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2012 NFL Draft: Inside Linebacker Rankings


The top 2012 inside linebacker prospects available for the 2012 NFL Draft in the order in which I believe they will be drafted. * - denotes 2013 prospect.

This page was last updated May 28, 2011. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

2013 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | OG | C | DE | DT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | NT | 4-3 OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

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

  1. Vontaze Burfict*, ILB, Arizona State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 245.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
    Projected Round (2012): Top 15 Pick.

    5/28/11: Vontaze Burfict is unbelievably talented; he had 90 tackles and 8.5 TFL in 2010. The only issue with him is that he's a personal foul machine, a la Nick Fairley.

    8/10/10: Vontaze Burfict had an incredible freshman year, registering 69 tackles, seven TFL, two sacks and five pass break-ups. He can play in any system.

  2. Luke Kuechly*, ILB, Boston College
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round (2012): Top 20 Pick.

    5/28/11: Luke Kuechly, a consensus All-America, is a terrific, instinctive tackler. He's not the athlete that Vontaze Burfict and Manti Te'o are, but he's a possible first-round prospect.

    8/10/10: As a mere freshman, Luke Kuechly had a whopping 158 tackles, 13 TFL and four pass break-ups.



  3. Manti Te'o*, ILB, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 245.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
    Projected Round (2012): Top 25 Pick.

    5/28/11: Manti Te'o headlines this very talented linebacker class along with Vontaze Burfict. He had 129 tackles and 8.5 TFL in 2010.

    8/10/10: Manti Te'o totaled 63 tackles and 5.5 TFL as a true freshman. A terrific athlete, Te'o is a great fit for any scheme.

  4. Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.85.
    Projected Round (2011): 2.

    5/28/11: Dont'a Hightower had a disappointing 2010 campaign, registering 69 tackles and 3.5 TFL. Fortunately, he says that he feels much better now that he's nearly two years removed from a nasty injury.

    10/9/10: Hightower is ridiculously overrated right now. I've seen a very slow, sluggish player on tape with no range (though this could be the result of his knee injury). He's always getting to the play late and delivering a big hit at an irrelevant time when he's the second or third player to the ball-carrier. I don't like his lethargic body language or jogging around on the field in the middle of the play. Buyer beware.

    5/12/10: Dont'a Hightower is a very talented linebacker, but played only four games in 2009 because of a knee injury that required surgery.

  5. Tank Carder, ILB, TCU
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 237.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
    Projected Round (2012): 2-3.

    5/28/11: Tank Carder, the unquestionable leader of TCU's defense, had 61 tackles and 9.5 TFL. He was an AP All-America second-teamer.

    8/10/10: Every linebacker should have a name like Tank Carder. Carder totaled 89 tackles, 10 TFL and 10 pass break-ups. He's a 4-3 prospect who would be great in any scheme.



  6. James-Michael Johnson, ILB, Nevada
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 240.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
    Projected Round (2012): 3-4.

    5/28/11: James-Michael Johnson totaled 88 tackles and eight TFL in 2010.

    8/10/10: James-Michael Johnson had just 58 tackles, but 11.5 of them were for loss. He also broke up five passes.

  7. Korey Williams, ILB, Southern Miss
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 243.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.66.
    Projected Round (2012): 3-4.

    5/28/11: Korey Williams bulked up from 234 to 243 in the past year. He had 92 tackles and 14.5 TFL in 2010.

    8/10/10: Korey Williams had a monstrous sophomore campaign, notching 119 tackles, 12 TFL, 8.5 sacks and four pass break-ups.

  8. Chris Marve, ILB, Vanderbilt
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 232.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
    Projected Round (2011): 3-4.

    5/28/11: Battled through a knee injury in 2010, but still recorded 80 tackles and eight TFL.

    10/9/10: Marve is a quick athlete who diagnoses and makes plays. He has shown the ability to cover tight ends in man coverage. He's battling a knee injury at the moment, but should return to his stellar play when healthy.

  9. Chris Galippo, USC
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    5/28/11: Had just 29 tackles in 2010. He lost his starting job at the beginning of the year.

    5/12/10: Once in the first round of my 2011 NFL Mock Draft, Chris Galippo really struggled in coverage as a sophomore. He's 3-4 only.

  10. D.J. Holt, ILB, California
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    5/28/11: D.J. Holt totaled 85 tackles and 5.5 TFL in 2010.

    8/10/10: Playing in California's 3-4, D.J. Holt had 36 tackles, three TFL and three pass break-ups in 2009.

  11. Carmen Messina, ILB, New Mexico
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 236.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    5/28/11: Carmen Messina bulked up from 222 to 236 this past year. He had 115 tackles and six TFL in 2010.

    8/10/10: A tackling machine, Carmen Messina had 163 tackles as a sophomore. He also had eight TFL and three sacks.



  12. Will Ebner, ILB, Missouri
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
    Projected Round (2012): 5-7.

    5/28/11: Missed some time with a neck injury. Had 47 tackles last season.

    8/10/10: Will Ebner tallied 78 tackles, nine TFL and three sacks in 2009.

  13. Adrien Cole, ILB, Louisiana Tech
    Height: 5-11. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
    Projected Round (2012): 5-7.

    5/28/11: A 3-4 inside linebacker, Adrien Cole had 80 tackles and 4.5 TFL last season.

