The 2020 NFL Draft is over and teams are getting comfortable with their new draft picks. The next class of players is getting prepared now for another year of college football. Each position will be analyzed in the coming days. Here are the best 2021 NFL Draft prospects: linebackers.
Note: Players will not be ranked in the article. This is best used as a watch list for the 2020 season.
Paddy Fisher, Northwestern Wildcats
Fisher has been a star for Northwestern for the first three seasons of his college career. The 6-foot-4 and 246-pound linebacker has great size for his position and will be one of the biggest linebackers in the class. One more big season and Fisher will be one of the first linebackers selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.
In his first season on campus, he had 111 total tackles as Northwestern won 10 games. He played even better as a sophomore with 116 total tackles, solidifying the fact that he is a tackle machine. Fisher helped the Wildcats win nine games in 2018. Last season, he had 88 total tackles, but Northwestern won just three games. Fisher needs to work on his coverage, but his nose for the ball will make him wanted by NFL teams.
Dylan Moses, Alabama Crimson Tide
Moses is one of the most athletically gifted linebackers in college football. He is 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, which is right where he needs to be for the NFL level. Even though he was injured with a knee injury last season, Moses is still one of the most sought-after linebackers in the 2021 NFL Draft class.
He got limited playing time as a freshman and registered 30 tackles. His role increased as a sophomore when he totaled 86 total tackles and Alabama made the College Football Playoff. Moses hurt his knee before the 2019 season and some expected him to go pro, but he decided to return for the 2020 season. If Moses can reach the form that he had before the injury, he will be a first-round pick.
Micah Parsons, Penn State Nittany Lions
One of the best players in college football for 2020 will be Micah Parsons. The 6-foot-3 and 245-pound linebacker is all over the field for Penn State and NFL evaluators have been noticing. Playing well this season will help him be the first linebacker off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft.
As a freshman, Parsons had 82 total tackles, four tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. The Nittany Lions won nine games that season. He was great as a sophomore with 109 total tackles, 14 tackles for loss and five sacks. Penn State improved to win 11 games. Parsons is a rising star and will definitely be a player to watch this season.
Colin Schooler, Arizona Wildcats
Another linebacker who has a knack for wracking up tackles in this class is Colin Schooler. He isn’t as big as some of the other linebackers mentioned, as he is just 6-foot-1 an 229 pounds. Schooler is likely looking at being a mid-round pick after this season.
He had 96 tackles as a freshman in 2017 as Arizona won seven games. The team regressed to just five wins, but Schooler got better in 2018 with 119 total tackles and 21.5 tackles for loss. As a junior, Schooler had 98 total tackles, but Arizona won just four games. Schooler will be a playmaker for Schooler again in 2020, which should help him solidify his draft stock.
Chazz Surratt, North Carolina Tar Heels
Surratt is a former quarterback who successfully made the change to linebacker last season. He has the size for the position at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds. While he still has some things to learn about the position, Surratt has already started to catch the eye of important spectators.
In his first season as a linebacker in 2019, Surratt had 115 tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss. North Carolina had a good turnaround year, as they won seven games including the Military Bowl over Temple. While Surratt is still developing, he has all the tools to develop into a good NFL linebacker.
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