Re: the Niners having nothing at center, Daniel Kilgore was out most of the year recovering from an injury, but was very good pre-injury in 2014, and his return helped to stabilize the OL in 2015. He's not elite, but he's a solid starter. That said, both OG spots and one T spot are entirely up in the air.
My second Post-Super Bowl edition. Only one trade. I make picks using multiple big boards from different sites, and my own scouting. I try to fill needs as best as possible. This will change after the combine.
Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
Height: 6-3. Weight: 251. 40 Time: 4.65. Projected Round (2014): Top-10 pick. 5/5/14: It seems unlikely that Mack will get past the first three selections and could easily go second-overall behind Jadeveon Clowney. WalterFootball.com has heard that the Rams love Mack and he is a favorite for their pick at No. 2 if they are unable to trade down.
The fast and strong Mack is a downhill defender who makes lots of plays in the backfield. He is adept at shedding blocks with the speed and athleticism to be an edge rusher in the NFL. Mack could fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker. The explosive play-maker should develop into a double-digit sacker quickly after being drafted. It looks very unlikely that Mack will get beyond the sixth pick, and he could go as high as second overall.
The senior dominated Ohio State to open 2013. Mack had nine tackles with 2.5 sacks versus the Buckeyes, plus an interception that he returned 45 yards for a touchdown. Mack notched a sack, a pass batted and six tackles versus Western Michigan. Early in the season, he recorded eight tackles and a sack against Connecticut.
In the regular-season finale against Bowling Green, Mack had 12 tackles with 2.5 tackles for a loss. He exploded against Miami of Ohio for three forced fumbles, three sacks and eight tackles. Mack recorded 10 tackles, an interception and a sack taking on Kent State. He notched a sack, a pass batted, an interception and three tackles against Massachusetts.
Mack ended the year with a tally of 10.5 sacks, 100 tackles, five forced fumbles, seven passes broken up, three interceptions and 19 tackles for a loss.
8/14/13: There is a real buzz about Mack heading into the 2013 season and when one sees his production, it is easy to understand the genesis of the hype. The senior has 56 career tackles for a loss and has been a downhill play-maker for three years. He registered 94 tackles, 21 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, four forced fumbles, one blocked kick and two passes broken up last year. Mack totaled 65 tackles with 20.5 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, two passes batted and five forced fumbles in 2011. He had 68 tackles with 14.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, 10 passes batted and two forced fumbles as freshman.
Mack is fast, a hard hitter, instinctive and has excellent pursuit skills. He could use more strength to defend runs that come straight at him.
Mack decided to return for his senior season in order to complete his degree. For the NFL, he projects as 3-4 outside linebacker. His ability to drop into pass coverage will get a lot of scrutiny this season.
Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
Height: 6-5. Weight: 255. 40 Time: 4.66. Projected Round (2014): Top-16 Pick. 5/5/14: Sources told WalterFootball.com that they expect Barr to go in the teens and don't believe he'll end up being a top-10 pick. Barr had a slower than expected Combine 40 time, but bounced back at his pro day with a 40 time that was in the 4.4 to 4.5 range.
In 2013, Barr totaled 65 tackles with 20 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, five forced fumbles and a pass batted. He showed his amazing burst off the snap and pass-rushing ability with steady pressure all season.
In his penultimate game for the Bruins, he helped beat rival USC with five tackles, three tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and two sacks. Prior to that, Barr had seven tackles with a 2.5 tackles for a loss and a sack against Arizona State. His numbers were solid, but the Sun Devils did a pretty good job of keeping him from making game-changing plays.
Barr stepped up with a big game against Oregon, recording four tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. A week before taking on the Ducks, the senior had eight tackles with a tackle for a loss against Stanford. He recorded three tackles and sack versus California. Barr notched two sacks, five tackles and three tackles for a loss against Utah. He picked up three tackles and a sack versus New Mexico State in the contest before that. His performance against Nebraska was monstrous as he collected forced three fumbles, 11 tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss.
Barr's performances against Oregon and Stanford confirm his high draft grade. While Will Sutton won the conference defensive player of the year, Barr had the better season.
8/14/13: Barr may have done the most to help himself during the 2012 season of any player in college football. He went from being an obscure fullback who had a total of 12 receptions across two seasons into a potential high first-round pick as a pass-rushing outside linebacker. Barr owes Jim Mora, Jr. and his coaching staff a lot for making the position change.
Barr had a breakout 2012 season and was one of the nation's leader in sacks. The junior collected 13 sacks, 83 tackles, 21.5 tackles for a loss, five passes batted and four forced fumbles. His sack total was the second largest in the nation behind only Georgia's Jarvis Jones. Barr is a tremendous blitzer who would fit well in a NFL 3-4 defense.
Barr is explosive off the edge with fantastic closing speed. He also is a physical player who dishes out some punishing hits on the quarterback.
Barr was consistently good throughout last year, but he was utterly dominant to close out the regular season. Barr then made the smart decision to return to UCLA for the 2013 season. He can still use some developmental time and that further growth could easily push him into the top 10.
