Which linebackers were selected in the 2023 NFL Draft? Which teams drafted those LBs, and how does the 2023 class compare to previous years?
Which Linebackers Were Drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft?
Let’s take a look at the linebackers drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Will Anderson Jr., Alabama | Houston Texans
Round 1, Pick 3
Will Anderson Jr. racked up 7.0 sacks and 10.5 tackles for a loss. As a freshman. For Alabama. During their 13-0 National Championship season.
To be that young and that dominant for the best team in college football defies logic. But that’s Anderson in a nutshell. He’s a uniquely talented LB/EDGE defender who could be one of the best of his generation. At minimum, he becomes an immediate NFL defensive anchor at age 21.
It’s notable that Houston gave up significant draft capital to move up nine spots to land Anderson. It speaks volumes about how much they believe in him.
Will McDonald IV, Iowa State | New York Jets
Round 1, Pick 15
PFN’s college football analysts projected Will McDonald IV as a second-round-caliber selection. Time will tell if the Jets made a savvy move with the No. 15 overall pick. Already possessing an impressive defense, McDonald should immediately slot into a meaningful role. And in what might be a mixed blessing, he’ll turn 24 years old before the season starts. Yes, he’s already built for the NFL. But he’s also “chronologically advanced” for a rookie.
Jack Campbell, Iowa | Detroit Lions
Round 1, Pick 19
One of college football’s most productive defenders these past two seasons joins an ascending franchise with a dramatically improving defense. Both at last year’s draft and in free agency this March, the Lions made a commitment to strengthening their D. If Campbell can acclimate quickly in a unit that looked much sharper in the second half of last season, then the rookie could turn out to be an ideal selection at No. 19.
Nolan Smith, Georgia | Philadelphia Eagles
Round 1, Pick 30
With two first-round picks, the Eagles reasserted their dominance over the NFC, pairing perhaps the best defensive player in the draft (Jalen Carter) with, quite possibly, a top-eight defensive player in Nolan Smith. Although some scouts question his durability given his “slight frame” (for a linebacker), he possesses all the tools to make an immediate impact — even in Philly’s stacked defense.
Derick Hall, Auburn | Seattle Seahawks
Round 2, Pick 37
PFN’s college football analysts projected Derick Hall as the 38th best player in the draft. He went No. 37, and to a team that understands an improved defense can put plenty of heat on the NFC-West-frontrunner 49ers. Hall likely will play a meaningful role as a rookie.
Tuli Tuipulotu, USC | Los Angeles Chargers
Round 2, Pick 55
The Chargers are patching up their roster to make another run at the postseason. They have the playmakers on both sides of the ball to wreak havoc. But injuries and positional gaps have upended their plans. They clearly hope Tuli Tuipulotu can be one of the missing pieces.
7) Drew Sanders, Arkansas
R3-P67 | Broncos
8) Marte Mapu, Sacramento State
R3-P76 | Patriots
9) DJ Johnson, Oregon
R3-P80 | Panthers
10) Daiyan Henley, Washington State
R3-P85 | Chargers
11) Trenton Simpson, Clemson
R3-P86 | Ravens
12) DeMarvion Overshown, Texas
R3-P90 | Cowboys
13) Dorian Williams, Tulane
R3-P91 | Bills
14) Ventrell Miller, Florida
R4-P121 | Jaguars
15) Tavius Robinson, Ole Miss
R4-P124 | Ravens
16) Nick Herbig, Wisconsin
R4-P132 | Steelers
17) Yasir Abdullah, Louisville
R5-P136 | Jaguars
18) Noah Sewell, Oregon
R5-P148 | Bears
19) SirVocea Dennis, Pittsburgh
R5-P153 | Buccaneers
20) Nick Hampton, Appalachian State
R5-P161 | Rams
21) Henry To’oTo’o, Alabama
R5-P167 | Texans
22) Owen Pappoe, Auburn
R5-P168 | Cardinals
23) Zaire Barnes, Western Michigan
R6-P184 | Jets
24) Jose Ramirez, Eastern Michigan
R6-P196 | Buccaneers
25) Amari Burney, Florida
R6-P203 | Raiders
26) Titus Leo, Wagner
R6-P211 | Colts
27) Andre Jones, Louisiana
R7-P222 | Commanders
28) Jalen Graham, Purdue
R7-P255 | 49ers
How Many Linebackers Were Drafted in 2023?
With teams loading up more than usual on other positional players, the 2023 draft witnessed fewer linebackers taken than in recent years. From 2013 to 2022, an average of 32.5 LBs were selected, with a low of 25. And the three linebackers taken in the first round are slightly below the 3.7 average of the previous 10 years.
Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast
List to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.