The 2021 NFL Draft Linebacker Class will not mistake anyone for being particularly deep, however, if you're looking in the right places, for the right traits, you can find some diamonds in the rough. It's a particularly good class for teams who are looking to get faster, quicker and better in coverage, as long as you're willing to sacrifice some conventional size.
The Texans have signed seemingly every LB available in free agency, and the common theme seems to be the aforementioned principles: no more big, physical, plodding LBs who can't run and cover - now we're seeing "undersized" guys who have sideline-to-sideline speed and the fluidity to keep up in coverage over the middle of the field.
When new Texans DC Lovie Smith was asked about how Nick Caserio has done improving the defense, Lovie said, "We like our roster that we have right now before we add some more players in the draft." What I took away from that is LB is not off the table from being drafted this offseason. No LB has a contract longer than 2 years apart from Zach Cunningham, who has an out in 2023.
Couple this with the fact that from 2011-2020, the Patriots most drafted position was LB - folks, Nick Caserio LOVES him some LBs. So, if the Texans have a guy they view fits the scheme, and is good value for where they are picking, don't be surprised to see them draft an athletic LB for the future.
Enough backstory, let's get into my rankings and as always, hit me up on Twitter: @Texans_Thoughts and tell me why you agree or disagree with how I view these players. Let's begin.