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2011 NFL Draft: 3-4 Rush Linebacker Rankings


The top 2011 3-4 rush linebacker prospects available for the 2011 NFL Draft in the order in which I believe they will be drafted.

Combine 40 Times: As I explained on Twitter (@walterfootball), the official Combine 40 times are incorrect, and they've been proven false via the NFL Network's simul-cam.

For the 40 times, I use the NFL Network's unofficial times, which are more accurate. NFL teams use their own timed 40s anyway, so the official 40s are meaningless.

This page was last updated April 16, 2011.

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. Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M - Scouting Report
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 246.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.46.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.49.
    Benchx225: 21. Vertical: 37. Arm: 33 1/2.
    Projected Round (2011): Top 5 Pick.

    3/10/11: Von Miller's "official" 40 time at the Combine was 4.53. He went 4.49 at his Pro Day, solidifying his top-five status.

    3/1/11: Von Miller is a stud. He ran a 4.46 40 and notched a 37-inch vertical at 6-3, 246. Miller also thrived in the drills; as Warren Sapp watched Miller dropping into coverage, he remarked, "You're either born with that, or you're not." Miller won't fall past the Cardinals at No. 5.

    1/30/11: Looks like Adam Schefter was right on the money when he tweeted that Von Miller would be a top-five pick this April. Miller was the best player on the field in the Senior Bowl. He completely disrupted the North team's offense, even collecting a sack out of the defensive end position. It's hard to imagine the Cardinals passing on him (though the Bills may take him at No. 3).

    10/8/10: Miller has been battling an injured ankle all season and that's why he hasn't lived up to his preseason billing. However, despite not playing very well, we know he's hurt and this shows how tough he is. Playing through pain is something you will have to do in the NFL and Miller isn't a pansy - we know this now. Once he's healthy, then we can start to fairly evaluate his game.

    5/7/10: Had an amazing 21.5 TFL and 16.5 sacks in 2009. Also broke up five passes. Von Miller even beat Russell Okung a few times in their epic matchup.

    11/20/09: Compares to Elvis Dumervil; undersized but makes up for it with relentless pass rushing. Von Miller has 18.5 TFL and 15 sacks as a junior, beating Russell Okung on a few occasions. Any 3-4 team would love to have him.

  2. Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina - Scouting Report
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 265.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.67.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.58.
    Benchx225: 24. Vertical: 34. Arm: 34.
    Projected Round (2011): Top 10 Pick.

    4/1/11: Robert Quinn had a phenomenal workout at North Carolina's Pro Day. He ran a 4.58 40 and looked great in the drills. Mike Mayock, Michael Lombardi and Steve Wyche all agreed that Quinn will be a top-10 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Mayock also said that Quinn can't pass drop, but quickly added that DeMarcus Ware couldn't pass drop either coming out of Troy. "Robert Quinn at age 20 has untapped potential," Mayock said. "Gun to the head today, I'm taking Quinn over Da'Quan Bowers."

    3/1/11: The way Mike Mayock was ranting and raving about Robert Quinn, I was expecting the North Carolina pass rusher to turn Pepsi into Pepsi Throwback at the Combine. Unfortunately, Quinn ran a 4.67 40 and notched a 34-inch vertical. Those aren't terrible numbers by any means, but Quinn failed to match Mayock's expected 4.55. Prior to Monday's workout, Mayock speculated that Quinn could contend for the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Not so much now.

    10/8/10: Quinn is still out indefinitely with an NCAA eligibility issue. There is no denying Quinn's elite talent. He's a flexible, coordinated athlete with a tremendous first step and speed off the edge. We're hoping Quinn plays the second half of the season for the Tar Heels.

    5/5/10: Currently the No. 1 pick in Matt McGuire's 2011 NFL Mock Draft, Robert Quinn had 19 TFL and 11 sacks as a mere sophomore in 2009.

  3. Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri - Scouting Report
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 263.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.74.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: 20. Vertical: 34. Arm: 35 3/8.
    Projected Round (2011): Top 15 Pick.

    3/18/11: After a mediocre Combine, Aldon Smith really shined at his Pro Day. Gil Brandt described Smith during the drills as a "racehorse."

    5/5/10: Aldon Smith managed 19 TFL and 11.5 sacks as a freshman in 2009. Smith and Nick Perry will be in the top 10-15 of my 2012 NFL Mock Draft, coming this summer.



  4. Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia - Scouting Report
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 267.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.63.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.57.
    Benchx225: 30. Vertical: 36.5. Arm: 34 1/2.
    Projected Round (2011): Top 20 Pick.

