2018 NFL Draft Prospects: Inside Linebackers



By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: draftcampbell@gmail.com
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.

The top 2018 Inside Linebacker prospects available for the 2018 NFL Draft. * - denotes 2019 prospect. ** - denotes 2020 prospect.

This page was last updated Sept. 1, 2017. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.
2017 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

2018 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

2019 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. Roquon Smith*, ILB/OLB, Georgia
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 225.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
    Projected Round (2018): 1-3.

    9/23/17: Scouting sources have been raving about Smith this year, and he has been tremendous for Georgia. Smith had a great game against Notre Dame in Week 2 and has been all over the field for the Bulldogs. The fast and instinctive Smith flies around the field making tackles while also showing the ability to play in pass coverage. He has drawn comparisons to the Buccaneers' Lavonte David and the Falcons' Deion Jones.

    Smith has 19 tackles with one sack and one pass batted this season. In 2016, he totaled 95 tackles with five tackles for a loss, one pass breakup and two forced fumbles.






  2. Malik Jefferson*, ILB, Texas
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 238.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
    Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

    9/23/17: Jefferson has 27 tackles with two tackles for a loss in 2017. Sources have said that teams are hearing that Jefferson doesn't have a real love for football. That is illustrated in him not producing up to his great skill set along with offseason training according to league contacts.

    9/1/17: In 2016, Jefferson recorded 59 tackles with 5.5 sacks and three passes broken up. The numbers don't illustrate how good of a linebacker he was. Jefferson was highly recruited and showed why as a freshman contributor for the Longhorns. He totaled 61 tackle with seven for a loss, 2.5 sacks, three passes broken up and one forced fumble in 2015. Jefferson had a bigger presence than the numbers illustrate.

    The junior has a nice combination of size and speed. He has a ton of upside, and it wouldn't be surprising if he is in store for some massive seasons for Texas.


  3. Matthew Thomas, ILB, Florida State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 227.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
    Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

    9/23/17: Because of Hurricane Irma, Florida State has only played one game this season. Thomas had 10 tackles against Alabama in the season opener.

    9/1/17: Team sources say that Thomas has a first-round skill set and a lot of upside to develop. In 2016, he totaled 77 tackles with 11 tackles for loss, two passes batted and one forced fumble.


  4. Kendall Joseph*, ILB/OLB, Clemson
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-4.

    9/23/17: Joseph has 17 tackles with .5 sacks thus far this season.

    9/1/17: Ben Boulware got a lot of attention, but Joseph was the best linebacker on Clemson's National Championship team. Joseph totaled 108 tackles with 12.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, 3.5 sacks and one interception on the year. He is a quick, solid and instinctive defender. Scouting sources say that they saw Joseph as the same as Jerome Baker. Both run around blocks more than they take on. They are good players, although not complete or exceptional. Jospeh is a good, solid player with instincts and could play in the NFL in the right system. He is seen as more of a second-day to early third-day prospect.


  5. Tegray Scales, ILB/OLB, Indiana
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-4.

    9/23/17: In 2017, Scales has 20 tackles with .5 sacks. He has been a solid defender for Indiana.

    9/1/17: Scales was a contributing defender for the Hoosiers with 46 tackles as a freshman and 64 as a sophomore before a massive jump as a junior when he notched 126 tackles on the season. He also had 23.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, two passes batted, one interception, and one forced fumble in 2016. Sources have said that Scales is a solid defender who is unspectacular for the NFL, similar to Clemson's Kendall Joseph or Ohio State's Jerome Baker.


  6. Cameron Smith*, ILB, USC
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 245.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-4.

    9/23/17: So far this year, Smith has 23 tackles with three tackles for a loss.

    9/1/17: As a sophomore, Smith totaled 83 tackles with seven for a loss, one sack, four passes broken up and one forced fumble. He started as a freshman in 2015 while totaling 78 tackles, three interceptions and three passes broken up.


  7. Shaun Dion Hamilton, ILB, Alabama
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 232.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-4.

    9/23/17: Hamilton has 15 tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss and one sack this season.

    9/1/17: In 2016, Hamilton started the majority of games next to Reuben Foster. Hamilton totaled 64 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, two sacks, one forced fumble and one pass broken up on the year before tearing an ACL in the SEC Championship Game against Florida. Alabama held him out of spring practice, but Nick Saban has stated the Crimson Tide believe Hamilton will not be restricted from practicing in fall camp.


  8. Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 231.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-4.

    9/23/17: Evans had five tackles against Florida State. He has missed two games with a groin injury.

    9/1/17: Evans was a backup in 2014 and 2015 before rotating onto the field during the 2016 season. As a junior, he totaled 53 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, two passes broken up and one forced fumble. Evans has athletic upside to grow.




  9. Josey Jewell, ILB/OLB, Iowa
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-4.

    9/23/17: Jewell has 26 tackles with two sacks and two passes batted thus far in 2017.

