2018 Draft Preview – Linebackers

Current State

  • Blake Martinez is a solid player. Smart and high effort. Not dynamic, but he is a good value and someone that can continue to be a starter. No need for an immediate upgrade.
  • I think Jake Ryan is best served to be a backup. I like the person, but he is just limited in terms of speed. He can be upgraded.
  • The Packers don’t have much else. I expect them draft at least 1, and bring in at least 2 more as UDFAs. With the history of de-prioritizing this position, perhaps they actually draft 2?

I actually like quite a few linebackers in this draft. If the Packers are unable to use some of their late rounders to trade up in this draft, I think those picks could be used on this position, and it may warrant doubling up.

With that in mind, I have some targets throughout the draft.

Draft Outlook

1st Round

I really like Roquan Smith. He’s fast, productive, and was successful against the highest level of competition. He has great instincts and I think it would be awesome to have him with Martinez in the middle. I would be very happy to come away with him at #14.

Tremaine Edmunds reminds me of a linebacker version of Kenny Clark. Still good right now, but young and very likely to trend up. His amazing traits are worth #14 overall as well.

2nd – 4th Round

Leighton Vander Esch draws comparisons to Urlacher. I think he’s good, but not that good. With my desire to upgrade the position, I would spend a 2nd on him though. #14 is too rich.

I also like both Rashaan Evans and Malik Jefferson. They are late 2nd – 3rd rounders for me.

I like Fred Warner would be a good pick at #133 in the 4th.

5th Round

I really like Oren Burks in the 5th. This would be one of my targets for the whole draft. He used to play safety, has good speed, and is smart.

6th Round

I think that Genard Avery, Tegray Scales, and Jack Cichy are all candidates here. Cichy is more about health, and if cleared, he will probably go higher.

Josey Jewell is interesting to me. Plays hard, is a team leader, but is a little limited athletically (speed). He reminds me of Jake Ryan, and I don’t see any reason to double up on that player.


For our complete draft coverage, please visit our 2018 Draft Central page.


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