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Inside Linebackers
5 Zach Cunningham 57 Vanderbilt rJr 6030 234 1

Mixed reviews coming out of Cardinal fandom...Some like Cunningham a lot/others feel he plays too high and isn't anything special - Gollin

SI (Ranked #2 LB) - Cunningham may emerge as the best of the bunch once they all reach the NFL—he had 125 tackles for Vanderbilt this season.

Very productive (15 tackles in 2016)...Top instincts/reactions/always around ball...Very good pursuit range...Very good tackler...Explosive...Very good in coverage...But has a slender frame (needs to get bigger and stronger)...Can play inside in a 3-4..."Has something special to him but lack of bulk hurts"... - PFW

"Richard Sherman was one of the smartest players I've ever coached. I think Zach falls into that realm of guys who can take it from the class to the grass and put it in game situations and be big." - Vanderbilt HC Derek Mason...looks more like a safety...Long-levered frame with broad shoulders, a tapered middle and plenty of room for additional muscle mass ...Attacks oncoming blockers with an aggressive and powerful initial punch, quickly disengaging on his way to the ball. Unlike most linebackers with his length, has good recognition and body control ... no hesitancy in the holel...Future could be on the outside...changes direction well for a man of his size...Range to beat RBs to the edge...Exciting closing speed... Good awareness of passing lanes & body control /long arms to contort in space to knock down throws....Could improve tackling. Lanky frame & high pad level work against him.... More a drag-downer than collider.....Could also improve as a pass rusher (too often relies on a quick hand slap, bull rush or speed rather than technique) ...Looks more like a 4-3 OLB than a traditional 3-4 ILB...Comp: Derrick Johnson - NFLDS (Rang)

Cunningham’s name continues to become more and more familiar...Very strong against the run/can shed blocks and make plays as well as any LB in the nation. His 52 solo run stops ranks second in the Power-5. Will need to work on his tackling - missed 31 total over the past two seasons. But if he can improve, he could be one of the best linebackers in this draft class. - PFF

In 2016 he had 125 tackles with 16.5 for a loss, 3 passes batted and 2 forced fumbles. A phenomenal run defender with excellent instincts. Strong to take on offensive linemen, shed blocks, and then make tackles. Did well in pass coverage and can be a three-down starter in the NFL. There has been buzz about Cunningham in scouting circles, and teams are giving him late first-round/early second-round grades. It can be hard to get noticed playing when playing for a struggling but hemanaged to do that. Turned in a strong season in 2015 with 103 tackles with 16.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, 3 passes batted and4 forced fumbles. Has upside to develop. - WalterFB

Forty: 4.67...Twenty: ...Ten: BP: 15...VJ: 35.0...BJ: 125...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

1 Reuben Foster 4 Alabama Sr 6000 229 1

Sent home from combine after atercation with medical employee (a potential black mark, though one team rep observed that "we could use a bit more "mean" on our defense)..... Only other possible obstacle is a reported susceptibility to stingers. - Gollin

SI (Ranked #1 LB) - "If we’re playing the Alabama prospect comparison game again, Foster could go 20 (or more) picks higher than former teammate Reggie Ragland, a 2016 second-rounder."

"Big time playmaker"...Very instinctive...Excellent athlete who can run...Strong at POA...Great range...Very good tackler...Never comes off field...plays run and pass equally well...Can play inside in a 3-4...Only thing he lacks is size.. - PFW

More explosive athlete than Raglans was a year ago... At a rock solid 6-1, 240 pounds with broad shoulders, a trim middle and well-built limbs, offers prototypical size for an ILB. Greatest attribute is his pure explosiveness. - heat-seeking missile hell-bent on destruction. As aggressive as he is athletic... attacks would-be blockers in the running game, jolting opponents with a powerful punch...uses impressive leg drive and balance to anchor, creating a pile runners must avoid...true lights-out hitter ....launches himself into ballcarriers, wrapping his arms securely..acute diagnosis skills/takes sharp angles to the ball, often beating blockers to the action...keeps his eyes locked on the quarterback in coverage, breaking quickly as the pass is released, often initiating contact with the intended receiver just as the ball arrives. But can be too athletic and aggressive for own good. Sharp pursuit angles leave little room for error - can get a little too far over his skis. QBs can manipulate Foster with their eyes....should be careful about lowering his head when tackling. Unpolished as a pass rusher. Largely reliant on a simple bull rush or shoulder dip when rushing the passer... - NFLDS (Rang)

