2021 NFL Draft Prospects: Outside Linebacker



The top 2021 quarterback prospects available for the 2021 NFL Draft. * - denotes 2021 prospect. ** - denotes 2024 prospect.

This page was last updated Sept. 5, 2020. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

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2020 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2021 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2022 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

  1. Micah Parsons*, OLB/ILB, Penn State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 245.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.7.
    Projected Round (2021): 1.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Parsons collected 109 tackles with five sacks, four forced fumbles and five passes defended in 2019. He was always around the ball and produced some splash plays for Penn State. Parsons broke into the starting lineup as a true freshman and showed a lot of upside to develop into an intriguing player. For 2018, he totaled 83 tackles with five for a loss, 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

    Parsons has good size and instincts. Sources from multiple teams said Parsons jumped out at them, and some believe he could end up being a high first-round pick. Prior to the Big Ten quitting on the 2020 season, Parsons announced he would not play and would start preparing for the NFL.




  2. Joe Tryon*, OLB/DE, Washington
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 262.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.73.
    Projected Round (2021): 1-3.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: After serving as a backup during his freshman season, Tryon broke out in 2019 as one of the top pass-rushers in the Pac-12. He totaled eight sacks with 41 tackles and one pass batted on the year.

    Tryon has a lot of upside, but needs refinement in run defense and to develop his pass-rushing moves. The selfish and foolish Pac-12 presidents and commissioner Larry Scott made the decision to cancel the 2020 season though, protecting their job security over considering the science that football players are more likely to die in a car accident driving to practice than from covid-19. Tryon is one of the players who is really hurt by this decision, as he opted to make the jump to the NFL even though he needed more developmental snaps.


  3. Dylan Moses, OLB/ILB, Alabama
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 233.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
    Projected Round (2021): 1-3.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Alabama has been a factory for linebacker talent, and Moses will keep that tradition alive for the 2021 NFL Draft, provided he can stay healthy. Team sources were really excited about seeing him in 2019, but a torn ACL in training camp ended his season before it started. Some sources think that if Moses had entered the 2020 NFL Draft, he still would have been an early-rounder despite the injury. They were very impressed with his performance in 2018, when he recorded 86 tackles, 10 for a loss, 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one pass batted while rotating with other linebackers.


  4. Nick Bolton*, OLB, Missouri
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 232.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2021): 2-3.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Bolton showed some nice pass-coverage skills as a sophomore, making plays on the ball for Missouri. He was also a solid tackler in the ground game and showed the instincts to be around the ball. With a year of starting experience, Bolton could be better as an upperclassman. His height and length limitations could hurt him with evaluators.




  5. Quincy Roche, OLB/DE, Miami
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2021): 2-4.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Roche decided to transfer from Temple following the 2019 season and landed at Miami. Over three seasons in Philadelphia, he totaled 26 sacks.

    Roche has created a buzz in the scouting community, and scouts feel he will get bigger. Team evaluators really like his initial explosion off the snap and how he closes on the quarterback. They feel he will get develop as he ages and grows in a pro strength and conditioning program.

    One team source said they had graded Roche as a fourth- to fifth-rounder, but three others said Round 3 and one said third- to fourth-rounder. However, Roche could rise if he works out well. There are a few issues that keep teams from grading him in the early rounds, and the most cited one is lower body stiffness. Source feel there is a lack of lower body strength and believe he doesn't play hard all the time. Thus, Roche could improve his grade if he gets stronger in the lower body while also showing an improved motor in 2020.


  6. Joseph Ossai*, OLB, Texas
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 255.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
    Projected Round (2021): 2-4.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Ossai earned a starting spot for the Longhorns in 2019 and had a breakout sophomore year. He made some big plays in pass defense, getting after the quarterback and creating a number of splash plays. If Ossai can build on his sophomore season, he has the potential to be a riser as an upperclassman.


