2024 NFL Draft: Cowboys, Chargers should take a deep look at these NFL prospects at linebacker

A look at the linebackers the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers should consider during the 2024 NFL Draft
Michigan linebacker Junior Colson
Michigan linebacker Junior Colson / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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Despite being named SEC Defensive Player of the Year Nathaniel Watson is being overlooked

10. Nathaniel Watson, Mississippi State

Not very often do you see the reining SEC Defensive Player of the Year, as a late round prospect in the NFL Draft. However, that is the case with Mississippi State linebacker Nathaniel Watson. Last season, Watson had an outstanding season which saw him lead the conference in both tackles (137) and sacks (10). While this production is impressive he carries a sixth-round draft grade on my board. The main reason for this is his lack of speed which makes him strictly in in the box linebacker. He also lacks the agility you see from other Mike linebackers in the 2024 NFL Draft, which hurts him when trying to make tackles in space. Draft Grade: Sixth Round

2024 NFL Draft: Nathaniel Watson
Mississippi State linebacker Nathaniel Watson / Brandon Sumrall/GettyImages

11. Tyrice Knight, UTEP

A Group of Five linebacker who should hear his name called on day three of the NFL Draft possibly by his local team the Dallas Cowboys is Tyrice Knight. Over the past two seasons, Knight has 235 tackles and 22 tackles for loss. Knight is a strong-run defender who does a great job of fighting through traffic. He also displays good quickness and closes in on the ball carrier quickly. In pass defense, he shows good awareness although he is a little stiff in the hips which hurts him when it comes to opening up in pass coverage. Draft Grade: Sixth Round

12. Marist Liufau, Notre Dame

Another linebacker I am lower on than most is Notre Dame’s Marist Liufau. The biggest reason for this is his lack of instincts in both the passing and running game. This lack of awareness has also only allowed him to have average production in college recording just 44 tackles this season. Another concern with him is a lack of strength which you would not expect for a 230-pound linebacker. His best attributes are his ability to get after the passer recording three sacks this year, and showing some decent pass-rushing moves. Draft Grade: Seventh Round

13. Jontrey Hunter, Georgia State

The last linebacker who receives a draftable grade from me and someone who could be a good fit with the Chargers is Georgia State's Jontrey Hunter. Hunter is a good athlete who is one of the more athletic day three linebackers in the 2024 NFL. This agility allows him to matchup well in coverage and also make tackles in open space. However, I do have concerns about his overall tackling ability. He has missed his share of tackles this season whether it be from trying to tackle the defender to high or lunging at the ball carrier this is an area of his game that needs to be addressed. Draft Grade: Seventh Round