cover

Nolan Nawrocki on some top DE/LB prospects Dan Leberfeld

Pro Football Weekly draft expert Nolan Nawrocki is the best in the business, and here is his take on some mid-late first round LB prospects –

“if you’re looking for a bulldog with leverage and power, Courtney Upshaw fits that mold. Whitney Mercilus (of Illinois) has all the numbers and all the production. You just don’t see the pure instincts you’d like and, doubly, projecting him to outside linebacker, it could take him a year or two. There is some risk involved with converting Mercilus.

“(Syracuse’s) Chandler Jones has very intriguing measurables. I think he may be best in the long haul as a five-technique stacking the run. He still has to prove he can be a consistent outside sack producer, but he has very intriguing traits.

“Dont’a Hightower from Alabama – he’s got the leadership presence you want, he can kick inside if you need him there. He’s very versatile, very tough, very underrated, and he’s not being widely considered as a true rush linebacker because he didn’t play it all the time at Alabama, but I think he’s better than Upshaw and far safer than any of the other prospects mentioned.”