Over the recent past, the linebacker position has tremendously changed at the National Football League level. Unlike in the past when nearly any skilled defender would pass on for the position, the current linebackers are expected to be big and strong enough to tackle opposing players, fast enough to chase them in the running game, and instinctual and fluid enough to drop back in coverage, leave alone defending the pass. For such reasons, there are just a handful of players with such qualities to serve at this position with high need. Looking at the current scope of NCAA football prospects, there is however no doubt that there will be a good number of premium linebackers to choose from during the 2016 NFL Draft. Here are some of the top College Football betting linebacker prospects that could dominate the top selections in next year’s NFL Draft.
Reviewing who the Top NCAA Football Odds Linebacker Prospects For the 2016 NFL Draft Are
Scooby Wright, Arizona Wildcats, Junior
Even though Wright is not seen by many as a great linebacker this season, he had an amazing season in 2014, when he won the Bednarik Award as the best defensive player. He impressed when it came to dedication, desire and work ethic on the pitch that no any other player could match him. Wright additionally exhibited superb instincts near the line of scrimmage and versatility both as a blitzer and in coverage at Arizona last season. This season, Wright missed most games due to a foot sprain, but most scouts are still obsessed with his technique of play. So although his numbers aren’t as solid as last year, his proven skills as top LB prospect should see him selected within the first two rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft. On the season (as of Week 10), he has 8 tackles through his two games, which translates into 4.0 tackle per game.
Myles Jack, UCLA Bruins, Junior
Jack was among the top linebacker prospects in the nation ahead of this this year’s NCAAF season, but a knee injury has seen him sidelined for the remainder of the season. Jack is a versatile outside linebacker who has even played some snaps at RB at UCLA. Although his stock may have taken a hit because of the injury, Jack’s value has “technically” appreciated a little bit, given that UCLA’s defense has struggled without him. He therefore remains as a potential first-round pick, and it will be interesting to see him showcase his excellent coverage and playing-making skills at the NFL, where players like him are highly sought after. Notably, Jack was averaging 5.0 tackles per game through the three games he played this season before suffering the season-ending injury setback.
Leonard Floyd, Georgia Bulldogs, Junior
As a sophomore at Georgia last season, Floyd showcased his brilliant explosiveness and burst off the edge as a linebacker. Floyd has even looked better this season with 49.0 tackles and 3.5 sacks through his nine games. He has a quality size at 6’4’’ and 231 pounds with speed off the edge and great instincts, with the potential to improve in his pass coverage. Plus, his ability as a pass rusher should enable him make a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, given the high demand for players of his kind.
Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Junior
Smith is an inspiring player with the ultimate blend of size, instincts, speed and athleticism, and is among the most accomplished players in this position. He is 6’2’’ and 240 pounds with a pop to make big hits at the line of scrimmage. However, it is Wright’s coverage abilities that stand out most among his best qualities. He is fast enough to make plays in zone drops or cover hits at the tight end man-to-man. This season alone, Wright is averaging 8.1 tackles per game and has recorded 8 sacks through his nine games. Considering such numbers and the skills he brings to the table, there is no question that Wright is among the top linebackers—if not the best of them all—in the country right now. Having failed to make it in the last year’s NFL Draft due to eligibility issues, you can be sure that NFL teams will be dying to have his services in the first round, most probably being selected among the top-10 picks.