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2010 NFL Draft - Outside Linebacker Rankings
Sergio Kindle, Jerry Hughes, & Rennie Curran
Sergio Kindle, Jerry Hughes, & Rennie Curran
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 14, 2010


It'll be an interesting draft of outside linebackers with more hybrids than ever led by pass rushing terrors like Sergio Kindle from Texas and Jerry Hughes of TCU along with dangerous playmaker Rennie Curran of Georgia. Check out the CFN ranking of the top OLBs along with the most overrated and underrated prospects.

2010 NFL Draft Position Rankings

Outside Linebackers


By Pete Fiutak

2010 CFN Talent Rankings
- 1st Rounders
- 2nd Rounders
- 3rd Rounders
- 4th Rounders
- 5th Rounders
- 6th Rounders
- 7th Rounders 
- Top Free Agent Talents 

2010 CFN Position Rankings & Analysis

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs

2010 NFL Combine Quick Looks & Post-Combine Rankings

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs

2010 NFL Combine Results
- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs 

2010 NFL Combine
- Offensive Winners  
- Offensive Losers 
- Defensive Winners 
- Defensive Losers

This Class Is … Interesting. There’s a world of versatility with so many tweeners who can play end or outside linebacker depending on the system. It’s a deep group with a little something for everyone. There’s good value to be had late.

The Best Value Pick Will Be … Rennie Curran, Georgia
Most Underrated … A.J. Edds, Iowa
Most Overrated … Eric Norwood, South Carolina
The Deep, Deep Sleeper Is … Larry Hart, Central Arkansas

1. Sergio Kindle, Texas 6-3, 250 (DE)
A tweener, he’s not an elite athlete and isn’t sure-thing dominant as an outside linebacker, and he’s not an NFL defensive end. Very strong looking with the right body and the right look, he’s a good worker who can play in a variety of spots and plays much faster than he times. There have been a few off-the-field issues, but there’s nothing to get into a big twist over. If he’s in the right system, he could become a devastating pass rusher who’s far better in the pros than he was as a collegian when he was the focus of every blocking scheme. However, he has to prove it. Everyone bent over backwards to make excuses why he wasn’t producing at a high level.
CFN Projection: First Round

2. Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri 6-1, 239 (ILB)
A natural leader who’s very yappy, but is the type of player everyone wants to be around and follow, he had an ultra-productive career and proved at the Combine to be extremely strong with nice quickness. Always around the ball, he’s an active defender who holds up well against big blockers and he doesn’t miss a tackle when he gets there. He doesn’t have the best range and is a bit small, but his intensity and his tackling make up for it. But be warned; he’ll rub some people the wrong way, and if he’s not great and he keeps talking, he’ll tick off a lot of teammates.
CFN Projection: First Round

3. Jerry Hughes, TCU 6-2, 255 (DE)
A very pure, elite pass rusher who showed at the Combine that he could be a defensive end if he needs to be and could also be quick enough to work as an outside linebacker. The 26 lifts on the bench were fantastic and he flew around the short drills. With great work ethic, a high motor, and the ability to raise his game at the right time, he’s the type of player coaches rave about and love to have around. He’ll need to find the right fit and he can’t be asked to hold up against the run on a regular basis, but he’ll be deadly when turned loose.
CFN Projection: Second Round

4. Ricky Sapp, Clemson 6-4, 252 (DE)
Originally considered a possible defensive end, he proved at the Combine that he’s a linebacker … maybe. A tweener with tremendous upside, he has the tools to be used in a variety of ways as a pro including a pass rushing specialist (he was a superstar high school sprinter). He’s not a run defender and he needs to get bigger, but he moves well, is athletic, and can be the type of player who blows up on a defense with other good players who’ll do the dirty work. He might not be the best all-around defender, but he could be a Pro Bowler on sack total.
CFN Projection: Second Round

