Falcons 2023 NFL Draft Big Board: Linebacker

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This is a top-heavy class for linebackers, so this isn’t going to be a long list. I have some names on this list I’ve previously talked about in my offseason mock draft series linked below:

Previous editions of this series are listed below:

I’ll be evaluating players by multiple criteria. I like to mainly focus on traits and intangibles. Since we don’t get access to one-on-one team interviews and medicals, unfortunately, I just have to do my best in that aspect. Additionally, I’ll be doing prospects the Falcons may not be in range for. For example, even though Will Anderson Jr. likely won’t be available with the 8th overall pick, I’ll act as if the Falcons could trade up to take any player.

I’ll also be referencing Relative Athletic Score, which is a number from 0 to 10 that combines athletic scores from the combine, with 10 being the best. If you want to check it out, click the link here. Let’s get started!

Current Rostered Linebackers

LB Troy Andersen

LB Kaden Elliss

LB Mykal Walker

LB Dorian Etheridge

This is a decent group, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they looked to add someone in the draft for depth purposes.

8. Dee Winters — TCU

A Senior Bowl standout and team captain for the runner up TCU Horned Frogs, Winters has a lot of intangibles that NFL teams are going to love at the position. He’s a high-character guy with good range at the position. He’s undersized, but he flashed some elite speed at the combine — posting a 4.49 40-yard dash with a 1.54 10-yard split. He can find a role in the NFL as a nickel linebacker if he can develop properly in coverage.

RAS: 6.25


7. Henry To’oTo’o — Alabama

To’oTo’o really needed to test well in Indy, and that just didn’t happen. His skills in coverage need a lot of work, but he has great instincts and is a fantastic tackler. His role may be limited in the NFL due to his size, but he should be able to contribute on run downs and special teams.

RAS: 6.74


6. Owen Pappoe — Auburn

Although Pappoe never lived up to the hype coming out of high school, he was still a high-quality starter for Auburn for multiple years. Pappoe is a great athlete, and I think his best football is ahead of him. Teammates and coaches rave about his leadership, but he’s a tad undersized. I think he can carve out a role in the NFL.

RAS: 9.31


5. Noah Sewell — Oregon

Sewell’s stock took a dip during the 2022-2023 campaign, but there’s still some upside there as a prospect. He has good size for the position and he’s an excellent pass rusher. However, his agility leaves a lot to be desired, and he’s going to have to be put into the right scheme to really have success.

RAS: 8.33


4. DeMarvion Overshown — Texas

One of my favorite sleepers in this group, the fifth-year senior could provide a lot of value on day two or three. He’s a very physical tackler with a great build, and his athleticism indicates he has some room to grow into a complete linebacker. He’s a project, but I’m buying his stock now.

RAS: 8.12


3. Drew Sanders — Arkansas

Sanders is another guy to watch on draft day, he played a hybrid role for the Razorbacks serving as an off-ball linebacker while also collecting 9.5 sacks. He’s a freak athlete with positional versatility, and there’s still plenty of meat on the bones in terms of upside. He’s going to provide great value for a team on day two.

RAS: 9.28


2. Trenton Simpson — Clemson

Another chess piece, I love Simpson’s range — it’s probably the best out of this entire group. He’s a violent tackler with upside as a pass rusher, and he can be used in a variety of ways in an NFL defense due to his raw athletic gifts. He did a ton for Clemson’s defense, and he has day-one starter in a versatile scheme written all over him.

RAS: 9.83


1. Jack Campbell — Iowa

It was hard to pick between Simpson, Sanders, and Campbell — but I have to give the nod to Campbell here. His leadership and instincts are second to none, but his athletic ability and size are equally as impressive. He’s the total package at the linebacker position, and if he improves in coverage, he’s going to be a Pro Bowler more than once. .

RAS: 9.98

Photographer: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

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