    3/23/11: Justin Houston shed three pounds for his Pro Day and ran a 4.57 40, including 1.62 in the 10-yard split. Considering how valued pass-rushers are, it'll be a major upset if Houston falls out of the first round.

    3/1/11: Two arrows for Justin Houston? I'll explain. Houston bulked up to 6-3, 270 this weekend, but didn't lose any of his speed; he ran a 4.63 40 and also notched a 36.5-inch vertical. That's the reason for the up arrow. The down arrow is for his scheme versatility. After watching him perform in the drills, I'd be very uncomfortable having him in a 3-4. While he's improved his status for 4-3 teams, he also may have deterred some franchises that run the 3-4.

    10/8/10: Houston is a quick-twitch athlete with good instincts and a nice motor. He needs to show more polish, consistency and a better repertoire of pass rush moves, but he's had a solid season for the Bulldogs and he should get better as the season goes along.

  5. Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA - Scouting Report
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 254.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.80.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.68.
    Benchx225: 18. Vertical: 31. Arm: 33.
    Projected Round (2011): 1-2.

    3/30/11: Akeem Ayers really needed to improve his 40 at UCLA's Pro Day after an ugly showing at the Combine. Mission accomplished. Ayers also looked good in the drills. The consensus on the NFL Network is that rushing the passer is Ayers' top attribute, so he'll probably be chosen by a 3-4 team.

    10/8/10: I loved Ayers' game tape against Texas. He can drop in coverage, play the run, and really compete on the field. There is no denying his talent level, but when I watched his game against Washington State he was a little invisible and didn't make his presence felt enough. As a pass-rusher, he is a little overrated - I just haven't seen it yet, but some coach will believe he can be taught.

    5/7/10: Akeem Ayers had 12.5 TFL and five sacks as a mere sophomore.

  6. Brooks Reed, DE/OLB, Arizona - Scouting Report
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 263.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.79.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.66.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: 30. Vertical: 30.5. Arm: 32 1/4.
    Projected Round (2011): 1-2.

    3/15/11: Brooks Reed had the fastest 10-yard split at the Combine out of all the defensive linemen. His 1.54 was only 0.05 slower than Clay Matthews' amazing time.

    1/30/11: Along with Sam Acho and Phil Taylor, Brooks Reed helped the South destroy the North's offensive line. Reed embarrassed Anthony Castonzo in the second quarter. Like Acho, Brooks had a sack and two TFLs.

    1/28/11: I thought Brooks Reed looked very good in the drills during the South Team practice. You have to love his non-stop motor.

    10/8/10: I like his hustle and instincts, but he's a mediocre talent who looks like a rotational player at the next level.

  7. Jabaal Sheard, DE/OLB, Pittsburgh
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 264.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.66.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: . Vertical: 31. Arm: 33 1/2.
    Projected Round (2011): 2.

    3/17/11: Jabaal Sheard had a pretty average Pro Day. He stood on his Combine numbers and looked mediocre in the drills. He's a Day 2 prospect with some character concerns.

    10/8/10: When Sheard brings his "A" game you see a second-round pick. However, I have seen too much bad tape to really be high on him. He isn't consistently tough and I don't always see an effective pass-rusher. Maybe he will pick up his game as the year goes along, but for the moment his play warrants his draft projection.

    5/5/10: With Greg Romeus drawing touble teams, Jabaal Sheard was able to garner 10.5 TFL and five sacks in 2009.

  8. Sam Acho, DE/OLB, Texas
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 262.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.63.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: 23. Vertical: 33.5. Arm: 33.5.
    Projected Round (2011): 2-3.

    3/30/11: Sam Acho stood on everything from the Combine. He had a good workout afterward, but Charley Casserly said that Acho is a fourth-round prospect on Path to the Draft. Considering how valued pass-rushers are, I can't agree.

    1/30/11: Sam Acho had a sack in the Senior Bowl, beating the heralded Nate Solder. He also notched two TFLs and a forced fumble. Acho, who has great quickness, really benefited from this performance because this draft class is really lacking in 3-4 pass rushers once you get past the elite guys and Justin Houston.

    10/8/10: He puts up the stats, but on tape Acho gets a lot of his sacks and tackles off stunts and missed blocking assignments. He has some talent and physical skill, but he's a bit finesse and technically raw.

    5/5/10: Sam Acho had a great first season of high productivity, generating 13 TFL and seven sacks as a junior.

  9. Chris Carter, DE/OLB, Fresno State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 248.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.66.
    Pro Day 40 Time: .
    Benchx225: . Vertical: 36. Arm: 33.
    Projected Round (2011): 2-3.

