By Michael Stewart @TheTruthNYG
This is part 10 in a series of 13 as we review the inside linebackers in the upcoming draft. The Giants used Tae Crowder and Reggie Ragland for the majority of the snaps to play alongside Blake Martinez and I’m not so sure the coaching staff is comfortable repeating this in 2022. Also, Martinez will be in his final year of his 3 year deal and it’s unclear if the Giants plan on releasing him or not. Here are my top 5 inside linebackers in the 2022 NFL draft.
- Nakobe Dean (Georgia) 6’0/225: Talk about an endless motor and disruptive playmaking skill set. Dean is a tackling machine that will enhance any team’s defense that drafts him. Dean was part of arguably the best defense in the country when we could see possibly four prospects drafted in round 1 from the Georgia’s defensive unit.
- Christian Harris (Alabama) 6’2/240: Harris follows a long line of Alabama linebackers playing in the NFL. Harris is a solid run defender but needs to be better in pass coverage.
- Chad Muma (Wyoming) 6’3/242: Muma has great technique, and his football IQ is off the charts. Muma doesn’t possess the high-end speed of most ILB in this draft, but his instinct and ability to react quickly separates him from the rest of the pack as he led the country in total tackles with 142.
- Leo Chanel (Wisconsin) 6’2/262: Chanel is a throwback ILB who initiates contact against the run and is fairly active in pass coverage. Chanel has good instincts and can disrupt the running game of opposing teams with his physical play and his ability to rush in passer between the tackles.
- Quay Walker (Georgia) 6’4/240: Walker has a high motor and is a sideline-to-sideline defender. Walker has good instincts and is consistently around the ball. Walker is also fairly solid in pass coverage, which the Giants lack from the ILB position.
At the time of this article, the Giants have informed Blake Martinez that they want to give him a pay cut if he wants to remain a Giants for 2022. The jury is still out on whether or not Martinez will accept the offer, however; indications are he will. Also, one prospect missing from this list is Utah standout Devin Lloyd who played both inside and outside this past season. Many scouts are projecting that Lloyd could play on the outside in the NFL, as do I so you’ll see his name in my upcoming article featuring the outside linebackers in this year’s draft.