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2009 NFL Draft:
Outside Linebacker Rankings


The top 2009 outside 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 |

  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 inside 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. Clay Matthews, USC
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 240.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.67.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.57.
    Benchx225: 23. Vertical: 35.
    Projected Round (2009): Top 25 Pick.

    2/24/09: Clay Matthews ran well at the 2009 NFL Combine, recording a 4.67. He also had a 35-inch vertical and a 10-1 broad jump. He may have pushed himself into the first round.

    1/10/09: A member of the All-Pac 10 Second Team, Clay Matthews (sounds like a guy on American Idol) managed 10.5 TFL, three sacks and six passes broken up.

    12/6/08: Finally given the chance, Clay Matthews has given a name for himself, collecting 49 tackles, nine TFL and three sacks. He also has a blocked kick.

  3. Brian Cushing, USC
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 243.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.79.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.68.
    Benchx225: 30. Vertical: 35.
    Projected Round (2009): 1-2.

    1/10/09: Voted to the AP All-America Second Team.

    12/6/08: In a solid senior season for USC, Brian Cushing has 38 tackles, nine TFL and 2.5 sacks going into the UCLA game. He's a late first-round, early second-round prospect.

    5/16/08: It seems like Brian Cushing can play any position. He was at strong safety and defensive end previously before moving to strongside linebacker in 2007. He was hindered by an injured ankle last year, so if he stays healthy he's bound to have an incredible 2008 campaign.

    2007: Brian Cushing injured his hamstring this spring. He should be fine for the season opener.

    Cushing, a member of the All-Pac-10 Second Team, has excellent quickness for his size. He collected 4.5 sacks in 2006. Should be able to play inside and outside.

  4. Clint Sintim, Virginia
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 253.
    Projected Projected 40 Time: 4.66.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.80.
    Benchx225: . Vertical: .
    Projected Round (2009): 2.

    12/6/08: Playing rush linebacker in the 3-4, Clint Sintim has been a pass-rushing machine, owning 12.5 TFL and 11 sacks in 10 games. He can also play strongside linebacker in the 4-3.

    5/16/08: Clint Sintim should be able to play strongside or middle linebacker at the next level. After struggling through injuries in 2006, Sintim had an outstanding junior campaign. One more great season, and we could be talking second round.



  5. Cody Brown, Connecticut
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 244.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.84.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.60.
    Benchx225: . Vertical: 36.5.
    Projected Round (2009): 2-3.

    12/6/08: Cody Brown put up great numbers as a senior - 12.5 TFL, nine sacks and eight passes broken up.

    5/16/08: A ton of bricks at linebacker (244 pounds) with a very nice 40 (4.65) to go along with his size. Cody Brown had 7.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss in 13 starts his junior year.

  6. Tyrone McKenzie, South Florida
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 243.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.80.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.78.
    Benchx225: 27. Vertical: 32.5.
    Projected Round (2009): 2-3.

    2/24/09: Not a good run for Tyrone McKenzie.

    1/10/09: Look for Tyrone McKenzie, an All-Big East first-teamer, in the Senior Bowl.

    12/6/08: A year after setting the school's all-time tackle record, Tyrone McKenzie had "only" 94 tackles and 11 TFL.

    5/16/08: Tyrone McKenzie set the all-time South Florida record in tackles last year with 121, though he had 129 as a sophomore at Iowa State.

    2007: A transfer from Iowa State, Tyrone McKenzie was a member of the All-Big XII second team in 2006.

  7. Marcus Freeman, Ohio State
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 239.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.74.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.51.
    Benchx225: 30. Vertical: 37.
    Projected Round (2009): 3.

    12/6/08: Voted to the All-Big Ten Second Team, Marcus Freeman finished the season with 76 tackles, nine TFL and 3.5 sacks.

    5/16/08: Marcus Freeman had 95 tackles and 9.5 tackles for loss in 2007. He's great against both the run and the pass. Should be able to play multiple linebacker positions in the pros.

    2007: Another top 2009 prospect who should wait a year.

  8. Gerald McRath, Southern Miss
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 228.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.61.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: 21. Vertical: .
    Projected Round (2009): 3-4.

    2/22/09: Gerald McRath put on a much-needed 11 pounds, weighing in at 231.

