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The top linebackers available in the NFL draft, with name, college, height, weight, 40 time (unofficial), and projected round.

Micah Parsons, Penn State, 6-3, 240, 4.39, 1

A fast, fluid, and furious tackling machine, he can play multiple roles in the front seven. Excelled as a stack-and-shed run defender as well as an explosive blitzer and pass rusher. As a bonus, he can drop into coverage and take on tight ends over the middle.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame, 6-1, 221, NA, 1

If this positionless dynamo falls into the right defensive coordinator’s lap, he will be an All-Pro in short order. An explosive player with solid muscle and long arms, he can slot into any number of spots, including slot corner, where his top-notch closing speed can be utilized.

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Zaven Collins, Tulsa, 6-4, 260, 4.67, 1

A gap-shooting, heat-seeking missile, he collected 29 tackles for losses in three college seasons. Has the strength and size to beat interior offensive linemen and find the ball, and also the quickness to get around tackles, pressure the pocket, and disrupt a quarterback’s timing.

Dylan Moses, Alabama, 6-3, 240, 4.46, 1-2

Stunning to find an Alabama guy on this list, huh? An explosive and violent hitter, Moses was a key cog on Tide defenses that won a pair of national titles. Missed 2019 with an ACL injury, but bounced back nicely in 2020. A very smart player, he’s at his best when attacking downhill.

Nick Bolton, Missouri, 6-0, 232, 4.59, 1-2

A physical, old-school run stuffer with excellent vision and lateral movement, Bolton is always around the ball. His quick-twitch athleticism and jolting hits more than make up for his comparative lack of length. Could develop into a coverage player with the right coaching.

Azeez Ojulari, Georgia, 6-3, 240, 4.60, 1-2

Possessing one of the most explosive first steps in this class (think Dwight Freeney), Ojulari was a Freddy Krueger-like nightmare for offensive tackles and quarterbacks. He totaled 14 sacks and 34 QB hits during his time in Athens. Will start as a third-down, pass-rushing specialist but may blossom into a three-down player.

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Best of the rest: Joseph Ossai, Texas (6-3, 255); Joe Tryon, Washington (6-4, 265); Chazz Surratt, North Carolina (6-2, 225); Baron Browning, Ohio State (6-3, 240); Jabril Cox, LSU (6-4, 231).


Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.