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2009 NFL Draft:
Inside Linebacker Rankings


The top 2009 inside linebacker prospects available for the 2009 NFL Draft in the order in which I believe they will be drafted. * - denotes 2010 prospect.

This page was last updated April 24, 2009.

2014 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | 3-4 DE | NT | 3-4 OLB | 4-3 OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2015 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2016 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

  1. Aaron Curry, Wake Forest
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 254.
    Projected Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.56.
    Benchx225: 25. Vertical: 37.
    Projected Round: Top 5 Pick.

    Also listed in the outside linebacker section.

    2/24/09: Aaron Curry ran a 4.56, and also had a 37-inch vertical and a 10-4 broad jump. He was very fluid in all the drills. The Chiefs are going to have a tough choice at No. 3 between Curry and Mark Sanchez.

    1/10/09: Emerged as the top linebacker in this class. Aaron Curry will be best at strongside linebacker in the 4-3 or inside linebacker in the 3-4, making him a perfect candidate for the Browns at No. 5, unless Aaron Maybin declares.

    12/6/08: A member of the 2008 All-ACC First Team, Aaron Curry collected 101 tackles, 15 TFL and 2.5 sacks as a senior. He's easily the top-rated outside linebacker in this class, and there's a very good chance he'll crack the top 15.

    5/16/08: Aaron Curry had a monstrous 2007 campaign, registering 99 tackles, 13.5 tackles for losses, four picks and three touchdowns.

  2. Rey Maualuga, USC
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 249.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.83*.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.70.
    Benchx225: 23. Vertical: .
    Projected Round (2009): Top 25 Pick.

    2/24/09: Pay no attention to that 40; Rey Maualuga tweaked a hamstring during the run and had to sit out the rest of the 2009 NFL Combine.

    1/10/09: A member of the AP All-America First Team, Rey Maualuga finished the season with 79 tackles, 2.5 TFL and four passes broken up.

    12/7/08: The top pure 3-4 inside linebacker in this class, Rey Maualuga qualified for the All-America First Team. Through 10 games, he has 68 tackles, 2.5 TFL and two picks (one returned for a touchdown).

    5/11/08: Rey Maualuga put up solid numbers in 2007 despite going through some nagging injuries. Maualuga had 75 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and a fumble recovery.

    2007: Slated to be the next great linebacker at USC, Rey Maualuga has the size and speed of a top-15 prospect. Had 78 tackles, two sacks and one pick in 2006, qualifying for the All-Pac-10 First Team.

  3. James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 244.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.82.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.70.
    Benchx225: 22. Vertical: .
    Projected Round (2009): 2-3.

    2/24/09: Ouch. A 4.82? Looks like James Laurinaitis could be the next Big Ten linebacker to slip out of the first round (Paul Posluszny, Dan Connor).

    12/7/08: The top pure 4-3 inside linebacker in this class, James Laurinaitis has 121 tackles, 5.5 TFL and four sacks as a senior. He was a first-team All-American.

    5/11/08: James Laurinaitis probably would have been chosen seventh overall if he declared for the 2007 Draft. He has a shot to run a high 4.4 at the combine, which will blow everyone away.

    2007: James Laurinaitis had two key interceptions at Washington.

    Was the first sophomore to ever win the Nagurski Award (defensive player of the year). When looking at his production, it's not hard to figure out why. Laurinaitis recorded 115 tackles, five interceptions and four sacks in 2006.



  4. Darry Beckwith, LSU
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 242.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.77.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.63.
    Benchx225: 23. Vertical: 26.5.
    Projected Round (2009): 3.

    12/7/08: Darry Beckwith has missed some time with a knee injury. He has 48 tackles and a TFL.

    5/11/08: A play-maker who had 63 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a pick in 2007.

    2007: Darry Beckwith has announced that he'll be returning for his senior season.

    Beckwith could be one of the top outside linebackers in the 2009 class, so he should probably wait a year.

  5. Dannell Ellerbe, Georgia
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 236.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
    Combine 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: . Vertical: 35.
    Projected Round (2009): 3-4.

    1/10/09: Injuries have slowed down Dannell Ellerbe, who collected six TFL and a pair of sacks as a senior.

    12/7/08: A disappointing senior season, thanks to a knee injury. Dannell Ellerbe notched 29 tackles and five TFL.

    5/16/08: Dannell Ellerbe finished with 93 tackles and 12 tackles for loss in 2007.

