Inside linebacker has become sort of a niche position over the last few years as more teams transition to a 3-4 style defense.
Guys like Patrick Willis, Navarro Bowman, and Ray Lewis are once-in-a-generation guys, and the 3-4 transition is causing the NFL to see more linebacker-by-committee approaches.
Right now the Saints have David Hawthorne and Curtis Lofton lined up at the inside linebacker position, two guys that overachieved in 2013 and are poised to play well this coming year. Behind them, however, is only Ramon Humber and Kevin Reddick. Humber played relatively well in a limited role in 2013, racking up 29 total tackles. Going forward, the Saints will need to at least add bodies behind Humber and Reddick that will also increase the competition for playing time.
It’s unlikely that the Saints will spend their first round pick on a linebacker, which means a guy like C.J. Mosley is immediately off the board. Wisconsin’s Chris Borland could be an interesting addition, however they would probably need to spend their second round pick or move up in the third to grab him.
A guy that’s are far more likely to end up in black and gold is Lamin Barrow.
Barrow, a product of hometown LSU, is physically imposing at 6-foot-1 and 237 pounds. He shows good athletic ability, as well as a flash of speed (running a 4.64 40-yard dash). He’s still a little raw though and often relies on instinct rather than fundamentals. He should fall into the middle-to-late rounds though, which would be perfect position to scoop him up and let him develop.
To find out where Barrow, Borland, and the rest of this year’s class at inside linebacker rank according to cover32, click here.