    3/15/11: Chris Carter had 16 TFL and 10 sacks in 2010. His 1.59 10-yard split at the Combine was pretty impressive.

    5/7/10: Another very small rush linebacker, Chris Carter accumulated 13 TFL and five sacks as a junior.

  10. Dontay Moch, DE/OLB, Nevada
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 248.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.42.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.45.
    Pro Day 40 Time: DNP.
    Benchx225: . Vertical: 42. Arm: 33.
    Projected Round (2011): 3-4.

    3/23/11: Dontay Moch didn't have a very good Pro Day. He didn't bomb it or anything, but he reportedly was just pretty average in the drills. Moch, who stood on his Combine 40, worked out with the Patriots.

    3/1/11: Dontay Moch was supposed to blow up the Combine, but his 4.45 40 is the fastest for any linebacker at the Combine in at least a decade. He also tied the Combine record for a vertical leap by a linebacker (42 inches). Moch is very raw, but obviously presents a ton of upside.

    10/8/10: Moch had a lot of hype entering the season with his elite speed and athleticism, but he really has no clue how to play football, and on tape he reminded me of Vernon Gholston. He has absolutely no instincts and is very soft. He is the definition of a workout warrior. I'm not sold on him as an 3-4 rush linebacker either because he his instincts really hurt him and all he can do is use his first step and speed rush.

    5/7/10: Dontay Moch qualified for the All-WAC First Team with a whopping 20 TFL and 6.5 sacks in 2009.

  11. Jeremy Beal, DE/OLB, Oklahoma - Scouting Report
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 262.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.76.
    Combine 40 Time: 5.13.
    Pro Day 40 Time: .
    Benchx225: 21. Vertical: 28.5. Arm: 33.
    Projected Round (2011): 3-5.

    3/1/11: After a horrific showing at the Senior Bowl, Jeremy Beal needed a strong Combine. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Beal ran a dreadful 5.13 40 and was sluggish in the drills. He is looking like a late-round pick at best right now.

    1/27/11: Another poor day for Jeremy Beal. He didn't look right standing up and has been ineffective in the one-on-one drills all week.

    1/26/11: Jeremy Beal had no answer for Gabe Carimi in their one-on-one matchup. Several scouts were down on Beal going into the Senior Bowl, and the Oklahoma pass-rusher is not off to a good start.

    10/8/10: Beal is on a mission. He is showing good speed off the edge, and I love his second effort as a pass rusher. His stock is on the rise - he has 8.5 TFL, six sacks, and three forced fumbles through four games this season and is looking like a marginal first-rounder.

    5/5/10: Finished his junior season with 19 TFL and 11 sacks. A 4-3 right end.





  12. Ugo Chinasa, DE/OLB, Oklahoma State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 263.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.67.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.65.
    Benchx225: . Vertical: 28. Arm: 36.
    Projected Round (2011): 4-6.

    3/1/11: I liked what I saw out of Ugo Chinasa at the Combine. In addition to running a 4.67 40 at 6-5, 264, Chinasa looked really fluid in all of the drills. He's a mid-round sleeper.

    10/8/10: : Jones looks like he is having his breakout season for the Longhorns out of the shadow of Sergio Kindle. Though he has great athleticism and flexibility, his instincts are questionable.

  13. Rick Elmore, DE/OLB, Arizona
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 256.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.91.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.83.
    Benchx225: . Vertical: 34.5. Arm: 31.
    Projected Round (2011): 4-6.

    3/13/11: Ricky Elmore worked out with the Jaguars during his Pro Day. He improved his 40 time and vertical (31.5) from the Combine.

  14. Bruce Miller, DE/OLB, Central Florida
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 248.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.82.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.65.
    Benchx225: 35. Vertical: 33.5. Arm: 30 3/4.
    Projected Round (2011): 4-6.

    3/25/11: Bruce Miller ran a great 40 at his Pro Day. He also improved on his vertical by 2.5 inches.

    10/8/10: Miller lacks the athleticism and talent to go much higher than this. He is a very good college player, but he doesn't translate to the NFL very well.

    5/7/10: A terrifying pass-rusher, Bruce Miller collected 17 TFL and 12 sacks in 2009.

  15. Thomas Keiser, DE/OLB, Stanford
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 252.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Combine 40 Time: .
    Pro Day 40 Time: .
    Benchx225: . Vertical: . Arm: .
    Projected Round (2011): 4-6.