Personal: Son of Lori Barr and Tony Brooks. Tony Brooks played fullback at Notre Dame and was a fourth-round pick of the Eagles in the 1992 NFL Draft. Three of Anthony Barr's uncles played in the NFL.
Ryan Shazier*, OLB, Ohio State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 237. Projected 40 Time: 4.45. Projected Round (2014): 1. 5/5/14: Shazier looks like likely to go in the back half of the first round. He could go a lot higher than most are expecting. His stock is on the rise after he added weight to his frame while maintaining his superb speed. At his pro day, Shazier ran the 40-yard dash in the 4.4 range - some said he was in the 4.3s. It looks likely that Shazier will be selected in the back half of the first round.
In 2013, Shazier recorded 143 tackles with 22.5 tackles for a loss, four passes broken up, four forced fumbles and six sacks. He has good instincts and covers a lot of ground with explosive speed. Shazier needs to get stronger to shed blocks and hold up on runs coming straight at him.
The junior opened 2013 with seven tackles and a tackle for a loss versus Buffalo. He missed time with cramps and also was burned on a wheel route for a touchdown. Against Wisconsin and Northwestern, Shazier played well to help Ohio State stop those teams' ground-based offenses. He also had good performances against Illinois and Michigan.
8/14/13: Shazier had an excellent sophomore season in 2012 with 115 tackles, 17 tackles for a loss, one interception, 11 passes broken up, five sacks and three forced fumbles. He recorded 58 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles in 2011.
There is no doubt that Shazier is extremely fast and instinctive. He jumps off the screen when watching Ohio State and is constantly around the ball making plays. In a defense filled with good NFL talent like Bradley Roby, Johnathan Hankins, John Simon and C.J. Barnett, Shazier was may be the Buckeyes' most consistent defender.
It would be ideal if the junior could add 10-15 pounds before going pro. Shazier would be best off in the NFL as a Will (weakside) linebacker in a 4-3 defense. He could play on the inside of some 3-4 defenses.
Personal: Majoring in communications. Son of Shawn and Vernon Shazier.
C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama
Height: 6-2. Weight: 234. Projected 40 Time: 4.65. Projected Round (2014): 1-2. 5/5/14: As we outlined in the rumormill, Mosley's stock is on the decline with some teams. WalterFootball.com spoke with a playoff team in the 20s that is in the market for a linebacker; they like other linebackers more than Mosley. Another team told us that linebackers slide every year and that Mosley falling to the second round isn't out of the question, just like Manti Te'o in the 2013 NFL Draft. Teams have concerns about a knee injury with Mosley and are worried about him being the latest Alabama player to enter the NFL banged up. He is most likely to be a late first-round pick.
In 2013, Mosley totaled 102 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and five passes broken up. He played well against Oklahoma and had 14 tackles versus Auburn. The senior also got burned on some of the Tigers' misdirection read-option runs.
Mosley's best game of the season came against LSU. He was around the ball all night making tackles and having a physical presence. Mosley finished with 12 tackles, two passes broken up and 1.5 tackles for a loss, although he did drop an easy interception.
Mosley was solid in every game in 2013, including against Arkansas when he recorded 10 tackles. Mosley had a good outing versus Texas A&M with 12 tackles. He has showcased a well-rounded game with good run defense, pass coverage and blitzing ability.
8/14/13: Mosley played excellent football for Alabama last season. He led the team with 107 tackles. The junior also notched two interceptions, four sacks, eight tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and two passes broken up. One of his interceptions was returned 16 yards for a touchdown against Michigan.
Mosley has a real presence playing fast and physical football. Alabama's other defenders struggled against Texas A&M in 2012, but he was excellent, making 14 tackles and a sack.
NFL scouts will love Mosley's pass defense. He is a phenomenal defender in the passing game in man coverage, zone coverage and blitzing. Mosley is reliable in the ground game and he is a special player.
Mosley had an excellent debut in 2010. The freshman was third on Alabama's defense with 67 tackles. He also had 10 pass break-ups with two interceptions that were both returned for touchdowns.
Mosley split a starting role with linebacker Nico Johnson in 2011; Mosley was used more in pass defense. He also missed two games with a dislocated elbow, but ended up with 37 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks and an interception. Mosley was injured again in the national championship after he intercepted a pass from Jordan Jefferson. Mosley dislocated his hip on the tackle by Jefferson, but was fine for the start of the 2012 season.
Mosley has a lot of talent and figures to be very productive for Nick Saban in 2013. The senior is extremely fast and has good instincts.
Marcus Smith, DE/OLB, Louisville
Height: 6-3. Weight: 251. 40 Time: 4.68. Projected Round (2014): 1-3. 5/5/14: In a draft that lacks pass-rushing talent, Smith has had a late rise. Some feel he could go late in the first round.
