2023 NFL Draft Prospects: Outside Linebacker



The top 2023 Outside Linebacker prospects available for the 2023 NFL Draft. * - denotes 2023 prospect. ** - denotes 2026 prospect.

This page was last updated Sept. 24, 2022. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

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2022 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

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

Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Nakobe Dean, Georgia
  • '21 - Micah Parsons, Penn State
  • '20 - Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
1. Alabama image Will Anderson*, OLB/DE, Alabama
Height: 6-4. Weight: 235.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2023): Top-5
View Ranking History

9/24/22: In 2022, Anderson has recorded 15 tackles, two sacks, and an interception returned for a touchdown. He had some painful penalties against Texas, but he also has had clutch plays for the Crimson Tide.

7/7/22: Anderson was the rare freshman to start on Nick Saban's defense, but Anderson proved his special ability with a superb 2020 season. He was third in the SEC in sacks, with seven, while also recording 10.5 tackles for a loss and 52 tackles. Anderson was phenomenal in 2021 and the most dominant defensive player in college football, recording 101 tackles, 17.5 sacks and three passes defended. Not only was he a overwhelming pass rusher, but he was a strong, tough run defender.

Anderson has size, speed and athleticism, plus is an explosive playmaker. He lines up as an outside linebacker and will put his hand in the ground as a defensive end. Known as "The Terminator" by his teammates, Anderson is said to have a serious work ethic with an intensity that he expects his teammates to match. Anderson is a true "Alpha Dog" prospect for the NFL.

The NFL advance scouts gave Anderson the highest grade of any player eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft on the preseason watchlist of 2023 prospects. Anderson has the look of a No. 1-overall caliber prospect, like Myles Garrett or Jadeveon Clowney, and the only issue that might cause him not to go first overall could be the quarterback needs and market.





Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Christian Harris, Alabama
  • '21 - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame
  • '20 - Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
2. Iowa State image Will McDonald IV, OLB/DE, Iowa State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 245.
Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
Projected Round (2023): 1-2.
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Team sources rave about McDonald speed, athleticism, and natural quarterback-hunting talent. They think he could be a 15 sacks-per-year player in the NFL. However, they also view him as limited to being a designated pass rusher because he struggles significantly as a run defender. McDonald is said to be a good, nice kid, but one who needs a lot of babysitting and escorting to be where he is supposed to be. Multiple pro team sources think McDonald will go in the back half of the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

7/7/22: Team sources rave about McDonald's pass-rush ability and his natural skills at getting after the quarterback. He is fast and athletic, allowing him to shoot past blockers and put steady heat on the signal-caller. NFL teams, however, say McDonald is terrible versus the run and even bad opponents can destroy him in the ground game. Hence, he might be more of a designated pass rusher as a pro. McDonald totaled 36 tackles, 11.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and three passes batted in 2021. He recorded 10.5 sacks and 33 tackles in 2020 after recording six sacks in 2019.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State
  • '21 - Jamin Davis, Kentucky
  • '20 - K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU
3. Georgia image Nolan Smith, OLB, Georgia
Height: 6-3. Weight: 235.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2023): 1-3
View Ranking History

9/24/22: In 2022, Smith has six tackles and a pass batted.

7/7/22: In 2021, Smith was a dangerous edge rusher for Georgia. He played hard and totaled 55 tackles, 3.5 sacks, one interception and three forced fumbles. In 2020, Smith had 22 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

Smith is quick off the edge, but he needs to grow stronger for the NFL. He flashed ability as an underclassman and should improve as he gains experience. Smith's bigger role as a pass rusher and run defender should only grow in 2022.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma
  • '21 - Zaven Collins, Tulsa
  • '20 - Patrick Queen, LSU
4. LSU image B.J. Ojulari*, OLB/DE, LSU
Height: 6-3. Weight: 244.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2023): 1-3
View Ranking History

9/24/22: In 2022, Ojulari has 10 tackles and 1.5 sacks thus far. He is a good pursuit player with speed and athleticism, but he has problems getting off blocks.

