to tape. The sacrifices we all must make to be able to find those next stars or hidden gems in the NFL. Today, I take a look at the Linebackers and give you the guys I will be looking at throughout the college football season.
The Patriots have a good amount of talent at the Linebacker position. It is tough to nail down players to positions because the team likes to move guys all around depending on scheme. Jamie Collins is an ultra athletic guy who can play in space and rush the passer. Dont’e Hightower has become a play maker and when healthy, Jerod Mayo is a tackling machine. Those 3 make up arguably one of the best Linebacking corps in the NFL. After those guys, the group is filled with unproven guys. James Morris is a guy the team was high on last year before his injury and may be in the mix this year. Rufus Johnson, Darius Flemming, and Jonathan Freeny are also in the mix for one of the last spots on the team.
#56 Curt Maggitt, Tennessee 6’3″, 244 Lbs.
#90 Dadi Nicolas, Virginia Tech 6’4″, 236 Lbs.
#92 Devonte Fields, Louisville 6’4″, 240 Lbs
#37 Josh Perry, Ohio State 6’4″, 250 Lbs.
#19 Eric Striker, Oklahoma 6’0″, 221 Lbs.
#24 Terrance Smith, Florida State 6’4″, 222 Lbs.
#55 Eddie Yarbrough, Wyoming 6’3″, 251 Lbs.
#9 Kyler Fackrell, Utah State 6’5″, 245 Lbs.
#11 Ishaq Williams, Notre Dame 6’5″, 271 Lbs.
#8 Tyler Matakevich, Temple 6’1″, 235 Lbs.
#30 Myles Jack, UCLA 6’1″, 230 Lbs.
#33 Scooby Wright, Arizona 6’1″, 246 Lbs.
#84 Leonard Floyd, Georgia 6’4″, 230 Lbs.
#43 Darron Lee, Ohio State 6’2″, 226 Lbs.
#19 Reggie Ragland, Alabama 6’2″ 254 Lbs.
#17 Kris Frost, Auburn 6’2″, 234 Lbs.
#10 Kentrell Brothers, Missouri 6’1″, 235 Lbs.
#8 Cassanova McKinzy, Auburn 6’3″, 253 Lbs.
#48 Rodney Hardrick, Oregon 6’1″, 245 Lbs.
#50 Luke Rhodes, William & Mary 6’2″, 242 Lbs.
#44 Don Cherry, Villanova 6’1″, 240 Lbs.
#52 Kendell Beckwith, LSU 6’2″, 245 Lbs.
#1 Dominique Alexander, Oklahoma 6’0″, 229 Lbs.
There is some very talented players on this list for sure. The one problem I have is the lack of size, especially from the Outside Linebacker position. I tend to fall in love with some prospect who has freakish size, but this year the crop is limited. Maybe a name will come out of nowhere to surprise but for now, this is a group that has not peeked my interest. I am interested in watching some of the smaller Linebackers to see if they can be that ultra athletic linebacker who can play in space and cover.
As always, if my list is missing anyone you feel strongly about, please let me know and you can find me on twitter @midwestpatsfan