Already an NFL prospect heading into the 2016, but the level he has reached this year has helped elevate him into becoming the top linebacker in this class. Incredible range against both the run and pass, recording 46 tackles for a defensive stop this year. Not far away from being a top-10 pick. - PFF

Very physical defender for Alabama. Excellent athlete with serious speed, bu tmust improve his pass-coverage skills. A fast, athletic linebacker who can go sideline-to-sideline while also dishing out punishing hits...Some see him as a second-rounder while others believe he will go in Round 1 and possibly the top-20. 2016 should see him take on a larger role with Reggie Ragland moving on to the NFL. Could be poised for a breakout season, and playing for Alabama will give him plenty of opportunity to get noticed - WalterFB

Forty: ...Twenty: ...Ten: BP: ...VJ: ...BJ: ...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

7 Anthony Walker Jr 66 Northwestern rJr 6010 238 2-3

Very good athlete with speed and a burst...Can be an explosive hitter...Good pass drop...Aware/can close on the ball...Not consistently physical...may have maxed out his growth potential...Makes a lot of plays vs. the run...Aware in coverage...More of a run-&-hit type...Right now may lack the power to play inside.... - PFW

Could be the first NW Top 100 draftee in a decade...Tremendous vs. the run when he goes unblocked. Very fast to fire into the hole, bolt into the backfield, or get to the perimeter. Very good read-and-react skills and instincts. Gained 20 pounds prior to 2016 - this may have cost him speed and explosiveness... impressive ability to cover backs out of the backfield/ran stride for stride with McCaffrey on routes out of the backfield. Can cover in man, but is really excellent in zone. ...could use five to 10 pounds of muscle...when OL's fire off the ball and get to him, he's in trouble. Adept at takingon blocks but struggles to hold his ground or shed ...Comp: Lavonte David. - WalterFB

Forty: 4.65...Twenty: ...Ten: BP: 23...VJ: .30.5..BJ: ...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

10+ Azeem Victor 121+ Washington rJr 6020 230 3

Comer and might wind up outside.

Forty: ...Twenty: ...Ten: BP: ...VJ: ...BJ: ...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

10+ Kendell Beckwith 121+ LSU Sr 6020 243 3-4

SI (Ranked #5 LB) - A bit more of the thumper type.

Ideal size/good pop...Can stack at the LOS and shed blocks...Good wareness in coverage...sound wrap-up tackler...More reactive than instinctive...Plays with intensity...Rare LB who can play inside or out...Injury will cause him to lose a round or two (Originally projected as a 3rd or 4th rounder)... - PFW

Injury risk (ACL in 2016)...Plays faster than he times...has the bulk, strength and closing speed to deliver big hits...Excelled in new 3-4 alignment...Ideal every-down ILB...extremely patient/natural feel to sift through the trash, find the ball and make the stop. Fundamentally sound tackler with strong hands to hook, stay low and drop the ballcarrier, using leverage to wrap and finish...power and physical mentality to take on linemen at the second level, acting as a hammer between the tackles in the run game. Veteran leader....Patience can also be a curse/tends to wait for the ballcarrier (late mirroring /loses his angle). Adequate closing speed but not speed is average at best. Tight hips and tall pads in the open field or dropping in coverage. Dwarfs some defensive ends (???), Built for the NFL game with the strength to be a downhill masher between the tackles....but his athletic profile is average-at-best, lacking speed outside the hashes or in space. Will likely always be a 4.8-type of athlete, but can help his NFL draft stock with improved anticipation and read/react skills as a senior leader - NFLDS (Brugler)

Turned in a solid regular season for the Tigers and was really missed when he was out with injuries. Played well in for as a physical in-the-box presence. Has been a strong tackler and good at taking on blocks but needs to show more pass-coverage skills for the NFL - WalterFB.

