2020 Preseason All-American Projections: Outside Linebackers

By Charlie Campbell
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.

Heading into the 2020 college football season WalterFootball.com will debut our projections for the nation’s leaders during the fall. The All-American teams always have some surprises and the stars of next fall could be the headlining players next April in the 2021 NFL Draft.

First-Team Outside Linebackers:

Joe Tryon, Washington

After redshirting in 2017, Tryon was a backup as a redshirt freshman. During his sophomore year, he took over as a starter and broke out for the Huskies. He was one of the top pass-rushers in the Pac-12, recording eight sacks with 41 tackles and 12.5 tackles for a loss. Tryon (6-5, 262) looked like he was just scratching the surface of his potential, and he could be even better in 2020 now that he has a year of experience. New head coach Jimmy Lake did a great job of developing talented youngsters as the Huskies’ defensive coordinator, so it would not be surprising if Tryon continues to improve and makes a huge impact as a junior.

Quincy Roche, Miami

Roche decided to transfer from Temple following the 2019 season and landed at Miami. Over three seasons in Philadelphia, he totaled 26 sacks.

Roche has created a buzz in the scouting community, and scouts feel he will get bigger. Team evaluators really like his initial explosion off the snap and how he closes on the quarterback. They feel he will get develop as he ages and grows in a pro strength and conditioning program.

Roche landed in a great spot to have a massive senior year as he will line up across from superstar defensive end Gregory Rousseau. Rousseau will command more double teamsm so Roche should have some excellent one-on-one opportunities. Roche having a big senior year looks entirely possible, along with receiving All-American honors.

Second-Team Outside Linebackers:

Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Oregon State

Rashed was a dangerous edge rusher and one of the most prolific quarterback hunters in college football during the 2019 season. He ripped off 14 sacks to go along with 62 tackles and two passes broken up. As a run defender, he showed improvement on the edge after recording 52 tackles in 2018. His sack total had a jump from 2.5 as well. It could be tough for Rashed (6-4, 236) to duplicate his 2019 production and extra blocking will be coming his direction, but if he manages only a slight declinem he still should get plenty of postseason recognition.

Joseph Ossai, Texas

Ossai earned a starting spot as a sophomore and broke out for the Longhorns. Ossai made some big plays in pass defense getting after the quarterback and creating a number of splash plays. In 2019, he totaled 90 tackles with five sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble. If Ossai can build on his sophomore season, he has the potential to be a riser as a junior and/or senior.

Third-Team Outside Linebackers:

Nick Bolton, Missouri

Bolton showed some nice pass-coverage skills as a sophomore, making plays on the ball for Missouri. In the ground game, he also was a solid tackler and showed the instincts to be around the ball. For 2019, Bolton totaled 100 tackles with two interceptions and eight passes defended. Bolton could be better as an upperclassman given his year of starting experience.

Brenton Cox, Florida

Cox (6-4, 247) was supposed to be a key edge defender at Georgia, but during August of 2019, he transferred from the Bulldogs to rival Florida after Georgia kicked Cox off the team. He had a misdemeanor marijuana charge during the offseason. As a freshman for Georgia, he was a backup and recorded 20 tackles and a sack. Cox is said to have a big-time skill set, so he could rise high with a breakout year as the Gators’ replacement for Jon Greenard.

Honorable Mentions: Western Kentucky’s DeAngelo Malone, Oklahoma State’s Amen Ogbongbemia, LSU’s Jabril Cox, California’s Cameron Goode, LSU’s Damon Clark and Virginia’s Charles Snowden.

2020 Preseason All-American Projections:
QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P

2020 Preseason Postseason Award Projections:
Thorpe Award | Biletnikoff Award | Outland Trophy | Rimington Trophy | Mackey Award | O'Brien Award | Doak Walker Award | Jet Award | Walter Camp Award

2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 16

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19

NFL Picks - Feb. 12