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2012 NFL Draft: Outside Linebacker Rankings


The top 2012 outside 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 27, 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. Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 225.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
    Projected Round (2012): Top 25 Pick.

    5/27/11: Zach Brown was under the radar going into the 2010 season, but really stood out once Quan Sturdivant went down with an injury. The unbelievably fast Brown had 72 tackles and three picks in 2010. He's currently the top projected 4-3 linebacker.

    8/6/10: Zach Brown had 47 tackles and four TFL as a sophomore.

  2. Travis Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma - Scouting Report
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 232.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
    Projected Round (2012): 1-2.

    5/27/11: Travis Lewis, once considered a potential top-20 prospect, admittedly had a disappointing 2010 campaign, which is a major reason why he returned to school. Lewis will need a strong senior season to move back into first-round consideration.

    10/9/10: Lewis is the crown jewel of the 4-3 outside linebacker class. He is a dominant force in his run support and range in coverage. He can play both the strongside and weakside, and this versatility certainly fuels his value. Lewis is a playmaker who will get drafted fairly high.

    1/8/10: Travis Lewis had 108 tackles and 9.5 TFL in 2009. Lewis has given no indication that he'll declare as a redshirt sophomore, but he'd probably be the top outside linebacker in the 2010 NFL Draft if he did.



  3. Nico Johnson*, OLB, Alabama
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 245.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Projected Round (2012): 2.

    5/27/11: Nico Johnson can play virtually every linebacker position in any scheme (except 3-4 rush linebacker). He recorded 33 tackles in 2010.

  4. Ronnell Lewis*, OLB, Oklahoma
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 240.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
    Projected Round (2012): 2-3.

    5/27/11: Ronnell Lewis notched 36 tackles, 4.5 TFL and three sacks in 2010.

  5. Sean Spence, OLB, Miami
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 225.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
    Projected Round (2012): 2-3.

    5/27/11: Sean Spence has bulked up from 212 to 225. He had a monstrous 2010 campaign, notching 111 tackles and 17 TFL.

    8/6/10: Sean Spence is skilled (36 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 3 sacks in 2009), but is vastly undersized. He should be great on special teams.



  6. Keenan Robinson, OLB, Texas
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 239.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Projected Round (2012): 3-4.

    5/27/11: Once again an All-Big XII honorable mention, Keenan Robinson had 106 tackles and 6.5 TFL in 2010.

    8/6/10: Keenan Robinson notched 63 tackles and four TFL as a sophomore, earning an All-Big 12 honorable mention.

  7. Terrell Manning*, OLB, N.C. State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 224.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
    Projected Round (2012): 3-4.

    5/27/11: Terrell Manning is entering his third year as a starter. He had 75 tackles and 10.5 TFL in 2010.

    8/6/10: Terrell Manning made an impact as a freshman for N.C. State, collecting 42 tackles and 2.5 TFL.

  8. Emmanuel Acho, OLB, Texas
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 240.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
    Projected Round (2012): 3-5.

    5/27/11: Emmanuel Acho battled through a nagging sprained knee in 2010, but was still able to record 81 tackles and 10.5 TFL.

    8/6/10: Emmanuel Acho is the brother of Sam Acho, wearing the reverse number (18) of his brother (81). Emmanuel had 45 tackles, 9.5 TFL and two sacks in 2009.

  9. Nigel Bradham, OLB, Florida State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 241.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
    Projected Round (2012): 3-5.

    5/27/11: Nigel Bradham had 97 tackles, five sacks and five passes broken up in 2010. He's a potential Day 2 prospect.

    10/9/10: Bradham is a very talented player, but his instincts are sub-par at this point and he's been too inconsistent.

    5/9/10: Nigel Bradham notched 93 tackles, 5.5 TFL and two sacks as a mere sophomore in 2009.

  10. Bobby Wagner, OLB, Utah State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.67.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    5/27/11: Bobby Wagner bulked up from 217 to 230. He collected 133 tackles and eight TFL in 2010.

