2017 NFL Draft- Outside Linebackers

1. Haason Reddick (Temple)– He was once an 185 pound that developed into a hybrid pass rusher and lived in the opponents backfield. He’s a balanced and loose athlete with the instincts and upside to play inside or outside linebacker in multiple defensive packages. He can drop his pads to turn the corner around edge rushers. He plays the position with a great motor and good pursuit speed. His vision is also solid as he can track the football, avoid blockers and bring down the ball-carrier. He tied the single-season school record with 22.5 tackles for loss during the 2016 season.

2. Zach Cunningham (Vanderbilt)– He became the first unanimous All-American in Vanderbilt Commodores history and he also led the SEC in tackles with 125 (16.5 for loss) and he earned first-team all-SEC honors for the second straight season. He can attack oncoming blockers with an initial punch. He changes direction well for a man his size and shows light feet and loose hips. He can sprint to the edge and close in on running backs and shows great closing speed in pursuit and in coverage. He shows good awareness of the passing lanes and with his length for the position, he can get up in the air and tip passes down.

3. Tim Williams (Alabama)– Williams has few (if any) peers in college football. Giving up over 50 pounds to virtually every offensive linemen he faces, Williams is reliant on his initial burst off the ball. Fortunately (at least for him and the Tide), Williams excels here, showing the quick twitch and snap anticipation to easily cross the face of would-be blockers. Williams isn’t just quick, he’s flexible, dipping under the reach of tackles to turn the corner and closing quickly. He displays a great amount of power and can generate a good push on simple rushes because he’s low at all times and keeps his legs moving. He can become a nice situational pass rusher for any team in the NFL. He’s always active, he has powerful hands along with a vicious spin move to complement his style of play.

4. T.J. Watt (Wisconsin)– In case you’re wondering about the last name, yes, you’ve made the connection. This is the younger brother of the guy that’s won three of the last four defensive MVP’s and when healthy, he’s arguably a top 3 player in the NFL, yes, J.J. Watt is who I’m referring too. T.J. is a guy that uses his length to his advantage and heavy hands to take on blockers and looks to dictate the point of attack. He has a “natural balance” and active feet to continue his momentum through contact. He has a tremendous football instinct and senses what’s going on around him at all times.

5. Takkarist McKinley (UCLA)– He’s a gifted athlete with the burst off the snap of the football and blows past offensive linemen as a pure speed rusher. He has good vision and a motor for pursuit as he will never give up on chasing the ball carrier. Sometimes, he’ll travel down the field 15 yards to make a tackle. He has active hands and he can slip blocks even when he’s been contained on the edge. McKinley is scrappy and can still affect the play somehow even when he’s blocked.