Top 5 LB Prospects in 2018 NFL Draft
There is no doubt that Cowboys need reinforcements and some fresh blood, which is why we compiled this list that will find the candidates in the 2018 NFL Draft which just might help our favorite team get some much-needed refreshment. This list will show linebackers or at least five of them, that might be worth taking another look at.
Tremaine Edmunds – 6’4, 250 lbs, Virginia Tech (Brugler: 14th, 1st OLB)
This guy is simply great, especially with his size and build that is needed on the position where you have to have impeccable instincts to boot. Edmunds can quickly anticipate, as well as read and react without hesitation with a greatly developed instinct for screens which basically puts him atop the other LB’s in the class. He is also a great tackler with superb burst and initial quickness off the snap, but he also has a problem with aggressiveness where he can, from time to time, take a few ill-timed guesses. There is one thing that he needs to work on, and it’s his ball skills. Edmunds often tends to go for the big hit instead of the takeaway.
Place where the Cowboys can get him – First round for sure, but they just may have to trade up for this type of player.
Leighton Vander Esch – 6’3, 240 lbs, Boise State (Brugler: 38th, 2nd OLB)
This guy is quickly and very firmly making his way up the draft boards with his 141 tackles this past season, 8.5 tackles for loss, and four sacks. His productivity peaked at Boise State where he won the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year honors. According to his stats, he has all the instincts needed to excel as a middle linebacker, and even Brugler has compared him to 2018 Hall of Fame inductee Brian Urlacher. Vander Esch is a great allrounder with the size, strength, athleticism, and reliable tackling that warrants Top-50 consideration.
Place where the Cowboys can get him – He’s a second-round player, but he definitely should go higher than where the Dallas can select him. If he’s staring at them by pick 50, Cowboys will get a worthy guy.
Josey Jewell – 6’1, 236 lbs, Iowa (Brugler: 65th, 2nd ILB)
Jewell is ranking third in the country with 125 tackles with an average of 11.4 tackles per game, and he is a very productive player with highest football IQ of all the linebackers in this class. His weakness (if we can call it like that) is the fact that he is a bit undersized, but he balances that by not playing with any limitations and hard working. Thanks to that and his incredible awareness and vision, Jewell was a three-year starter and captain. This guy knows how to make plays on the ball, and thanks to that he managed to defend 26 passes while snagging six interceptions. He is not an eye-popping athlete, but he’s a leader on and off the field, which can sometimes be more important.
Place where the Cowboys can get him – Late second to middle of the third round.
Jerome Baker – 6’1, 225 lbs, Ohio State (Brugler: 89th, 8th OLB)
Baker is a bit specific. This player showed off the charts athleticism for the position he plays, and thanks to that he is even more tantalizing for teams that actually need a player who is awesome at sideline-to-sideline speed. Baker is a pure and aggressive open-field tackler that is not strange to contacts, but this man is far from being the player with incredibly high football IQ’s. He is basically still a big work in progress, and he really needs to work on his anticipation and ease his reactions from time to time. This guy fits perfectly in today’s NFL which is all about mismatches and short passes to backs and tight ends.
Place where the Cowboys can get him – Third round.
Fred Warner – 6’3, 235 lbs, BYU (Brugler: 139th, 12th OLB)
Warner is an incredible athlete and thanks to that fact he is able to cover all types of receivers. With his size and speed combined with swift and smooth direction changes, this guy is a must have especially when we add the fact that he plays linebacker but moves like a safety. Past three seasons Warner recovered five fumbles and recorded six interceptions, and he was also a team captain courtesy of his great instincts. Besides all of this, there is one thing that he has to work on, and it is his consistency as a tackler.
Place where the Cowboys can get him – He should be there when the Cowboys pick in the fourth round.