The Cardinals had a tough defense in 2013, and Smith was the leader of the unit. He was the American Conference Defensive Player of the Year as he finished the season with 14.5 sacks for Louisville. Smith also had 42 tackles with 18.5 tackles for a loss, four forced fumbles and three passes broken up. The senior's sack total put him second in the nation behind only Stanford's Trent Murphy.
Smith had multi-sack games against Florida International, Rutgers, South Florida, Connecticut and Miami. He then held his own at the Senior Bowl and did well at the Combine. Smith's stock has been rising down the home stretch.
Smith collected four sacks and 5.5 sacks as a junior and sophomore, respectively. He played defensive end for the Cardinals, but in the NFL, he will have to move to outside linebacker. Smith would fit best as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.
Personal: Son of Elba Wilson and Marcus Smith. Administration major.
Dee Ford, OLB, Auburn
Height: 6-2. Weight: 243. Projected 40 Time: 4.60. Projected Round (2014): 1-3. 5/5/14: A medical issue kept Ford from working out at the Combine. Multiple teams have told WalterFootball.com that Ford has graded out as a late second-rounder. However, they could see a foolish team reaching for him at the end of the first round.
Ford was Auburn's best edge rusher in the Tigers' fast front seven. He ended 2013 with 29 tackles with 14.5 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Ford has excellent speed off the edge with moves to get away from blockers. In the National Championship, the senior dominated Florida State's right tackle. He missed the first two games of the season.
While Ford is very explosive off the edge, he isn't big enough to remain at defensive end in the NFL. Ford will have to move to outside linebacker. In a 4-3 defense, he would have to play as a linebacker who rushes off the edge in passing situations, similar to Von Miller in Denver. Ford projects best as an edge rusher for a 3-4 defense.
Behind Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Ford was the most impressive defensive prospect at the Senior Bowl. Ford had a great week and continued his tremendous play in the game. All week, he used his great get-off and quickness to burn edge blockers in one-on-ones. Ford has the agility to drop his hips and juke tackles to the inside. He also has enough upper body strength to help him break the grip of tackles' hands and uses his speed to close in an instant.
8/14/13: Ford plays defensive end for Auburn, but he'll have to move to outside linebacker in the NFL. Ford had six sacks with 34 tackles and a forced fumble in 2012. He missed the majority of the 2011 season with a back injury. Ford recorded 11 tackles and two sacks as a freshman.
Personal: Majoring in public administration. Son of James and Debbie Ford.
Jeremiah Attaochu, DE/OLB, Georgia Tech
Height: 6-3. Weight: 252. Projected 40 Time: 4.71. Projected Round (2014): 2-3. 4/12/14: Many project Attaochu to go early in the second round. The issue for him is scheme fit as he is a tweener for a 4-3 defense and is a better fit in a 3-4.
In 2013, Attaochu collected 45 tackles with 16 tackles for a loss, two passes batted and 12.5 sacks. He beat North Carolina left tackle James Hurst for one of those sacks. Attaochu had big games against Clemson and Georgia. He is a good speed rusher, but he'll most likely have to move to outside linebacker in the NFL. Attaochu played well at the Senior Bowl, but didn't work out at the Combine.
8/12/13: Attaochu is fast and is very athletic. He has some natural pass-rush ability as he enters his senior year with 19 career sacks. Attaochu is moving from outside linebacker to defensive end for 2013. He should gain weight for the NFL and looks like he would fit well as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Attaochu totaled 69 tackles, 10 sacks, 12 tackles for a loss, one pass broken up and one forced fumble last year. He had solid sophomore season with 59 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks, one interception, two passes broken up and two forced fumbles.
Personal: Majoring in science, technology and culture. Son of Paul and Comfort, originally from Nigeria.
Demarcus Lawrence*, OLB, Boise State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 251. 40 Time: 4.80. Projected Round (2014): 2-3. 5/5/14: Lawrence was moderately disappointing at the Combine, but he did add some weight to his frame. Some pundits feel that Lawrence should go early on the second day of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Lawrence was fairly quiet in the early going of 2013, but started to heat up late in September. He turned in a big game against Air Force with nine tackles and two tackles for a loss. Lawrence recorded sacks in six straight games - 3.5 sacks came against Nevada. The junior picked up 72 tackles, 20.5 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, one pass batted and three forced fumbles in 2013.
Lawrence needs to add more strength. He probably would have a better shot at going higher if he had returned for his senior year and gotten stronger.
8/14/13: Lawrence replaced Shea McClellin in the Boise State defense in 2012 and had a breakout sophomore season. Lawrence spent his freshman year in community college, but was an impact player for the Broncos in 2012. He showed nice pass-rush ability with 9.5 sacks. Lawrence also led the defensive line in tackles (48) and tackles for a loss (13.5). He chipped in four forced fumbles and an interception, too. Lawrence's year of experience could make him even better in 2013 - if he adds some more strength.