  7. Hamilcar Rashed Jr., OLB, Oregon State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 236.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Projected Round (2021): 2-4.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Rashed was a dangerous edge rusher and one of the most prolific quarterback hunters in college football during the 2019 season. As a run defender, he showed improvement on the edge. Rashed should add weight to his frame to fit as a 3-4 edge rusher in the NFL. He is too undersized to play 4-3 defensive end, so he would have to be a Sam - strong side - linebacker who helps in passing situations.


  8. JaCoby Stevens, OLB, LSU
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round (2021): 2-4.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Stevens was good defender for the Tigers in 2019, contributing in run defense and pass coverage in the middle of the field. LSU plays Stevens as a roving safety, but NFL advance scouts listed him as an outside linebacker for the next level. Given his size and speed, he will have to move to linebacker for the NFL, where he could be fit as a Will - weak side - linebacker in a 4-3 defense.


  9. Damon Clark*, OLB/ILB, LSU
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 236.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Projected Round (2021): 2-4.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Clark is projected to be a replacement for Jacob Phillips as an inside linebacker for LSU. With his size and speed, Clark could continue the LSU tradition of strong linebacker play. He flashed as a rotational backup and in practice, so the NFL advance scouts have Clark on their preseason watch list for the 2021 NFL Draft.




  10. Brenton Cox*, OLB/DE, Florida
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 247.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-4.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Cox was supposed to be a key edge defender at Georgia, but during August of 2019, he transferred from the Bulldogs to rival Florida after Georgia kicked Cox off the team. He had a misdemeanor marijuana charge during that offseason. As a freshman for Georgia, he was a backup and recorded 20 tackles and a sack.

    Cox is said to have a big-time skill set, so he could rise high with a breakout year as the Gators' replacement for Jon Greenard.


  11. DeAngelo Malone, OLB, Western Kentucky
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-4.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Malone provided a lot of big plays in the backfield during the 2019 season with a tremendous 21 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks. It was a big jump over his sophomore year, and Malone needs to stay consistent with splash plays to rise as a senior. Considering his size, Malone will have to be a more traditional linebacker in the NFL and not a full-time edge rusher, so showing pass-coverage ability would help his stock for the 2021 NFL Draft.


  12. Amen Ogbongbemiga, OLB, Oklahoma State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 231.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Ogbongbemia was a good run defender and dangerous blitzer during the 2019 season. It was his first season as a starter, so Ogbongbemia could be even better as a senior. During his first two seasons, Ogbongbemia was a standout special teams player, so he brings added value for fourth downs and kick units for the NFL. It would help Ogbongbemia to show improvement in pass coverage in 2020.


  13. Jabril Cox, OLB, LSU
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 229.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.7.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Cox was an FCS All-American with North Dakota State, and he has transferred to LSU for his senior season. Cox was an instinctive defender who racked up a ton for tackles for the Bison. He was a leader on the defense, helping North Dakota State to win three FCS National Championships. Cox could really rise if he makes a seamless jump in the SEC, which is the closest thing the NFL has to a minor league.


  14. Tyree Johnson*, OLB, Texas A&M
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.79.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Johnson has played some defensive end for Texas A&M, but NFL advance scouts listed him as an outside linebacker prospect for the next level. Given their inclination to do that, it leads one to believe that Johnson is smaller than his listed numbers, which is so often the case with players from big-time programs.

    Johnson contributed some pass rush as a sophomore, so he could rise now that he has a year of starting experience. His best fit in the NFL could come as a 3-4 outside linebacker.




  15. Cameron Goode, OLB, California
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.7.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Goode was a dangerous edge rusher for California as a junior, recording 9.5 sacks. He also was a decent run defender and showed the ability to cause problems behind the line of scrimmage. Goode is very undersized to be an edge rusher at the next level, so it would help him to show the ability to play traditional linebacker assignments like pass coverage and run defense.


  16. Azeez Ojulari**, OLB, Georgia
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 240.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: After redshirting in 2018, Ojulari worked his way onto the field as a redshirt sophomore and flashed some ability for the Bulldogs. He could be better in 2020 now that he has some experience. Ojulari needs to show more pass-coverage ability and improve his production in run defense.


