Who are the best linebackers coming into the 2019 college football season? Here are the 2019 CFN All-America linebackers and 30 top players.
Who are the best linebackers coming into the 2019 college football season? One key part to remember – there are a LOT of linebackers, and we limit this to 30. This could be a top 100 without a problem. Based on projections for this year – and not necessarily based on pro talent and potential …
CFN Preseason Honorable Mention All-America Linebackers
30. Nate Evans, Sr. UCF
Big, tough, and the hard guy hitter on a team full of flash, the 6-1, 241-pounder earned All-AAC honors with a massive 99-tackle, 2.5-sack season with ten tackles for loss and a 94-yard fumble return for a score. This will be his defense to run in his senior year.
– 2019 UCF Preview
29. Jonathan Greenard, Sr. Florida
If you’d rather have David Reese on here, okay. The 6-4, 263-pound Greenard comes in as a grad transfer from Louisville to combine with Reese to give the Gators a killer tandem to work around. Before suffering a wrist injury last year, he was brilliant for the Cardinals with 48 tackles, seven sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss.
– 2019 Florida Preview
28. Darrell Taylor, Sr. Tennessee
Daniel Bituli might be the team’s best defender – he’s the leading returning tackler – and Taylor only made 36 tackles last year, but the 6-4, 255-pounder is about to blow up as the type of edge rusher the NFL will fall in love with. He had a breakthrough season with eight sacks and 11 tackles for loss, and now he should be in the backfield even more.
– 2019 Tennessee Preview
27. Jordan Mack, Sr. Virginia
There isn’t anything all that flashy about his game compared to most of the guys on the list, and he’s coming off a shortened season, but he managed to make 66 tackles in his nine games after making 114 stops two years ago. The 6-2, 230-pounder will be the star of a fantastic Cavalier D.
– 2019 Virginia Preview
26. Antonio Jones-Davis, Sr. Northern Illinois
Way undersized and way good, the 5-11, 226-pounder is a tough-as-nails hitter who gets all over the field and can be turned loose behind the line. The All-MAC star came up with 130 tackles with four sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss, and now he’s the anchor for new head coach Thomas Hammock’s defense.
– 2019 Northern Illinois Preview
25. Malik Harrison, Sr. Ohio State
Really big, really fast, and a really, really good pro prospect, the 6-3, 240-pounder should be one of the Big Ten’s best all-around statistical stars. Good in his first two seasons, he rose up in a bigger role last year with 81 tackles and 2.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss. He’ll do even more in the backfield this year.
– 2019 Ohio State Preview
24. DE/LB Bryce Huff, Sr. Memphis
Very experienced, very smart, and a very good leaders, the 6-3, 245-pounder can do it all – and he might need to on a rocky Tiger D. He made 49 tackles, with his role as a killer edge rusher making 9.5 sacks with 19 tackles for loss. A hybrid, he’s going to live behind the line even more.
– 2019 Memphis Preview
23. Michael Pinckney, Sr., Miami
Part of the phenomenal 2016 group of freshmen who keep on rocking, he might be an undersized 6-1, 220-pounder, but he’s a massive hitter and tremendous all-around producer. He had his best season yet as a junior, and now he’s up to 203 career tackles with 9.5 sacks and 29.5 tackles for loss.
– 2019 Miami Preview
22. Troy Dye, Sr. Oregon
There’s a whole lot to like across the board for Oregon, and it all works around the tackling machine who’s back for his fourth year to handle the work. The team’s leading tackler three years in a row, he has kept getting better, coming up with 115 stops last year. The 6-4, 224-pounder has made 313 career stops with 112.5 sacks, 34.5 tackles for loss, and with 15 broken up passes.
– 2019 Oregon Preview
21. Sage Lewis, Sr. FIU
The 6-1, 240-pound outside linebacker had a good first two seasons, and then busted out as a junior with a 132 stops in an all-star season. He might not be much of a pass rusher – even if he’s a hybrid defender – but he’s outstanding in pass coverage and he’s a tone-setting hitter against the run.