Trent Murphy, DE/OLB, Stanford
Height: 6-5. Weight: 250. 40 Time: 4.86. Projected Round (2014): 2-3. 5/5/14: Murphy has a well-rounded skill set as he is a good pass-rusher with quickness and strength. Murphy defends the run well and has good instincts. He also has the athletic ability to drop into pass coverage. Murphy looks like a great fit as a 3-4 OLB in the NFL. He would be drafted higher if he was faster and had more explosion off the snap.
Murphy had a mixed performance at the Senior Bowl and wasn't good enough to help his first-round prospects. At the Combine, Murphy confirmed that he is a second-day pick and not a first-rounder.
In 2013, Murphy totaled 15 sacks, 24.5 tackles for a loss, 62 tackles, six passes batted, one forced fumble and an interception returned 30 yards for a touchdown. He led the nation in sacks.
Murphy recorded two sacks of San Jose State quarterback David Fales in the 2013 season opener. Murphy had an interception returned for a 30-yard touchdown against Washington State. Versus Washington, he had two sacks and deflected a pass that was intercepted near the end zone late in the fourth quarter to protect Stanford's narrow win over the Huskies.
Murphy played well against Oregon and was an animal against Oregon State, totaling eight tackles, 2.5 sacks, two batted passes and 4.5 tackles for a loss. He came close to a number of other sacks and was living in the backfield all night. Murphy was held in check by Notre Dame left tackle Zack Martin, and totaled just two tackles and .5 tackles for a loss. While Stanford fell in a road upset to USC, Murphy was phenomenal for the Cardinal. He had eight tackles with four tackles for a loss and two sacks. Murphy had a quality game against Michigan State in the Rose Bowl.
8/12/13: Murphy was perhaps the best player on Stanford's tough defense in 2012. That is saying something with other good prospects like Ben Gardner, Henry Anderson, Ed Reynolds, Chase Thomas and Shayne Skov all being legitimate pro prospects.
Murphy is a physical force who beats linemen with power and technique. He also has speed to get by as an edge-rusher. Murphy totaled 56 tackles with 10 sacks, 18 tackles for a loss, four passes broken up, one interception and a forced fumble last season. He racked up 40 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks in 2011.
Murphy is a versatile player who has lined up in a variety of spots in Stanford's 3-4 defense.
Personal: Majoring in science, technology and society.
Kyle Van Noy, OLB/ILB, BYU
Height: 6-3. Weight: 244. 40 Time: 4.71. Projected Round (2014): 2-3. 5/5/14: Van Noy looks likely to go on the second day. He could be a late second-round pick or go in the third. Van Noy was solid at the Combine but was said to have impressed at this pro day.
Even though 2013 was a moderately disappointing season for BYU, Van Noy still made a lot of impact plays for the Cougars. He recorded 68 tackles with 17.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, seven passes batted and two interceptions. Teams also game planned for Van Noy to go away from him. He was solid at the Senior Bowl, but didn't do enough to help himself get back into first-round consideration.
Against Wisconsin, Van Noy had eight tackles with two tackles for a loss and an interception. He recorded six tackles and three sacks versus Georgia Tech. The senior picked off a pass and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown against Utah State. A week earlier against Middle Tennessee on a tackle for a loss, Van Noy knifed through the line to tackle the running back in the end zone for a safety.
Van Noy had a big impact against Texas, recording eight tackles with a sack. He also had a ton of other pressures and hits on the quarterback. In Week 1 versus Virginia, Van Noy racked up four tackles with two tackles for a loss. He also caused an interception while tackling the quarterback.
8/14/13: Van Noy is extremely explosive coming off the edge. He is a solid run-defender, but really excels in pass defense. Van Noy is a good athlete who drops into coverage well, yet he is still a phenomenal blitzer.
Van Noy has an excellent physical skill set with a lot of upside to develop in the NFL. He was one of the nation's leading sackers in 2012 with 13 quarterback takedowns. The junior also recorded 53 tackles, 22 tackles for a loss, six forced fumbles, two interceptions and five passes batted. Van Noy was the most impressive player on the BYU defense and that includes the 2013 NFL Draft's fifth overall-pick, defensive end Ezekiel Ansah.
Van Noy closed out last season with a game for the ages. He scored two touchdowns against San Diego State. On the first, Van Noy dropped into coverage and picked off a pass to set up a 17-yard touchdown return. The other touchdown came on recovering a fumble in the end zone.
Van Noy had 68 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, three forced fumbles, three passes batted and three interceptions in 2011.
Personal: Son of Kelly and Layne Van Noy.
Carl Bradford*, OLB/ILB, Arizona State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 243. 40 Time: 4.76. Projected Round (2014): 2-4. 5/5/14: Bradford played really well in 2013. He has a unique skill set with toughness as a run-defender and pass-rushing ability.
Bradford was impressive against Notre Dame with a lot of disruption. He was superb against Washington State with forced fumbles and a sack. The junior was suspended against Oregon State. Bradford had 61 tackles with 19 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, four passes broken up, one interception and three forced fumbles in 2013. He could be a nice weapon in a 3-4 defense who plays on the inside and outside. Bradford would fit best as a Sam (strongside) linebacker in a 4-3, but he could also be trained on the inside.
