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2012 NFL Draft: 3-4 Rush Linebacker Rankings


The top 2012 3-4 rush linebacker prospects available for the 2012 NFL Draft in the order in which I believe they will be drafted. * - denotes 2013 prospect. ** - denotes 2014 prospect.

This page was last updated May 25, 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

2016 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C |

  1. Donte Paige-Moss*, DE/OLB, North Carolina
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 242.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
    Projected Round (2012): Top 15 Pick.

    5/25/11: The athletic Donte Paige-Moss had 13.5 TFL and seven sacks as a sophomore in 2010. It's pretty nuts that North Carolina has two pass-rushers projected in the top 10 or 15 of the 2012 NFL Draft.

  2. Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 263.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2012): Top 25 Pick.

    5/25/11: Courtney Upshaw's forte is rushing the passer; he had 14.5 TFL and seven sacks last season. His best spot is at 3-4 rush linebacker, but he can pretty much play anywhere.

    8/10/10: Courtney Upshaw hasn't seen much action yet, but will be filling in for Rolando McClain in 2010.

  3. Brandon Jenkins*, DE/OLB, Florida State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.67.
    Projected Round (2012): Top 25 Pick.

    5/25/11: Brandon Jenkins put on about 10 pounds this season, but that didn't slow him down; he had 21.5 TFL and 13.5 sacks in 2010.

  4. Devin Taylor*, DE/OLB, South Carolina
    Height: 6-7. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
    Projected Round (2012): Top 25 Pick.

    5/25/11: Devin Taylor notched 13 TFL and 7.5 sacks in 2010. He also flashed his ability to play in coverage, breaking up eight passes.



  5. Brandon Lindsey, DE/OLB, Pittsburgh
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
    Projected Round (2012): 1-2.

    5/25/11: Brandon Lindsey is an explosive pass-rusher who will be a 3-4 rush linebacker. He had 18 TFL and 10 sacks in 2010.

  6. Shayne Skov*, DE/OLB, Stanford
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 243.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.61.
    Projected Round (2012): 2.

    5/25/11: Shayne Skov can play anywhere in a 3-4 defense, but he specializes in pass rushing. He had 10 TFL and seven sacks as a sophomore.

  7. Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 252.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.66.
    Projected Round (2012): 2.

    5/25/11: Vinny Curry had a monstrous junior campaign, tallying 18 TFL and 12 sacks in 2010.

  8. Bruce Irvin, DE/OLB, West Virginia
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
    Projected Round (2012): 2-3.

    5/25/11: Bruce Irvin needs to bulk up, but there's no denying his pass-rushing ability; he had 14 TFL and 14 sacks in 2010.

  9. Jerry Franklin, DE/OLB, Arkansas
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 245.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round (2012): 2-3.

    5/25/11: Jerry Franklin notched 13 TFL and 6.5 sacks in 2010. He was named to the All-SEC Second Team.

    5/9/10: Jerry Franklin had 54 tackles, five TFL and three passes broken up as a sophomore.



  10. Chase Thomas*, DE/OLB, Stanford
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 239.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
    Projected Round (2012): 3-4.

    5/25/11: Chase Thomas had 11 TFL and seven sacks as a mere sophomore in 2010.

  11. Nick Perry*, DE/OLB, USC
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
    Projected Round (2012): 3-4.

    5/25/11: Nick Perry struggled in 2010, registering just 7.5 TFL and four sacks. A lingering ankle injury may have been to blame.

    5/5/10: Probably won't declare as a redshirt sophomore, but worth noting because of his 10 TFL and nine sacks in his freshman campaign.

  12. Jacquies Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2012): 3-4.

    5/25/11: Jacquies Smith had 10 TFL and 5.5 sacks in 2010. Let's see how he does without Aldon Smith on the other side.

  13. Cordarro Law, DE/OLB, Southern Miss
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 254.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
    Projected Round (2012): 3-5.