    2007: Dannell Ellerbe, finally the full-time starter at Georgia, is a tackling machine; he led the team in stops the first two weeks of the 2007 campaign.





  6. Scott McKillop, Pittsburgh
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 244.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.79.
    Benchx225: 27. Vertical: 35.5.
    Projected Round (2009): 4-5.

    1/10/09: Amazingly, an AP All-America Second Team member. Scott McKillop registered 137 total tackles, 17.5 TFL, four sacks and four passes broken up.

    12/7/08: An extremely productive season for Scott McKillop - unless you're not impressed with 113 tackles, 14.5 TFL, four sacks, three passes broken up and a pick-six.

    5/11/08: Scott McKillop went from an unknown backup in 2006 to one of the premier linebackers in the nation. He had 151 tackles on the year, including the decisive stop against Steve Slaton in Pittsburgh's shocking victory over West Virginia.

  7. Daniel Holtzclaw, Eastern Michigan
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 245.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
    Projected Round (2009): 4-5.

    12/7/08: Don't blame Daniel Holtzclaw for Eastern Michigan's poor season. Holtzclaw, one of the more underrated players in the nation, notched 107 tackles and 4.5 TFL. He has started every game in his collegiate career.

    5/11/08: Daniel Holtzclaw finished his 2007 campaign with 125 tackles and two interceptions. He probably ranks as the top under-the-radar linebacker in this class.

    2007: Daniel Holtzclaw had 10 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in an upset over Western Michigan. Holtzclaw leads the MAC in tackles.

    Holtzclaw has bulked up from 230 to 245 pounds, and is now a first-day prospect.

    Holtzclaw has a habit of dominating the MAC; he won Player of the Week honors after notching 13 tackles and a pick against Northern Illinois. Needs to either bulk up or get quicker to move up this chart.

  8. Jason Phillips, TCU
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 239.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.69.
    Benchx225: 20. Vertical: .
    Projected Round (2009): 4-5.

    1/10/09: Finished with a whopping 13 TFL, as well as 84 tackles and 3.5 sacks.

    12/7/08: Selected to the All-Mountain West First Team once again, Jason Phillips tallied 79 tackles, 12 TFL and 3.5 sacks this year.

    2007: Jason Phillips led the Horned Frogs with 73 tackles, earning himself a spot on the All-Mountain West First Team.

  9. Jasper Brinkley, South Carolina
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 252.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.72.
    Benchx225: 26. Vertical: 35.5.
    Projected Round (2009): 4-5.

    1/10/09: Coming off a terrible knee injury, Jasper Brinkley regrouped and qualified for the All-SEC Second Team.

    12/7/08: Jasper Brinkley has 54 tackles, five TFL and 2.5 sacks... not bad for a guy coming off a nasty knee injury.

    5/11/08: Jasper Brinkley was a late first, early second-round prospect before suffering a nasty injury during the 2007 season. He has to prove himself all over again this year.

    2007: Jasper Brinkley is out for the year with a knee injury. He may apply for a medical redshirt and return to South Carolina in 2008.

    A member of the All-SEC First Team, Brinkley is a monstrous linebacker who will be able to play numerous positions on an NFL team because of his impressive size and speed. Brinkley and Vince Hall, the top inside linebackers of the 2008 class, will be hoping James Laurinaitis and Rey Maualuga stay in school.



  10. Anthony Felder, California
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.80.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.76.
    Benchx225: 28. Vertical: 36.
    Projected Round (2009): 5-6.

    12/6/08: Anthony Felder has continued to play well as a senior, recording 80 tackles and five TFL through 11 games.

    5/16/08: An honorable mention in the All-Pac-10 team, Anthony Felder recorded 99 tackles in 2007.

    2007: Anthony Felder, who saw action as a freshman, was responsible for 13 tackles and two sacks against Colorado State.

  11. Worrell Williams, California
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 240.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.84.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.75.
    Benchx225: 23. Vertical: 35.
    Projected Round (2009): 5-6.

    12/7/08: Worrell Williams is having an outstanding season and will be targeted by 3-4 defenses in April. Williams has 55 tackles, five TFL and six passes broken up.

    5/11/08: After playing the weakside position as a sophomore, Worrell Williams finally moved to the middle, where he had 98 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.

    2007: Didn't see much action as a sophomore, but Worrell Williams has worked his way into the lineup after working extremely hard this offseason.

