2020 NFL Draft Prospects: Outside Linebackers

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
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The top 2020 outside linebacker prospects available for the 2020 NFL Draft. * – denotes 2021 prospect. ** – denotes 2022 prospect.

This page was last updated April 22, 2020. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.
2023 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

2024 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

2025 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. Isaiah Simmons*, OLB, Clemson
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 238. Hand: 33.38. Hand: 9.63.
    40 Time: 4.39.
    Projected Round (2020): Top-12.

    4/22/20: Simmons set the combine on fire with an amazing 40 time that was faster than the vast majority of wide receivers and cornerbacks. Simmons is a physical freak who solidified his status as a top-10 pick.

    In 2019, Simmons totaled 104 tackles with seven sacks, one forced fumble, three interceptions and eight passes broken up. He was superb in pass coverage, showing the NFL he can be a sub linebacker who can cover like a safety.

    Simmons can do everything on the field. He is a sideline-to-sideline run defender with speed and physicality. He also covers well in pass coverage while being able to contribute to the pass rush as a dangerous blitzer. His 2019 tape caused some evaluators to fall in love during the leadup to the 2020 NFL Draft.

    6/22/19: Simmons totaled 89 tackles with six passes broken up, three forced fumbles and one interception in 2018. He is a tough run defender who flies around the field and is a physical tackler. Simmons has good instincts with a nose for the football.

    Simmons is a strong safety type for the NFL, but he could also get consideration in a move to linebacker. Team sources have told me they have been impressed with Simmons.

    In 2017, Simmons totaled 45 tackles with three tackles for a loss and six passes broken up. There were no interceptions for that stat line. Simmons is a big strong safety who runs well for a player of his size. He could easily grow into a Will linebacker in the NFL.

  2. Kenneth Murray*, OLB/ILB, Oklahoma
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 238. Arm: 32.75. Hand: 9.5.
    40 Time: 4.52.
    Projected Round (2020): 1.

    4/22/20: Murray ran fast in the 40 at the combine, but he also pulled a hamstring and didn’t finish the workout. Teams say he interviewed well and is all football with great character and work ethic.

    Murray is a fast and physical linebacker who flies around the field and is always around the ball. He is put together well and a good tackler. Murray can make mistakes from being overly aggressive and over-pursuing on some plays, but he is a heat-seeking missile who has generated a big buzz in the scouting community for being a future three-down starter and difference-maker. Murray is a sideline-to-sideline run defender, good in zone coverage, covers a lot of ground in pass defense, and is a dangerous blitzer. He reminds this evaluator of a young Thomas Davis. In 2019, Murray had 102 tackles with four sacks and four passes batted.

    6/29/19: Murray was a tackling machine for the Sooners in 2018 and was one of the nation’s leaders with 155 stops. He also added 12.5 tackles for a loss with two passes batted. As a freshman, Murray had 78 tackles with 7.5 for a loss.

  3. K’Lavon Chaisson*, OLB/DE, LSU
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 254. Arm: 32.25. Hand: 9.88.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2020): 1.

    4/22/20: Chaisson has a lot of upside to fill out his frame and develop into a dangerous edge rusher. He is fast, long, and athletic on the edge. In 2019, he had 60 tackles with 6.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and two passes broken up while dealing with an ankle injury. Chaisson missed almost all of his 2018 season with a knee injury. In 2017, he had 27 tackles with two sacks and two passes batted. For today’s NFL, Chaisson is a valuable commodity because he is a lightning-fast edge rusher and a twitchy athlete. Chaisson is quick off the ball with a fast first-step. He has a burst to run around the corner and a second gear to close on the quarterback. On top of being a pure speed rusher, Chaisson has an impressive arsenal of pass-rushing moves.

    One of the impressive aspects of Chaisson’s game is his ability to play in coverage. LSU lined him up at a variety of places in 2019, allowing Chaisson to display his rare speed and athleticism to run with receivers in the flat and tight ends off the edge. Chaisson is a fluid athlete in the open field with serious foot speed to stay with offensive players. While he could use some refinement, Chaisson has more pass-coverage skills than the typical edge defender.

