2023 NFL Draft Big Board: Linebackers
Simpson ran a blazing fast 4.43-second 40-yard dash at the combine. It was tied for the second-fastest time among players who weighed 230+ pounds.
That speed gives him elite sideline-to-sideline range:
At first glance, Henley does not jump off the page. He is 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, and Washington State was not a premier program last season.
Nevertheless, he was an efficient player in the Cougars defense. He recorded 106 total tackles, while only missing five tackles (less than Simpson, Campbell, Williams, and Sewell).
Last season, Campbell posted a PFF grade of 91.7, which led all linebackers.
His 92.9 PFF coverage grade was the highest by a Power 5 linebacker in a single season, since 2018.
Sewell is a physical linebacker. His 27 bench press reps were the second-most among linebackers at the combine, and that strength shows up on tape:
He can develop into a quality run-stopper and blitzer.
Last season, Williams was quietly one of the most impactful defenders in college football. He recorded 131 total tackles, seven passes defended, five sacks, two forced fumbles, and two interceptions.
At the combine, he ran a 4.49-second 40-yard dash and a 1.54-second 10-yard split (tied for second among LBs).
Honorable mentions: Drew Sanders, Ivan Pace Jr., Henry To’oTo’o