    8/6/10: Another undersized linebacker, Bobby Wagner had 114 tackles and seven TFL as a sophomore.

  11. Danny Trevathan, OLB, Kentucky
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 225.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    5/27/11: Danny Trevathan is small, but makes up for it with great speed. He had an SEC-leading 144 tackles in 2010. He also notched 16 TFL.

    8/6/10: Danny Trevathan notched a whopping 80 tackles and four TFL in 2009.

  12. Nathan Stupar, OLB, Penn State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 231.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.66.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    5/27/11: Nathan Stupar registered 73 tackles, 6.5 TFL and four passes broken up in 2010.

    8/6/10: Nephew of former Raiders quarterback Jeff Hostetler, Nathan Stupar had 31 tackles, 1.5 TFL and a sack as a sophomore.



  13. David Lavonte, OLB/SS, Nebraska
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 216.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Projected Round (2012): 5-7.

    5/27/11: Lavonte David had a whopping 152 tackles, 12.5 TFL and six sacks. He really needs to bulk up if he wants to play linebacker in the NFL.

  14. Tyler Nielsen, OLB, Iowa
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
    Projected Round (2012): 5-7.

    5/27/11: Tyler Nielsen played only eight games in 2010 because of a neck injury. He had 43 tackles in those contests.

  15. Andrew Sweat, OLB, Ohio State
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 238.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2012): 5-7.



  16. Jerrell Harris, OLB, Alabama
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 231.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.66.
    Projected Round (2012): 5-7.




  17. Ronnie Thornton, OLB, Southern Miss
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 225.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.66.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.

    8/6/10: Gotta love Ronnie Thornton's sophomore numbers - 110 tackles, 8.5 TFL and two sacks.

  18. Demario Davis, OLB, Arkansas State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 231.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.

    8/6/10: Demario Davis had a prolific sophomore campaign, registering 82 tackles, eight TFL, three sacks and a pick-six.

  19. Aaron Tevis, OLB, Boise State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 228.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.67.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.

    8/6/10: Aaron Tevis had a great sophomore year for Boise State, totaling 54 tackles, 6.5 TFL and three interceptions.

  20. Jordan Pendelton, OLB, BYU
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 228.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.

    5/27/11: Played in only six games in 2010 because of a leg injury.

    8/6/10: Jordan Pendleton had 51 tackles, six TFL and three sacks in 2009.


  21. Marcus Dowtin, OLB, Georgia
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 224.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
    Projected Round (2012): 7-FA.

    5/27/11: Marcus Dowtin won't be returning to Georgia next season. He's leaving the program after being charged with assault.

    8/6/10: Marcus Dowtin had a productive sophomore campaign, totaling 56 tackles, 6.5 TFL and two sacks.

  22. Dwayne Maddox, OLB, N.C. State
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 237.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
    Projected Round (2012): 7-FA.

    8/6/10: Dwayne Maddox collected 43 tackles and 3.5 TFL as a sophomore.

  23. Greg Williams, OLB, Pittsburgh
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 240.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2012): 7-FA.

    5/27/11: Had 63 tackles and 5.5 TFL in 2010.

    8/6/10: Cousin of Edgerrin James, Greg Williams notched 34 tackles and four TFL.

  24. Manny Abreu, OLB, Rutgers
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 245.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
    Projected Round (2012): 7-FA.

    8/6/10: Straight out of the Madden franchise mode name-creation machine, Manny Abreu had 18 tackles in eight games in 2009.

  25. Richard Samuel, OLB/RB, Georgia
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Projected Round (2012): 7-FA.

    5/27/11: Missed the entire 2010 season with a leg injury.

    8/6/10: Richard Samuel rushed for 395 yards on a 4.5 average in 2009, but will be switching to linebacker.



