Jack Follman’s Post-Spring 2021 Pac-12 LB Rankings

Linebacker is a very strong and deep unit in for talent and proven ability this season

Posted on June 5, 2021


  By Jack Follman, SportsPac12

Unlike a lot of position groups in the Pac-12 going into 2021, linebacker is very strong and deep in the talent and proven ability departments.

There are some top flight linebackers that should compete for All-American status, and a lot of depth and young players not ranked here who could turn into stars.

1. Devin Lloyd, Senior, Utah

2021 Pac-12 Linebacker Rankings
Devin Lloyd | Utah Athletics

Lloyd has been really good for the Utes for a couple of seasons, and I think this is the season he takes his star turn.

He’s a very complete linebacker who is tough and should lead a defense that will once again be one of the best in the Conference, if not the best.

2. Edefuan Ulofoshio, Junior, Washington

2021 Pac-12 Linebacker Rankings
Edefuan Ulofoshio | Scott Eklund/UW Athletics

The former walk-on has turned into one of the Pac-12’s best linebackers, a tackling machine that grades super high game after game.

He’s an all around stud who can tackle, get into the backfield and defend the pass.

3. Nate Landman, Senior, Colorado

2021 Pac-12 Linebacker Rankings
Nate Landman | Dan Madden/CU Buffs

I thought Landman was going to go to the NFL, but instead he’s back and one of the best defenders in the Pac-12.

He’s a great all around player who can rush into the backfield, rack up tackles, and drop back into coverage.

One of the scariest playmakers on defense in the Conference.

4. Drake Jackson, Junior, USC

2021 Pac-12 Linebacker Rankings
Drake Jackson | John McGillan via USC Athletics

Jackson officially moved from more of a DE role to LB in 2020, and it didn’t go perfectly.

To be honest, I’m giving him a lot of credit here that he’ll improve in 2021 after not doing much in 2020, despite having a very elite 2019.

He has all the tools to be the best linebacker in the Conference, though, and that’s why he’s here.

5. Caleb Johnson, Senior, UCLA

2021 Pac-12 Linebacker Rankings
Caleb Johnson | 247Sports

Johnson is not the steady play-after-play cornerstone that Lloyd or Ulofoshio are; he’s more an explosive player who makes big plays as a linebacker.

He stepped up in 2020 with more than 44 tackles, 7 TFLs, 5.5 sacks, and an interception.

6. Mitchell Agude, Senior, UCLA

2021 Pac-12 Linebacker Rankings
Mitchell Agude | Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports via UCLA Athletics

Agude isn’t the explosive playmaker Johnson was, but he graded at a very, very high level in 2020.

He’s one of the best edge players in the Conference, and I think he’s poised to make more plays in the backfield in 2021—and make more of a name for himself.

7. Cameron Goode, Senior, Cal

2021 Pac-12 Linebacker Rankings
Cameron Goode | Cal Athletics

Another player I thought was going to go to the NFL, and one of the best linebackers in the Conference at making plays in the backfield.

He has logged 22 TFLs and 12.5 sacks in the past two seasons.

8. Kuony Deng, Senior, Cal

2021 Pac-12 Linebacker Rankings
Kuony Deng | Johnathan Bachman/Getty Images via CaliforniaGoldenBlogs

Yet another super senior who I think could have gone to the NFL.

The giant Deng wasn’t as explosive in 2020 as he was in 2019, and maybe that is why he is back.

He should get back to his 2019 form as a scary pass rusher and guy who can make plays in the backfield with an elite NFL frame and potential.

9. Avery Roberts, Senior, Oregon State

2021 Pac-12 Linebacker Rankings
Avery Roberts | Steve Dykes/AP via Bend Bulletin

There might not be a better tackler in the Conference.

Roberts just racks up stats and holds down the entire Beaver defense.

He’s one of the best veteran leaders on the defensive side of the ball that you will find in the Pac-12.

10. Carson Wells, Senior, Colorado

2021 Pac-12 Linebacker Rankings
Carson Wells | 247Sports

Wells was a great pass rusher and defender in 2020, emerging as a great running mate for Landman.

He plays a lot on the edge and makes life tough on opposing quarterbacks.

I expect him to test the 10-sack number in 2021.

11. Omar Speights, Junior, Oregon State

2021 Pac-12 Linebacker Rankings
Omar Speights | Karl Maasdam/Oregon State Athletics

Speights has been right there with Roberts as a steady linebacker who makes tackle after tackle for the Beavers, and who can also make big plays in the backfield.

He’s a big part of why Oregon State has started to get better on defense under Jonathan Smith.

12. Noah Sewell, Freshman, Oregon

2021 Pac-12 Linebacker Rankings
Noah Sewell | Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images via KSL Sports

Each group always has an elite young player who could easily be at the top at the end of the season.

Sewell is that guy in this group.

He was a monster at making plays in the backfield as a true freshman, and he could easily turn into a superstar in his first full season, climbing ahead of the veterans above him.

 




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