  17. Charles Snowden, OLB, Virginia
    Height: 6-7. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Snowden was a solid producer for Virginia during the past two seasons. He improved as a junior, making more stops in the ground game, and putting more heat on the quarterback. As a sophomore, Snowden had fabulous production in pass coverage, so he has some versatility.


  18. Derrick Barnes, OLB, Purdue
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 245.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.76.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Barnes was a tough defender in the Big Ten over the past two seasons. As a sophomore, he did well in ground defense, and in 2019, his pass rush improved significantly. It would help Barnes to show more skills for pass coverage.


  19. Tomon Fox, OLB, North Carolina
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 260.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.79.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Fox played outside linebacker for the Tar Heels in 2019, but he was their leading sacker with 6.5. Fox has a strong build and could be a 3-4 outside linebacker candidate for the NFL. As a senior, it would help him to show more production in run defense as well as the ability to drop into coverage.


  20. Cameron McGrone*, OLB, Michigan
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 232.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: McGrone was a solid producer for the Wolverines in 2019. He showed the potential to be a well-balanced defender with some production in the ground game and pass rush. The junior needs to improve his production in pass coverage.


  21. Daelin Hayes, OLB/DE, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 260.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.7.
    Projected Round (2021): 4-6.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Hayes had six tackles and a sack in 2019 before a torn labrum ended his season early. He decided to take a medical redshirt and return to Notre Dame for 2020, which was a wise decision.

    Hayes totaled 31 tackles with five tackles for a loss, one pass batted and two sacks in 2018. He flashed some serious speed and edge-rushing ability, and he was excellent in the 2018 season opener against Michigan, putting a lot of pressure on the quarterback. After that though, Hayes had a lot of quiet games.

    According to NFL teams' 2018 preseason data provided by team sources, Hayes checked in at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds with 32.5-inch arms, 9.5-inch hands and a 78.38-inch wingspan. They had him running the 40-yard dash in 4.70 seconds. Hayes totaled 30 tackles with three sacks as a sophomore. He has upside to do more as a senior.


  22. Lakia Henry, OLB/ILB, Ole Miss
    Height: 6-0. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Projected Round (2021): 4-6.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Henry was the starting inside linebacker for Ole Miss in 2019 and was a solid run defender for the Rebels. The senior needs to improve his pass-coverage skills, but considering he is a junior college product, there is reason to believe that Henry will play better now that he has a year of experience. While Henry plays on the inside for Ole Miss, NFL advance scouts placed him as an outside linebacker for the next level. That makes sense given his lack of length and height.


  23. Sam Williams, OLB, Ole Miss
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 251.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
    Projected Round (2021): 4-6.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Williams did a nice job of blitzing the quarterback off the edge in 2019, and he showed some nice ability to get pressure on the signal-caller. The senior needs to improve his ability to drop into coverage and be a more productive run defender. Similar to teammate Lakia Henry, Williams is a junior college product who could be better in his second season with Ole Miss.


  24. Anthony Hines III*, OLB, Texas A&M
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.7.
    Projected Round (2021): 4-6.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Hines made a solid return to the field in 2019 after missing the previous year with an injury. He was banged up from the start of 2018 and did not last long before a lower leg injury ended his season. Hines had a nice debut as a freshman. The junior has a good skill set, so if he can increase his production, he could be a riser for the 2021 NFL Draft.


  25. Kuony Deng, OLB/ILB, California
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.8.
    Projected Round (2021): 4-6.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Deng plays inside linebacker for California, but NFL teams list him as an outside linebacker. Unless his listed numbers are vastly exaggerated, he probably will fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker as a pro. After coming to California from the junior college ranks, Deng had a productive 2019 season and was a solid run defender. It would help to rise if he showed additional edge ability.


  26. Pete Werner, OLB/ILB, Ohio State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 239.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Projected Round (2021): 4-6.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Werner was a solid defender next to Malik Harrison in 2019. Werner has good size and is strong at the point of attack. He needed an to improve his production and pass-coverage skills, but the Big Ten cancelled its 2020 season.