    5/25/11: Cordarro Law had another quality season, notching 11.5 TFL and 5.5 sacks in 2010.

    8/4/10: Cordarro Law may sound like some stupid cop show, but opposing quarterbacks weren't laughing when Law notched 14.5 TFL and 7.5 sacks in 2009.

  14. Frank Alexander, DE/OLB, Oklahoma
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 251.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
    Projected Round (2012): 3-5.

    5/25/11: Frank Alexander really improved in 2010, collecting 13.5 TFL and 7.5 sacks.

    8/1/10: Frank Alexander had seven TFL and 1.5 sacks as a sophomore.



  15. Jack Crawford, DE/OLB, Penn State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 256.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.66.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    5/25/11: Missed some time in 2010 with a foot injury. Didn't have much explosion when he was on the field; had just 4.5 TFL and two sacks in 10 games.

    10/8/10: Crawford is an underachiever. He's not very physical or competitive and simply doesn't play up to his physical ability. To sum it up, he doesn't make enough plays.

    5/5/10: Notched 14.5 TFL and 5.5 sacks in his sophomore season at Penn State, allowing everyone to forget about Aaron Maybin.

  16. Adrian Robinson*, DE/OLB, Temple
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 248.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.61.
    Projected Round (2011): 4-6.

    5/25/11: As noted below, Adrian Robinson struggled in 2010, collecting just 4.5 TFL and 3.5 sacks.

    10/8/10: I was really excited to watch tape on Robinson starting the season, but he's too finesse and simply can't play the run at all. He hasn't done much as a pass-rusher either and doesn't bring much to the table other than a speed rush. He only has one sack on the season.

    5/7/10: A gifted pass-rusher, Adrian Robinson collected 14 TFL and 12 sacks for Temple as just a sophomore.

  17. Mychal Kendricks, DE/OLB, California
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 248.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.73.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    5/25/11: Mychal Kendricks had 14 TFL and 7.5 sacks in 2010. His experience in the 3-4 will help him.

  18. Johnathan Rainey, DE/OLB, New Mexico
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 249.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    5/25/11: Johnathan Rainey played in only six games last year because of a neck injury.

    8/4/10: A 3-4 only player, Johnathan Rainey notched 15.5 TFL and 9.5 sacks as a sophomore. He has two more years to get into the ideal 250-255 range.

  19. Darius Fleming, DE/OLB, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 247.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
    Projected Round (2010): 5-7.

    5/25/11: Darius Fleming had 10.5 TFL and 5.5 sacks, as well as four passes broken up in 2010.

    8/4/10: Darius Fleming had only three sacks as a sophomore, but also managed 12 TFL.

  20. Kentrell Lockett, DE/OLB, Ole Miss
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 241.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
    Arm: 34 1/4.
    Projected Round (2011): 5-7.

    3/23/11: Here's another reason to hate the NCAA - Kentrell Lockett didn't go to the Combine and declined to work out at his Pro Day because he's still waiting for the NCAA's decision to grant him another year of eligibility. A competent organization would have made up their minds already, but the NCAA is just taking its grand old time. Good job, scumbags.

    5/5/10: Notched nine TFL and four sacks in 2009.

    8/8/09: Kentrell Lockett had 12 TFL, but only 2.5 sacks in 2008. Not good for someone who seems like he'll be a situational 4-3 rusher at the next level.

  21. Kyle Wilber, DE/OLB, Wake Forest
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round (2010): 5-7.



  22. Darius Nall, DE/OLB, Central Florida
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 246.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.66.
    Projected Round (2010): 5-7.

    5/25/11: Had 9.5 TFL and 8.5 sacks in 2010.


  23. Dexter Heyman, DE/OLB, Louisville
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 238.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
    Projected Round (2010): 6-FA.

    8/4/10: The athletic Dexter Heyman will be counted on to rush the passer in 2010.

  24. Broderick Binns, DE/OLB, Iowa
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 261.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.73.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.

