The Texans spent a third-round pick on Benardrick McKinney, but they'll be in the market for another inside linebacker next offseason once they release Brian Cushing, who has struggled in recent years. Myles Jack figures to be an upgrade.
Pick change; previously Chris Jones, DE/DT
Rd. 1, Pk. 16
Leonard Floyd, 3-4OLB/OLB, Georgia
The Chargers recently spent a couple of early-round picks on pass-rushers. Jeremiah Attaochu could develop into a starter, but Melvin Ingram hasn't been able to stay healthy. San Diego may have to use another first- or second-round choice on an outside linebacker soon.
Pick change; previously Scooby Wright, DE/OLB
Rd. 1, Pk. 18
The Saints drafted injury-risk Hau'oli Kikaha in the second round of the 2015 draft. Even if he pans out, the team will need another pass-rusher to put pressure on the many talented quarterbacks in the NFC South.
The Dolphins have just one viable three-down linebacker on the roster in Jelani Jenkins. Koa Misi is a solid, two-down defender, but Miami has to find a third linebacker. Since the Dolphins didn't accomplish that in the 2015 NFL Draft, they could select someone like Jaylon Smith in the first round next April.
Pick change; previously Myles Jack, ILB
Rd. 1, Pk. 30
Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
I liked the Trent Cole signing, but he's obviously just a short-term solution. The Colts will have to find a pass-rusher to help them get after the quarterback for the next decade.
Rd. 2, Pk. 24
With Cameron Wake entering the latter stages of his career and Olivier Vernon hitting free agency soon, the Dolphins may want to add another pass-rusher.
Rd. 2, Pk. 32
Nyeem Wartman, OLB, Penn State
The Seahawks lost their former Super Bowl MVP in free agency to the Raiders. I thought they'd address the position in this past draft, but they'll have to wait until next offseason.
The 49ers have lost so much talent at the linebacker position. Here is an impact player to help make up for the losses.
Jack racked up 87 tackles with eight tackles for a loss, seven passes broken up, one interception and one forced fumble in 2014. His natural pass-coverage skills are extremely impressive. NFL evaluators are going to love what Jack can do in the passing game.
While only a freshman starter in 2013, Jack became a superstar who was named the Pac-12's Offensive AND Defensive Freshman of the Year. On the defensive side of the ball, he recorded 75 tackles with 11 passes broken up and two interceptions. His pass-coverage skills for a freshman were outstanding. Jack ran for 267 yards on 38 carries (7.0 average) with seven touchdowns, too. Don't be surprised if the 6-foot-1, 230-pounder improves annually with his huge upside.
Pick change; previously Ronnie Stanley, OT
Rd. 1, Pk. 9
Scooby Wright III, 3-4OLB/OLB, Arizona
The Bears are hoping that they find some answers at linebacker from a group of Christian Jones, Mason Foster, Shea McClellin and Jon Bostic. Chicago could easily be looking for a new linebacker to keep up its tradition of stars in the middle, and Wright is a perfect fit as a run-stuffer and pass-rusher in Vic Fangio's 3-4 defense.
Wright took college football by storm in 2014. The 6-foot-1, 246-pounder was a pass-rushing force for the Wildcats and one of the top defenders in the Pac-12. He had 14 sacks with 163 tackles, 29 tackles for a loss and six forced fumbles for the year. Wright is an instinctive linebacker and was all over the field for Arizona. In 2013, he notched 83 tackles with 9.5 for a loss and an interception.
Many thought the Broncos would add inside linebacker help early in the 2015 NFL Draft, but they didn't. Wade Phillips is going to need more help in the middle of his 3-4.
Smith (6-2, 235) was an impressive defender for Notre Dame in 2014. He was all over the field for the Fighting Irish with 112 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, one forced fumble, 3.5 sacks and two passes defended. Smith has speed and athleticism in the middle of the field.
Rd. 1, Pk. 24
Leonard Floyd, 3-4OLB/OLB, Georgia
Baltimore's pass-rushers, specifcally Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, are aging. Here is a young replacement for one of those veterans.
Floyd is a speedy rusher who is just scratching the surface of his potential. He is a natural pass-rusher with agility and a knack for getting to the quarterback. In 2014, the sophomore had 55 tackles with six sacks, two forced fumbles and 8.5 tackles for a loss. Floyd's run defense was a liability, and it caused him to get benched for a time, so going back to Georgia to improve before going pro was a wise decision on his part.
In 2013, Floyd totaled 55 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder played at Hargrave Military Academy for a season after high school.
Rd. 1, Pk. 26
The Giants still need some young talent in the middle of their defense. They need a difference-maker at linebacker.
In 2014, Cravens had 68 tackles with 17 tackles for a loss, five sacks, three interceptions and nine passes broken up. He was moved from safety to linebacker, and that looks like a better fit for him in the NFL. The 6-foot-1, 225-pounder is physical, strong and quick. As a freshman, he totaled 52 tackles with four interceptions, one pass batted and a forced fumble. Cravens was named a Freshman All-American and a All-Pac-12 honorable mention.