  12. Antonio Appleby, Virginia
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 248.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Projected Round (2009): 5-6.

    12/7/08: Antonio Appleby missed a game and a half because of an ankle injury. He finished the season with 72 tackles and 7.5 TFL.

    2007: Antonio Appleby started every game last year at middle linebacker for Virginia. He recorded 68 tackles, good for second on the team.

  13. Stanley Arnoux, Wake Forest
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 232.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.61.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: 20. Vertical: 31.
    Projected Round (2009): 6.

    2/24/09: Who is this guy with the French last name? Stanley Arnoux really impressed with a 4.61 40. He also had a 10-1 broad jump.

  14. Brit Miller, Illinois
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 243.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.62.
    Benchx225: 24. Vertical: 29.
    Projected Round (2009): 6-7.

    4/2/09: Brit Miller compiled 132 tackles, 15.5 TFL and six sacks in 2008. His impressive Pro Day showing may get him drafted.

  15. Frantz Joseph, Florida Atlantic
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.83.
    Benchx225: 19. Vertical: 27.5.
    Projected Round (2009): 6-7.

    1/10/09: Given his stats (see below), it's no surprise that Frantz Joseph made the All-Sun Belt First Team.

    12/7/08: A transfer from Boston College, "Viva la" Frantz Joseph recorded 141 tackles and 9.5 TFL as a senior.

  16. Nick Reed, Oregon
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 245.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.71.
    Benchx225: 24. Vertical: 31.5.
    Projected Round (2009): 7.

    1/10/09: Played extremely well as a senior, earning himself a spot on the All-SEC Second Team. Dominic Douglas totaled 116 tackles and 5.5 TFL in 2008.

  17. Dominic Douglas, Mississippi State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.73.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    1/10/09: Played extremely well as a senior, earning himself a spot on the All-SEC Second Team. Dominic Douglas totaled 116 tackles and 5.5 TFL in 2008.

  18. Joey Hudson, Miami of Ohio
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    12/7/08: A member of the All-MAC First Team, Joey Hudson totaled 109 tackles and eight TFL.

    5/11/08: Joey Hudson had another solid year for Miami-Ohio but his weak triangle numbers and small size with restrict him to the later rounds.

    2007: As a sophomore, Joey Hudson led Miami of Ohio with 97 tackles and five interceptions. Hard to imagine any collegiate inside linebacker garnering five picks. A very gritty player with a win-first mentality.

  19. Josh Mauga, Nevada
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 246.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.61.
    Combine 40 Time: DNP.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.61.
    Benchx225: . Vertical: 32.5.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    1/10/09: Josh Mauga tore his chest and needs surgery prior to the combine. Terrible timing.

    12/7/08: Although he missed some time with a chest injury, Josh Mauga collected 7.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks and a pick-six as a senior.

    5/11/08: Despite playing just eight games as a junior, Josh Mauga recorded 82 tackles and three pass break-ups. He missed the other games because of a minor knee injury.

  20. Spencer Adkins, Miami
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.48.
    Benchx225: 30. Vertical: 36.5.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.





  21. Dave Philistin, Maryland
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 231.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    1/10/09: Dave Philistin had 94 tackles, five TFL and two sacks as a senior.

    5/11/08: Dave Philistin, who played the strongside linebacker position the past few seasons, will man the middle with Erin Henderson going off to the NFL. Philistin had 121 tackles in 2007.

  22. Michael Tauiliili, Duke
    Height: 5-10. Weight: 231.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.77.
    Benchx225: 20. Vertical: 29.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    12/6/08: A member of the All-ACC First Team, and a major reason why Duke was competitive this year, Michael Tauiliili notched 140 tackles, 13 TFL and five pass break-ups.

    5/16/08: Pleaded guilty to a DUI charge and assault in January. It's a shame to see Duke's rich football heritage get ruined.

    2007: Don't try to spell Michael Tauiliili - just know that he's an underrated linebacker with sound tackling ability. In fact, he's so underrated I failed to list him until a reader pointed him out to me. Unfortunately, he has an arrest on his record, so some GMs may stay away.

  23. Maurice Crum Jr., NotreDame
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.85.
    Benchx225: 18. Vertical: 28.5.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    1/10/09: Never living up to his own hype, Maurice Crum Jr. finished another disappointing campaign with 65 tackles, 5.5 TFL and three sacks.