5. Eric Norwood, South Carolina 6-1, 245 (DE)
Part defensive end, part linebacker, he got many of his accolades based on a few big, high-profile games and disappeared far too often the rest of the time. He has good size, excellent strength, and could be turned loose as a pass rushing terror from time to time, and he could even be used as a middle linebacker if needed. While he might have gotten by on reputation, he’s a good player who’ll likely flourish as a pro if he gets to be a speed-rushing linebacker.
CFN Projection: Second Round

6. Navorro Bowman, Penn State 6-0, 242
He came out early after an interesting career with a ton of production on the field and several issues off of it. While he was ultra-athletic for the Nittany Lions as an all-star playmaker who hung with receivers without a problem and was great at getting into the backfield, he came up with a clunker of a Combine running a slow 4.72 (he was expected to be more explosive) which partly could’ve been because he came in heavy. A great tackler who could be deadly once he figures out how to play at a bigger weight, he’ll be a strong pick as long as his days of off-field issues are over.
CFN Projection: Second Round

7. Rennie Curran, Georgia 5-11, 235
Not all that big and not all that strong against the bigger, tougher NFL blockers, but he’s a terrific athlete who moved well at the Combine but ran a mere 4.72 40. Extremely strong, he might make up for his lack of height with pure strength. On the field, he was extremely underappreciated and overshadowed in the SEC and could become a star once he hits the NFL limelight. In the weird world of NFL scouting, if he was 6-1 he’d probably be a sure-thing top 50 pick, but because he’s two inches shorter (like that really matters for a linebacker) he’ll probably drop.
CFN Projection: Third Round

8. Dekoda Watson, Florida State 6-1, 240
Absolutely chiseled out of granite, he has a body with one muscle on top of another. More than just a phenomenal physique, he’s extremely quick and cranked out a blazing 4.56 40 and an amazing 11’2” broad jump. He’s not going to get any bigger (there isn’t room for another muscle), he doesn’t have a feel for pass coverage considering his athleticism, and has been better in workouts than on the field.
CFN Projection: Third Round

9. Jason Worilds, Virginia Tech 6-1, 254 (DE)
Part defensive end, part outside linebacker, he’s a true tweener with a high motor who can do a little of everything, he was quick through the short drills in workouts. A tough tackler who has to be dragged off the field, he has had several injuries to play through but isn’t going to dog it. While he’ll need to be a more creative pass rusher and will have to grow into a role as a 3-4 linebacker.
CFN Projection: Third Round

10. Thaddeus Gibson, Ohio State 6-2, 243
With a great frame and the perfect look, he has the appearance of a next-level linebacker, even though he has defensive end skills. A veteran who has been through it all, he has great athleticism and could be a natural in several spot. Very quick, he led all defensive ends at the Combine in the cone drill and blazed through the shuttle drills, and the 32 reps on the bench were terrific. However, his skills don’t necessarily translate to the field and he isn’t an elite pass rusher and there might be a concern of a Vernon Gholston tag (looks the part but can’t play).
CFN Projection: Second Round

11. Dexter Davis, Arizona State 6-1, 244 (DE)
One of the quickest and most fluid ends at the Combine, he ran a fast 4.64 40 with a decent 24 reps on the bench. However, while he might be tried out as a situational pass rusher on the outside, he’ll be an outside linebacker. There’s the potential for a problem against NFL blockers, even though he held up well against top college linemen. He stays blocked for too long and will have to use his quickness better in space.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

12. Antonio Coleman, Auburn 6-1, 255 (DE)
While he’s being projected as more of a defensive end, he’ll make his money as a pass rusher as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He needs to get functionally stronger, but he’s a hard worker, he always has his foot on the gas, and he holds up well playing bigger than his size. He’s not strong enough and big enough to be an NFL end, and he’s not quite a good enough athlete to be an elite linebacker. While he’ll be a good pro, he’s not going to be a great one.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

