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 July 31, 2021. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

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2021 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

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

Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
1. Georgia image Adam Anderson, OLB, Georgia
Height: 6-4. Weight: 226.
Projected 40 Time: 4.6.
Projected Round (2023): 1.
View Ranking History

7/31/21: Some NFL advance scouts had Anderson with the highest preseason grade of any player on their preseason watch list. That tells you a lot about what they think of Anderson's skill set, as he enters his senior year having only been a rotational player and never having been a three-down starter. In 2020 as a part-time designated pass rusher, Anderson was tremendous at putting heat on the quarterback, collecting 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pass batted. He only recorded 14 tackles for the season, however, because Azeez Ojulari played over him on run downs.

Anderson is tremendous pass rusher who produces quarterback pressure at an insane rate. Anderson looks like a bolt of lightning off the ball with his amazing first-step. Off the snap, it is as if he has been shot out of cannon as he explodes upfield with shocking speed. On top of being very fast, Anderson shows an uncanny ability to bend his long frame. The 6-foot-4, 226-pounder needs to get stronger and improve his run defense for the NFL, but he looks like he has the potential to be a lethal pass rusher who produces some big sack totals and makes a lot of game-changing plays to limit passing attacks.





Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
2. Oregon image Kayvon Thibodeaux, OLB, Oregon
Height: 6-4. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.7.
Projected Round (2023): 1.
View Ranking History

7/31/21: Thibodeaux recorded 32 tackles, three sacks and three passes batted in 2020. He had a superb freshman season for the Ducks, doing an excellent job of getting after the quarterback and totaling nine sacks, 35 tackles, a forced fumble and three passes batted. It would help Thibodeaux (6-5, 242) to gain more strength, as he will need more weight to hold up as a run defender and to shed blocks from NFL offensive linemen. He has plenty of time to add weight and grow stronger over the next year.



Previous Seasons

  • '20 - K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU
3. Penn State image Brandon Smith, OLB, Penn State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 240.
Projected 40 Time: 4.5.
Projected Round (2023): 1-2.
View Ranking History

7/31/21: With Micah Parsons sitting out the 2020 season, Smith flashed for Penn State, showing speed and athleticism. Like Parsons, Smith is a big linebacker who has serious speed. In the shortened eight-game 2020 season, Smith collected 37 tackles, two sacks, an interception and a pass broken up. He could be even better in 2021 thanks to his experience as a sophomore.



Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Patrick Queen, LSU
4. Florida State image Jermaine Johnson, OLB/DE, Florida State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 255.
Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
Projected Round (2023): 1-3.
View Ranking History

7/31/21: In 2020, Johnson was part of a loaded group of edge rushers at Georgia. Azeez Ojulari was the featured defender, while Johnson, Adam Anderson and Nolan Smith rotated for snaps. Anderson and Johnson both flashed, with Johnson recording four sacks and 14 tackles in backup duty. With Anderson and Smith returning to the Bulldogs, Johnson transferred to Florida State. Some NFL scouts gave Johnson a high projection on their preseason watch list. Johnson has good size and speed off the edge.





Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Zack Baun, Wisconsin
5. Alabama image Will Anderson*, OLB, Alabama
Height: 6-4. Weight: 235.
Projected 40 Time: 4.6.
Projected Round (2023): 1-3.
View Ranking History

7/31/21: Anderson was a rare freshman to start on Nick Saban's defense, but Anderson proved his special ability with a superb debut season. He was third in the SEC with seven sacks while also recording 10.5 tackles for a loss, and 52 tackles. Anderson has size, speed, athleticism, and is an explosive playmaker. He could be even better as a sophomore and/or junior.



Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Josh Uche, Michigan
6. Georgia image Nolan Smith, OLB, Georgia
Height: 6-3. Weight: 235.
Projected 40 Time: 4.84.
Projected Round (2023): 1-3.
View Ranking History




Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Julian Okwara, Notre Dame
7. Alabama image Christian Harris, OLB, Alabama
Height: 6-2. Weight: 244.
Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
Projected Round (2023): 1-3.
View Ranking History

7/31/21: Harris notched 68 tackles, 4.5 sacks and two passes broken up in 2020. After an injury to Dylan Moses, Harris was thrust into a larger role and turned in an impressive freshman season for Alabama in 2019. Harris showed a lot of upside and the skill set to improve after gaining experience. He could be a fast riser as an upperclassman. Improving his production in pass coverage would help him.



Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Akeem Davis-Gaither, Appalachian State
8. Clemson image Trenton Simpson*, OLB/LB, Clemson
Height: 6-3. Weight: 225.
Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
Projected Round (2023): 1-3.
View Ranking History




Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Anfernee Jennings, Alabama
9. Texas A&M image Donell Harris*, OLB/DE, Texas A&M
Height: 6-3. Weight: 220.
Projected 40 Time: 4.7.
Projected Round (2023): 1-3.
View Ranking History






Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Willie Gay Jr., Mississippi State
10. South Carolina image Jordan Strachan, OLB, South Carolina
Height: 6-3. Weight: 223.
Projected 40 Time: 4.7.
Projected Round (2023): 2-3.
View Ranking History




Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Michael Divinity, LSU
11. Alabama image Christopher Allen, OLB, Alabama
Height: 6-3. Weight: 242.
Projected 40 Time: 4.7.
Projected Round (2023): 2-4.
View Ranking History




Previous Seasons

  • '20 - David Woodward, Utah State
12. Washington image Sa'Vell Smalls*, OLB, Washington
Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.8.
Projected Round (2023): 2-4.
View Ranking History




Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Casey Toohill, Stanford
13. Oregon image Noah Sewell*, OLB/DT, Oregon
Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2023): 2-4.
View Ranking History




Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Bryce Huff, Memphis
14. Oregon image Justin Flowe*, OLB, Oregon
Height: 6-2. Weight: 246.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2023): 2-4.
View Ranking History








2021 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

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





 








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