9/5/13: Bradford broke out last year with 81 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 20.5 tackles for a loss, five passes defended, three forced fumbles and one interception. The sophomore started strong and was on fire to close out the season. He had sacks in the final six games with a total of seven sacks in that stretch. With Will Sutton causing havoc on the inside, Bradford could have another big season as a junior in 2013.
Christian Jones, OLB/ILB, Florida State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 240. 40 Time: 4.74. Projected Round (2014): 2-3. 5/5/14: Jones recorded 56 tackles with 7.5 tackles for a loss, one interception and two sacks in 2013. He had good games against Clemson, Miami and Florida. Florida State was looking for some edge rushers after losing Bjoern Werner and Tank Carradine to the 2013 NFL Draft, so the Seminoles played Jones at defensive end a lot. That significantly hurt his tackle totals and didn't use him in a manner that helped his draft stock. Jones was solid at the Senior Bowl and Combine.
8/16/13: Jones totaled 56 tackles, six tackles for a loss, three sacks and two forced fumbles in 2011. He made a lot of improvements as a junior. The second-year starter led FSU in tackles with 95, plus recorded seven tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles.
There is a nice buzz about Jones heading into the his senior season. Scouts have told WalterFootball.com that Jones has a lot of what they are looking for and they feel he is on his way to being an early-round pick. Jones is fast and athletic, so he could produce a huge senior season. If Jones improves as much as he did after his first year as a starter, he could rise into the first round.
Telvin Smith, OLB/S, Florida State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 218. 40 Time: 4.52. Projected Round (2014): 3-4. 5/5/14: Smith is a linebacker/safety tweener who is a tremendous athlete. He is very fast and improved over his time at Florida State. Smith led the Seminoles' defense in tackles in 2013 with 90. He also had two sacks, 9.5 tackles for a loss, four passes broken up and three interceptions.
Smith blazed an ultra-fast 40-yard dash at the Combine to help cause teams to take notice. For the NFL, he could either add weight for linebacker or drop a few pounds for safety. If Smith does the latter, some teams could view him as a Kam Chancellor-type prospect.
Jordan Tripp, OLB, Montana
Height: 6-3. Weight: 234. 40 Time: 4.67. Projected Round (2014): 3-4. 5/5/14: Tripp has received a lot of interest from teams in the form of meetings and pre-draft visits. His stock has risen in the months after the season. Tripp has put together a strong postseason with quality performances at the Senior Bowl and the Combine.
The senior recorded 100 tackles with 5.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, three interceptions and two passes broken up in 2013. The year before, he recorded 95 tackles with 13.5 tackles for a loss. Tripp lost the 2011 season to injury, but had 99 tackles in his first year as a starter in 2010. He has some quickness and strength.
Adrian Hubbard*, OLB, Alabama
Height: 6-6. Weight: 257. 40 Time: 4.69. Projected Round (2014): 3-5. 5/5/14: Hubbard was solid, but unspectacular, for Alabama in 2013. He had 33 tackles with 5.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks and two passes broken up for the year. Hubbard notched his first sack of the season against LSU and added another against Auburn. He should have returned for his senior year, and WalterFootball.com heard from sources that Alabama didn't make much a pitch for him to comeback. Hubbard had a decent week at the Senior Bowl and followed that up with a similar performance at the Combine.
8/14/13: Hubbard won the starting spot to replace Upshaw at Sam linebacker last year following the latter's departure for the NFL. Hubbard ended up being Alabama's best pass-rusher last year and it looked like he was just scratching the surface of his potential. The sophomore totaled 41 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, three forced fumbles and a pass batted.
Hubbard is very quick and is a physical player. He will be a great fit in a 3-4 defense. Last year was Hubbard's first season of significant playing time, and he should be even better as a junior with the year of experience under his belt. Adding some more weight to fill out his frame could help Hubbard's overall game.
Lamin Barrow, ILB/OLB, LSU
Height: 6-1. Weight: 237. 40 Time: 4.64. Projected Round (2014): 3-5. 5/5/14: Barrow totaled 91 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss and two passes defended in 2013. He wasn't impressive against Alabama, but played better against Texas A&M and Iowa. Barrow didn't get a lot of acclaim, but he played well at the Senior Bowl and was impressive in practice. Barrow was solid at the Combine.
8/14/13: While players like Barkevious Mingo, Eric Reid and Kevin Minter received the most attention last year, Barrow had an impressive season in his own right. The junior totaled 104 tackles with 7.5 tackles for a loss, five passes broken up and one forced fumble. He was a backup to Ryan Baker in 2011 and only made 17 tackles for the season.
Barrow is a tough run-defender and could be better in 2013 with his year of experience. He needs to show the ability to be good linebacker in pass coverage. Barrow also needs to add weight to be a middle linebacker in the NFL, otherwise he should move to the outside.
Personal: Majoring in general studies. Son of Ali and Saidah Barrow.
