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NFL Combine results: 5 standouts from the linebacker group

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By: Erik Schlitt

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Taking a closer look at the linebackers that performed well at the 2024 NFL Combine.

The NFL Combine kicked off its televised coverage on Thursday and three positional groups performed on-field drills. So far, we have already identified the top standouts on the interior defensive linemen and among the edge rushers, and now it’s time to take a closer look at the off-the-ball linebackers who had standout performances.

The Detroit Lions’ need at linebacker is very low, and they’ll likely be targeting a specific type of player, and the group of prospects we identified will reflect that. Of the five standouts selected, one seems like a perfect mix of talent, athleticism, scheme fit, and value, while another may go higher than originally thought, and the remaining three showed enough athleticism to warrant a game film revisit.

Note: Lions linebacker coach Kelvin Sheppard was helping run linebacker drills, so Detroit got an up-close look at this group.

Trevin Wallace, Kentucky (6-foot-1, 237 pounds)

If I had to push my chips in on one linebacker prospect that the Lions might draft, it would be Wallace. He made my initial pre-combine watchlist because I liked what I saw from his game film and his performance at the Combine backed up what I was expecting from an athleticism standpoint.

Wallace looked bigger than his listed size, which is a credit to the shape he is in. In drills, he showed balance and smooth transitions, supporting the idea that he can be an instant ant impact player on special teams while he rounds out his game on defense.

Cedric Gray, North Carolina (6-foot-1 12, 234 pounds)

I included Gray in my pre-combine watchlist because he is an easy mover—which he showed in on-field drills—but his stock is apparently much higher than I was anticipating. I like a lot of his game and thought he might slide into Day 3, but NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah called him a “Day 2 prospect, all day”, which would likely take him out of the conversation for the Lions.

Jordan McGee, Temple (6-foot-1 12, 228 pounds)

McGee was not on my pre-combine list because I thought there were parts of his game where his instincts were lacking. But he was a smooth mover in drills at the combine, had much better length than anticipated, and had some pass rushing chops to work with—which makes sense as he was a solid blitzer at Temple.

Curtis Jacobs, Penn State (6-foot-1 12, 241 pounds)

A size/speed/strength linebacker who backed up that moniker in drills and with his measurables. Overall he did a nice job pairing his athleticism with balance at the Combine, while also keeping his eyes up and on target.

Edefuan Ulofoshio, Washington (6-foot-0 12, 236 pounds)

Ulofoshino’s name translates to “not afraid of war” in Nigerian, which is cool on its own, but he put together a very nice performance at the Combine. His quickness in changing direction stood out to me, as he consistently was able to put his foot in the ground and alter his path while at full speed. He’s another late-round option with above-average athleticism who could start on special teams while he develops his game.

Originally posted on Pride Of Detroit