Benardrick McKinney*Mississippi St.6-4246
Taiwan JonesMichigan St.6-3245
Zach VigilUtah St.6-2236
Sleeper: David Mayo, Texas St., 6-1, 235
Kendricks’ older brother, Mychal, is a linebacker for the Eagles. Eric Kendricks won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker. … McKinney has a nose for the ball, leading the Bulldogs in tackles over the past two seasons. … Anthony ran the third-fastest time in the 40 (4.56 seconds) among linebackers at the combine. He made a team-high 90 tackles. … Perryman is an old-school linebacker with a larger-than-life personality. He’s in the mold of Brandon Spikes. … Dawson was a hugely productive player for the Horned Frogs, winning the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year after finishing with 136 tackles, including 20 for losses. He had issues with being late for meetings and reportedly did not get along with his teammates.
Heeney made 35.5 tackles for loss over his final three seasons with Kansas. He runs well and has a good football IQ. ... Ramik Wilson finished 2014 with the SEC’s highest tackle-quality grade among starting linebackers, according to nfl.com. … Jones didn’t miss a game in four seasons at Michigan State and should immediately be a core special-teams player. … Hager runs a 4.6-second 40, giving him the speed to play in coverage. … Spaight was a two-time JUCO All-American who started for just one season in the SEC. … Pullard has good tackle totals, but doesn’t make enough big plays to be a starter.
– Jay Skurski
It wouldn’t be a surprise if no inside linebackers go in the first round. Like running back, it’s a position that is increasingly being devalued.