2003 Draft: Outside Linebacker Rankings

With Jamir Miller and Dwayne Rudd both potentially gone in 2003, the Browns may be looking for a quick first-round fix at linebacker. Unfortunatly, it's a thin year for the prospects that fill the board at outside linebacker as there are only a few complete players at this position... even they have some shortcomings or question marks.

1. Full Name: Boss Bailey School: Georgia Ht: 6-3 Wt: 230 40: 4.55 Year: 5Sr Number: 45

"Following in the footsteps of his brothers at Georgia, Boss Bailey is another family defender that causes an impact and like older sibling Champ, a complete football player that will quickly earn playing time in the NFL." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

The Good: The next productive football player from the Bailey household. Athletic, explosive and a complete linebacker. Breaks down well, efficient defending the run and terrific in pass coverage. Gets depth on his drops covering an exceptional amount of area on the field to the point where he is effective over the slot receiver on third and long situations. Easily runs down the field opposing tight ends, smooth turning back to the ball and redirects to the pass nicely in mid-air, making the tough interception. Quick changing direction, scrapes well to the flanks and stays on his feet. Deceptively strong and slides off blocks on his way to the action. Squares into the tackle and easily brings opponents down on initial contact.

The Bad: Has a history of knee injuries which must be checked out.

The Skinny: First round talent but the knee injuries may red flag him and push him deeper into the first round than his playing skills would warrant.

Projected order in draft: Late 1st round.

2. Full Name: LaMarcus McDonald School: TCU Ht: 6-1 Wt: 225 40: 4.83 Year: P48-Jr Number: 44

"A venerable tackling machine, LaMarcus McDonald is a forceful run defender that plays assignment football and goes hard for sixty minutes." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

The Good: Forceful run defender best in a straight line. Disciplined, plays assignment football and quick to read or anticipate the action. Strong, holds his ground against blocks and bulls his way up the field squaring into the tackle, wrapping up, then easily bringing the ball carrier down on initial contact. Gets adequate depth on his pass drops.

The Bad: Lacks the quick or fluid change of direction, not fast laterally nor does he redirect well. Poor size/speed numbers; built for the weak-side but plays like a strong-side linebacker.

The Skinny: Needs to prove at the Senior Bowl he can defend the pass and make plays out to the sidelines if he's to break into the drafts first day.

Projected order in draft: Early 3rd round.

3. Full Name: Nick Barnett School: Oregon State Ht: 6-1.5 Wt: 225 40: 4.59 Year: 4Sr Number: 42

"With all the talent coming out of the Pac Ten on a yearly basis someone is bound to get overlooked. That player is Oregon State linebacker Nick Barnett, an explosive middle line defender that plays with the same intensity and productivity as did the man he replaced." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

The Good: Fast, heady linebacker with a good feel for the game. Reads and anticipates the action, quick filling the gaps and constantly flying around the ball. Gets depth on his pass drops, displays great range and makes plays in every direction of the field. Has a burst of speed, easily runs with opponents in pass coverage and scrapes well laterally, quickly cutting off the corners from ball carriers. Very active.

The Bad: Small, overwhelmed at the point and not an efficient linebacker. Over-pursues the action and does not play with great body control.

The Skinny: Solid weak-side prospect that must be put in schemes that will protect him. Possibly a nickel linebacker placed on the field in third and long.

Projected order in draft: Late 3rd round.

4. Full Name: Victor Hobson School: Michigan Ht: 6-0.5 Wt: 240 40: 4.75 Year: 5Sr Number: 6

"The University of Michigan has a habit of producing explosive linebackers that fall short of the desired size/strength/speed numbers NFL teams are looking for and as a result drop down draft boards. The bottom line is these players go on to produce at the next level. Make room for Victor Hobson." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

The Good: Tough, heady linebacker that defends both the run and pass. Quick reading or anticipating the action, immediately picks up pass cover assignments and plays with a good degree of instinct. Breaks down well, finds his way through the traffic and always looking to get involved in the action. Rarely off his feet and displays exceptional range, scraping well to the sidelines or getting depth on his pass drops. Displays a burst to the ball carrier and has a good degree of suddenness to his game.

The Bad: Very slow to shed and gets wired in blocks with opponents. Solid in pass defense but does not stand out. Does not time well in the forty and short.

The Skinny: Going to be downgraded because of poor size/speed numbers but like his predecessors (Ian Gold, Dhani Jones) will find a place at the next level and comfortably fit in.

Projected order in draft: Early 4th round.

5. Full Name: Angelo Crowell School: Virginia Ht: 6-0 Wt: 240 40:<

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