College News & Analysis

2022 NFL Draft Position Rankings: Linebackers

Nakobe Dean and Devin Lloyd will be the talk of the class and likely the only two first-round linebacker prospects in 2022, but there's still a lot of talent at the position on Days 2 and 3 of the draft.

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1. Nakobe Dean, Georgia

BIG BOARD RANK: 11

He may not be the physical prototype at 6-foot and 225 pounds, but no one plays the game faster at the linebacker position in college football. He’s earned a 91.9 pass-rushing grade and a 90.8 coverage grade this season.

2. Devin Lloyd, Utah

BIG BOARD RANK: 21

There may be no better all-around linebacker in the class. Take on blocks, blitz, cover tight ends — it doesn’t matter because Lloyd can do it. It’s why he earned an 89.2 grade this year with above-average grades in every facet.

3. Brandon Smith, Penn State

BIG BOARD RANK: 47

Smith has special movement skills for a 6-foot-3, 241-pounder. In 2020, he played the slot role for Penn State’s defense. This year, as a traditional linebacker, he’s earned a 79.9 coverage grade.

4. Christian Harris, Alabama

BIG BOARD RANK: 59

Harris continues to grade below the sum of his physical tools. He’s been starting at Alabama since he was a freshman in 2019 yet has never earned a coverage grade above 50.7 in a single season. Still, the man can take on blocks and wrap up on ball carriers in space.

5. Channing Tindall, Georgia

BIG BOARD RANK: 69

Tindall may be the fastest linebacker in the country. Watching him move from sideline to sideline is a joy. In his first year of serious playing time, Tindall earned an 83.0 overall grade on 390 snaps.

6. Chad Muma, Wisconsin

BIG BOARD RANK: 75

Muma was one of the most productive defenders in all of college football in 2021. He racked up 68 total defensive stops, three picks and 21 pressures for the Cowboys. At 6-foot-3, 242 pounds, he has legit NFL size and athleticism, as well.

7. Biran Asamoah, Oklahoma

BIG BOARD RANK: 84

Asamoah has elite range for an off-ball linebacker. He moves more like a defensive back than a linebacker despite being 6-foot-1, 228 pounds. He took massive strides as a junior in 2021, too, with his overall grade going from 57.1 overall grade last year to 76.3 this year.

8. Jojo Domann, Nebraska

BIG BOARD RANK: 92

Domann may be a 6-foot-1, 230-pound linebacker, but the role he played at Nebraska was closer to that of a slot cornerback. Still, he earned an 87.8 coverage grade in 2021 to go with an 83.1 run-defense grade.

9. Troy Andersen, Montana State

BIG BOARD RANK: 93

Andersen is a long, athletic linebacker who’s proven versatile over his career for Montana State. In fact, he started his career as a quarterback and even made four starts in 2018. This past season, he earned a 90.0 overall grade for the Bobcats.

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