Jaguars Blog

1010XL Draft Guide: 2024 Linebacker Rankings

todayMarch 1, 2024


Welcome to the latest edition of our 2024 NFL Draft prospect rankings! All the football heads at 1010XL/92.5 FM have gathered to preview the upcoming draft in April. Today, we’ll be focusing on inside linebackers.

Here’s how our internal panel of experts ranked* this year’s class.

*Subject to change. Final rankings will be released in a full Draft Guide in March. 

Here’s more information on our consensus top-five prospects.

Edgerrin Cooper, Texas A&M

Our consensus rank: 1 | National consensus rank: 1

Bio: Cooper was a four-star recruit out of Covington High School and committed to Texas A&M. He had two tackles in two games in his first season but earned a nod on the SEC All-Freshman Team as a redshirt freshman. Cooper improved again as a sophomore before recording a conference-high 17 tackles for loss as a junior, which earned him first-team All-SEC and unanimous All-American honors. 

Player comp: Ernest Jones

Strengths: Length, burst, long speed

Weaknesses: Frame, fluidity, balance

Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Clemson

Our consensus rank: 2 | National consensus rank: 3

Bio: Trotter Jr., son of four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, was a four-star recruit out of St. Joseph’s Preparatory School. He was selected to play in the 2021 All-American Bowl and committed to Clemson. Trotter Jr. had 15 tackles in 5 games as a freshman before exploding for 89 tackles as a sophomore and 88 tackles as a junior. He received first-team All-ACC and second-team All-American selections in 2023. 

Player comp: David Long Jr.

Strengths: Football IQ, burst, competitiveness

Weaknesses: Power, long speed, tackling

Payton Wilson, NC State

Our consensus rank: 3 | National consensus rank: 2

Bio: Wilson was a four-star recruit out of Orange High School, where he had consecutive 100-tackle seasons and won a state wrestling championship. He originally committed to North Carolina before flipping to NC State. Wilson suffered an ACL tear as a high school senior, then sustained another knee injury before his first collegiate season to force him to redshirt. Wilson was able to return the next year and led his team in tackles. He earned first-team All-ACC honors in 2020, but his 2021 season was cut short by a shoulder injury. Wilson made another comeback in 2022, and as a fifth-year senior the following year, he was named a unanimous All-American and ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He also won the Butkus Award (linebacker of the year) and the Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year).

Player comp: Kiko Alonso

Strengths: Frame, fluidity, long speed

Weaknesses: High pad level, power, medicals

Junior Colson, Michigan

Our consensus rank: 4 | National consensus rank: 4

Bio: Colson was born in Haiti and adopted by an American couple who’d visited on a church mission after the 2010 earthquake. He recalls from his first major airport, “The first thing I saw in America was a Michigan hat.” Colson eventually committed to Big Blue after becoming a four-star recruit at Ravenwood High School. He registered 61 tackles in his first year to be selected as a freshman All-American. Colson then led his team in tackles each of the next two years to earn consecutive second-team All-Big Ten honors. As a junior in 2023, he helped lead Michigan win a national championship and received the Lott IMPACT Trophy. 

Player comp: Nick Bolton

Strengths: Power, burst, tackling

Weaknesses: Fluidity, hand usage, consistency

Cedric Gray, North Carolina

Our consensus rank: 5 | National consensus rank: 5

Bio: Gray was a four-star recruit out of Ardrey Kell High School, where he played linebacker and wide receiver. He committed to North Carolina and had 3 tackles in three games as a freshman before breaking out with 99 tackles in 2021. Gray recorded over 120 tackles and 10 tackles for loss in each of the next two seasons to earn consecutive first-team All-ACC selections. 

Player comp: Leroy Hill

Strengths: Frame, power, long speed

Weaknesses: Footwork, instincts, tackling

Follow along as we rank each position group leading up to the draft!


Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Offensive Tackles

Interior Offensive Linemen

Tight Ends



Edge Defenders

Defensive Tackles

Inside Linebackers

Written by: Gus Logue

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