2013 NFL Draft - Inside Linebackers No. 6-25

Posted Apr 19, 2013

From a college football perspective, the analysis of the top inside linebacker prospects.

2013 NFL Draft Position Rankings

ILBs - No. 6 to 25

By Pete Fiutak
Follow Us ... @ColFootballNews 

- 2013 Inside Linebacker Rankings

6. Steve Beauharnais, Rutgers 6-1, 240
All of a sudden, his stock was upped with a fantastic Combine. There isn't anything flashy about his style of play or what he does on the field, but he showed the potential to become far more after ripping through the short drills at Indy. All questions about his quickness were answered, but he doesn't really play that way on the field getting to whatever comes his way and not doing much to go sideline to sideline. He doesn't miss a tackle and he's as tough as nails against the run, and he'll be as sound and solid as any inside linebacker in the draft. While he might not be anything special, there's no floor. He'll be a cheap starter available in the later rounds.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

7. Jonathan Stewart, Texas A&M 6-4, 242
While others on the A&M defense got the hype and the limelight. Stewart did his job making plenty of tackles over the last few years as a sound and solid tackler. Fast and athletic, he can play any spot in the linebacking corps and could be moved outside without a problem. While he didn't test well in offseason workouts, he plays fast and moves quickly when he needs to. With his size and skills he can be a functional all-around playmaker no matter where he works, and while he's not really built for the middle - he doesn't have middle linebacker instincts and wastes too many steps - he could put up big numbers as a 3-4 inside defender.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

8. Brandon Hepburn, Florida A&M 6-3, 240
With great size and excellent speed, he's a good fighter with great leadership skills and the hard-hitting ability to become an excellent tackler on the inside. While he has excellent straight line speed, he doesn't cut and move all that well and he's not going to blow anyone up; he's more functional than fantastic. A try-hard type who manages to battle his way to plays, he's going to be tough to kick out of a starting lineup and he'll thrive if he's surrounded by better athletes. If it's his job to play in a box and hit, he'll be able to do that extremely well.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

9. John Lotulelei, UNLV 5-11, 233
He's not big and he's not fast, but he manages to beat people up and use his strength and power to play far bigger. Really quick in the short drills, he moves well in space and does a nice job of lining up on a ball carrier to make a play. A tough guy who makes himself a leader by his play and his attitude, he's always working and always fighting. He'll be erased by the bigger blockers and he needs to hit the weight room to rock up a bit, but he's a good football player who can battle his way into a lineup.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

10. Will Compton, Nebraska 6-1, 235
Purely a good football player, he does all the little things right as a good, sound tackler who doesn't take any wasted steps and doesn't make any big mistakes. With good leadership skills and nice toughness, he'll do whatever is asked of him as a special teamer or a fill-in anywhere in a linebacking corps. With great instincts, he makes up for his lack of quickness by knowing where he needs to be. However, he's missing all the raw tools and isn't big or fast enough to shine. More of a technician than a huge hitter, he's not physical enough, but he'll try.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

11. Bruce Taylor, Virginia Tech 6-1, 239
He's just not big enough. A great tackler with disruptive skills and pass rushing tools, he knows how to make the big play and finds a way to get through the trash to come up with the hit. He needs to be surrounded by athletes and he has a major problem staying healthy, but he could make up for his lack of size, strength and speed with his smarts and leadership skills. He'll do whatever a coaching staff needs of him and he'll produce when he gets his chances – and as long as he can hold up.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

12. Michael Mauti, Penn State 6-2, 243
A whale of a football player with phenomenal instincts and tackling skills, he makes up for several problems by always being around the ball by taking as few steps as possible. He thinks five steps ahead of the play and gets there with the ability to make the play. A pure leader, the team followed him blindly – for good and bad – during the disaster as he took on the role of being the main spokesman for the players. If he was 100% healthy he might be the best inside linebacker in the draft, but his knees can't hold up. He wasn't a great athlete to begin with, and then he had absolutely no luck whatsoever. Just when it seemed like he was back from a knee injury, he suffered another one. While he should be great for the short term, it's impossible to expect more than a few years – if that – because of his injury problems.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

13. Tom Wort, Oklahoma (Jr.) 6-0, 235
A tough guy, he's a pure football player who fights and battles for ever play and without any regard for his own well being trying to make a play. While he doesn't have elite athleticism, he plays fast and he manages to close quicker than his 40 time and short drills might indicate. Too small and without any athleticism, he has to lunge a bit too much because he doesn't always blow through the ball, but the bigger concern is his health. With his size and style, he gets beaten up a bit too much.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

14. Jake Knott, Iowa State 6-2, 243
Is he an outside linebacker or can he hold up on the inside? His style got was a problem in college as he came up with several big hits and got knocked out, but he needs to be able to go full tilt to be able to make it in the next level. Always around the ball and always coming up with the play, he's great at being able to get to the ball in a hurry, and he doesn't make mistakes. The problem is his lack of durability after breaking down. He'll get shoved around way too much and he doesn't necessarily have top tools, but the big issue will always be his health.
CFN Projection: Seventh Round

15. Kenny Demens, Michigan 6-1, 245
There's nothing special about his came and there's nothing to suggest that he can be a star at the next level, but he's a good, sound tackler who's excellent against the run and has decent enough straight line speed to always be around the ball. Versatile, he can work on the outside if needed. Solid more than spectacular, plays have to be funneled to him and he's not going to do much in pass coverage. He'll have to be a special teamer and he'll have to find a role as a swing backup.
CFN Projection: Free Agent


16. Steve Greer, Virginia 6-0, 236 Proj. FREE AGENT
17. Vince Williams, Florida State 6-1, 247 Proj. FREE AGENT
18. Taylor Reed, SMU 6-2, 240 Proj. FREE AGENT
19. Dan Molls, Toledo 6-0, 238 Proj. FREE AGENT
20. Uona Kaveinga, BYU 5-11, 245 Proj. FREE AGENT
21. Christian Robinson, Georgia 6-2, 231 Proj. FREE AGENT
22. Albert Rosette, Nevada 6-2, 245 Proj. FREE AGENT
23. Travis Brown, Fresno State 6-1, 236 Proj. FREE AGENT
24. Nick Clancy, Boston College 6-2, 229 Proj. FREE AGENT
25. Dwayne Beckford, Purdue 6-1, 225 Proj. FREE AGENT

- 2013 Inside Linebacker Rankings