NFL Draft News & Analysis

2023 NFL Draft Big Board: Ranking the top linebackers

Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Clemson Tigers linebacker Trenton Simpson (22) smiles after a sack against the Boston College Eagles during the second half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The PFF draft board was due for a refresh at the midway point of the 2022 college football season.

Quarterback-needy teams, you’re in luck: This is one heck of a quarterback class, with five signal-callers making the top 50. It’s also a strong class at edge defender, running back, defensive tackle, cornerback and tight end.

Here are the class' top linebackers.

1. Trenton Simpson, Clemson

Big board rank: 28

Simpson is everything you are looking for in a modern coverage linebacker. After playing the slot last season, he’s kicked into the box this year, where he’s not looked out of place. He’s allowed only 18 catches and 144 yards across 28 targets in coverage.


2. Drew Sanders, Arkansas

Big board rank: 41

Sanders is a former Alabama on-ball linebacker. The 6-foot-5, 232-pounder has maintained that pass-rushing prowess in an off-ball role after transferring to Arkansas and flourished playing in space. He’s racked up 28 pressures on 109 pass-rushing snaps this season and forced four fumbles. He just needs to clean up his tackling, as he’s missed 18 of 84 attempts so far this season.


3. CEDRIC GRAY, NORTH CAROLINA

Big board rank: 60

4. JACK CAMPBELL, IOWA

Big board rank: 74

5. DEMARVION OVERSHOWN, TEXAS

Big board rank: 82

6. DAIYAN HENLEY, WASHINGTON STATE

Big board rank: 99
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