Forty: ...Twenty: ...Ten: BP: 20...VJ: ...BJ: ...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

11+ Keith Kelsey 121+ Louisville Sr 6000 233 4-5

Good instincts and range, but a bit undersized...."Sudden and slippery with NFL combo of vision, awareness and athleticism...

Played well for Louisville....a reliable defender over the past few seasons.

Forty: 4.92...Twenty: ...Ten: BP: 23...VJ:29.5 ...BJ: 112...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

8 Hardy Nickerson 98 Illinois rSr 6000 232 5-6

Good blood-lines - Gollin

Good instincts/mades a high number of tackles...But lacks any special athletic trait...Not very big or fast...Will probably jhave to make a roster as a ST player... - PFW

Above average play speed/locked-in on every snap, but has the build of a safety and too easily blocked or knocked off his path...Nickerson can be a bottom of the roster linebacker and special teamer in the NFL. Consistent field range, closing speed and foot quickness to recover after a false step. Hustler who never quits on a play...Determined chaser who arrives with purpose. Strong hands/limbs (ambidextrous) / plays with a physical mindset. Quick to diagnose/understands pursuit angles...Football junky with top-notch character (voted captain at Cal and Illinois). Productive starting experience...NFL bloodlines...Undersized with narrow shoulders and limited growth potential. Lacks the core power, base strength or arm length to hold his ground. Not a banger between the tackles /often lost in a crowd. Will bounce off physical downhill runners - better tackler in space.Must improve his pre-snap anticipation (takes himself out of plays with misreads). Plays with proper tackling mechanics but needs to be better balanced on the move...Too reactive in coverage. - NFLDS (Brugler)

Could be draftable late in the Draft....could be a backup linebacker and special teams contributor. Transferred to Illinois for his senior year to play for his father and new Illini head coach Lovie Smith. Previously, he had been a solid linebacker for California...needs to elevate his game as a senior. He is the son of Hardy Nickerson. - WalterFB:

Forty: 4.78...Twenty: ...Ten: ...BP: 18...VJ: 33.0...BJ: 116...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

11+ Riley Bullough 121+ Michigan State rSr 6020 226 6

Good to real-good athlete with speed, burst and consistent instinctiveness...Magnet to the ball...An athlete with speed who is at his best in pursuit...Team captain...Pretty Active, instinctive playmaker who lacks size...Can get overpowered...pretty much maxed out his growth....Very competitive...chases ball all over the field...Very consistent tackler.....Aware in coverage/quick in drops...... - PFW

Undersized...Lacks the height to play a traditional strong-side role nor the speed to man the middle or drop in coverage...Tends to attack RB's too high..Tight-hipped - NFLDS

A steady run defender /Like his older brother Max, he looks limited in terms of speed and athleticism..

Forty: ...Twenty: ...Ten: BP: 20...VJ: 31.5...BJ: 116...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

11+ Tanner Vallejo 121+ Boise St Sr 6010 228 6-7

(Stock (lists a

Forty: 4.67...Twenty: ...Ten: BP: ...VJ: 33.5...BJ: ...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

11+ Connor Harris 121+ Lindenwood Sr 5110 243 7

Very productive small college player who lacks the necessary physical traits....Has top instincts...But is short with very short arms... - PFW

Small school QB and FS recruit...Defensive Player of the Year for his level of competition...Intense and versatile...will find some way to end up on an Nfl roster...Devours game film...Demonstrated at the Senior Bowl that he can get to the ball in fast company... A bit undersized... - NFLDS

Good instincts and decent speed but kind of straight-linish..

Senior Bowl -

Forty: ...Twenty: ...Ten: BP: ...VJ: ...BJ: 114...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

6 Ben Boulware 58 Clemson xx 6000 238 xx

Gollin - Impressive as effort guy.

