First look at 2013 LB class

Originally Published: August 24, 2012
Scouts Inc.

Defensive Cheat Sheets: DL | LBs | DBs

When evaluating linebackers, it is important to consider all aspects of their games -- instincts, strength, range, tackling and coverage abilities. With our initial 2013 draft board complete, here's how we rank the top linebackers by skill set (draft-eligible underclassmen denoted with an asterisk), as well as our rankings of all eligible prospects with a draftable grade, 2012 Round 1 and 2 picks and market trends at the position.

Instincts/recognition

[+] EnlargeManti Te'o
Jeremy Brevard/US PresswireNotre Dame's Manti Te'o rates well across many linebacking categories.

Prepares in film room and equipped with opponents' tendencies on game day. Reads keys, diagnoses information quickly and reacts naturally. Disciplined but is not robotic. Understands role within the scheme and does not leave the unit vulnerable due to selfishness. Avoids false steps and biting on play-action. Has a nose for the football and makes important plays.