Some of the best defensive players in NFL history played the position of inside linebacker. Mike Singletary, Dick Butkus and Ray Lewis are a few of them. The inside linebacker is considered the quarterback of the defense. They call all the plays in the huddle and get the defense together. Below are my five best prospects at the position.
1. C.J. Mosley (Alabama)- He’s a leader and that will come with him into the NFL. He was a key force on one of the best defenses in the country during their National Title runs in Tuscaloosa. C.J. Mosley has a very high football IQ. He’s truly a student of the game. He has great instincts on the football field. He can drive through blockers, he keeps his eyes on the ball at all times and he’s a mentally tough and disciplined football player. He brings an edge to the position and he’s tough.
2. Max Bullough (Michigan State)- Max was one of the more underrated defensive players in the country last season. I really like what he brings to the table at his position. He’s aggressive, he’s relentless when it comes to pursuing the ball-carrier, he’s a vocal leader and he also leads by example, he’s quick off the snap, he can blitz up the middle and collapse gaps. He could be a steal in this upcoming draft and a team would benefit from his services. He’s able to play in multiple defensive packages.
3. Christian Jones (Florida State)- Christian is a tremendous athlete with good field vision, he’s fluid on his feet, he can cover tight ends in coverage or receivers in the slot, he can play from sideline to sideline, he has a lot of range which is very key for a linebacker and he has the speed to easily blow past blockers.
4. Shayne Skov (Stanford)- He has the ideal size to play the position. He’s at his best when he’s shedding blockers and pursuing the ball-carrier. He was voted on as a team captain last season so another positive that he brings is the ability to lead a unit. He regained his explosiveness after tearing his ACL in 2012. The one thing he needs to improve on is his ability to contain runners on the edge and have a better first step.
5. Chris Borland (Wisconsin)- He shows very impressive pop and a good determination to get to the football. He can attack the line of scrimmage with good, closing speed and he is very disciplined in open space which is a huge plus.