First we tackled cornerbacks, and now it’s time to move forward in the Detroit defense with an off-ball linebacker prospect for each round of the 2021 NFL draft.
The goal here is to demonstrate the levels of talent that should be available in each round, not advocating for any one path. Keep in mind the off-ball LB spot is one that GM Brad Holmes, senior assistant John Dorsey and head coach Dan Campbell have all not valued above the middle rounds in any of their prior stops, however. And with Jamie Collins and Alex Anzalone in place, the starting duo could be set already. Unlike Matt Patricia’s failed scheme which often fielded four LBs, very few NFL teams ever play more than two LBs at any time even against two-TE sets anymore.
The players listed here are generally projected as fits in the top 10 picks of the round listed, where the Lions would select prior to any trades. Even though Detroit doesn’t currently have sixth or seventh-round picks, we still included a linebacker for each round.
Draft projections are not always accurate, but these here are the general range where the players are most often ranked/mocked as of April 1.