    As a run defender, Chaisson is good in pursuit and he makes some big plays by working upfield to cause disruption in the backfield. However being below 260 pounds with a chiseled lean frame, Chaisson can struggle with downhill runs coming straight at him. Offensive tackles can tie him up with their upper body strength and push him back. He needs to get stronger for shedding blocks in the NFL and holding his ground.

  4. Patrick Queen*, OLB, LSU
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 229. Arm: 31.63. Hand: 10.
    40 Time: 4.50.
    Projected Round (2020): 1.

    4/22/20: In speaking with sources, a few thought Queen would be a late first-round or second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. In 2019, Queen totaled 85 tackles with three sacks, an interception, and two passes defended. He was red hot to close the season and was a key defender for the National Champions.

    Queen is well suited for pass coverage in today’s NFL. He is a smooth mover in the open field with the speed to run vertically down the middle seam. Queen is skilled in zone coverage to flow with the play and cover a lot of ground. Given some development, he could be an asset in helping to cover running backs and tight ends in man coverage. Queen also is a dangerous blitzer and eats up space in a hurry to put pressure on the quarterback. With his speed and athleticism, Queen is a great fit for the moden pro game, as he can be a three-down starter who provides a plus defender in coverage.

    As a run defender, Queen uses his sideline-to-sideline speed to shut down perimeter runs. He flashes good vision and uses that to weave through trash to get in position to finish plays. For the next level, Queen needs to get stronger to take on and shed blocks. Downhill runs straight at him can give him problems, and he has a hard time shedding blocks when offensive linemen and some tight ends lock onto him. Team sources say that from an instincts perspective, Queen is developing, which is a good way to describe it. He flashes some good instincts on some plays with good decision making on when to fire his gun. On other plays, he can seem to react a hair late and take a false step or two before redirecting. As team evaluators have pointed out, Queen did not play a lot in college, so he does not have a lot of experience. Thus, there is some rawness to Queen and he needs development in the NFL.

  5. Zack Baun, OLB, Wisconsin
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 240. Arm: 32.13. Hand: 9.63.
    40 Time: 4.65.
    Projected Round (2020): 1-3.

    4/22/20: In 2019, Baun recorded 12.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, 76 tackles, two passes batted and one interception. He was a dangerous edge rusher and dynamic blitzer for Wisconsin, but has size limitations for the NFL. Given his size, his best fit might come in a 3-4 defense where he plays on the inside in base sets and rushes off the edge in the sub package.

    6/29/19: Wisconsin had a some more experienced linebackers on the roster in 2018, but Baun was one of the team’s most impressive and consistent defenders in the middle. On the year, he had 78 tackles with 11 for a loss, 2.5 sacks, one interception, three passes broken up and one forced fumble. Baun was placed on NFL teams’ preseason watch list.

  6. Josh Uche, OLB, Michigan
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 245. Arm: 33.25. Hand: 9.5.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Projected Round (2020): 2-4.

    4/22/20: In 2019, Uche had 35 tackles with 8.5 sacks, two passes batted and two forced fumbles. He was a fast and dangerous edge rusher for Michigan, but is undersized for the NFL. As a pro, he might best as a 3-4 outside linebacker who is a designated pass-rusher. At the Senior Bowl, Uche told me that he practiced all of his years in college as a Sam linebacker in a 4-3 set but Michigan never used him in that role in the games because of his edge-rush ability. Thus, Uche could make a smoother transition to a 4-3 than expected from his college game tape.

    6/29/19: Uche had only 15 tackles during the 2018 season, but seven of those were sacks as he was a dangerous pass-rusher for the Wolverines. In 2017, he had only 10 tackles with a sack. This Michigan coaching staff has had some talented players who they kept in backup and rotational roles even though they had early-round talent for the NFL. Uche could keep that tradition going.

  7. Julian Okwara, OLB, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 252. Arm: 34.38. Hand: 10.25.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2020): 2-4.

    4/22/20: Okwara was a dangerous edge rusher for Notre Dame, collecting four sacks, 18 tackles and two forced fumbles in 2019. He was ineffective overall when going against Georgia left tackle Andrew Thomas.