    1/5/08: Gerald McRath is probably the top weakside linebacker in this draft - only he's not a weakside linebacker. Confused? McRath plays middle linebacker at Southern Miss, but he's way too small to play that position in the NFL. Thus, he'll have to learn a new position, bulk up a bit and run a fast 40 at the Combine. That's a lot to ask. McRath may have been better served trying to fill out in his senior year, but if he takes care of business, he has nothing to worry about.

    5/16/08: If he declares early, Gerald McRath will be the top-rated weakside linebacker in this class. McRath, the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore, notched 139 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and three passes broken up.



  9. Zack Follett, California
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 238.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.75.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: 21. Vertical: 37.
    Projected Round (2009): 4-5.

    1/10/09: Voted to the All-Pac 10 First Team, Zack Follet collected 23 TFL, 10.5 sacks, four passes broken up and five forced fumbles.

    12/6/08: His production just keeps increasing. After 11 games, Zack Follett has 74 tackles, 17 TFL and 7.5 sacks. He has also forced three fumbles.

    5/16/08: A punishing tackler who has a knack for getting to the quarterback. Zack Follett had 6.5 sacks in 2007 after registering 5.5 the year before. Not bad for a linebacker.

    2007: Zack Follett had an impressive opening performance to his junior season, registering a sack, forced fumble and a touchdown against Tennessee.

  10. Jonathan Casillas, Wisconsin
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 228.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.51.
    Combine 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: 24. Vertical: .
    Projected Round (2009): 4-5.

    12/6/08: Credit Jonathan Casillas for putting on some much-needed weight this season. He collected 62 tackles and six TFL as a senior.

    2007: One of the fastest linebackers in this class, Jonathan Casillas always seems to make the right plays on defense. The question is whether or not he's too small to play in the NFL.

  11. Jason Williams, Western Illinois
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Projected Round (2009): 4-5.

    12/6/08: Just what we need - another Jason Williams to confuse us all. This one had 107 tackles, 16.5 TFL and eight sacks as a junior.



  12. Kaluka Maiava, USC
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 229.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.78.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.68.
    Benchx225: 30. Vertical: .
    Projected Round (2009): 4-5.

    1/10/09: The "other" USC linebacker, Kaluka Maiava qualified for the All-Pac 10 Second Team, thanks to 66 tackles, 7.5 TFL and five passes broken up.

  13. DeAndre Levy, Wisconsin
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 236.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
    Combine 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: 19. Vertical: .
    Projected Round (2009): 5-6.

    12/6/08: An All-Big Ten honorable mention, DeAndre Levy compiled 65 tackles, 7.5 TFL and three sacks as a senior.

    5/16/08: After struggling early in 2007 (and he'll be the first to tell you that), DeAndre Levy rebounded and finished the season on a strong note.

    2007: DeAndre Levy runs a decent 40, but he really struggled in a near loss to UNLV.

  14. Lee Robinson, Alcorn State
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 249.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.78.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.78.
    Benchx225: . Vertical: .
    Projected Round (2009): 6-7.

    1/10/09: An All-SWAC First Team qualifier, Lee Robinson compiled 111 tackles, 10.5 TFL and three picks in 2008.

    12/6/08: One of the top players in the SWAC who will hopefully get the chance to showcase himself at the Combine.

  15. Robert Francois, Boston College
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 244.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.59.
    Benchx225: 18. Vertical: 35.5.
    Projected Round (2009): 6-7.

    1/10/09: Robert Francois finished the year with 82 tackles, seven TFL and 1.5 sacks.

    12/6/08: Robert Francois has 66 tackles and six TFL as a senior.

  16. Anthony Heygood, Purdue
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 225.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.67.
    Benchx225: 18. Vertical: 33.5.
    Projected Round (2009): 6-7.

    12/6/08: Anthony Heygood wasn't as productive as a senior, but was still effective; Heygood had 114 tackles and six TFL.

    5/16/08: Though he's new to the linebacker position - he played running back and special teams prior to 2006 - Anthony Heygood is one of the premier weakside linebackers in the 2009 draft class. One of the top tacklers in the Big Ten last season, Heygood looks to become yet another great Purdue linebacker to transition into the NFL.

    2007: A tackling machine and a speedy linebacker, Anthony Heygood will skyrocket up this list if he runs a 4.4 at the Combine.