    9/1/17: Jewell recorded 124 tackles with six tackles for a loss, nine passes broken up and one forced fumble in 2016. He is a good run defender who will need to get stronger for the NFL and show more pass-coverage skills as senior. The NFL draft advisory board told Jewell he should return for his senior year rather than enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

    In 2015, Jewell was a tough defender for Iowa as he racked up 126 tackles with 7.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, six passes broken up, one forced fumble and four interceptions. It was an impressive season from the Hawkeyes defender. If he stays consistent to his play-making production as a senior, his stock could really rise.


  10. Azeem Victor, ILB, Washington
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 232.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-4.

    9/23/17: Victor has six tackles with a pass batted across two games. He was suspended one game this season.

    9/1/17: Last year, Victor went down with a broken leg that required surgery and ended his season early. He recorded 67 tackles, three for a loss, one forced fumble and a pass batted through 10 games. As a redshirt sophomore, Victor totaled 95 tackles with nine for a loss, 1.5 sacks, six passes broken up and an interception.




  11. Micah Kiser, ILB, Virginia
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 240.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

    9/23/17: Kiser has 36 tackles on the season and has been excellent as a blitzer, notching five sacks thus far.

    9/1/17: Over the past two seasons, Kiser has been a tackling machine for Virginia. He had a breakout 2015 season as a sophomore where he totaled 117 tackles with 7.5 sacks, 13 tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles and two passes broken up. In 2016, he managed to increase his tackle production with 134 stops, 10 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, seven passes broken up, five forced fumbles and an interception.

    Kiser is a tough run defender who is strong, intelligent, instinctive, and physical in the tackle box. He is not a fast linebacker with sideline-to-sideline speed, however. He also isn't a great athlete and will need a lot of development in pass coverage to be a three-down defender in the NFL. At the next level, Kiser would fit best as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense with a fast run-and-chase linebacker next to him. He could be limited to being more of a run-stuffing linebacker for the pro game.


  12. T.J. Edwards*, ILB, Wisconsin
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 244.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

    9/23/17: So far in 2017, Edwards has 14 tackles with one sack and two passes broken up.

    9/1/17: Wisconsin had difference-makers at linebackers in 2016 led by T.J. Watt and Jack Cichy. However, Edwards also was a tough defender for the Badgers as he totaled 89 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks and two passes broken up. In 2015 as a redshirt freshman, he had 84 tackles with 6.5 for a loss and four passes broken up.




  13. Jack Cichy, ILB/OLB, Wisconsin
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 233.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
    Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

    9/1/17: During fall camp, Cichy went out for the season with a torn ACL. The senior could take a medical redshirt for the 2017 season and return to Wisconsin for 2018 or he could enter the 2018 NFL Draft. Cichy was a tough defender for the Badgers in 2016. He was good versus the run and a leader on the defense. In 2016, the junior recorded 60 tackles with seven for a loss, 1.5 sacks, two passes broken up and two forced fumbles across seven games. As a sophomore in 2015, he had 60 tackles with eight for a loss, five sacks and four passes broken up.


  14. Chad Whitener, ILB, Oklahoma State
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 248.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
    Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

    9/23/17: Whitener has 13 tackles this season.

    9/1/17: Whitener has been a solid linebacker for Oklahoma State the past couple of seasons. Last year, he recorded 71 tackles with 7.5 for a loss and four passes broken up. Whitener had 93 tackles with 7.5 for a loss, one forced fumble and two interceptions in 2015.


  15. Nyles Morgan, ILB, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 245.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Projected Round (2018): 5-7.

    9/23/17: Morgan has played well in 2017, recording 24 tackles with one sack and a forced fumble so far.

    9/1/17: The Notre Dame defense really struggled in 2016, but Morgan was one of the few defenders who was pretty steady for the Fighting Irish. He totaled 93 tackles with six for a loss, four sacks and three passes broken up.


  16. Taylor Young, ILB, Baylor
    Height: 5-10. Weight: 225.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
    Projected Round (2018): 6-FA.

    9/23/17: Young has 16 tackles thus far.

    9/1/17: Young totaled 93 tackles with nine for a loss, 4.5 sacks and one pass broken up on the year. He has been a solid defender for the Bears over the last three seasons. In 2014 as a redshirt freshman, Young had 92 tackles with four sacks, three passes batted, two forced fumbles and an interception. He recorded 80 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks and one pass broken up as a sophomore. Young lacks height and length for the NFL, so he may be limited to a backup role.


  17. Reggie Carter, ILB/OLB, Georgia
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 229.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Projected Round (2018): 7-FA.

    9/23/17: Carter has seven tackles thus far this season.

    9/1/17: Carter recorded 45 tackles last year after making only two tackles in 2015 before a shoulder injury ended his season. He had 28 tackles in 2014 as the backup to Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera. Carter has potential, but he must stay on the field and produce.


2017 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

2018 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

2019 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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