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South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney sacked Nebraska's Taylor Martinez.

Erik Campos, McClatchy Tribune

Jadeveon Clowney

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Khalil Mack

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Chart: Three types of linebacker prospects

  • May 4, 2014 - 9:54 PM

Three different species of top linebacker prospects

The freak pass-rusher

Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina

The skinny: Despite concerns about his work ethic after a three-sack junior season, Clowney is considered by many to be the draft’s top prospect. Some think he is best suited to play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme but that he also would terrorize quarterbacks as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

NFL comparable: Mario Williams

Quotable: “The most talented defensive lineman I’ve ever evaluated” — ESPN’s Todd McShay

The jack of all trades

Khalil Mack, Buffalo

The skinny: Mack created big-time draft buzz at Buffalo, which isn’t exactly a BCS powerhouse. Mack is one of the most complete prospects in this draft. NFL teams will covet his pass-rushing skills most, but he also was more than adept at stuffing running backs and dropping into coverage.

NFL comparable: Von Miller

Quotable: “Mack is a different breed” — Dane Brugler of CBS Sports

The three-down MLB

C.J. Mosley, Alabama

The skinny: Mosley was one of the standouts on recent Alabama defenses that were filled with current and future NFL players. Because his coverage skills project well to the NFL level, he won’t have to come off the field. But don’t expect much of a pass rush from him; he had no sacks in 2013.

NFL comparable: NaVorro Bowman

Quotable: “If this were 1995, he would be a top-10 pick” — ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

 

Matt Vensel

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