  17. Mortty Ivy, West Virginia
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 248.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.94.
    Benchx225: 18. Vertical: .
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    1/10/09: Thanks to 90 tackles and seven TFL, Mortty Ivy was voted to the All-Big East First Team.

    12/6/08: Morrty Ivy had to play some middle linebacker this season because of various injuries to the team. He finished with 79 tackles and three picks.

    5/16/08: A two-year starter going into his senior season, Mortty Ivy registered 89 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and six sacks in 2007.

  18. Solomon Elimimian, Hawaii
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 225.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    1/10/09: Solomon Elimimian was named WAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year. He managed 121 tackles, 10.5 TFL, four sacks and five passes broken up.

    12/6/08: Still a bit light in the pants, but Solomon Elimimian managed 9.5 TFL and three sacks through 12 games as a senior.

    5/16/08: A four-year starter, Solomon Elimimian had 132 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in 2007. That said, he needs to bulk up a bit to warrant being drafted in the first three rounds.

  19. Adam Leonard, Hawaii
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
    Projected Round (2009): 7.

    1/10/09: Finished with 88 tackles, nine TFL and 2.5 sacks. Member of the All-WAC First Team.

    12/6/08: Adam Leonard saw his tackle total frop from 105 to 75, though it should be noted that he missed a game with a hamstring injury. He also had 7.5 TFL. A member of the 2008 All-WAC First Team.

    5/16/08: A member of the All-WAC team, Adam Leonard collected 105 tackles in 2007.

  20. Tyrell Sales, Penn State
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 231.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.57.
    Benchx225: 22. Vertical: .
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    12/6/08: Though he had a bit of a disappointing season, Tyrell Sales was still an All-Big Ten honorable mention. He had 64 tackles and 2.5 TFL. Unfortunately, scouts and GMs won't forget his off-the-field incidents.

    5/16/08: I had Tyrell Sales as a third-round prospect before March. That month, he was arrested for disorderly conduct and criminal trespass. A year ago, he was also charged with the same things, though those charges were dropped. One is an accident, two is a trend...

    2007: Tyrell Sales, the "third" linebacker in a corps comprised of top prospects Dan Connor and Sean Lee, is definitely not a weak link on Penn State's defense. In fact, he's a major reason why the stop unit has surrendered only three points in the first two weeks. Sales took over for Connor as a freshman when the latter was suspended for making prank phone calls to former coaches.

  21. Corey Smith, Cincinnati
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 221.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.71.
    Benchx225: DNP. Vertical: 34.5.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    1/10/09: Corey Smith finished the year with 67 tackles, 10.5 TFL and two sacks.

    12/6/08: Pretty much an outside linebacker-safety tweener, Corey Smith has 55 tackles and eight TFL after 12 games as a senior.

  22. Braxton Kelley, Kentucky
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 227.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    12/6/08: Filling in for Wesley Woodyard, Braxton Kelley compiled 90 tackles, 6.5 TFL and three sacks as a senior.

    5/16/08: Braxton Kelley will be moving from the middle linebacker position to weakside linebacker. Probably a better fit for him.

    2007: Braxton Kelley started 10 games as a sophomore and finished with 82 tackles.

  23. Russell Allen, San Diego State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.63.
    Benchx225: 24. Vertical: 33.5.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    12/6/08: Russell Allen earned an All-Mountain West honorable mention thanks to 107 tackles and 9.5 TFL.

    5/11/08: If it seemed like Russell Allen was in on every San Diego State tackle last year, that's probably because he was. He even had 22 tackles in game. Poor Utah Utes.

    2007: As a sophomore, Russell Allen was San Diego State's leading tackler with 88.

  24. James Holt, Kansas
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 226.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.61.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    1/10/09: James Holt led the Big XII in TFL with 19.5. He finished the year with 105 tackles, 10 sacks and six forced fumbles.

  25. Jared Brock, West Texas A&M
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 228.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.83.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    1/10/09: Qualifying for the AP Little All-America First Team, Jared Brock collected 83 tackles and 14 TFL.

    12/6/08: Jared Brock put on some much-needed weight, but how will it affect his 40? We'll have to see. Something tells me he'll find his way on to an NFL roster.

    5/16/08: There's no question Jared Brock is talented, but where is he going to play? He's too small for a linebacker and he's a bit slow for a strong safety.

    2007: A very underrated linebacker, who had 119 tackles, four sacks and three forced fumbles as a sophomore.