    6/29/19: Okwara is an edge defender who Notre Dame lists on the defensive line, but NFL teams have him down as an outside linebacker for the next level on their preseason watch list. In 2018, Okwara was a dangerous pass-rusher and good edge defender, totaling 37 tackles with 11.5 for a loss and seven sacks. It was a big improvement over 2017, when he had 2.5 sacks and 17 tackles. It will be interesting to see if Okwara gains weight to become a defensive end or stays lighter and fits as a linebacker.

  8. Akeem Davis-Gaither, OLB, Appalachian State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 224. Arm: 31.38. Hand: 9.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
    Projected Round (2020): 3-5.

    4/22/20: Davis-Gaither was a steady defender for Appalachian State over the past few seasons, and his consistent production earned him an invitation for the Senior Bowl, where he had a decent week. After 103 tackles as a junior, Davis-Gaither had five sacks, eight passes broken up, an interception and 101 tackles in 2019. He is a quick Will linebacker type for the NFL.

  9. Anfernee Jennings, OLB/ILB, Alabama
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 252. Arm: 32.75. Hand: 9.38.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
    Projected Round (2020): 3-5.

    4/22/20: Jennings recorded 83 tackles, eight sacks, five passes defended, one interception and a forced fumble in 2019. He is a dangerous blitzer who is a solid run defender in the middle of the field. Jennings has some limitations for the next level, but he could be a solid rotational backup.

    6/29/19: In 2018, Jennings totaled 50 tackles with 5.5 sacks, 13 tackles for a loss, one interception and 11 passes broken up. He had a slow start to the season and did not look like the same player, but he improved and was playing better to close out his junior year. Jennings then made the wise decision to return for his senior year.

    Jennings was coming on strong in 2017 and looking like a potential dominant force before a knee injury ended his season early in Alabama’s win over Clemson in the semi-final. For the year, Jennings totaled 41 tackles with six for a loss, one sack, two passes batted and two forced fumbles.

  10. Willie Gay Jr.*, OLB, Mississippi State
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 243. Arm: 32.63. Hand: 10.5.
    40 Time: 4.46.
    Projected Round (2020): 3-5.

    4/22/20: Gay was suspended by Mississippi State for violating team rules to start the season. After coming back, he had 28 tackles and an interception returned for a touchdown. Gay really helped himself at the combine with an incredible 40 time. He has a superb combination of size and speed.

    6/29/19: Even though Gay wasn’t eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft, he jumped out to team sources as a player who impressed them on a defense loaded with future NFL talent. In 2018, Gay recorded 48 tackles with 5.5 for a loss, five sacks, two interceptions and one pass batted. Gay could build on his performance now that he has a year of experience in the SEC.

  11. Michael Divinity, OLB/ILB, LSU
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 41.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2020): 3-5.

    4/22/20: Divinity had 22 tackles with three sacks and a forced fumble in 2019. After serving a six-game suspension, Divinity was cleared to play in the National Championship. He also was suspended for two games earlier in the season. A couple of team sources say they see him as a potential late third- or fourth-round talent, and where he goes will also depend on the character evaluation.

    6/29/19: Divinity played in the shadow of Devin White but impressed pro evaluators, and some sources said Divinity jumped out at them even though they weren’t doing reports on him in 2018. He totaled 54 tackles with five sacks, one forced fumble, two passes defended and one interception last season.

  12. David Woodward*, OLB/ILB, Utah State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 247.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.79.
    Projected Round (2020): 3-5.

    4/22/20: Over the past two seasons, Woodward was a tough run defender and a tackling machine. In 2019, he totaled 93 tackles with two sacks, four forced fumbles and two passes defended. He was even better as a sophomore with 134 tackles, five sacks, two interceptions and three passes defended.

  13. Casey Toohill, OLB, Stanford
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 250. Arm: 33.5. Hand: 9.5.
    40 Time: 4.62.
    Projected Round (2020): 4-6.

