HIGH ABOVE THE UPPER MIDWEST -- Earlier this month, we took a sneak peek at Mel Kiper's top five inside/middle linebackers in the 2013 draft. On the occasion of the Chicago Bears' decision to move on without Brian Urlacher, and with the Minnesota Vikings also in search of a new starter at the position, I figured I would revisit Kiper's ranking for those who didn't think it would be as relevant as it has become:
Notre Dame's Manti Te'o
Georgia's Alec Ogletree
LSU's Kevin Minter
Florida's Jonathan Bostic
North Carolina's Kevin Reddick
(Insider subscribers can see the full Kiper analysis here.)
On Twitter, many of you are asking about Kansas State's Arthur Brown. Obviously, Kiper doesn't rank him among his top five. Scouts Inc. rates him in its top 10 inside/middle linebackers and projects him as a second-round draft pick.
We discussed Te'o at the scouting combine, noting his smooth performance in a media setting but a disappointing workout. I left the combine under the assumption that Ogletree is the best player at this position in the draft, but his value has been affected by several off-field incidents in the past year, most recently a drunken-driving arrest.