7/7/22: The NFL advance scouts expected Ali Gaye to be the top edge defender for LSU in 2021, but Gaye ended up getting hurt, leaving the role to Ojulari, who put together an excellent season. On the year, Ojulari collected seven sacks and 54 tackles. In his impressive freshman season, he recorded four sacks, one forced fumble and 16 tackles. Ojulari could be a good fit in the NFL as a 3-4 outside linebacker.





Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Leo Chenal, Wisconsin
  • '21 - Jabril Cox, LSU
  • '20 - Zack Baun, Wisconsin
5. Kansas State image Felix Anudike-Uzomah*, OLB/DE, Kansas State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 255.
Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
Projected Round (2023): 1-3.
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Team sources say they have been impressed with Anudike-Uzomah. In 2022, he has 2.5 sacks, nine tackles and a forced fumble.

7/7/22: Anudike broke out as a sophomore for the Wildcats in 2021, ripping off 11 sacks, six forced fumbles and 52 tackles. It was only his first season of significant playing time, and he could improve as he gains experience. Anudike-Uzomah might fit best in the NFL as a 3-4 outside linebacker.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Josh Ross, Michigan
  • '21 - Joe Tryon, Washington
  • '20 - Josh Uche, Michigan
6. Army image Andre Carter II, OLB, Army
Height: 6-7. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
Projected Round (2023): 2-3
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Carter has played well thus far in 2022, recording 11 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

7/7/22: Carter was a beast for the Black Knights in 2021, ripping off 15.5 sacks in a stellar season. He also racked up 44 tackles, four forced fumbles, an interception and two passes batted. Carter is a long, tall defender, and he received a favorable rating from the NFL advance scouts.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - DeAngelo Malone, Western Kentucky
  • '21 - Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
  • '20 - Julian Okwara, Notre Dame
7. Appalachian State image Nick Hampton, OLB, Appalachian State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 225.
Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
Projected Round (2023): 2-3
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Hampton has 13 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble so far in 2022.

7/7/22: Hampton had a big 2021 season for the Mountaineers, ripping off 11 sacks and 68 tackles. He flashed pass-rush ability in 2020, with three sacks, and 2019, with a half sack, while totaling 66 tackles and three forced fumbles over that time. For the NFL, Hampton could stand to get stronger and add weight to his frame to help him get off blocks.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Damone Clark, LSU
  • '21 - Joseph Ossai, Texas
  • '20 - Akeem Davis-Gaither, Appalachian State
8. Washington image Zion Tupuola-Fetui, OLB, Washington
Height: 6-3. Weight: 246.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2023): 2-4
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Tupuola-Fetui has recorded four tackles thus far this season. He has not stood out for Washington.

7/7/22: With Joe Tryon sitting out the 2020 season, Tupuola-Fetui took the opporunity to be an electric defender for the Huskies, recording seven sacks and three forced fumbles. Tupuola-Fetui has good size to play on the edge in a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme. He tore an Achilles tendon in the spring 2021, and he only returned to the field in late October, recording eight tackles and a sack in his limited 2021 action.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Aaron Hansford, Texas A&M
  • '21 - Nick Bolton, Missouri
  • '20 - Anfernee Jennings, Alabama
9. Tennessee image Byron Young, OLB/DT, Tennessee
Height: 6-3. Weight: 243.
Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
Projected Round (2023): 2-4
View Ranking History

9/24/22: So far this year Young has notched five tackles and one sack.

7/7/22: Young had a solid 2021 season for the Volunteers with 5.5 sacks, 46 tackles and an interception. He has quality size and a skill set to develop. Young could easily be better in 2022 thanks to having a year of starting experience under his belt.





Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Carson Wells, Colorado
  • '21 - Derrick Barnes, Purdue
  • '20 - Willie Gay Jr., Mississippi State
10. South Carolina image Jordan Strachan, OLB, South Carolina
Height: 6-5. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
Projected Round (2023): 2-4
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Strachan has 10 tackles and one sack thus far this year.

