It’s been probably overstated (but not enough) the Las Vegas Raiders must address the linebacker position and there are five in the upcoming NFL Draft, not named Isaiah Simmons or Patrick Queen, general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden should pay close attention to.
Five LB’s Raiders Must Watch on Day 3 of the Combine
Sure, the Silver and Black might select one of the top prospects in the first round, but if you watched the Raiders linebackers last season, you know they need fresh blood at the position.
Logan Wilson, Wyoming, 6’2′ 241 lbs
Wilson reminds me of another ex-Mountain West player, Leighton Vander Esch. He isn’t as big as the Cowboy linebacker but he’s just as productive. Also, he has the size to play either inside or outside. A strong showing at the combine may push Wilson up the draft boards.
Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech, 6’0′ 240 lbs
One thing Brooks can do is tackle. In the last two seasons, Brooks had almost 200 tackles and 26.5 of them were for a loss. Brooks does need to show athleticism dropping back in coverage.
Related: Will Mayock Draft a WR or Not?
Akeem Davis-Gaither, Appalachian State, 6’1′ 224 lbs
Back in the day, Davis-Gaither would probably have been seen as a late draft pick or a priority undrafted free agent. Not in this new NFL. Davis-Gaither is built more like a safety than a linebacker and that is a good thing. He put on extra eight pounds since the season ended and should run well. His performance in recognition drills and change of direction should help his cause.
Evan Weaver, California, 6’2′ 237 lbs
Like Davis-Gaither, Weaver would have been looked upon differently a few years back as MIKE linebacker. The 2019 Pac-12’s Defensive Player of the Year is a classic looking linebacker that must run well to eliminate the stereotype of a two-down linebacker. Running under 4.7 in the 40, can do just that for Weaver.
Malik Harrison, Ohio State, 6’2′ 247 lbs
This ex-Buckeye is one of this year’s biggest linebackers and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Smart and an excellent tackler, Harrison needs to work on his coverage skills.
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