    12/7/08: Maurice Crum Jr.'s numbers have taken a dive this year; he has 63 tackles, 4.5 TFL and two sacks.

    5/16/08: A two-time captain at Notre Dame, Maurice Crum Jr. had 84 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, two picks and three forced fumbles in 2007. Better yet, he has yet to miss a start in his collegiate career.

    2007: Maurice Crum played extremely well in a losing effort against Michigan State. He seemed to be in the right place on almost every single play.

    Crum has started every eligible game in his Notre Dame career. As a sophomore, he recorded 100 tackles, three sacks and a pick.

  24. Derek Nicholson, Florida State
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 234.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    12/7/08: Derek Nicholson has more than 25 consecutive starts. The significance behind this is that he had a torn ACL two years ago. Nicholson has 76 tackles and a whopping 15 TFL.

    5/11/08: Derek Nicholson tore his ACL in 2006, but bounced back with a strong 2007 campaign, recording 79 tackles.

  25. Ronnie Palmer, Arizona
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 245.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    12/7/08: Ronnie Palmer has 70 tackles on the year for Arizona.

    2007: A play-maker who has a habit of picking off passes. Really seems to care about winning, unlike a few other players on both the collegiate and professional levels.

  26. Pat Maynor, Stanford
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 225.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.81.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    12/7/08: Pat Maynor has 69 tackles, 8.5 TFL and four sacks as a senior. Unfortunately, the comment I made below still applies.

    5/11/08: The Jordan Dizon of the 2008 NFL Draft. He's small for a middle linebacker, so look for an inept GM like Matt Millen to draft him in the second round. Don't get me wrong though - Maynor is talented, but he needs to bulk up.

  27. Robert Henson, TCU
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 229.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    1/10/09: Robert Henson was academically ineligible for the team's winter practice game.

    12/7/08: As a senior, Robert Henson qualified for the All-Mountain West First Team. Henson has 73 tackles, nine TFL and two picks.

    5/16/08: An honorable mention for the All-Mountain West team, Robert Henson collected 62 tackles in 2007.

    2007: Finished third on the team in tackles with 64 as a sophomore.

  28. Chase Bullock, Maryland
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.59.
    Benchx225: 26. Vertical: 34.
    Projected Round (2009): FA.



  29. Greg Trent, Washington State
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 229.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
    Projected Round (2009): FA.

    1/10/09: Made the All-Pac 10 honorable mention despite being on miserable Washington State.

    12/7/08: Still hasn't bulked up. Greg Trent has 88 tackles and 10.5 TFL as a senior for miserable Washington State.

    5/11/08: Pretty small for a middle linebacker. That said, Greg Trent definitely makes an impact on the field. He had 89 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and four sacks.

  30. Mike Rivera, Kansas
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 252.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
    Projected Round (2009): FA.

    1/10/09: Mike Rivera collected 93 tackles, eight TFL, two sacks, four passes broken up and four forced fumbles as a senior.

    5/11/08: Mike Rivera always seems to be in the right place at the right time. It seemed like every time Kansas' defense caused a turnover, he was right there as a major factor.

    2007: Started every game for Kansas as a sophomore and collected a team-leading 90 tackles.

  31. Jon Copper, Virginia
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 232.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
    Projected Round (2009): FA.

    12/7/08: Jon Copper has tallied 101 tackles and 5.5 TFL as a senior.

    5/11/08: A former walk-on, Jon Copper made at least seven tackles in every game.

  32. Rashad Bobino, Texas
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Projected Round (2009): FA.

    12/6/08: Benched in 2008.

    2007: Rashard Bobino started every game at middle linebacker in 2006. Had 74 tackles and 2.5 sacks last year.

  33. Brett Warren, Virginia Tech -
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 236. Projected 40 Time: 4.77. Projected Round (2009): FA.
  34. Joe Mortensen, Kansas -
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 250. Projected 40 Time: 4.81. Projected Round (2009): FA.
  35. Brock Christopher, Missouri -
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 240. Projected 40 Time: 4.80. Projected Round (2009): FA.
  36. Adam Vincent, UTEP -
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 245. Projected 40 Time: 4.80. Projected Round (2009): FA.

2009 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Picks

2010 NFL Mock Draft

2008 Inside Linebacker Rankings



2014 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | 3-4 DE | NT | 3-4 OLB | 4-3 OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2015 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2016 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P




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