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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sean73 12-21-2011 06:54 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.100 (total posts: 2)
19     16

Giants should go linebacker in the first round.Either Ronnel lewis or Burfict.They should use multiple picks on linebacker.
Dr Sexytime 12-08-2011 10:38 pm xxx.xxx.xxx8.25 (total posts: 1)
19     27

If Spence bulks up could he play ILB like Vilma?
Ram Man 12-03-2011 02:53 pm xxx.xxx.xxx5.90 (total posts: 3)
29     24

You still haven't added Bruce Irvin to the list, Walt.

Projected 2nd Round by NFLDraftScout.com and 4th-rated OLB overall.

Canes Fan 11-21-2011 05:29 pm xxx.xxx.xxx3.38 (total posts: 1)
30     31

You're probably right about teams staying away from Sean Spence early due to his lack of size. But man, whoever ends up with him is going to get one HELL OF A football player
Vince 11-19-2011 11:14 pm xxx.xxx.xxx3.99 (total posts: 3)
24     17

So you do read the comment boards, then, Walter? Then how about paying actual attention to them and maybe list some players like Miles Burris. Through nine games, he's got 55 tackles, 15.5 for loss, plus 6 sacks. He's 6-3, 240, and runs around a 4.60 40. Sounds to me like a mid-rounder, although he plays for a non-AQ so he must suck, right?
Walter 11-18-2011 09:21 pm xxx.xxx.xxx4.88 (total posts: 2)
16     16

He's in the 3-4 OLB rankings.
Ram Mas 11-12-2011 10:05 pm xxx.xxx.xxx5.90 (total posts: 3)
16     19

I meant Bruce Irvin, lol.
Ram Mas 11-12-2011 10:04 pm xxx.xxx.xxx5.90 (total posts: 3)
18     19

Ever heard of Irvin Bruce???
Steffi 11-03-2011 01:02 am xxx.xxx.xxx.225 (total posts: 1)
20     20

I am forever inebdted to you for this information.
Jayson 09-22-2011 07:49 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.115 (total posts: 1)
19     19

I never noticed North Carolina was so good.
Vince 08-23-2011 02:41 pm xxx.xxx.xxx3.99 (total posts: 3)
37     22

This is getting ridiculous. Not only was Miles Burris not mentioned, but neither was Tank Carder from Texas Christian! I'm sorry if I keep bringing them up, but when are you going to mention them?? They're bigger AND faster than both Tevis and Pendleton, yet put up massively better numbers in the same conference! Same holds true for Davis, though in a much tougher conference! Pay some attention to the Mountain West, it's one of the better conferences in football. Utah, Boise State, Texas Christian, Air Force, San Diego State, BYU...
Gonzilla 06-29-2011 02:13 pm xxx.xxx.xxx3.99 (total posts: 3)
44     24

You've not listed San Diego State's Miles Burris on your rankings. He is entering his senior year, third as a starter, second as defensive captain.

Last year, he led the Aztecs with 80 tackles while also leading the Mountain West in both sacks (9.5) and TFL (20.0). He also forced four fumbles, good for 15th in the country. His sacks total placed 22nd in the country while his TFL total placed 11th.

He has been named a pre-season all-american and MWC First-Teamer, as well as being named to the MWC Defensive Player of the Year Watch List (he finished third in voting for the accolade last year).
hoodee 06-01-2011 02:34 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.160 (total posts: 3)
25     44

how does one play rb and olb unless they are donte-paige-moss-s-s-s-s-s-sf--d-fad--df-ds-df-sa-sfd-dds-a-dfsfd--dff-ds-fdfs-ds-fds-f-df?
KLL is so dum 06-01-2011 02:33 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.160 (total posts: 3)
24     27

Stats arent everything dum. Eespecily in college. god you are a dum i mean really like wtf dude serious.
Shutup. I meant Levonte David aint da best in da draft cuz he do ges god big tkles!
31 06-01-2011 02:14 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.160 (total posts: 3)
25     23

I find it funny that you deleted my comment, and then added Spence. Not only that, but you gave him a 2nd round grade.
#SWAG


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