Bessire: ILB Ranks and Projections

Last Updated: 2/25/2016 7:35 PM ET
Projections for every ranked inside linebacker are below. Players are ranked based on PredictionMachine.com's 2015 projected statistics for what each player would be expected to do as a 16 game starter on a totally average NFL team against a completely average NFL schedule. Read more about how rankings and projections are done (also includes 2012 rankings and projections).

Below, we include an impact score (0 - 10 scale) for each player. This score is a relative value based on the projections that can put players in context across positions and draft classes. A score of seven or above can generally outperform a replacement player in the NFL at his position as a rookie; an eight or above can be expected to start adequately and a player with a rating over nine is a unique, standout player who could star.

As a matter of context, at this time last year, using the same process, the top five defensive ends were CJ Mosley (8.2), James Morris (8.2), Chris Borland (8.0), Jeremiah George (8.0) and Kevin Smith (7.9). Mosley was the top player and he had a great rookie season, but Dawson and Kendricks project as even more impactful players this year. As a matter of comparison, though, Luke Kuechly graded as a 9.5 going into the 2012 draft (the highest rating generated for any inside linebacker).

Inside Linebacker 2015 Projected NFL Rookie Stats

Rank Player Tackles TFL INTs Score
1 Paul Dawson 133.0 6.7 2.8 9.0
2 Eric Kendricks 153.9 3.9 2.2 8.5
3 Taiwan Jones 64.0 8.6 0.7 7.9
4 Ben Heeney 139.8 4.8 1.3 7.9
5 Stephone Anthony 82.8 6.6 1.0 7.9
6 Denzel Perryman 120.8 4.3 0.9 7.5
7 Zach Vigil 145.0 6.0 0.8 7.5
8 Amarlo Herrera 118.3 4.3 1.0 7.5
9 Jordan Hicks 113.5 4.8 1.3 7.5
10 Henry Coley 89.9 7.1 0.1 7.5
11 Steve Edmond 113.9 4.8 0.7 7.4
12 Mike Hull 138.2 4.0 0.9 7.4
13 Terrance Plummer 102.2 5.9 1.2 7.4
14 Damien Wilson 124.8 4.5 0.8 7.3
15 Bryce Hager 118.9 4.8 0.7 7.2
16 A.J. Johnson 128.5 4.2 0.7 7.2
17 Benardrick McKinney 83.0 5.2 0.1 7.0
18 Quayshawn Nealy 91.2 3.6 2.2 6.9
19 Ramik Wilson 114.4 3.7 0.1 6.7
20 Hayes Pullard 104.0 3.5 1.0 6.6
21 John Timu 106.5 2.0 1.9 6.5
22 Trey DePriest 91.0 3.6 0.3 6.5
23 Michael Taylor 80.1 3.9 0.5 6.4
24 Jeff Luc 124.4 4.1 0.1 6.4
25 A.J. Tarpley 90.0 3.4 1.2 6.3
26 Aaron Davis 119.3 3.2 0.3 6.0
27 Quinton Alston 91.1 3.5 0.1 6.0
28 Curtis Grant 62.3 4.1 0.6 5.9
29 D.T. Shackelford 53.1 4.8 0.6 5.2
30 Chase Garnham 58.4 3.3 1.2 5.0
31 Spencer Hadley 64.9 2.9 1.3 5.0
32 Anthony Morales 62.7 4.4 0.6 4.6
33 Brock Coyle 54.7 3.8 1.3 4.5
34 Enrique Williams 59.5 2.8 0.5 4.0