1. Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri.
An outrageously productive weak-side linebacker at Mizzou, Weatherspoon is the complete package in terms of play-making ability, physicality, size (6'1/240), and cover skills, and is probably versatile enough to play inside in a 3-4 if asked.
Draft Prediction: Falcons, No. 19 overall.
2. Daryl Washington, TCU.
Washington didn’t crack the Horned Frogs’ starting lineup until his senior year, but the college middle linebacker possesses sideline-to-sideline range and will be a three-down player at the next level, likely on the weak side of a 4-3 defense.
Draft Prediction: Buccaneers, No. 42 overall.
3. Navorro Bowman, Penn State.
Character concerns and 4.7 speed threaten to keep Bowman out of the first two rounds, but the weak-side linebacker prospect created serious havoc during his two seasons as a starter, racking up 33.5 tackles for loss between 2008 and 2009.
Draft Prediction: Eagles, No. 70 overall.
4. A.J. Edds, Iowa.
A poor man’s version of fellow former Hawkeye Chad Greenway, Edds goes 6-foot-4, 245 and is a play-maker in coverage, picking off five passes as a senior and supplementing his value with the ability to long snap.
Draft Prediction: Saints, No. 95 overall.
5. Rennie Curran, Georgia.
Curran is so undersized at 5'11/235 that he will appeal strictly to Tampa-2 teams as a weak-side linebacker, but the 2009 SEC first-teamer hits like Ernie Sims and led the Bulldogs in tackles last season.
Draft Prediction: Titans, No. 97 overall.
6. Kavell Conner, Clemson.
The Tigers’ leading tackler during both of his final two seasons on campus, Conner never missed a game in college, is built stoutly at 6-foot-0, 247, and showed better-than-advertised speed at the Scouting Combine with a 4.63 forty-yard dash.
Draft Prediction: Panthers, No. 112 overall.
7. Roddrick Muckelroy, Texas.
A natural weak-side linebacker, Muckelroy was forced to start in the middle last year due to Jared Norton’s early-season shoulder surgery, and went on to pace the Longhorns in tackles and earn second-team All-Big 12 accolades for a second straight year.
Draft Prediction: Bears, No. 109 overall.
8. Dekoda Watson, Florida State.
Watson led the Seminoles in tackles for loss (13.5) and sacks (6.5) last season, but the three-year starter has a checkered injury history, struggled in coverage during Senior Bowl practices, and may be limited to a situational role at the next level.
Draft Prediction: Rams, No. 132 overall.
9. Stevenson Sylvester, Utah.
The Utes’ “Rover” linebacker playing on the weak side mostly, Sylvester is somewhat undersized at 6-foot-2, 225, but is athletic, highly experienced as a four-year starter, and dominated in Utah’s 2009 Sugar Bowl upset of Alabama.
Draft Prediction: Raiders, No. 106 overall.
10. Austin Spitler, Ohio State.
Just a one-year starter after sitting behind James Laurinaitis for three seasons, Spitler is a heady player with lots of special teams experience and projects as a long-term “swing” type reserve at all three linebacker positions.
Draft Prediction: Jaguars, No. 143 overall.