  26. Steve Davis, Minnesota
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    12/6/08: A quick 40 may get Steve Davis drafted. Davis, who made a huge goal-line stand in the Illinois game, has 42 tackles, 6.5 tackles and two sacks this season.

    2007: The transition from defensive end to linebacker hasn't been easy for Steve Davis, who has struggled in the early stages of the 2007 season.

  27. Kevin Akins, Boston College
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 226.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    1/10/09: Kevin Akins stepped up in his senior year, managing 44 tackles, 5.5 TFL and 2.5 sacks.

    5/16/08: Somewhat small but very quick for a linebacker, Kevin Akins started four games in 2007 and accumulated four sacks and two picks.

  28. Brian Toal, Boston College
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 228.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.65.
    Benchx225: 15. Vertical: 37.5.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.

    1/10/09: Playing in only six games, the injury-prone Brian Toal had 42 tackles, four TFL and two sacks.

    12/6/08: Brian Toal, coming off a shoulder injury, played in only six games this season because of a broken fibula. He's just way too injury-prone to be drafted.

    5/16/08: It should be interesting to see how Brian Toal plays coming off shoulder surgery.

    2007: Had shoulder surgery this offseason, but hasn't recovered. Decided to red shirt this year.

  29. Brad Jones, Colorado
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 232.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.54.
    Benchx225: 19. Vertical: 33.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.



  30. Moise Fokou, Maryland
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 233.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.76.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: 21. Vertical: 33.
    Projected Round (2009): 7-FA.



  31. Cody Glenn, Nebraska
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Combine 40 Time: DNP.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.67.
    Benchx225: 25. Vertical: 38.5. Broad: .
    Projected Round (2009): FA.



  32. Slade Norris, Oregon State
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 232.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.65.
    Benchx225: . Vertical: . Broad: .
    Projected Round (2009): FA.

    12/6/08: At his size, nothing more than a situational pass rusher in the NFL. Slade Norris has a whopping 17 TFL and nine sacks to go along with his 52 tackles.

  33. Tom Korte, Hillsdale
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 236.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.78.
    Benchx225: 21. Vertical: 31.5.
    Projected Round (2009): FA.



  34. Jovan Belcher, Maine
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 243.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.83.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.88.
    Benchx225: 19. Vertical: 30.
    Projected Round (2009): FA.



  35. Morris Wooten, Arizona State
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 231.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.99.
    Benchx225: 15. Vertical: .
    Projected Round (2009): FA.



  36. Willie Williams, Union (KY)
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 232.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.47.
    Projected Round (2009): FA.

    1/10/09: This guy has played for four schools in his collegiate career. As a senior at Union, Willie Williams tallied 19.5 TFL and 11.5 sacks. There aren't many players on this list more talented than Williams, but every single linebacker listed is less of an off-the-field risk.

    2007: This guy isn't too bright. Already on thin ice, Willie Williams was arrested for marijuana possession. He was consequently kicked off the team.

    Has all the talent in the world, but his off-the-field antics are worse than Pac Man Jones' and Chris Henry's combined. Williams has been arrested 11 times on probation twice.

  37. Bryant Haines, Ball State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.73.
    Projected Round (2009): FA.

    12/6/08: Bryant Haines' numbers dropped off a bit - 75 tackles, 6.5 TFL and 2.5 sacks as a senior. A member of the All-MAC Third Team.

    5/16/08: A tackling machine (122 tackles, nine tackles for loss). His 40 needs to improve.

    2007: Bryant Haines is a great player for Ball State, but his 40 is really going to hurt him come Draft Day.

  38. Chris Evans, Auburn
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 224.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
    Projected Round (2009): FA.

    1/10/09: Finished the year with 59 tackles, 1.5 TFL and four passes broken up.

    12/6/08: A reserve linebacker at Auburn who has a shot to play special teams for some NFL squad.

  39. Trey Covington, Maryland -
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 242. Projected 40 Time: 4.69. Projected Round (2009): FA.
  40. Ashlee Palmer, Ole Miss -
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 223. Projected 40 Time: 4.57. Projected Round (2009): FA.
  41. Leon Freeman, Baylor -
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 240. Projected 40 Time: 4.63. Projected Round (2009): FA.

2009 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Picks

2010 NFL Mock Draft

2008 Outside 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 |




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