Highly competitive/very instinctive...Team leader/great work-habits..short arms...can look mechanical...Very good college player with limited professional upside..."With kids like this who are so football smart, it's tough to know whether the intangibles are enough to outweigh his limitsations.....Once he gets to camp, he will be tough to run off.".... - PFW

"Heartbeat of the defense" with competitive spirit and production...Emotional ;eader on and off the field......but short-armed/lacks lateral range...stiff-hipped, undersized and very average athletically...Anticipates well...excellent timing off the snap...Gets flagged for roughing/PF's too often - NFLDS

There has been some hype around Boulware, but our sources say they aren't buying it. In preseason study, they say Boulware has not impressed them in terms of his athleticism and speed. Has some athletic and speed limitations in pass coverage, but he was a gritty college run defender. At the next level, he could be best as a run-down defender in a 3-4 defense. Had 82 tackles with 3.5 sacks, 7 passes broken up, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions last year - WalterFB

Senior Bowl -

Forty: ...Twenty: ...Ten: BP: 20...VJ: 29.5...BJ: 111...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

4 Raekwon McMillan 40 Ohio St xx 6-2 240 xx

Like what the scouts have to say about McMillan (I'm always on the prowl for athletic production paired with a great deal of "want-to" - Gollin

.SI (Ranked #3 LB) - McMillan flies to the ball and punishes people, but he also does have that coverage ability in his back pocket.A physical, tough defender at the point of attack

Powerful, quick, fast and instinctive....Excellent instincts/alays around the ball..Big time playmaker...Good frame/strong and explosive...Good pass rusher...Very good receiver-awareness...Great range - makes a lot of plays in pursuit.......Lacks great sack production but can provide pressure off the blitz..."Wish he were a little taller...Possible future Pro Bowler... - PFW

Prototypical size for ILB, including a stout core and thick lower half, which help him anchor against blockers...already shows NFL-caliber strength, taking on and shedding opponents efficiently with active, powerful hands, lateral agility and balance. Powerful tackler, often stopping ballcarriers dead in their tracks. More than an old-school battering ram. showing impressive diagnosis skills & spatial awareness to "slip" blocks by taking efficient angles to the ball.. coordinated athlete whose quick, choppy steps help him beat backs to the corner and make plays in coverage. Dedication to craft has impressed the Ohio State coaches... scouts are eager to see how he responds now that opposing blocking schemes will be focusing on him. Lacks ideal flexibility, /struggles to change directions quickly in tight quarters...In coverage, will misread runs and keep his eyes glued in the backfield too long. ... Generally reliable tackler, but will often try to knock down ballcarriers rather than reaching his arms out to catch them in pursuit or to punch out the ball...As a glass-eating, run-stuffing middle linebacker, but will have to convince scouts that he possesses the speed and playmaking ability to be a three down LB. - NFLDS (Rang and Brugler)

It's said that McMillan is a solid run stuffer, but some have doubts about him in pass coverage and could see him going off the board in the middle of the Draft. One team thought he could go in the second, but had a third-round grade on him. Another team said they had a third/fourth-round grade on him - WalterFB

Forty: ...Twenty: ...Ten: BP: 23 ...VJ: 33.0...BJ: 121...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

11+ Micah Kiser 121+ Virginia xx 6020 240 xx
Forty: ...Twenty: ...Ten: BP: ...VJ: ...BJ: ...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .
11+ Matt Milano 121+ Boston College xx 6000 223 xx

Short arms/lacks height...Hyperactive, hustling edge LB...Played a variety of roles...Well-conditioned and instinctive..."Trusts what he sees and invests in preparation." Quick-footed but doesn't play to timed speed....Tight=hipped...fails to recover from false steps...falls off tackles when tired...- NFLDS

Forty: 4.67...Twenty: ...Ten: BP: 24...VJ: 35.0...BJ: 126...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

11+ Jordan Herdman 121+ Simon Fraser xx 511010 238 xx

Senior Bowl -

Forty: ...Twenty: ...Ten: BP: ...VJ: ...BJ: ...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

11+ Ben Gedion 121+ Michigan xx 6020 244 xx

Senior Bowl -

IConsummate overachiever who succeeds on awareness and instincts...Instinctive playmaker but lacks speed and top range...don't see range in coverage...Lacks suddenness...Plays well in the short zone but lacks the range and suddenness to play much man...... - PFW