7/7/22: Strachan looked like he could have star potential in 2020, breaking out with 10.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and 41 tackles. Strachan dipped in 2021 to three sacks, 23 tackles and an interception. If Strachan can get back to his 2020 form, he could be a riser.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Darrian Beavers, Cincinnati
  • '21 - Quincy Roche, Miami
  • '20 - Michael Divinity, LSU
11. Troy image Richard Jibunor, OLB, Troy
Height: 6-3. Weight: 232.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2023): 2-4
View Ranking History

9/24/22: So far in 2022, Jibunor has recorded eight tackles.

7/7/22: Jibunor was a very productive defender for Troy in 2021, notching 41 tackles, 7.5 sacks, one forced fumble and two interceptions. As a redshirt freshman, he had 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. The 6-foot-3, 232-pound Jibunor needs to get stronger for the NFL, but he has upside to develop.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Tyree Johnson, Texas A&M
  • '21 - Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Oregon State
  • '20 - David Woodward, Utah State
12. Georgia Tech image Charlie Thomas, OLB, Georgia Tech
Height: 6-2. Weight: 207.
Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
Projected Round (2023): 3-4
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Thomas has racked up 28 tackles, one interception, and one sack thus far for Georgia Tech in 2022.

7/7/22: Thomas was a solid run defender for the Yellow Jackets in 2021, recording 70 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble and two interceptions. He needs to get stronger and bigger to play linebacker in the NFL, but he has upside to develop.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Tyrus Wheat, Mississippi State
  • '21 - JaCoby Stevens, LSU
  • '20 - Casey Toohill, Stanford
13. Florida image Brenton Cox, OLB/, Florida
Height: 6-4. Weight: 247.
Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
Projected Round (2023): 3-4.
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Cox has 21 tackles so far this season, but he has also put some pressure on the quarterback.

7/7/22: Cox recorded 41 tackles, 8.5 sacks and four passes batted in 2021. Almost half of his sacks came versus Florida State, but Cox ended the year with 7.5 sacks over the final four games. Cox recorded 41 tackles, four sacks and two passes broken up in 2020, but he played better than the numbers indicate.

While Cox has improved from 2020, he was wise to go back to Florida for his junior year and work on his pass-rushing moves before heading to the NFL. He plays hard and shows the ability to power rush with heavy hands.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Christopher Allen, Alabama
  • '21 - DeAngelo Malone, Western Kentucky
  • '20 - Bryce Huff, Memphis
14. Wisconsin image Nick Herbig, OLB, Wisconsin
Height: 6-2. Weight: 227.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2023): 3-4
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Herbig has 11 tackles and four sacks so far this year.

7/7/22: Herbig recorded 61 tackles with nine sacks, four passes batted and one forced fumble in 2021. He was a tough defender for the Badgers and showed upside to be a versatile defender who can rush the passer or drop into coverage.





Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Jeremiah Moon, Florida
  • '21 - Pete Werner, Ohio State
  • '20 - Cam Brown, Penn State
15. TCU image Dee Winters, OLB, TCU
Height: 6-1. Weight: 230.
Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
Projected Round (2023): 4-6
View Ranking History

9/24/22: So far this season, Winters has six tackles and a sack.

7/7/22: Winters has been a solid run defender for TCU over the past few seasons. In 2021, he recorded 74 tackles, one sack, two interceptions and two passes defended. In 2020, he collected 65 tackles, two sacks and two passes batted. Showing pass-coverage skills as a senior would help Winters.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Jordan Strachan, South Carolina
  • '21 - Malcolm Koonce, Buffalo
  • '20 - Kamal Martin, Minnesota
16. UT Martin image Eyabi Anoma, OLB, UT Martin
Height: 6-3. Weight: 225.
Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
Projected Round (2023): 4-6
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Anoma has three tackles and a sack thus far this year.

7/7/22: After starting out his college career at Houston, Anoma had a solid 2021 season for UT-Martin with six sacks, 36 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss and one forced fumble. Anoma redshirted in 2019 and had to sit out 2020 because of NCAA transfer rules.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Tomon Fox, North Carolina
  • '21 - Grant Stuard, Houston
  • '20 - Francis Bernard, Utah
17. Clemson image Trenton Simpson*, OLB, Clemson
Height: 6-3. Weight: 225.
Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
Projected Round (2023): 4-6
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Simpson has notched 19 tackles thus far in 2022.

