November 17, 2012; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Jarvis Jones (29) and linebacker Alec Ogletree (9) combine to tackle Georgia Southern Eagles wide receiver Darreion Robinson (7) during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Georgia defeated Georgia Southern 45-14. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NFL Draft Preview: Top 5 Linebackers

Continuing our coverage on the top draft prospects in this years draft. Don’t forget to check out Dave Gilbert’s Top 5 Defensive Linemen article and also my Top 5 Offensive Linemen preview. As you see in the headline of this page, today I will be covering the Top 5 Linebacker prospects. With one of the greatest linebackers (Ray Lewis) to ever play the game retiring, a long list of replacement hopefuls enter the NFL Draft in April. This year’s draft has a lot of talented defensive players who are ready to enter the league and make an impact.

1. Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia (6-3 236 lbs) – One of the two top linebackers who enter the draft for the University of Georgia; Ogletree has shown he can be a play-maker while defending the run game and always seemed to find the ball wherever it was on the field. Just to point out, he failed a drug test which resulted in a 4 game suspension. He came back from that suspension and recorded 111 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, 3 sacks, and an interception. This kid could be a Pro Bowler within 3-4 years.

2. Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame (6-2 255 lbs) - Alright let’s forget his little scandal he has going on and focus on what he has actually done while playing for the Fighting Irish. As a Heisman runner-up he recorded 113 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 4 passes broken up and 7 interceptions. Te’o has displayed excellent blitzing ability and is able to close in quickly as a pass-rusher. This kid should go sometime in the 1st round.

3. Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU (6-2 245 lbs) – As a Junior, Minter showed that he was the most consistent player on the defense. A fast and hard hitting linebacker who isn’t afraid to get physical, is making a good case for himself when it comes to being a 3 down linebacker and a starter at that. Tallying up 130 tackles with 15 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 5 broken up passes, 1 interception and forced fumble. Minter could possibly be go late 1st round.

4. Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia (6-2 242 lbs) - One man who you can compare Jones to in the NFL is Denver Broncos OLB Von Miller. They are both strong run pursuit defense linebackers. Coming off a good season along side fellow Bulldog, Alec Ogletree, Jones picked up 85 tackles, 14.5 sacks, 24.5 tackles for loss, 7 forced fumbles and 1 interception. I believe he could be a Top 10 pick in the draft.

5. Jonathan Bostic, ILB, Florida (6’1 246 lbs) – I may get some crap for this, but I have a good feeling about this kid. He is projected to go about the 3rd or 4th round but I think he could potentially go late 2nd. Bostic was a core player for Florida’s tough defense. I think he has the ability to win early playing time and could even get put on special teams. This kid reminds me a lot of Baltimore Ravens Jameel McClain, same size, same playing ability. In his senior hear at Florida he recorded 68 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble and 3 sacks.


Tags: Alec Ogletree Jarvis Jones Jonathan Bostic Kevin Minter Manti Te'o NFL Draft

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