Prospect Spotlight/2019 NFL Draft: Outside Linebackers

 

By Michael Stewart/@golferbad

Introduction: The Giants could be in the market for a playmaking outside linebacker and the 2019 NFL draft has a number of talented prospects that could fill that need. GM Dave Gettleman will be entering his second off season with the Giants and it’s projected that more changes to the roster will be expected.  Here’s a look at the current top 10 outside linebackers in the 2019 NFL draft:

  1. Josh Allen (Kentucky) 6’4/258: Allen is currently ranked the 1st overall outside linebacker in the 2019 NFL draft. Allen has length, good size and the speed to be an extremely dangerous edge defender in the NFL. Allen’s sideline to sideline ability to make plays and being equally effective against the run and pass. Comparison NFL Player: Von Miller
  2. Anfernee Jennings (Alabama) 6’3/266: Jennings is currently ranked the 2nd overall outside linebacker in the 2019 NFL draft. Jennings is equally effective in a 3 point stance or a 2 point stance. Productive off the edge and holds up against the run and passing responsibilities.  Comparison NFL player: Courtney Upshaw
  3. D’andre Walker (Georgia) 6’3/245: Walker is currently ranked the 3rd overall outside linebacker in the 2019 NFL draft. Walker is extremely quick off the ball on his initial first step; which also benefits him on closing in to make plays. Walker is also a solid run defender to go along with his pass coverage skills. Comparison NFL Player: Bobby Wagner
  4. Christian Miller (Alabama) 6’3/245: Miller is currently ranked the 4th overall outside linebacker in the 2019 NFL draft. Miller can play equally effective upright or in a three point stance. Miller’s quick first step enables him to leverage on his opponent and make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Comparison NFL Player: Brian Orakpo
  5. Chase Winovich (Michigan) 6’3/255: Winovich is currently ranked the 5th overall outside linebacker in the 2019 NFL draft. Winovich lined up more at the defensive end position for Michigan, but he will transition at the outside linebacker position in the NFL without any problems. Winovich high energy and non- stop motor makes him a tackling machine for the Wolverines. Excellent pursuit angles, but needs to work on pass coverage in the NFL to be a 3 down player. Comparison NFL Player: Clay Matthews
  6. Justin Hollins (Oregon) 6’4/242: Hollins is currently ranked the 6th overall outside linebacker in the 2019 NFL draft. Hollins is an excellent edge rusher with a quick first step. Hollins has extremely long arms enables him to create separation from opposing lineman and make plays that normally could not be made. Comparison NFL Player: Leonard Floyd
  7. Ben Banogu (TCU) 6’4/260: Banogu is currently ranked the 7th overall outside linebacker in the 2019 NFL draft. Banogu is a natural pass rusher with defensive end size and a play maker. Banogu can play in the traditional 4-3 scheme or in a 3-4 alignment and still be very productive. Comparison NFL Player: Ryan Kerrigan
  8. Porter Gustin (USC) 6’4/245: Gustin is currently ranked the 8th overall outside linebacker in the 2019 NFL draft. Gustin’s game has improved each year as he continues to fill out his 6’5 frame. Gustin’s endless motor and never quit attitude is moving him up the draft board and by season’s end, could be ranked higher than 8th overall. Comparison NFL Player: Leighon Vander Esch
  9. Terrell Hanks (New Mexico State) 6’2/235: Hanks is currently ranked the 9th overall outside linebacker in the 2019 NFL draft. Hanks has excellent instincts and can go sideline to sideline with the best of them. Hanks has a lean body type and could add more bulk to his frame without jeopardizing his speed or quickness. Comparison NFL Player: K J Wright
  10. Germaine Pratt (North Carolina State) 6’3/245: Pratt is currently ranked the 10th overall outside linebacker in the 2019 NFL draft. Pratt is an excellent pursuit defender and has the athletic ability make plays anywhere on the field. Pratt is a converted safety and that will help in the passing game and especially in the open field. Comparison NFL Player: Anthony Barr

Final Thoughts: GM Dave Gettleman is looking for playmakers from the outside linebacker position, he’ll have the opportunity to get on in the 2019 NFL draft. It’s still unclear which current players on the roster will still be a Giant next training camp; especially at the linebacker position. The Giants need to get younger and increase the talent level at every position, so adding a young playmaking linebacker who be a good start.

 

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