– 2019 FIU Preview
20. Patrick Queen, Jr. LSU
It’s his turn now. He’s versatile enough to play anywhere in the linebacking corps, but he’s most likely about to rise up into a Devin White-caliber performer working on the outside. The 6-2, 232-pounder made 40 tackles in a bigger role last season, but watch him turn into something next-level special now that he gets even more responsibility.
– 2019 LSU Preview
19. David Woodward, Jr. Utah State
All over the place as the next great Utah State linebacker, the 6-2, 230-pounder gets in on everything, can make things happen in pass coverage, and he gets behind the line. The statistical superstar made 134 tackles with five sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss and two picks.
– 2019 Utah State Preview
18. DE/LB Curtis Weaver, Jr. Boise State
A devastating tweener of an outside defender, the 6-3, 264-pounder has been a pass rushing machine over his first two seasons, making 76 tackles with 20.5 sacks and 28 tackles for loss in his first two seasons. He has a perfect blend of size and quickness off the ball.
– 2019 Boise State Preview
17. Micah Parsons, Soph. Penn State
The superstar recruit in the 2018 class showed right away just how good he is, coming up with a team-high 83 tackles with 1.5 sacks and five tackles for loss. The 6-3, 243-pounder has the speed and ability to be even more of a pass rusher, but the team will happily take more seasons like his first one.
– 2019 Penn State Preview
16. Markus Bailey, Sr. Purdue
The next-level types might like his hitting ability, smarts and leadership, but does his 6-1 height matter? Nah – the 240 pound size, thump and talent are more than enough. He’s a decent pass rusher with 12.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss over the last two seasons, but his real worth is as a run stopper with 301 tackles in his three seasons.
– 2019 Purdue Preview
15. DE/LB Carter Coughlin, Sr. Minnesota
He’s what the NFL is looking for in a hybrid edge rusher, but for now he’s about to wreak havoc on the Big Ten again. The 6-4, 245-pounder has been an nice defender in his first three seasons, but he took his pass rushing game up a few notches with 9.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles.
– 2019 Minnesota Preview
14. Anfernee Jennings, Sr. Alabama
When it comes to what a prototype NFL edge rusher should look and play like, the 6-3, 259-pounder is it. However, he had issues with a knee injury earlier in his career, and he hasn’t quite turned it loose as a pass rusher. Even so, he’s coming off his best season with 51 tackles, 6.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss. Versatile, he managed to break up 12 passes, too.
– 2019 Alabama Preview
13. De’Jon Harris, Sr. Arkansas
One of the few bright spots in last year’s disastrous season, the 6-0, 245-pound All-SEC performer followed up a strong 115-tackle, 3.5-sack sophomore season with a massive 118-stop, two-sack, nine-tackle-for-loss campaign. He’s big, strong, and can make plays in pass coverage.
– 2019 Arkansas Preview
12. Kyahva Tezino, Sr. San Diego State
The brilliant tackler on the great Aztec defense is in for a massive season. He’s not all that big for the NFL world at 6-0 and 235 pounds, but he can fly. He can hit, too, making 127 tackles with 8.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. He has Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year talent.
– 2019 San Diego State Preview
11. Paddy Fisher, Jr. Northwestern
The tall, rangy 6-4, 241-pounder has come up with a fantastic first two seasons in the Northwestern system. Pat Fitzgerald’s star quarterback followed up a 113-tackle freshman season with 116 stops, forcing eight fumbles over his first two years. He’s not much of a pass rusher, but he can pop.
– 2019 Northwestern Preview
10. Michael Divinity, Sr. LSU
With Divinity along with junior Patrick Queen, LSU has some NFL linebackers who just so happen to still be in college. The 6-2, 238-pound Divinity took a backseat to Devin White when it came to recognition, but after coming up with 54 tackles with five sacks, he’s going to be the star of the corps this year.
– 2019 LSU Preview