  16. Cheta Ozougwu, DE/OLB, Rice
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 247.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Combine 40 Time: 4.86.
    Pro Day 40 Time: .
    Benchx225: . Vertical: 34.5. Arm: 31.
    Projected Round (2011): 4-6.

    5/5/10: Managed just 2.5 TFL and one sack in 2009.

    8/8/09: Couldn't get a sack as a sophomore, but managed four TFL.



  17. Steven Friday, DE/OLB, Virginia Tech
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 252.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.66.
    Combine 40 Time: .
    Pro Day 40 Time: .
    Benchx225: . Vertical: . Arm: .
    Projected Round (2011): 5-7.

    10/8/10: Friday is a little bit of a sleeper. He has a terrific burst off the edge and nice speed, and shows the ability to dip and rip. He can drop in coverage and shows good range. Friday has 21 tackles, 7.5 TFL, four sacks and two forced fumbles on the year.

  18. Eddie Jones, DE/OLB, Texas
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 260.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    Combine 40 Time: .
    Pro Day 40 Time: .
    Benchx225: . Vertical: . Arm: .
    Projected Round (2011): 5-7.

    10/8/10: : Jones looks like he is having his breakout season for the Longhorns out of the shadow of Sergio Kindle. Though he has great athleticism and flexibility, his instincts are questionable.

  19. Justin Trattou, DE/OLB, Florida
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
    Combine 40 Time: DNP.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.71.
    Benchx225: . Vertical: . Arm: .
    Projected Round (2011): 6-FA.

    3/16/11: Justin Trattou didn't run a great 40 at his Pro Day, but his 10-yard split of 1.64 is worth noting. Trattou had 10 TFL last year, but only 1.5 sack. He's a project.

  20. Wayne Daniels, DE/OLB, TCU
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 255.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Combine 40 Time: 5.12.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.96.
    Benchx225: . Vertical: 29. Arm: 33.
    Projected Round (2011): 6-FA.

    5/7/10: Wayne Daniels had nine TFL and 5.5 sacks while playing second fiddle to Jerry Hughes as a junior.

  21. Alex Albright, DE/OLB, Boston College
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 254.
    Projected 40 Time: N/A.
    Combine 40 Time: DNP.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.85.
    Benchx225: 22. Vertical: 36. Arm: 32 5/8.
    Projected Round (2011): 6-FA.

    4/7/11: Alex Albright ran a 4.85 at his Pro Day, but what stood out were his 10-yard split (1.60) and broad jump (10-4). Albright is a project with upside; he had 3.5 sacks in eight games in 2010.

  22. Brian Duncan, DE/OLB, Texas Tech
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 248.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Combine 40 Time: .
    Pro Day 40 Time: .
    Benchx225: . Vertical: . Arm: .
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

    1/26/11: Brian Duncan had 12 TFL and seven sacks in 2010.

  23. Rodney Gnat, DE/OLB, Louisville
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 2254.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Combine 40 Time: .
    Pro Day 40 Time: .
    Benchx225: . Vertical: . Arm: .
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

    10/8/10: Head Coach Charlie Strong seems to have had an effect on Gnat's play. He has already notched five sacks on the year.

  24. Kenny Rowe, DE/OLB, Oregon
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
    Combine 40 Time: DNP.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.86.
    Benchx225: 20. Vertical: 32.5. Arm: .
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

    3/11/11: You typically want to see explosion out of a pass-rushing linebacker. Kenny Rowe's 40 (4.86) and vertical (32.5) seem to indicate that he has no explosion.

    5/7/10: Kenny Rowe is a tremendous pass-rusher. He had 15 TFL and 11 sacks in 2009. He'll have to put on about 10 more pounds and maintain his speed, however.

  25. Rick Ricketts, DE/OLB, Air Force
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: N/A.
    Combine 40 Time: DNP.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 4.79.
    Benchx225: 18. Vertical: 39. Arm: .
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.



  26. Chris Walker, DE/OLB, Tennessee
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 232.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
    Combine 40 Time: .
    Pro Day 40 Time: .
    Benchx225: . Vertical: . Arm: .
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

    5/7/10: Chris Walker really needs to bulk up and increase production. He had 6.5 TFL and four sacks playing defensive end at 232 pounds for the Vols in 2009.

  27. Mudiaga Ohimor, DE/OLB, Holy Cross
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 244.
    Projected 40 Time: N/A.
    Combine 40 Time: DNP.
    Pro Day 40 Time: 5.00.
    Benchx225: 17. Vertical: 28. Arm: 31 1/2.
    Projected Round (2011): FA.





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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