BBD’s Top 20 OLB’s & ILB’s for 2012

We expect Lavonte David to be introducing himself to a lot of Big 10 QB's this season

Every day between now and the kickoff of the FBS season next Thursday night, I will be releasing not only a Top 20 ranking per position for 2012, but also a top 10 per position for 2013.

On 9/1 we will roll out our brand new top 250 for 2012 and a top 100 for 2013 along with a new mock draft! Without further ado, here is our top 20 OLB’s for the 2012 Draft Class:

  1. Zach Brown-UNC
  2. Courtney Upshaw-Alabama
  3. Bruce Irvin-West Viriginia
  4. Travis Lewis-Oklahoma
  5. Lavonte David-Nebraska
  6. Sean Spence-Miami
  7. Nigel Bradham-FSU
  8. Keenan Robinson-Texas
  9. Danny Trevathan-Kentucky
  10. Chris Gallippo-USC
  11. Louis Nezegwu-Wisconsin
  12. Alex Hoffman-Ellis-Washington
  13. Miles Burris-San Diego State
  14. Nathan Williams-Ohio State
  15. Tyler Holmes-UMass
  16. Tyler Neilsen-Iowa
  17. Marcus Dowtin-North Alabama
  18. Demario Davis-Arkansas State
  19. Pat Williams-James Madison
  20. Darius Fleming-Notre Dame

-Zach Brown will be considered by some to be this years version of Von Miller. We like what Brown can do against both the pass and rush as opposed to Miller who we like almost strictly in a pass rushing role.  Miller however does have a tenacity to his game that Brown seems to lack.

-We really like what we saw on film from Lavonte David last year, we hope we can take that next step in his development and become a dominant OLB prospect.

-Louis Nzegwu is a guy we saw last year on film that is a good 43 DE but could be a great 34 OLB. A lanky athlete who really excels at getting after the passer, we think lots of people may be sleeping on Nzegwu.

2013 Top 10 OLB’s:

  1. Brandon Jenkins-FSU
  2. Johnathan Massaquoi-Troy
  3. Nico Johnson-Alabama
  4. Chase Thomas-Stanford
  5. Zavier Gooden-Missouri
  6. Phillip Steward-Houston
  7. Ronell Lewis-Oklahoma
  8. Cornelius Washington-Georgia
  9. Ja’Gared Davis-SMU
  10. Jamie Collins-Southern Mississippi

-If you haven’t seen Brandon Jenkins at FSU yet, you are doing yourself a great injustice.  A premier pass rusher who will likely only get better once he’s able to stand up and play in space in a 34 scheme.

-If UGA’s LB corp is going to be anything this year its going to be fast. Expect Todd Grantham to pull out a lot of blitzes and most of those will involve Cornelius Williams.

-Many may not know who Ja’Gared Davis and Jamie Collins are right now but by seasons end they will. Davis is a premier pass rusher who was unblockable in the CUSA, while Collins is an athletic freak who makes plays all over the football field.

2012 Top 20 ILB’s:

  1. Audie Cole-NC State
  2. Jerry Franklin-Arkansas
  3.  Tank Carder-TCU
  4. Korey Williams-Southern Miss
  5. Kadarron Anderson-Furman
  6. Chris Marve-Vanderbilt
  7. James-Michael Johnson-Nevada
  8. Emmanuel Acho-Texas
  9. Mychal Kendricks-Cal
  10. Brandon Maye-Mississippi State
  11. Garrick Williams-Texas A&M
  12. Derek Earls-Arizona
  13. AJ Storms-Idaho State
  14. Jerrell Harris-Alabama
  15. Noah Keller-Ohio
  16. Marcus McGraw-Houston
  17. DJ Holt-California
  18. JK Schaffer-Cincinnati
  19. Austin Johnson-Tennessee
  20. Reggie Sandilands-Bethune-Cookman

-Audie Cole is a player who could project to either ILB or OLB at the next level. We really like his versatility and range from ILB position.

-Korey Williams is a guy we’ve been told we’ve had too high for a while now. Apparently preseason rankings have him much lower from other sites/services however we love what we saw from Williams. He attacks the hole and locates the ball carrier as well as anybody else in this class.

-Though we have him all the way at #3 we are not entirely sold on TCU LB Tank Carder, we love his athleticism and hitting ability but we aren’t sold on his ability to translate that into a more traditional defense. He struggles at times to get off blocks and that’s a big concern of ours.

2013 Top 10 ILB’s:

  1. Vontaze Burfict-Arizona State
  2. Don’ta Hightower-Alabama
  3. Manti Te’o-Notre Dame
  4. Luke Kuechly-Boston College
  5. Shayne Skov-Stanford
  6. Kevin Reddick-UNC
  7. Arthur Brown-Kansas State
  8. Bruce Taylor-Virginia Tech
  9. Taylor Reed-SMU
  10. Tanner Brock-TCU

-Vontaze Burfict is a BAD man, and when you see him hit somebody on the field its like a violent car crash that we don’t want to watch but can’t turn away from. He is a little too aggressive at times and was exposed on film by Wisconsin’s play-action attack. If he can get a little more discipline to his game then he could become a dominant ILB.

-Manti Te’o is probably the best read and react LB in this class, he has exceptional speed which gives him great range and the coaches in South Bend rave about his leadership and willingness to teach the younger LB’s.

-It doesn’t get much better than this Top 5 of ILB’s. All five should one day become productive ILB in the NFL, definitely some names to know.


8/25-RB & WR
8/26-TE & OT
8/27-OG & OC
8/28-DE & DT
8/29-OLB &ILB
8/30-CB & FS
8/31-SS & ST
9/1-Top 250 (2012), Top 100 (2013), & Mock Draft

2 Responses to “BBD’s Top 20 OLB’s & ILB’s for 2012”

  1. Mike says:

    Why do you have Hightower listed as a 2013 ILB? He should be 2012. You may want to list CJ Mosely as a 2013 LB though. He will have completed his jr year at Bama and will be the man once Hightower leaves. May be the man this year anyway. I’d rate him higher than Nico Johnson.

    • Matt Elder says:

      Hightower is only a Junior and that’s why he’s in the 2013 class and not the 2012. Ill keep an eye on Mosely but I havent seen enough of him to put him in over Johnson at this point.

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