10 impactful linebackers to look out for in 2025 NFL draft ft. Harold Perkins Jr.

Joe Cox
Linebackers Danny Stutsman and Harold Perkins Jr. are two of the nation
Linebackers Danny Stutsman and Harold Perkins Jr. are two of the nation's best for 2024.

College football linebackers are on a comeback mission in 2025. No linebacker went off the board in the 2024 NFL Draft until pick 45, and Texas A&M's Edgerrin Cooper was the only backer who went in the first two rounds.

Things will change this season. College football boasts an imposing group of upcoming linebackers, several of whom could go high in the 2025 draft. Here's a top ten list of those LBs.

10 impactful linebackers to watch for in 2025 NFL Draft

Oregon linebacker Jestin Jacobs (No. 4) could shine in 2024.
Oregon linebacker Jestin Jacobs (No. 4) could shine in 2024.

10. Jestin Jacobs, Oregon

The rangy, 6-foot-4 Jacobs has struggled to stay on the field due to injuries. He starred at Iowa in 2021, but after missing almost the entire 2022 season, he transferred to Oregon.

He had 32 tackles for the Ducks in 2023, despite only being clear to play in mid-October. Jacobs is athletic and covers the entire field. Keeping him on it is the only issue.

9. Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Kentucky

After the departure of Trevin Wallace to the NFL, Kentucky had a hole to fill at linebacker. Enter the 6-foot-1 Dumas-Johnson. In three seasons at Georgia, he has amassed 125 tackles and 9.5 sacks. He's speedy enough to drop into pass coverage but brings intensity to run defense, which will make him a favorite at UK.

8. Jay Higgins, Iowa

Iowa is an old-school program in many ways. One is the development of Ironman defensive standouts like Higgins. After a part-time role in 2022, Higgins barely left the field in 2023. He made a whopping 171 tackles, including five for loss. He also added four pass breakups and an interception. The 6-foot-2 Higgins might not be a combine warrior, but he's a true linebacker and a standout.

7. Power Echols, North Carolina

Much like Higgins, Echols might not win a 40-yard dash contest. He's also only 5-foot-11. What he does do well is pursue ball carriers and receivers ceaselessly.

Echols had 100 tackle seasons in each of the last two years at UNC. He also has 11.5 tackles for loss at Carolina and has picked off a pass each year. Echols will make believers of any scoffers on the field in 2024.

6. Smael Mondon Jr., Georgia

Georgia always has a great defense, and Mondon has waited his time to be the next star for the Bulldogs. A top recruit, Mondon has made big plays throughout the last two years at UGA, amassing 154 tackles and 14 tackles for loss. The 6-foot-3 Mondon has it all-- athleticism, intensity and experience. He's likely to shine in 2024.

5. Deontae Lawson, Alabama

Like Mondon, Lawson has awaited his chance to star, and it's arriving. Over the past two seasons at Alabama, Lawson has totaled 118 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and eight pass breakups. At 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds, Lawson is almost like an extra safety. In an era of increased passing emphasis, his coverage skills might be a game-changer for Kalen DeBoer.

4. Barrett Carter, Clemson

The path to stardom isn't always a straight line. Carter looked poised to explode last season, but he had a relatively mediocre campaign. If he can regain his 2022 form, he'll be fine.

In 2022, Carter had 73 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and eight pass breakups. Each number went down in 2023. But the talent is still there, and Carter's ready for a rebounding season in 2024.

3. Jaishawn Barham, Michigan

Likewise, Barham was superb as a freshman at Maryland in 2022. After a disappointing 2023 campaign, he's moved to Michigan. In that freshman season, Barham had 58 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. 2023 was a step backward in each category, although injuries were part of the issue. Watch out for Barham to make big noise in his new home this fall.

2. Danny Stutsman, Oklahoma

The 6-foot-3 Sooner star has had a pair of ridiculously productive campaigns in the last two years. Stutsman had 125 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, five pass breakups, three sacks and two interceptions in 2022. He followed that up with 104 tackles and a whopping 16 tackles for loss in 2023. He's an aggressive player who will make a ton of big moments for OU in 2024.

1.Harold Perkins Jr., LSU

Perkins is tops on this list because he seems to always be one moment away from taking over a football game. In two seasons, he's racked up 147 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, seven pass break ups and a pair of interceptions. He's a turnover in the waiting and a third-down nightmare. Perkins will be a high NFL Draft pick next spring, and he'll earn that spot this fall.

Which top linebackers are you waiting to see in 2024? Let's hear your thoughts below in our comments section!

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