    5/25/11: Broderick Binns had just one TFL and no sacks in 2010.

    8/1/10: What's up with these Iowa defensive linemen getting arrested? Broderick Binns was recently charged with a DUI. It's a shame too because he had a solid sophomore year (9.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks).

  25. Audie Cole, DE/OLB, N.C. State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 240.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
    Projected Round (2010): 6-FA.



  26. Aston Whiteside, DE/OLB, Abilene Christian
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 255.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2010): 7-FA.

    8/4/10: Aston Whiteside had nine sacks as a freshman.

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

2016 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C |



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Andy 01-03-2014 11:41 pm xxx.xxx.xxx9.29 (total posts: 1)
2     3

That's an inlletigent answer to a difficult question xxx
Beatrice 01-03-2014 09:49 am xxx.xxx.xxx2.12 (total posts: 2)
2     2

I wasn't planning on updtaing the rookies because I put some of them into the overall rankings. But I put together an updated short list of DL, LB, and DB. I'll be getting these to Smitty soon.
friend 09-11-2013 07:48 am xxx.xxx.xxx.125 (total posts: 1)
4     3

Walt, some of your player rankings from older years seem to have been jacked up. Like your 2012 olb rankings have donate paige moss as your number 1 rated player and the date is may 25,2011. It seems like a problem on many different pages and years. I enjoy looking back at them and wanted to give you a heads up.
lax18 04-23-2013 10:31 pm xxx.xxx.xxx1.89 (total posts: 1)
7     7

quanterus smith is 6'5 250 and thats undersized?
Chase Thomas is a 4th rounder 03-02-2013 12:42 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.175 (total posts: 1)
8     7

I knew he would run a slow 40 because he looks very slow on tape. He should not be in the top 15 of this list.
Hello Guvna? 03-02-2013 09:32 am xxx.xxx.xxx6.85 (total posts: 1)
8     8

Where the hell is Corny Washington?
Mike 02-25-2013 05:50 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.218 (total posts: 1)
9     7

Washington 4.55 Walt better move him up that ranking board
Princeton 02-01-2013 03:06 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.125 (total posts: 1)
10     28

No Mike Catapano from Princeton? Had a solid Shrine performance.
napalmblitz 01-31-2013 02:13 am xxx.xxx.xxx.158 (total posts: 1)
12     44

@Walt (the post) Get a Life Dude! Your depressing
EXO47 01-27-2013 03:19 pm xxx.xxx.xxx5.46 (total posts: 1)
17     10

There's no way E.J. Manuel doesnt get drafted until the 3rd round..By the time the draft gets here Manuel will be projected to be a 1st round pick.

In such a weak QB draft class i can see the Chief's taking the leap and drafting Manuel with the first overall pick.

Who's better?...Nobody
Carrie 01-24-2013 11:38 am xxx.xxx.xxx1.28 (total posts: 2)
8     10

Just do me a favor and keep wirting such trenchant analyses, OK?
Marcelo 01-24-2013 11:38 am xxx.xxx.xxx1.28 (total posts: 2)
11     10

Victoria-How embarrassing! I'm sorry for canillg your fabric Ikea fabric. TO be honest I was on my laptop when watching that episode and didn't catch that it was from Ikea, I should have looked at the tv more closely before saying that to you. :)I've seen that tile in white too, but not on your blog so now I'm going to go search your archives for it!
Danice 01-22-2013 06:55 am xxx.xxx.xxx2.12 (total posts: 2)
8     10

That isnihgt would have saved us a lot of effort early on.
mike 01-07-2013 10:43 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.240 (total posts: 1)
14     12

where is Kapron Lewis Moore?
Joe 01-02-2013 11:21 pm xxx.xxx.xxx0.14 (total posts: 1)
59     17

I know this is the top 25 but people should really check out Jonas Celian. This kid dominated D2 football. Check out his kids stats and highlights.


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