13. Koa Misi, Utah 6-3, 251 (DE)
He’ll be good in a variety of ways and might end up being a defensive end if he can bulk up a little bit; he has the room on his frame to do it. With the strength to be on the line and just enough speed and quickness to be a linebacker, his versatility alone will boost him up many draft charts. However, he’s not an NFL defensive end lacking the pass rushing ability to be used as a Rush End. He’ll work his tail off to become a solid pro and he should grow into the job on the outside, but it’ll probably take a little while.
CFN Projection: Third Round

14. Keaton Kristick, Oregon State 6-3, 234
A pure football player. With decent athleticism and a great motor, he could become a special teams superstar if he’s not a top linebacker. He needs to get stronger after coming up with just 16 reps on the bench at the Combine, and he’s a bit too skinny and isn’t a top tackler, but his quickness opened some eyes and he could be used as a situational pass rusher.
CFN Projection: Seventh Round

15. Stevenson Sylvester, Utah 6-2, 231
While he’s not going to be a three-down defender, he could make a ton of money and make a lot of headlines as a pure pass rushing specialist. He played at a high level throughout his college career and ate Alabama’s lunch n the 2009 Sugar Bowl. Extremely quick with cut-on-a-dime quickness, he could be a disruptive force as a 3-4 outside linebacker if he’s in the right defense. But if he’s on the field for more than a few downs, he’ll get run over by any NFL lineman.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

16. O’Brien Schofield, Wisconsin 6-2, 221 (DE)
Tragically, Schofield tore his ACL in an East-West Shrine practice after being unblockable at times and becoming the talk of the early offseason. Way too small to be a regular NFL defensive end, he proved he could make the transition to outside linebacker before the knee injury, but now there’s a question if his ACL will be too much to overcome for a player of his size. He can be erased by good, strong linemen and he’ll need to pack on the pounds to be able to hold up on the line. Clutch, he always seemed to get into the backfield and to the quarterback just when the team needed it the most. He’d have likely been a top 100 pick before the injury, and he could be a gem later on for anyone patient enough to let him heal.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

17. Perry Riley, LSU 6-1, 239
A big hitter who can fly to the ball when he’s in the open, he doesn’t miss a stop and is great when dealing with a ball-carrier one-on-one. However, he’s not going to be special in space at an NFL level lacking the athleticism to be a top outside linebacker. He might move inside to take advantage of his toughness, but he’ll have to get a lot bigger. While he’ll never do much in pass coverage, he’s used to playing on the weakside and can at least be tried out there. However, he’ll probably be overdrafted considering he doesn’t have elite skills in any one area for a top linebacker.
CFN Projection: Third Round

18. Roddrick Muckelroy, Texas 6-2, 246
A pure outside linebacker, he’s a good worker, moves well, and he has a high-end motor, but he’s not nearly athletic enough to be a regular on the weakside and isn’t functionally strong at an NFL level. While he might not have the top skills, he’s a great producer who’s a better football player than a workout warrior. He’s the type of player coaches love to have since he’ll bust his tail in practices, but he simply doesn’t have the raw NFL necessities to be anything more than just a guy.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

19. A.J. Edds, Iowa 6-4, 246
Surprisingly quick for a tall, rangy player, he struggled on the bench at the Combine (16 reps) and wasn’t fast enough, but he has room to grow into his frame and could be used in a variety of ways. He’s not the flashiest player around, but he’s tough and makes a ton of plays. He needs to get a lot stronger, he isn’t a pass rusher, and he gets by more on want-to than on raw skills. There’s a hard ceiling on what he can become, but he could be a functional backup.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

20. Cameron Sheffield, Troy 6-2, 257 (DE)
A disastrous 4.9 40 at the Combine killed his potential as an outside linebacker, but he’s too light to be a regular defensive end. However, he’s a good pass rusher and is smart enough to make things happen on the move. He’ll need time to learn how to play outside linebacker and might need at least a year to figure out what he’s doing. The upside is there for a prospect with just enough talent to become a dangerous strongside linebacker.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

21. Simoni Lawrence, Minnesota
22. Kavell Conner, Clemson
23. Justin Cole, San Jose State
24. Larry Hart, Central Arkansas
25. Sam Maxwell, Kentucky