This is the first 2022 NFL Draft linebacker rankings for ATB Network. The 2022 linebacker group looks to be weaker at the top versus last year’s class with Parsons, Collins and Davis all going in the top 20. We may only see one linebacker go in the first this draft. The depth, though, isn’t too bad.
You can see the previous part here: https://atbnetwork.com/2021/11/22/2022-nfl-draft-edge-rankings-1-0/
1. Devin Lloyd – Utah
Lloyd is probably the only LB in the class with a shot at going in the first round. He has everything you look for in a linebacker in the modern NFL. He has an ideal size at 6’3 235. Long, explosive, and athletic with great range. He has shown he can impact the game in all phases, stuffing the run, in coverage, and as a blitzer. Also an ideal sideline to sideline player.
He shows fluidity in coverage and shows good awareness in zone and man. Lloyd can be fooled occasionally with misdirection. He can also play overaggressive at times and overrun things.
2. Nakobe Dean – Georgia
Dean has shown he can also affect the game in different ways. He can cover and he can blitz. He is undersized but very athletic. Dean shows an ability to read run plays and flow to the ball. Dean can get a little overaggressive on run plays. He also can struggle at the point of attack due to his size. Dean could stand to add mass and strength to his frame. He plays best when he is kept clean. Might fit best as a WLB in a 4-3.
3. Terrel Bernard – Baylor
Bernard shows great instincts on film. He also brings good overall athleticism to the field. For being a bit undersized he is a good tackler and is a willing hitter. With him having a smaller frame his body might be maxed out around 225ish. This means he might have to play WLB in a 4-3. Lots of special teams’ experience should boost his value. A couple of injuries in his history that need to be checked on.
4. Micah McFadden – Indiana
McFadden has shown improvement every season, with still room for growth. He has upside due to his highly athletic profile and physical nature. While he wasn’t asked to drop in coverage very often he has shown the athleticism and instincts to be good at it with more experience. He is a good blitzer. He also plays well against the run, although he occasionally will overrun plays. Motor runs 110%
5. Henry To’o To’o – Alabama
To’o To’o a transfer from Tennessee has raised his stock this season. While he is a bit undersized at 6’2 228 and looking like his frame is pretty filled out with average length. Overall he is an average athlete, although his explosiveness does stand out. He is at his best playing physical. His instincts while not elite are very good. He also shows some stiffness when asked to change direction. To’o To’o offers very little as a blitzer. He doesn’t show much in the way of ball skills.
6. Leo Chenal – Wisconsin
Chenal is a huge man who plays a very physical game. He takes on all blockers and does not shy away from contact. He is a heady player that handles communications well. On film, he does not look like he offers versatility in coverage. He may not be able to play on 3rd downs at the next level. He can blitz through and blow through blockers.
7. Christian Harris – Alabama
Harris is almost like the opposite of his partner To’o To’o. Harris is an athletic freak, but he struggles some with the mental aspect of the game. He has not shown improvement in coverage. He is explosive as a blitzer. Harris plays physically, and it shows in when he arrives at the ball. Any sort of misdirection gets him caught up.
8. Jack Campbell – Iowa
Campbell is a good athlete that shows some good explosion. He is surprisingly good in coverage for a college linebacker, even covering some players out of the slot. His speed and agility of film look to be just average. He is tall with great length that he uses in coverage. Campbell does play too tall which causes him problems with getting off blocks. Plays finesse, you would like to see him play more physical.
9. Amari Gainer – FSU
Gainer’s calling card is his versatility. He has been asked to do numerous things in the Florida State defense. He can cover slot receivers, stack, and shed blockers, play in the box, etc…Gainer has defensive back athleticism in a linebacker body. He shows a great burst and explosion when attacking a ball carrier.
Having been asked to play all over is also a weakness in that he hasn’t been able to develop his skills. While he plays hard he still lacks some physicality. Also tends to get too high.
10. Chad Muma – Wyoming
Muma is another in a long line of 3 down linebackers in this draft. He can cover, rush the passer and play the run. He is explosive and agile. Muma shows great instincts against the run. He is a very good tackler who will lay the wood on occasion. Also, Muma has special teams experience which can only help his prospects.
His straight-line speed and range are only average. While he has decent cover skills they could be a lot better. He also has an injury history that should be checked on.