In this draft the class is pretty much Isaiah Simmons and everyone else. Once Simmons is gone, there is maybe a fringe first rounder after him in Kenneth Murray. This class may get overvalued due to the depth and some of the edge guys may project better as an odd front outside linebacker. There are some depth players to be had in the middle of the draft like Malik Harrison or Evan Weaver.
The issue is both a positive and negative for this linebacker class. It seems that many are smaller linebackers, but have speed. In today’s day and age of the RPO and use of speed, quicker linebackers are certainly good to have when it comes to sideline to sideline coverage. Where the problems comes is it could cause issues against a power running game like Tennessee. This class may not be as deep in starting talent, but certainly has its fair share of role players.
Luckily, the Cowboys may not need a lot at linebacker, but depth is always welcomed. The fact the Cowboys could use a hybrid 4-3 means adding linebackers able to play a role in a 3-4 could be a benefit. It remains to be seen what will happen with Sean Lee and the health of Leighton VanDer Esch, but as it stands this is more of a depth need right now than starting need.
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There are other names to keep an eye on as the draft winds up. Defensive end Bradlee Anae has started making some noise on the edge and could rise. At linebacker a name to watch is Akeem Davis-Gaither from App St. Troy Pride the corner out of Notre Dame could rise if he shows improvement on the line, off the snap, and Antoine Brooks, the safety out of Maryland, is a box safety who could impress as well.
There will be more names, but this is a primer on who to watch at the Senior Bowl and as the Combine starts up. There will be some guys who will test well, but the tape on them may push them down the draft, or will show well on tape and score low on the testing.
Next week we will look at offense, but for now since it seems the Cowboys need more on defense we will start here. The Senior Bowl officially starts the draft hype and who could come out of no where or solidify their draft position.