We have almost gone through all the top prospects at each position in this year's NFL Draft, at least according to analyst Mike Mayock. Today we look at the linebackers, the guys who would play inside linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals.
Currently, Arizona has Kevin Minter, who enters the final year of his contract, and Deone Bucannon, for whom the Cardinals created a position called $LB. Both were extremely productive. But with Minter under contract for only one more season, perhaps the team would like to upgrade now and have someone to take over should he leave.
Here are Mayock's top five linebackers:
1. Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame
2. Myles Jack, UCLA
3. Reggie Ragland, Alabama
4. Darron Lee, Ohio State
5. Deion Jones, LSU
With the Cardinals drafting 29th, based on many mock drafts, the top three guys won't be available. Smith and Jack are potential top 10 picks and Ragland is seen as a top 20 pick. Smith could fall a little, as he suffered a torn ACL in his last college game -- a bowl game, no less.
Both Lee and Jones are very athletic. Lee might be thinner than ideal if the Cardinals wanted him as a mike backer. Jones is also light at 219 pounds. He might be an option at the will or $LB position, should the Cardinals want to have Bucannon play more safety.
Arizona does like speed and athleticism in the middle of the field. Lee is projected by some to be a late first rounder. Jones is seen more as a Day 2 player.
Would you mind either one of those players as an option for the Arizona Cardinals?