2021 NFL Draft ILB rankings: Alabama’s Dylan Moses leads a deep group

Dylan Moses, 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Dylan Moses, 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
5 of 9
Nick Bolton, 2021 NFL Draft
Nick Bolton, 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

5. Nick Bolton, Missouri
5-foot-11, 237 pounds
2021 NFL Draft grade: Fourth round

One of the more productive players in college football over the last two seasons is Missouri inside linebacker Nick Bolton. Bolton led the SEC in tackles in both 2019 and 2020, coming away with a total of 202 tackles over those two seasons. As a player he shows good instincts in both coverage and when stopping the run. He shows nice quickness as well which allows him to close the gap on the ball carrier.

Despite this impressive production, Bolton is being overrated by people who have a second-round grade on him. One of the reasons he doesn’t deserve such a high grade is his lack of size, which causes him trouble when getting off blocks. Despite his tackle numbers being impressive most of these tackles are being made three or four yards downfield. Bolton will have his best chance of starting the NFL if he can go to a two-gap defense that keeps blockers off of him.

6. Chazz Surratt, North Carolina
6-foot-1, 227 pounds
2021 NFL Draft grade: Fourth round

North Carolina’s Chazz Surratt started his college career off as a quarterback but switched to linebacker in 2019. Since making this switch he has become one of the better linebackers in the ACC making the All-ACC both years he has played the position. His best attribute is his overall athletic ability. This allows him to hold up well in coverage and he has even seen time lined up over slot receivers at UNC. He has the work ethic teams love as well and should continue to develop in the NFL.

One of the problems Surratt has due to only playing linebacker for two years is he is still developing his instincts. He has trouble with his run fits at times, although with his work habits he will likely continue to improve in this area. Another issue with him is he doesn’t possess great strength and can be mauled by linemen at times.