  27. K'Vaughan Pope*, OLB, Ohio State
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 231.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round (2021): 4-6.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Pope flashed as a rotation backup and special teams contributor as a sophomore. With Malik Harrison moving on to the NFL, Pope could have taken his spot for 2020. If Pope plays up to his potential, he could be a riser as an upperclassman.


  28. Sherrod Greene, OLB, South Carolina
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.7.
    Projected Round (2021): 5-7.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: After a productive sophomore season, Greene must have landed in the dog house of the coaching staff, because he was a backup at the beginning of his junior year. After three games in 2019, Greene regained his starting spot, but he was not as productive as he was in 2018. Perhaps Greene was dealing with an undisclosed injury.

    Greene has a thick build and some quickness, but he needs to stay on the field and be productive as a senior.


  29. Zaven Collins, OLB, Tulsa
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 256.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
    Projected Round (2021): 5-7.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Collins has good height, weight and length to be an outside linebacker in the NFL. He was a solid run defender for Tulsa during the past two seasons. The senior needs to improve his pass-coverage ability and production for his draft stock to rise.


  30. Shaka Toney, OLB/DE, Penn State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 236.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.7.
    Projected Round (2021): 5-7.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Toney has increased his sack production each year with Penn State, showing improvement in his ability to get pressure on the quarterback. His production in run defense has also improved, but Toney has to get stronger for the NFL. At his present listed numbers, he will have to move to outside linebacker.


  31. Jake Hansen, OLB, Illinois
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 225.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
    Projected Round (2021): 5-7.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Hansen was a tough defender for the Illini over the past two seasons. He was solid in the ground game and created some splash plays. As a junior, Hansens did not have eye-popping production, except for a phenomenal total of seven forced fumbles. He needs to show pass-coverage skills to rise for the 2021 NFL Draft.


  32. Chris Oats*, OLB, Kentucky
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 227.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.7.
    Projected Round (2021): 5-7.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Oats flashed as a sophomore and has the potential to rise in 2020. He showed nice speed and athleticism in 2019 with upside to be better as an upperclassman. In May of 2020, Oats was hospitalized with an "undisclosed serious condition," and after some time, he went to a rehabilitation facility. Thus, his playing availability for 2020 is unknown.


  33. Jamal Hines, OLB/DE, Toledo
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2021): 6-FA.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Hines does not have big production, but NFL advance scouts put him on their preseason watch list. Hines needed to increase his pass-rush production and grow stronger. Going to an all-star game and playing well there would help Hines' stock for the 2021 NFL Draft.


  34. Chauncey Manac, OLB/DE, La.-Lafayette
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 252.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Projected Round (2021): 6-FA.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Manac put together modest production over the past two seasons, but he also showed enough of a skill set that the NFL advance scouts put him on their preseason watch list. Manac needs to improve his production as a senior, plus it would help him to impress at an all-star game or the combine.


  35. Ja'Cquez Williams, OLB, Wake Forest
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 220.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
    Projected Round (2021): 6-FA.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Williams has some speed and was a solid outside linebacker for Wake Forest in 2019. As a senior, he needs to make more plays in pass coverage while also adding weight to get stronger for the NFL.


  36. Ali Fayad, OLB, Western Michigan
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 255.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.79.
    Projected Round (2021): 6-FA.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Fayad was a solid edge rusher for Western Michigan in 2019, putting good heat on the quarterback and creating some splash plays. Fayad needed to improve his production as a run defender and create more plays in pass coverage to help himself for the 2021 NFL Draft.


  37. Aaron Hansford, OLB, Texas A&M
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 236.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
    Projected Round (2021): 7-FA.
    View Ranking History


    9/5/20: Similar to teammate Anthony Hines III, Hansford missed the 2018 season with an injury but was back in 2019. Unlike Hines, Hansford has not had a season of solid production yet for the Aggies. He needs to earn a full-time role and be productive to rise with teams.




2020 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2021 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2022 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P





 








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