Similar prospect to Jake Ryan (but a post-knee injury version of Ryan). In 2016, Gedeon...totaled 106 tackles with 15.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks and 2 passes batted - a huge jump over his earlier totals when he was a backup. A tough run defender, butcould have limitations, athletically, for pass coverage - WalterFB

Forty: 4.75...Twenty: ...Ten: BP: 23.27..VJ: 34.5...BJ: 119...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

xx Harvey Langi 121+ BYU xx 6020 251 xx

Good size, strength and power...Too heavy at 252/needs to be 240...Some versatility..."It's not easy to find big guys who can cover"...Should find a fit with one of the growing number of 3-4 teams...- PFW

Senior Bowl -

Forty: ...Twenty: ...Ten:... BP: 23...VJ: 33.0...BJ: 118...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

8 Alex Anzalone (Edge) 69 Florida xx 6030 241 xx

Senior Bowl - (Day 2) "....Came into Fla as a highly-touted recruit, but battled injury and played only 577 snaps over the last season, including 423 last season....showed talent in flashes, making plays in the run game despite missing too many tackles (seven misses on only 51 attempts), and he found his way to the quarterback with 16 hurries on only 46 rushes. At practice, he's been hitting hard in the run game, and he ran with Donnel Pumphrey on one downfield route....This is a great chance for Anzalone to show what he can do...."...this week of practice was crucial in order to show off what he’s capable of....turned heads with a hard-hitting style, making a number of plays in the running game while staying with running backs in coverage out of the backfield. At Florida, he flashed this potential throughout 2016 after a disappointing, injury-riddled career. (His) week in Mobile may be just enough for evaluators to give him a longer look during the draft process. - PFF

Adequate size/Good strength...quick with drops/good awareness in coverage....Strength and power at POA...Good tackler...But major durabilty issues (shoulder and arm in 2015 and 216) but plays well when healthy. "If he can...find a way to stay on the field, he could be a late-round steal.".. - PFW

Durability (shoulders/broken arm) a major issue...(When healthy)"the heart of the defense"...Prototypical build - tall, long arms and toned, powerful frame...Can fill gaps and blow up plays with good power...- NFLDS

(After some solid play this year, Anzalone's draft stock was dealt a serious blow with a broken arm that ended his season). While not real twitchy, sudden or explosive, he takes on blocks and uses his hands well. Fast in a straight line, but lacks quick twitch change of direction. Decent in pass coverage, but lacks good awareness in zone. Vewed as a third or fourth-rounder who could develop into a starting OLB, however, there are major durability concerns/could get flunked medically. Should have returned for his senior year.Barely played in 2015 because of a shoulder injury that led to a medical redshirt. Was a backup and had injury issues during his first two years as well. Still, he can play inside lis also a dangerous pass-rusher off the edge or when blitzing up the middle.Sources around the Gators program speak very highly of Anzalone as being a hard worker with good character. Even though he was injured, Anzalone was considered a team leader in 2015 and was a vocal tone-setter on the sideline. - WalterFB

Forty: 4.63...Twenty: ...Ten: BP: 16...VJ: 30.5...BJ: 116...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

11+ Duke Riley 121+ LSU xx 6000 232 xx

Senior Bowl -

Active and instinctive playmaker....Good to real-good athlete with speed..Good in coverage/alert in zone and has the athleticisim to play man....Doubts he can get much bigger (& hold up in a 3-4 scheme)...... - PFW

Inspirational team leader..High motor but undersized (looks more like a bulked up safety)...Not quick-twitched...Marginal blitzer/lunges & misses. - NFLDS

Riley is a solid linebacker /put together a strong senior season with 93 tackles, 9 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, 1 pass batted and an interception. Didn't get a lot of playing time prior to 2016, so he made the most of it and also earned a Senior Bowl invitation. - WalterFB

Forty: 4.58...Twenty: ...Ten: ...BP: 18...VJ: 34.5...BJ: ...SS: ..LS: ...3C: .

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