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Top 10 Outside Linebackers in College Football 2022 Rankings

Ranking College Football’s best Outside Linebackers of the NCAA 2022-2023 season and the 2023 NFL Draft

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By Fan Rankings | January 15, 2023 - 02:36 PM

The 2022 NCAA Football season has come to a wrap as players, coaches, and fans start to look at the 2023 NFL Draft as well as the upcoming 2023 College Football Schedule.

As fans start to get excited for another amazing year of College Football, many of the top players in the country including the best outside linebackers in the game that are eligible are starting to look at the 2023 NFL Draft.

That includes basically all of the outside linebackers landing on the Top 10 College Football Outside Linebackers 2023 Rankings list.

 

One of those outside linebackers who is expecting to hear his name called on the first day of the 2023 NFL Draft is Will Anderson Jr of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The Crimson Tide starting defensive player is not only one of the best defensive players in all of College Football but one of the best players overall.

Joining Anderson Jr on the Top Outside Linebackers in College Football includes Will McDonald from the Iowa State Cyclones, Trenton Simpson of the Clemson Tigers, and Felix Anudike-Uzomah of the Kansas State Wildcats. Here is a look at the Top 10 College Football Outside Linebackers 2023 rankings.




Honorable Mention

Zion Tupuola-Fetui

School: Washington Huskies 

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

Just missing the Top 10 College Football Outside Linebackers 2023 Rankings list is the Washington Huskies outside linebacker Zion Tupuola-Fetui.

Tupuola-Fetui who returned late last season after suffering an Achilles injury, showed positive upside this season while posting solid numbers.

The Huskies junior racked up 28 tackles on the year to go along with one forced fumble, 4.5 sacks, and one pass defended.

The 6-foot 4 inch outside linebacker has solid size and speed to make him one of the top outside linebackers in college football.




Richard Jibunor

School: Troy Trojans 

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

While you don’t hear much about smaller schools such as the Troy Trojans, it doesn’t mean they don’t or can’t produce top tier talented players.

That is the case with the Trojans outside linebacker Richard Jibunor who put together a terrific junior season for the team while racking up 40 total tackles.

In addition to the tackles, Jibunor was a menace to opposing quarterbacks recording 7.5 sacks tying a career high while also recording three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and one interception.




Top 10 Best College Outside Linebackers 

10. Byron Young

School: Tennessee Volunteers 

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

Landing in at number 10 on the Top 10 College Football Outside Linebackers 2023 Rankings list is the Tennessee Volunteers senior outside linebacker Byron Young.

Young, who is from South Carolina, continued to be strong on the defensive side of the football for the Volunteers while helping them take a huge stride forward during the 2022 NCAA Football Schedule.

While his career is wrapping up, his future is bright as the 2023 NFL Draft approaches. Young posted seven sacks to go along with 46 total tackles, and one interception. Overall Young has great instincts helping him react, locate, and pursue the football. 




9. Nick Hampton

School: Appalachian State Mountaineers 

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

Another small school outside linebacker to land on the list of the top outside linebackers in College Football is the Appalachian State Mountaineers linebacker Nick Hampton.

While Hampton failed to return to the form he put together last season including racking up 68 tackles and 11 sacks, the Mountaineers star did finish the season with 39 total tackles to go along with seven sacks while also forcing three fumbles and recovering two fumbles.

As a fifth-year senior, Hampton will be making his way to the NFL draft while using his speed and athleticism to move him up the 2023 NFL Draft board.




8. Nolan Smith

School: Georgia Bulldogs 

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

Only thing holding Nolan Smith back from landing up near the tops of the list with Alabama Crimson Tide outside linebacker Will Anderson was a season ending injury.

Smith is a freak athlete who when on the field is a game changer at the outside linebacker position. Smith, who is from Savannah Georgia, appeared in just five games this season while recording three sacks to go along with 12 tackles before suffering a pectoral injury that shut his season down.

The Georgia Bulldogs outside linebacker is strong against both the run as well as in coverage while also having the range and feel to find how to come off blocks to make big time plays. Unfortunately, Smith was out during the 2022 NCAA Football National Championship Game.