Jordan Zumwalt, ILB/OLB, UCLA
Height: 6-4. Weight: 230. 40 Time: 4.76. Projected Round (2014): 3-5. 5/5/14: Zumwalt has a number of teams interested in him in the mid-rounds. He played well for the Bruins in 2013. Zumwalt helped himself and was a tough defender in the tackle box. He played extremely well against Virginia Tech in the bowl game with 10 tackles an interception. The senior finished the year with 93 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles and two interceptions. Zumwalt was solid at the East-West Shrine, but wasn't impressive at the Combine.
8/14/13: Zumwalt started nine games last year, yet finished fourth on the team with 71 tackles. He had eight tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and two sacks. Zumwalt notched 60 tackles and six tackles for a loss in 2011. The senior may have to move to outside linebacker in the NFL if he can't add weight.
Personal: Son of Nanette and Rick Zumwalt.
Christian Kirksey, OLB, Iowa
Height: 6-2. Weight: 233. Projected 40 Time: 4.66. Projected Round (2014): 4-6. 5/5/14: Kirksey had a solid career at Iowa and was part of an excellent linebacking corps for the Hawkeyes. He had 110 tackles with a sack, two forced fumbles, three passes broken up and an interception as a sophomore in 2011. Kirksey followed that up with 95 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and two interceptions in his junior campaign.
The senior totaled 86 tackles with one forced fumble and one interception in 2013. Kirksey had an impressive week at the Senior Bowl. He was fast, physical and tough. Kirksey did well in the pass-coverage and blitzing one-on-ones. He really helped himself in Mobile, but was unable to work out during the Combine.
Personal: Leisure studies major. Son of Patrice and Elmer Kirksey.
Jonathan Brown, OLB, Illinois
Height: 6-0. Weight: 238. 40 Time: 5.03. Projected Round (2014): 4-6. 5/5/14: The senior was one of the nation's leaders in tackles in 2013 with 119. He also recorded 15 tackles for a loss, four passes batted, an interception, a forced fumble and four sacks. Brown held his own at the Senior Bowl, but was extremely disappointing at the Combine with shockingly slow 40 time.
8/14/13: Brown recorded 59 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, one pass batted and one forced fumble in 2012. The junior was a dependable presence for Illinois' defense, but wasn't as big of a force as he was during his sophomore season. Brown missed the last three games with an injury.
Brown was a big-time play-maker for Illinois in 2011. He was impossible to ignore when watching the Illini. The sophomore had 108 tackles with 20.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks, four passes broken up, a forced fumble and an interception. He was tied for eighth in college football in tackles for a loss. Brown recorded 31 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble as a freshman. He has a nice combination of speed and athletic ability.
Personal: Son of Candace Kinley and Rod Brown.
Ron Powell*, OLB, Florida
Height: 6-3. Weight: 237. 40 Time: 4.65. Projected Round (2014): 4-6. 5/5/14: Powell started the 2013 season strongly and recorded two sacks against Miami. He got banged up and barely played against Arkansas and LSU. Powell finished the season playing solid football and entered the 2014 NFL Draft rather than taking another injury risk. He notched 26 tackles with seven tackles for a loss and four sacks, but his collegiate career fell far short of expectations. Powell was lighter than expected at the Combine, but he ran well.
8/14/13: Powell was out for the 2012 season after a setback during rehab for his knee injury. The Gators are optimistic that he is in store for a big season in 2013. They are projecting Powell to be a starter, and he has been on the practice field without restrictions in training camp. The redshirt junior has the physical talent to be a first-round pick.
Powell was the No. 1 recruit in the nation in 2010. He had a rough start as a freshman, recording just 25 tackles with 2.5 tackles for a loss and a sack.
Powell was moved was moved to hybrid defensive end and outside linebacker for 2011 in Will Muschamp's defense. The 'Buck' linebacker produced some quality prospects like Sergio Kindle and Brian Orakpo for Muschamp when he ran the defense at Texas. Powell finished his second season with 32 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, six sacks and a forced fumble.
Late in 2011, it seemed like the light bulb finally turned on as Powell showed some of the excellent speed and play-making ability that made him such a sought after recruit. He recorded four sacks in the final six games and was consistently pressuring the quarterback.
There was a lot of excitement for Powell heading into 2012, but the junior tore a knee ligament in spring practice (and received a medical redshirt). Powell may be better off staying for his senior season in 2014 and continue to improve before going pro. However, there have been reports out of Gainesville that suggest Powell could explode this year.
Prince Shembo, OLB, Notre Dame
Height: 6-1. Weight: 253. 40 Time: 4.71. Projected Round (2014): 4-6. 5/5/14: Shembo totaled 48 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 2013. He had a big game against Arizona State with three sacks, but wasn't consistent this season. Shembo had a decent performances at the East-West Shrine and the Combine.
