2011 NFL Draft: 3-4 Rush Linebacker Rankings

  1. Robert Quinn*, DE/OLB, North Carolina
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 268.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
    Projected Round (2011): Top 10 Pick.
    10/8/10: Quinn has enough athleticism, fluidity and burst to play rush linebacker in the NFL. He’s still indefinitely suspended by the NCAA, but we hope he will be playing by mid-season.
  2. Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 240.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
    Projected Round (2011): Top 20 Pick.

    10/8/10: Miller has been battling an injured ankle all season and that’s why he hasn’t lived up to his preseason billing. However, despite not playing very well, we know he’s hurt and this shows how tough he is. Playing through pain is something you will have to do in the NFL and Miller isn’t a pansy – we know this now. Once he’s healthy, then we can start to fairly evaluate his game.5/7/10: Had an amazing 21.5 TFL and 16.5 sacks in 2009. Also broke up five passes. Von Miller even beat Russell Okung a few times in their epic matchup.

11/20/09: Compares to Elvis Dumervil; undersized but makes up for it with relentless pass rushing. Von Miller has 18.5 TFL and 15 sacks as a junior, beating Russell Okung on a few occasions. Any 3-4 team would love to have him.

  • Akeem Ayers*, OLB, UCLA
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 252.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
    Projected Round (2011): 1-2.

    10/8/10: I loved Ayers’ game tape against Texas. He can drop in coverage, play the run, and really compete on the field. There is no denying his talent level, but when I watched his game against Washington State he was a little invisible and didn’t make his presence felt enough. As a pass-rusher, he is a little overrated – I just haven’t seen it yet, but some coach will believe he can be taught.5/7/10: Akeem Ayers had 12.5 TFL and five sacks as a mere sophomore.
  • Jeremy Beal, DE/OLB, Oklahoma
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 263.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Projected Round (2011): 1-2.
    10/8/10: I haven’t seen tape on Beal yet this season, but there are many who believe he is capable enough dropping in coverage to play the 3-4 rush linebacker position at the next level. He’s been a terror off the edge this season notching five sacks.
  • Justin Houston*, DE/OLB, Georgia
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 257.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
    Projected Round (2011): 2-3.
    10/8/10: Houston is a quick-twitch athlete with good instincts and a nice motor. He needs to show more polish, consistency and a better repertoire of pass rush moves, but he’s had a solid season for the Bulldogs and he should get better as the season goes along.
  • Steven Friday, DE/OLB, Virginia Tech
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 252.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.66.
    Projected Round (2011): 3-4
    10/8/10: Friday is a little bit of a sleeper. He has a terrific burst off the edge and nice speed, and shows the ability to dip and rip. He can drop in coverage and shows good range. Friday has 21 tackles, 7.5 TFL, four sacks and two forced fumbles on the year.
  • Mark Herzlich, OLB, Boston College
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 241.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.67.
    Projected Round (2011): 3-4
    10/8/10: After recovering from cancer, Herzlich hasn’t been very productive, but we know the talent is there. He’s a prospect we need to be patient with, but at the same time he has to earn back the respect of being a top prospect. He hasn’t done it on the field yet this year for Boston College.
  • Dontay Moch, DE/OLB, Nevada
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 245.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.42.
    Projected Round (2011): 3-4.

    10/8/10: Moch had a lot of hype entering the season with his elite speed and athleticism, but he really has no clue how to play football, and on tape he reminded me of Vernon Gholston. He has absolutely no instincts and is very soft. He is the definition of a workout warrior. I’m not sold on him as an 3-4 rush linebacker either because he his instincts really hurt him and all he can do is use his first step and speed rush.5/7/10: Dontay Moch qualified for the All-WAC First Team with a whopping 20 TFL and 6.5 sacks in 2009.
  • Jack Crawford*, DE/OLB, Penn State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 256.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.66.
    Projected Round (2011): 3-5.

    10/8/10: Crawford is an underachiever. He’s not very physical or competitive and simply doesn’t play up to his physical ability. To sum it up, he doesn’t make enough plays.5/7/10: Notched 14.5 TFL and 5.5 sacks in his sophomore season at Penn State, allowing everyone to forget about Aaron Maybin.
  • Adrian Robinson*, DE/OLB, Temple
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 248.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.61.
    Projected Round (2011): 3-5.