7/7/22: Simpson played well in 2020, recording 28 tackles, four sacks and one forced fumble. In 2021, Simpson recorded 65 tackles, six sacks and two passes broken up. He has a ton of ability, plus excellent size to go along with quickness and athleticism.



Previous Seasons

  • '22 - Adam Anderson, Georgia
  • '21 - Amen Ogbongbemiga, Oklahoma State
  • '20 - Michael Pinckney, Miami
18. Vanderbilt image Anfernee Orji, OLB, Vanderbilt
Height: 6-2. Weight: 230.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2023): 4-6
View Ranking History

9/24/22: At this point in 2022, Orji has 39 tackles.

7/7/22: Orji has been a solid defender for the Commodores over the past two seasons, recording 65 tackles in 2020 and 71 stops in 2021. As a senior, Orji needs to produce more splash plays to help him rise.



Previous Seasons

  • '21 - Charles Snowden, Virginia
  • '20 - Tipa Galeai, Utah State
19. Stephen F. Austin image B.J. Thompson*, OLB/DE, Stephen F. Austin
Height: 6-6. Weight: 225.
Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
Projected Round (2023): 4-6
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Thompson has three tackles thus far this year.

7/7/22: Thompson has flashed some ability for the Lumberjacks and made it onto NFL teams' preseason watch list. For the next level, Thompson will need to get stronger and add a lot of weight to his frame.



Previous Seasons

  • '21 - Shaka Toney, Penn State
  • '20 - Carter Coughlin, Minnesota
20. Tennessee image Jeremy Banks, OLB/ILB, Tennessee
Height: 6-1. Weight: 220.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2023): 4-6
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Banks has 14 tackles and a forced fumble so far in 2022.

7/7/22: Banks is an undersized linebacker, but he was a tackling machine for the Volunteers in 2021. He racked up 128 tackles with 5.5 sacks, an interception and four passes broken up on the year. Banks has the potential to rise if he stays consistent and shows improved strength to take on blocks. Depending on how well he runs in pre-draft workouts, he could be looked at as a safety/linebacker tweener who might fit as a sub package or dime linebacker in the NFL.



Previous Seasons

  • '21 - Jordan Smith, UAB
  • '20 - Mykal Walker, Fresno State
21. Nebraska image Garrett Nelson*, OLB, Nebraska
Height: 6-3. Weight: 240.
Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
Projected Round (2023): 5-7
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Nelson has recorded 21 tackles and a sack so far in 2022. He was a non-factor and disappointing versus good offensive tackles in games against Northwestern and Oklahoma.

7/7/22: Nelson showed some ability in 2021 with five sacks, 57 tackles and two passes batted. As a junior in 2022, it would help Nelson to show pass-coverage ability to fit in the passing-driven NFL.



Previous Seasons

  • '21 - Cameron McGrone, Michigan
  • '20 - Davion Taylor, Colorado
22. Auburn image Derick Hall, OLB, Auburn
Height: 6-3. Weight: 251.
Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
Projected Round (2023): 5-7
View Ranking History

9/24/22: So far in 2022, Hall has 15 tackles and a sack.

7/7/22: Hall was an edge-rushing presence for the Tigers in 2021, recording nine sacks, 52 tackles and two forced fumbles. It was a big jump in production from 2020, when he had 21 stops and 3.5 sacks. If Hall can continue to build his productivity, he could be a riser for the 2023 NFL Draft.



Previous Seasons

  • '21 - Daelin Hayes, Notre Dame
  • '20 - David Reese II, Florida
23. Ohio State image Tyler Friday, OLB, Ohio State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 264.
Projected 40 Time: 4.79.
Projected Round (2023): 6-FA
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Friday has two tackles at this point in 2022.

7/7/22: Friday has yet to produce a big season for the Buckeyes, but he has shown enough ability to make it onto NFL teams' preseason watch list. Friday has quality size, but he needs to produce as a senior in order to get drafted.