8/14/13: Shembo went under the radar last year, but he was a good contributor for Notre Dame's tough defense. He was a quality run-defender and contributed some pass rush off the edge. He totaled 51 tackles with 10.5 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks. Shembo flashed some impressive pass rushes on occasion and notched sacks against Michigan's Taylor Lewan and Oklahoma's Lane Johnson.
Shembo needs to continue to improve his pass-rushing moves and really needs to get better at shedding blocks. Shembo's hand usage has a lot of room for improvement and if he can do that, it could make him a much better pass-rusher.
Shembo registered 31 tackles with two sacks in 2011. He had 15 tackles and 4.5 sacks as a freshman.
Anthony Hitchens, OLB, Iowa
Height: 6-0. Weight: 240. 40 Time: 4.74. Projected Round (2014): 5-7. 5/5/14: Hitchens recorded 112 tackles with 13.5 tackles for a loss, two passes broken up, one interception and two sacks in 2013.
8/14/13: Hitchens took the Big Ten by storm in 2012. After totaling only 34 tackles across his first two years, he racked up 124 tackles, one sack and 5.5 tackles for a loss as a junior. Hitchens was first in the Big Ten in tackles and sixth nationally. While he is quick and has good instincts, he needs to gain more bulk for the NFL.
Personal: Son of Norma and Anthony Hitchens.
Morgan Breslin, DE/OLB, USC
Height: 6-2. Weight: 250. Projected 40 Time: 4.71. Projected Round (2014): 5-7. 5/5/14: Breslin missed the 2013 opener against Hawaii with a foot injury. He was banged up over season and missed time at multiple points. When Breslin played, he performed well for the Trojans. In limited time, Breslin picked up 4.5 sacks, eight tackles for a loss and 15 tackles. He didn't work out at the Combine.
8/12/13: The junior college product Breslin had a breakout year for USC in 2012, his first season on campus. He totaled 62 tackles with 19.5 tackles for a loss, 13 sacks, four passes batted and a forced fumble.
The biggest issue keeping Breslin is his size. He is a tweener defensive end/outside linebacker. It will be interesting to see how Breslin performs in the Trojans' new defense, but he looks best as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Personal: Majoring in sociology.
Trevor Reilly, DE/OLB, Utah
Height: 6-5. Weight: 255. Projected 40 Time: 4.85. Projected Round (2014): 5-7. 5/5/14: Reilly played linebacker and defensive end for Utah. For the NFL, he could play either position, but would need to add more weight for defensive end. The senior recorded 100 tackles with 8.5 sacks, 16 tackles for a loss, two passes broken up, one interception and one forced fumble in 2013. He didn't work out at the Combine.
Reilly had 69 tackles, 4.5 sacks, four passes batted and three forced fumbles in 2012. In 2011, he had 47 tackles, five sacks and four forced fumbles.
Personal: Economics major. Son of Ross and Kris Reilly.
James Gayle, DE/OLB, Virginia Tech
Height: 6-4. Weight: 259. 40 Time: 4.70. Projected Round (2013): 5-7. 5/5/14: Gayle had 44 tackles in 2013, plus six sacks, 10.5 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble. He played well for Virginia Tech alongside Derrick Hopkins, Luther Maddy and Dadi Nicholas. Gayle didn't really stand out at the Senior Bowl, but he did well at the Combine.
8/12/13: Gayle had 43 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss and five sacks in 2012. He recorded 38 tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss and seven sacks in 2011. Gayle has been a Second-Team All-ACC selection for the past two seasons. He was a backup in 2010, but still recorded four sacks.
Gayle has some athletic ability and natural pass-rush skills. He could easily improve his draft stock with a big senior year. Gayle needs to add weight and strength.
Personal: Majoring in sociology. Son of James and Michelle Gayle. Uncle, Shaun Gayle, had a solid career for the Chicago Bears.
Kevin Pierre-Louis, OLB, Boston College
Height: 6-0. Weight: 232. 40 Time: 4.51. Projected Round (2014): 5-7. 5/5/14: In 2013, Pierre-Louis ended up with 108 tackles, six sacks, 10.5 tackles for a loss, one interception and a pass broken up. He was impressive at the Combine.
8/14/13: Pierre-Louis had 85 tackles, two sacks and three passes broken up last year. He was a true-freshman starter in 2010 and recorded an impressive debut, collecting 93 tackles. The sophomore had 74 tackles in 2011. Pierre-Louis probably should to move to safety for the NFL if he is unable to gain a significant amount of weight.
Personal: Marketing major. Son of Windzer Pierre-Louis.
James Morris, OLB/ILB, Iowa
Height: 6-2. Weight: 230. Projected 40 Time: 4.80. Projected Round (2014): 6-7. 5/5/14: Morris played really well for Iowa in his 4-year career. In 2013, he amassed 107 tackles with 18 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, three passes broken up, four interceptions and two forced fumbles. Morris had a disappointing Combine performance.
8/14/13: Morris had 113 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, four pass breakups and an interception in 2012. He was a solid player, but wasn't a play-maker.
