With the NFL Draft fast approaching, and two Bay Area football teams in need of off-the-ball linebackers, it's time to take a look at the positional rankings.
Here are the top players available in the 2015 Draft, and where they excel:
1. Eric Kendricks, UCLA
NFL Comparison: Sean Lee
Where He Wins: One of the best coverage linebackers I have seen. His Virginia game is my favorite of any prospect this year. Aggressive. Attacks ball carries rather than just waiting at the second level. Best at working around blocks with angles and quicks but not afraid to hold his own.
2. Shaq Thompson, Washington
NFL Comparison: Thomas Davis
Where He Wins: Quickness, speed, comfort and aggression. Many linemen are now more scared of linebackers who use athleticism to get around blocks rather than meet them face up. The game seems to slow down for Thompson when attempting to force fumbles or make a play on the ball. Don't worry about his position, just his role.
3. Paul Dawson, TCU
NFL Comparison: Lavonte David vibes on the field
Where He Wins: A missile from the weakside or in nickel situations. He stands 6'0/230 lbs, so is Dawson really undersized? He plays big thanks to power and aggression. He can impact any run and chase situation and looks comfortable accomplishing his assignment in coverage.
4. Benardrick McKinney, Miss State
5. Denzel Perryman, Miami
6. Ben Heeney, Kansas
7. Stephone Anthony, Clemson
8. Kwon Alexander, LSU
9. Jordan Hicks, Texas
10. Taiwan Jones, Michigan State