    10/8/10: I was really excited to watch tape on Robinson starting the season, but he’s too finesse and simply can’t play the run at all. He hasn’t done much as a pass-rusher either and doesn’t bring much to the table other than a speed rush. He only has one sack on the season.5/7/10: A gifted pass-rusher, Adrian Robinson collected 14 TFL and 12 sacks for Temple as just a sophomore.
  • Cliff Matthews, DE/OLB, South Carolina
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 249.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
    Projected Round (2011): 4-6.

    10/8/10: Matthews has been underwhelming this season for South Carolina. He’s too inconsistent and doesn’t show the physicality you need to work through trash and get off blocks at the next level. He needs to step it up.5/7/10: Best suited for the 3-4, Cliff Matthews managed 10 TFL and seven sacks in 2009.


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  • Derrell Smith, DE/OLB, Syracuse
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 236.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2011): 4-6.

    5/7/10: A member of the All-Big East Second Team, Derrell Smith collected 82 tackles, 10 TFL and 6.5 sacks in 2009.
  • Kenny Rowe, DE/OLB, Oregon
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
    Projected Round (2011): 5-7.

    5/7/10: Kenny Rowe is a tremendous pass-rusher. He had 15 TFL and 11 sacks in 2009. He’ll have to put on about 10 more pounds and maintain his speed, however.
  • Chris Carter, DE/OLB, Fresno State
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2011): 5-7.

    5/7/10: Another very small rush linebacker, Chris Carter accumulated 13 TFL and five sacks as a junior.
  • Rodney Gnat, DE/OLB, Louisville
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 2254.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Projected Round (2011): 6-FA.

    10/8/10: Head Coach Charlie Strong seems to have had an effect on Gnat’s play. He has already notched five sacks on the year.
  • Bruce Miller, DE/OLB, Central Florida
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 253.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2011): 6-FA.

    10/8/10: Miller lacks the athleticism and talent to go much higher than this. He is a very good college player, but he doesn’t translate to the NFL very well.5/7/10: A terrifying pass-rusher, Bruce Miller collected 17 TFL and 12 sacks in 2009.
  • Wayne Daniels, DE/OLB, TCU
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2011): 6-FA.

    5/7/10: Wayne Daniels had nine TFL and 5.5 sacks while playing second fiddle to Jerry Hughes as a junior.
  • Chris Walker, DE/OLB, Tennessee
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 232.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

    5/7/10: Chris Walker really needs to bulk up and increase production. He had 6.5 TFL and four sacks playing defensive end at 232 pounds for the Vols in 2009.
  • Greg Lloyd Jr., DE/OLB, Connecticut
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 245.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.84.
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

    5/7/10: Son of former Steeler great Greg Lloyd, Lloyd Jr. had 91 tackles and three TFL in 2009, but tore his ACL in November. He played linebacker as a junior, but if healthy, he’ll be at defensive end this fall.
  • Alex Albright, DE/OLB, Boston College
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 248.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.67.
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

    5/7/10: This guy just can’t stay healthy. He played in just 10 games in 2009 and recorded only one sack.8/8/09: Alex Albright had 10 TFL and 8.5 sacks in 2007, but played in only two games last year because of a neck injury. He has two seasons to retain his draft stock.
  • B.J. Williams, DE/OLB, San Diego State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.66.
    Projected Round (2011): 7-FA.

    5/7/10: Collected just 4.5 TFL and 2.5 sacks in 2009.8/8/09: As a sophomore, B.J. Williams collected 74 tackles, 10.5 TFL and 3.5 sacks.
  • Ben Martin, DE/OLB, Tennessee
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 239.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
    Projected Round (2011): FA.

    5/7/10: The severely undersized Ben Martin had just 4.5 TFL and 3.5 sacks in 2009.8/8/09: Had two TFL and one sack in 2008.


WalterFootball.com: 2011 NFL Draft: 3-4 Rush Linebacker Rankings.