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Scouting The 2017 Senior Bowl: Inside Linebackers


ILB Duke Riley, LSU

*6-foot-0, 231 pounds; Projected round = third
*Riley wore the number "0" at the Senior Bowl in hopes of following in the footsteps of Deion Jones, another LSU linebacker who could end up being the Defensive Rookie of the Year for the Atlanta Falcons. Before Jones, LSU linebacker Kwon Alexander excelled at the Senior Bowl. Alexander finished with the fifth-most tackles in the NFL this year. So is LSU ready to churn out another top-notch prospect? Riley is known for his speed in blitzing quarterbacks and covering down the field, which could make him a good match for the Ravens. He stood out in Senior Bowl practices.

ILB Alex Anzalone, Florida
6-foot-3, 240 pounds; Projected round = third
Anzalone stood out from the other inside linebackers in Mobile on size alone. Just being on the field was good news for Anzalone. He started Florida's first eight games before suffering a broken forearm that sidelined him for the rest of the season. A shoulder injury knocked him out for all but two games as a junior and he battled through several injuries as a freshman. When healthy, Anzalone can be a versatile linebacker.

ILB Ben Boulware, Clemson
6-foot-0, 236 pounds; Projected round = fifth-sixth
Boulware is on quite a run. He was named the National Championship's defensive MVP after making six tackles, including two for loss, and notching one pass defensed in the win over Alabama. He had a pair of big hits in the game. Then he drew more attention for a fiery postgame speech and funny tattoo of the national championship trophy that he got on his Achilles heel because ESPN's Desmond Howard said Clemson's linebackers would be the team's Achilles heel. At the Senior Bowl, the athletic, though a bit undersized, linebacker showed he is quick enough to cover running backs.

ILB Ben Gedeon, Michigan
*6-foot-1, 243 pounds; Projected round = seventh-free agent
*Gedeon is a three-year letterman who was a special teams ace throughout his career and became a starter as a senior. He was honored with the Roger Zatkoff Award as Michigan's top linebacker in 2016 and named to the All-Big Ten second-team defense. He could be a late draft pick or free-agent signee who tries to make a team on special teams.

ILB Jordan Herdman, Simon Fraser University
5-foot-10, 238 pounds; Projected round = free agent
Herdman became the first player from Canada's Division II team to play in the Senior Bowl. Simon Fraser has been competing in the NCAA since 2010. Herdman was a two-time Great Northwest Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year who holds the conference record for career tackles (428) and once recorded 26 tackles in a single game. He also plans to attend medical school after his football career is over, but he's hoping to latch on somewhere and earn a job. He'll have to overcome his shorter frame.

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