Morris made 70 tackles with 2.5 tackles for a loss and four passes broken up in 2010. He had 110 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss and one interception in 2011. Morris has good instincts, but looks short on size and speed. If the senior doesn't add around 10 pounds, he will have to move to outside linebacker in the NFL. That could be a better fit for him anyway.
Personal: Son of Lynn and Greg Morris.
A.J. Tarpley, ILB/OLB, Stanford
Height: 6-2. Weight: 238. Projected 40 Time: 4.75. Projected Round (2014): 6-7. 5/5/14: Tarpley totaled 93 tackles, five tackles for a loss, one interception, three passes batted, one sack and one forced fumble in 2013. He played well against Oregon. Tarpley didn't participate in the Combine.
8/14/13: Tarpley saw his first playing time in 2011 while Shayne Skov was out with a knee injury. Tarpley started seven games and totaled 57 tackles with four tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, four passes broken up and two forced fumbles.
Tarpley rotated into the game in 2012 behind established linebackers like Skov and Chase Thomas. Tarpley recorded 66 tackles with seven tackles for a loss, two sacks, five passes broken up, a forced fumble and an interception (against Oregon) in that backup role. Tarpley needs to produce well and lock down a starting spot as a senior.
Personal: Majoring in science, technology and society. Son of Karen and Audie Tarpley.
Denicos Allen, OLB, Michigan State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 225. Projected 40 Time: 4.49. Projected Round (2014): 6-FA. 5/5/14: In 2013, Allen had 98 tackles with 5.5 sacks, one pass broken up and 16.5 tackles for a loss. He was a dangerous edge rusher and a disruptor for the Spartans' tough defense. Allen didn't go to the Combine.
8/14/13: Allen's numbers were down significantly in 2012. He totaled 79 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, one interception and five passes broken up. Allen had huge year in 2011. The redshirt sophomore recorded 11 sacks and 18 tackles for a loss. The first-year starter also had 83 tackles. Allen needs to add some weight, but he looks like a good pursuit linebacker prospect for a 4-3 defense.
Personal: Majoring in sociology. Son of Eric Fleetwood and Sharelle Allen.
Corey Nelson, OLB, Oklahoma
Height: 6-1. Weight: 230. Projected 40 Time: 4.60. Projected Round (2014): 6-FA. 5/5/14: Nelson's 2013 season ended early with a torn pectoral muscle. The senior would be ranked higher if he hadn't been injured. Prior to the injury, Nelson played well for the Sooners. He recorded 27 tackles with three tackles for a loss, one interception, one pass broken up and a sack in his abbreviated year. Nelson didn't participate in the Combine, but he was impressive at the Sooners' pro day and has gained a lot of weight.
8/14/13: Nelson is a linebacker/safety tweener. He broke into the starting lineup as a sophomore in 2011 and totaled 60 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks. Nelson had 47 tackles with 3.5 tackles for a loss, one sack and two passes broken up last year. The Sooners have lost a lot of defensive talent over the past two years, so they need the senior to step up in 2013.
Personal: Son of Camisha and Cedric Nelson.
Steele Divitto, OLB, Boston College
Height: 6-3. Weight: 238. Projected 40 Time: 4.73. Projected Round (2014): 6-FA. 5/5/14: Divitto totaled 112 tackles with six tackles for a loss, three sacks, one interception and five passes broken up in 2013. He didn't participate in the Combine.
8/14/13: Divitto is a physical football player. He may be short on speed and athletic ability, but he makes up for it to an extent with instincts and effort. A first-year starter next to Luke Kuechly in 2011, Divitto was a solid contributor. He totaled 72 tackles, two sacks, five passes broken up and one interception.
Divitto had 92 tackles with two forced fumbles and six passes defensed last year. He looks like a backup and special teams player for the NFL.
Personal: Marketing major. Son of Rosemary Alfredo and Daniel Divitto.
Andrew Wilson, ILB/OLB, Missouri
Height: 6-3. Weight: 235. Projected 40 Time: 4.74. Projected Round (2014): 7-FA. 5/5/14: In 2013, Wilson had 113 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss and three passes defended. He didn't attend the Combine.
8/14/13: Missouri had a rough season in its SEC debut and Wilson's production was down slightly. He totaled 79 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, four forced fumbles and .5 sacks. Wilson was a Second-Team All-Big XII selection in 2011. The first-year starter led the Tigers with 98 tackles after taking over at middle linebacker.
Personal: Majoring in business management. Son of Jay & Stacy Wilson.
Ishaq Williams*, OLB, Notre Dame
Height: 6-5. Weight: 255. Projected 40 Time: 4.73. Projected Round (2014): 7-FA. 5/5/14: Williams racked up 17 tackles with 1.5 tackles for a loss and a sack in 2013. He missed a few games with a knee injury. Williams didn't participate in the Combine.
8/14/13: Williams rotated into the game in 2012 and totaled 22 tackles for the season. He has good size and strength. Williams could take on a bigger role in 2013 now that Manti Te'o is in the NFL.