Previous Seasons

  • '21 - Jamal Hines, Toledo
  • '20 - Keisean Lucier-South, UCLA
24. Texas A&M image Demani Richardson, OLB, Texas A&M
Height: 6-1. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
Projected Round (2023): 6-FA
View Ranking History

9/24/22: In 2022, Richardson has 13 tackles and a forced fumble.

7/7/22: Richardson is an undersized linebacker who will need to add weight for the NFL. He had a 65 tackles with two sacks, one forced fumble, one interception, and three passes defended in 2021. Richardson might need some developmental time at the next level while serving as a backup and special teams contributor.



Previous Seasons

  • '21 - Chauncey Manac, La.-Lafayette
  • '20 - Christian Rozeboom, South Dakota State
25. Duke image Shaka Heyward, OLB, Duke
Height: 6-4. Weight: 220.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2023): 6-FA
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Heyward has 15 tackles and four passes defended thus far in 2022.

7/7/22: Heyward has been a quality defender for Duke over the past three seasons. His best season came as a junior in 2021, when he had 97 tackles, three sacks and an interception. He racked up 79 tackles in 2020 and 68 stops in 2019. Heyward could be a backup linebacker and special teams contributor in the NFL while seeing if he can develop into a starting role.



Previous Seasons

  • '21 - Anthony Hines III, Texas A&M
  • '20 - Qaadir Sheppard, Ole Miss
26. UTEP image Praise Amaewhule*, OLB/DE, UTEP
Height: 6-3. Weight: 245.
Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
Projected Round (2023): 6-FA
View Ranking History

9/24/22: So far this year, Amaewhule has recorded eight tackles.

7/7/22: Amaewhule showed some pass-rush potential in 2021, recording 38 tackles, 5.5 sacks, five passes batted and two forced fumbles. He also played well in 2020 with seven sacks, eight passes batted and one forced fumble. Amaewhule would be rated higher if he weren't very undersized for an NFL defensive end.



27. Arkansas image Zach Williams, OLB, Arkansas
Height: 6-4. Weight: 255.
Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
Projected Round (2023): 7-FA
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Williams has totaled eight tackles and 2.5 sacks in 2022.

7/7/22: Williams has not produced a big season for the Razorbacks, but he has flashed enough potential to make it onto NFL teams' preseason watch list. In 2021, he collected 23 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Williams has the upside to improve as a senior.



28. Tulane image Dorian Williams, OLB/SS, Tulane
Height: 6-2. Weight: 225.
Projected 40 Time: 4.81.
Projected Round (2023): 7-FA
View Ranking History

9/24/22: So far in 2022, Williams has 18 tackles, an interception and pass broken up.

7/7/22: Williams recorded 73 tackles, a sack and three passes broken up in 2021. He was more productive in 2020 with 97 stops, 4.5 sacks and three passes defended. Williams could stand to get stronger for the NFL.



29. UNLV image Adam Plant Jr., OLB, UNLV
Height: 6-5. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.85.
Projected Round (2023): 7-FA
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Plant has eight tackles and a sack so far in 2022.

7/7/22: Plant notched 3.5 sacks in each of the past two seasons to go along with 76 tackles over that time. He has good size to him and needs to produce a big season to grade out as draft-able.



30. Purdue image Jalen Graham, OLB, Purdue
Height: 6-3. Weight: 220.
Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
Projected Round (2023): 7-FA
View Ranking History

9/24/22: On the year, Graham has six tackles.

7/7/22: Graham made his presence felt for the Boilermakers in 2021, recording 64 tackles with one sack, two interceptions and seven passes defended. If Graham can build on his junior year, he has the potential to rise as a senior.



31. TCU image Dylan Horton, OLB, TCU
Height: 6-4. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.84.
Projected Round (2023): 7-FA
View Ranking History

9/24/22: Horton has three tackles and a pass broken up thus far this season.

7/7/22: Horton is a thick outside linebacker who can set the edge. In 2021, he had 51 tackles and four sacks. Horton needs to show more pass-coverage ability as a senior.





2022 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

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





 








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