    4/22/20: Toohill did not do much for the Cardinal prior to a breakout senior year in which he recorded eight sacks with 57 tackles, one forced fumble and one pass batted. Toohill was okay at the East-West Shrine, but he could stand to add more strength to his frame for the NFL. He could be a good fit as a 3-4 edge rusher or a Sam linebacker in a 4-3 who contributes to the pass rush in the sub package.

  14. Bryce Huff, OLB, Memphis
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 245.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2020): 4-6.

    4/22/20: In 2019, Huff totaled 52 tackles with 6.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. He has some backup edge-rush potential for the NFL.

    6/29/19: In 2018, Huff totaled 49 tackles with 19 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one pass batted. It was a huge jump from his sophomore year when he had 30 tackles with two sacks. Huff could be a riser in 2019 if he continues to produce big sack numbers.

  15. Cam Brown, OLB, Penn State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 232. Arm: 33.88. Hand: 9.38.
    40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round (2020): 4-6.

    4/22/20: Brown had 72 tackles with two sacks, a forced fumble and four passes batted in 2019.

    6/29/19: Brown was a solid defender for Penn State in 2018 totaling 63 tackles with two sacks, three forced fumbles, and six passes broken up. If Brown builds on his junior year, he could rise over 2019 as he has a versatile skill set to work with.

  16. Kamal Martin, OLB, Minnesota
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 240. Arm: 34. Hand: 10.13.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
    Projected Round (2020): 5-7.

    4/22/20: Martin totaled 66 tackles with two forced fumbles, two interceptions, one pass batted and one sack in 2019. He was a solid edge defender for the Gophers.

    6/29/19: In 2018, Martin totaled 59 tackles with two passes batted and 3.5 stops for a loss. Team sources have him on their preseason watch list, with some placing a projection of the back half of the 2020 NFL Draft or undrafted free agent status for Martin.

  17. Francis Bernard, OLB, Utah
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 240. Arm: 31.63. Hand: 9.63.
    40 Time: 4.81.
    Projected Round (2020): 5-7.

    4/22/20: Back some months ago, a team source said that Utah was loaded with third-day picks on its defense, and a lot of those players ended up at the Senior Bowl in January. Bernard was a tough inside linebacker for the Utes in 2019, helping them to shut down rushing attacks. To go along with his tough run defense, Bernard notched a couple of interceptions on the year. In 2019, he had 85 tackles with a forced fumble, two interceptions and pass batted.

  18. Michael Pinckney, OLB, Miami
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 235. Arm: 32.38. Hand: 10.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2020): 5-7.

    4/22/20: Pinckney had 64 tackles, five sacks, and three passes batted in 2019. Team sources said there are Day 3 grades on Pinckney, and they think he will get drafted there.

    6/29/19: In 2018, Pinckney had 74 tackles with 11 for a loss, 3.5 sacks, one interception and two passes broken up. He was a solid player for the Hurricanes, showing quickness to cover ground in the middle of the field. In 2017, Pinckney had 68 tackles with 11 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, two passé broken up and an interception. As a freshman, he totaled 61 tackles with 7.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, two passes broken up and an interception. Pinckney needs to get stronger and add weight to his frame for the NFL.

  19. Tipa Galeai, OLB, Utah State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 235. Arm: 33.63. Hand: 9.5.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
    Projected Round (2020): 5-7.

    4/22/20: Galeai notched 55 tackles and five sacks in 2019. He was not nearly as impressive compared to his junior season.

    6/29/19: Galeai was all over the field for the Aggies in 2018, making a lot of plays in the backfield and putting pressure on the quarterback. He is a long pass-rusher who could fit well as an edge defender in a 3-4 defense in the NFL. In 2018, Galeai had 64 tackles with 10.5 sacks, 14 tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles, three passes broken up, two interceptions and one blocked kick. He redshirted in 2017 after transferring from TCU. For the Horned Frogs, Galeai notched 3.5 sacks as a sophomore.

  20. Carter Coughlin, OLB, Minnesota
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 236. Arm: 31.38. Hand: 9.5.
    40 Time: 4.57.
    Projected Round (2020): 5-7.