7. Derick Hall

School: Auburn Tigers 

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

The SEC has been a powerhouse for producing top tier players all across the defensive side of the football. The same can be said this season with the likes of outside linebacker Derick Hall from the Auburn Tigers landing on the Top 10 College Football Outside Linebackers 2023 Rankings list.

Over the past two seasons Hall has racked up 15.5 total tackles to go along with two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and 60 total tackles.

Hall will forgo returning to the Tigers for the upcoming 2023 NCAA Football schedule and enter the 2023 NFL Draft.




6. B.J. Ojulari

School: LSU Tigers 

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

Over the years we have seen the LSU Tigers produce talented defensive football players especially at the linebacker position. Add B.J. Ojulari to that list as he finished his third season with the program.

Over those three years Ojulari racked up 19.5 sacks including 5.5 last season to go along with one forced fumble and one fumble recovery this season.

When looking at outside linebackers, Ojulari delivers he speed and explosiveness off the line to give him better positioning, while also helping him to get to the ball carrier/receiver faster. 




5. Andre Carter II

School: Army Black Knights 

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

Rounding out the Top 5 outside linebackers on the Top 10 College Football Outside Linebackers 2023 Rankings list is the Army Black Knights Andre Carter II.

Carter II will be a highly coveted prospect who will now be allowed to enter the NFL Draft despite having required service time.

After coming onto the scene last season posting 15.5 sacks, the Black Knights star showcased his ability as one of the top pass rushers in the country. Despite seeing his production drop off Carter still posted 37 tackles this season to go along with three sacks. 




4. Will McDonald IV

School: Iowa State Cyclones 

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

While statics look great, sometimes change of teammates, and scheme can impact those numbers while opposing offenses also look to double team you.

That is the case with Will McDonald IV who has all the physical tools to be a top ranked outside linebacker in college football.

When it comes to his ability to get to the quarterback, McDonald uses an explosive spin move to help him set the end and free himself up to make the play on the ball carrier and/or quarterback.

McDonald IV finished the season with 36 total tackles to go along with five sacks, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery while also posting four passes defended.




3. Trenton Simpson

School: Clemson Tigers 

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

One of the fastest of the outside linebackers in all of college football, Trenton Simpson is a threat to any opposing quarterback or running back while also showing his ability to play the pass.

The Clemson Tigers star racked up a career high 73 tackles this season to go along with 2.5 sacks, three passes defended, and two forced fumbles.

In the team’s 39-10 win in the ACC Championship Game, Simpson was all over the field posting eight tackles and forcing havoc on freshman quarterback Drake Maye.




2. Felix Anudike-Uzomah

School: Kansas State Wildcats 

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

If you watched any of the Kansas State Wildcats football games this season, you would know who Felix Anudike-Uzomah is and how great of a football player he is.

Anudike-Uzomah who is expected to be one of the first linebackers off the board during the 2023 NFL Draft did it all for the Wildcats this season while being a threat to get to the quarterback on any passing play.

The Kansas City Missouri native posted 46 total tackles this season to go along with 8.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

Over the past two seasons Anudike-Uzomah has used his size, speed, and explosiveness to record a combined 19.5 sacks. 



 

1. Will Anderson Jr.

School: Alabama Crimson Tide 

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

In at number one on the Top 10 College Football Outside Linebackers 2023 Rankings list is the Alabama Crimson Tide star defensive player Will Anderson Jr.

Anderson Jr. who entered the season as one of the top players to watch in the country didn’t disappoint despite opposing teams attempts to slow him down with double teams and other stunts.

The Crimson Tide star is projected to be a potential top three draft pick with some expecting him to land as high as the first pick during the 2023 NFL Draft.

Despite not finishing the season Anderson Jr finished the season with 10 sacks to go along with 51 tackles and an interception returned for a touchdown.



How would you rank the Best College Linebackers in the 2022-2023 BCS season? Rank below to be added in the NCAA Power Rankings

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