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NFL Draft prospects: Ranking OLB heading into the 2023 NFL Combine

We rank the 2023 draft prospects at OLB ahead of the Combine.

Will Anderson Jr. #31 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates the win against the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 04, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The 2023 NFL Draft will run from April 27 to 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. As prospects prepare to see what their future holds, they will go through the Combine and Pro Days to impress NFL scouts, coaches and execs. The 2023 NFL Combine will be held from Thursday, March 2 to Sunday, March 5. The outside linebackers will join defensive linemen and other linebackers to kick off the events on Thursday.

Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. leads the outside linebackers, and it isn’t particularly close. There is a chance that he could find himself going No. 1 overall to the Chicago bears if they retain Justin Fields and choose not to trade their pick. Anderson spent three years playing for Alabama. He played in a career 41 games and had 204 tackles with 34.5 sacks and a pick-six.

Anderson is in the top tier of OLBs in this draft, but he isn’t alone. Army’s Andre Carter II is projected to sneak into the back part of the first round. He played in 31 career games, and his best year was his second season in 2021. He played in 12 games and had 41 total tackles, 14.5 sacks, an interception and four forced fumbles. Carter wasn’t able to capture that success in his senior year but remains one of the best outside linebacker prospects in this class.

The second tier of OLBs includes Georgia Tech’s Keion White, Georgia’s Nolan Smith, and LSU’s BJ Ojulari. These are all players that could put forth great combine performances and could use them to be a high draft pick in the second round. White is likely the only one that could sneak into the first round but would need some help from other players’ combine not going well.

Most other outside linebackers will fill the middle rounds having legitimate chances to either make a team’s 53-man roster or fill out a practice squad. It is one of the deeper positions in this class, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see 25 OLBs getting drafted.

OLB Rankings ahead of 2023 NFL Combine

Pos Rk Player Pos School Overall Rk
Pos Rk Player Pos School Overall Rk
1 Will Anderson Jr. OLB Alabama 2
2 Andre Carter II OLB Army 29
3 Keion White OLB Georgia Tech 35
4 Nolan Smith OLB Georgia 43
5 BJ Ojulari OLB LSU 53
6 Thomas Incoom OLB Central Michigan 94
7 Nick Herbig OLB Wisconsin 99
8 Tavius Robinson OLB Ole Miss 104
9 Nick Hampton OLB Appalachian State 118
10 Mohamoud Diabate OLB Utah 120
11 Brenton Cox Jr. OLB Florida 129
12 YaYa Diaby OLB Louisville 138
13 Dylan Horton OLB TCU 141
14 DJ Johnson OLB Oregon 147
15 DeAndre Square OLB Kentucky 166
16 Jose Ramirez OLB Eastern Michigan 170
17 Charlie Thomas OLB Georgia Tech 205
18 Amari Burney OLB Florida 221
19 Kivon Bennett OLB Arkansas State 236
20 Isaiah Land OLB Florida A&M 254
21 Antonio Moultrie OLB Miami 257
22 Cam Jones OLB Indiana 265
23 Jordan Strachan OLB South Carolina 285
24 Tyrus Wheat OLB Mississippi State 291
25 Jalen Harris OLB Arizona 293
26 Jordan Lewis OLB Southern 296
27 Liam Anderson OLB Holy Cross 304
28 Merlin Robertson OLB Arizona State 308