    8/10/10: Adrien Cole tallied 93 tackles, four TFL and two sacks in 2009.

  14. Brandon Maye, ILB, Mississippi State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.67.
    Projected Round (2012): 5-7.

    5/28/11: Brandon Maye has transferred to Mississippi State via the graduate program/loophole. He had 44 tackles for Clemson in 2010.

    8/10/10: Brandon Maye had 95 tackles and seven TFL as a sophomore. He recorded eight tackles in Clemson's spring game.


  15. Barquell Rivers, ILB, Virginia Tech
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 237.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.67.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.

    5/28/11: Missed the 2010 season with a leg injury.

    8/10/10: Barquez Wilson had 96 tackles, 6.5 TFL and three pass break-ups as a sophomore.

  16. J.K. Schaffer, ILB, Cincinnati
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 225.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.61.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.



  17. Ronnie Sneed, ILB, Kentucky
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 233.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.



  18. Brian Hendricks, ILB, Wyoming
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 225.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.

    8/10/10: Brian Hendricks missed some time in 2009 with various leg injuries, but still totaled 116 tackles and five TFL.

  19. Steve Sloan, ILB, UCLA
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 228.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
    Projected Round (2012): 7-FA.





2013 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | OG | C | DE | DT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | NT | 4-3 OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

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



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Erik 01-07-2014 12:41 pm xxx.xxx.xxx3.63 (total posts: 1)
2     2

When you say BJ Daniels could be working out as an atehlte rather than a QB, what do you mean? Do you mean they may be trying to determine if he could play another position, so they are determining his athletic ability in that context?
Colton 04-25-2013 12:54 pm xxx.xxx.xxx51.2 (total posts: 3)
7     7

How about Matt Evans ILB tackling machine out of UNH undersized but worth the pick.
Colton 04-25-2013 12:54 pm xxx.xxx.xxx51.2 (total posts: 3)
5     7

How about Matt Evans ILB tackling machine out of UNH undersized but worth the pick.
Colton 04-25-2013 12:54 pm xxx.xxx.xxx51.2 (total posts: 3)
6     10

How about Matt Evans ILB tackling machine out of UNH undersized but worth the pick.
Vince 04-15-2013 10:56 pm xxx.xxx.xxx0.96 (total posts: 1)
10     27

Um... Arthur Brown?
Leon Hughes 04-13-2013 11:18 pm xxx.xxx.xxx4.50 (total posts: 1)
8     9

Better take another look at your ILB's Billy Boyko isn't a player you don't want tomiss out on.
uncle_chris 04-06-2013 11:05 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.214 (total posts: 1)
15     7

I agree about Will Compton.

I think after the top 5 ilb's, you could say the next 25 are soo close in ability.

I wached compton play. He is a solid ilb, directs traffic well, identifies offense schemes, and his speed is pretty good.

He ran a 4.54 40 on his pro day, which would put him in the top 5 of ilb speed.

I believe he will be looked at from enough teams to justify drafting him somewhere in the 5th - 7th. Only because enoughmultiple team interest will make someone nerveous to not let him go.



ggallier 03-31-2013 12:16 pm xxx.xxx.xxx7.87 (total posts: 1)
8     9

the Ravens have 3 sith round picks and 2 seventh round picks. I'd like to swee them trade all 5 of those picks for a2 4th rounders! Possible?
Al 03-20-2013 01:31 pm xxx.xxx.xxx2.75 (total posts: 1)
10     11

Hey Walt you think Jarvis Jones is falling,
you have Barrett Jones falling like a turd.
Joe 03-17-2013 04:28 am xxx.xxx.xxx.154 (total posts: 1)
21     14

What about Will Compton of Nebraska? I concede he is not super speedy, but he's not slow either. What is amazing about him is that he does not make mistakes--ever. A great tackler (never misses), incredibly smart, and ultra-reliable.
andrew 03-09-2013 10:35 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.203 (total posts: 1)
13     14

It crazy how biased you are with some players, you bash T'eo for his slow forty time and say it will hurt his stock, then display a man crush for Kevin Minter and use the word "fast" to describe him, then all you say is he had a disappointing 40.
Corey 03-09-2013 10:32 pm xxx.xxx.xxx2.30 (total posts: 1)
11     12

Ummmmmmm.... Bruce Taylor should al least be in the top 5 inside linebackers.
niamfan#1 03-06-2013 12:30 am xxx.xxx.xxx.108 (total posts: 4)
17     16

Once everybody sees Mike's skills at pro day and in Atlanta,teams will have to reevaluate their needs at ILB.The kid is a STUD!!!!!
Edward Niam 03-05-2013 08:21 am xxx.xxx.xxx.172 (total posts: 1)
20     23

If Mike Niam 45 Wofford had played on National Television every week he would be a first round pick. Mike will be an impact player on whatever NFL team he plays for.
FITNIRISH 03-04-2013 12:49 am xxx.xxx.xxx.108 (total posts: 4)
45     24

If Niam would of went to Notre Dame,Teo would not be in this years ILB conversation.Niams late Grandfather Eddy Niam was a scout for Ara.


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2015 NFL Mock Draft - April 17


2014 NFL Mock Draft - April 16


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2014 NBA Mock Draft - March 26


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