    4/22/20: Coughlin had 49 tackles with 4.5 sacks, four passes batted and two forced fumbles in 2019.

    6/29/19: Coughlin was a tough defender for the Gophers in 2018, totaling 48 tackles with 9.5 sacks, 15 tackles for a loss, and four forced fumbles. It was his second season as a starter after notching 37 tackles with 6.5 sacks in his starting debut as a sophomore. Some team sources have Coughlin as having the potential to go in the back half of the 2020 NFL Draft, but if he has another big season rushing the passer, he probably will rise from there.

  21. Mykal Walker, OLB, Fresno State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 230. Arm: 32.5. Hand: 10.
    40 Time: 4.65.
    Projected Round (2020): 5-7.

    4/22/20: Walker recorded 96 tackles with 2.5 sacks and four passes defended in 2019.

    6/29/19: In 2018, Walker was one of the top defenders in the Mountain West, making a lot of plays for the Fresno State defense. He totaled 87 tackles with 14 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles, one interception and two blocked kicks on the year. Walker redshirted in 2017 after previously playing at Azusa Pacific.

  22. Davion Taylor, OLB, Colorado
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 224. Arm: 32.13. Hand: 9.63.
    40 Time: 4.49.
    Projected Round (2020): 5-7.

    4/22/20: Taylor totaled 60 tackles with four passes defended in 2019. He did not stand out at the Senior Bowl, but ran fast at the combine and helped himself there.

    6/29/19: Taylor was put on NFL teams’ preseason watch list, with some projecting him to having potential to be a pick in the back half of the 2020 NFL Draft or be an undrafted free agent. In 2018, he had 52 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, one sack and three passes broken up.

  23. David Reese II, OLB, Florida
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 227.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
    Projected Round (2020): 6-FA.

    4/22/20: In 2019, Reese had 88 tackles with two sacks. He was solid for the Gators but not impressive.

    6/29/19: Reese had a quality 2018 for the Gators, totaling 77 tackles with 2.5 tackles for a loss in 2018 after missing the first three games of the year with an ankle injury. He is key to Florida’s run defense, and the Gators really missed him in Week 2 when Bennie Snell ran all over them, leading Kentucky to an upset over Florida. Reese is a tough run defender who is instinctive and generally a reliable tackler.

    Reese was very steady for Florida in 2017 as a sophomore, notching 102 tackles with 10 for a loss, 1.5 sacks and one interception. He had 49 tackles as a freshman. Reese needs to improve his pass-coverage skills before going pro.

  24. Keisean Lucier-South, OLB/DE, UCLA
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
    Projected Round (2020): 6-FA.

    4/22/20: Lucier-South was suspended from games and practice because of academic issues, but he returned to the field to total 17 tackles with 2.5 sacks, three passes batted and a forced fumble for his 2019.

    6/29/19: Lucier-South totaled 46 tackles with 11.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, six passes batted and two forced fumbles in 2018. As a sophomore, he recorded 53 tackles with 5.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, one forced fumble, and two passes broken up.

  25. Christian Rozeboom, OLB, South Dakota State
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Projected Round (2020): 6-FA.

    4/22/20: Rozeboom totaled 111 tackles with two interceptions and three forced fumbles in 2019.

    6/29/19: Rozeboom has been a tackling machine for South Dakota State over the past three seasons, recording totals of 132, 128, and 105 over those years. He had 10.5 tackles for a loss as a junior with three forced fumbles. Each season, he also had two interceptions. Rozeboom was placed on NFL teams’ preseason watch list, with some projecting him to have the potential to be a pick in the back half of the 2020 NFL Draft or an undrafted free agent.

  26. Qaadir Sheppard, OLB, Ole Miss
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
    Projected Round (2020): 7-FA.

    4/22/20: Sheppard totaled 25 tackles with a pass broken up in 2019.

    6/29/19: Sheppard had 48 tackles with 10 for a loss, 1.5 sacks, one pass batted and two forced fumbles in 2018. He barely played in 2017, so he could be better as a senior after gaining some experience.

2023 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

2024 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

2025 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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