LSU’s Harold Perkins Jr has the potential to be a top-ten pick, leads the OLB watch list

A look at the top outside linebackers in the 2025 NFL Draft.
Harold Perkins Jr.
Harold Perkins Jr. / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

Harold Perkins Jr. leads the 2025 outside linebacker watch list and could be a top 10 pick in next year’s NFL Draft. The group also features Barrett Carter, one of the top coverage linebackers in the 2025 NFL Draft. A sleeper to watch is former Notre Dame player Korey Foreman who hopes to have more production with his new team.

2025 NFL Draft: One outside linebacker to watch in each conference

ACC: Barrett Carter, Clemson

It was a bit of a surprise when Clemson linebacker Barrett Carter announced he would return to school this year, as he would have been a second or third-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. One of the reasons he likely would have been a top 100 selection is that he is a good cover man who has great range.

Big 10: Abdul Carter, Penn State

This year we saw the Miami Dolphins take Chop Robinson in the first round, and another Penn State defender who will likely be a first-round pick next year is Abdul Carter. This season Carter will be more focused on rushing the pass having made the move from linebacker to defensive end.

Big 12: Collin Oliver, Oklahoma State

Colling Oliver has had three excellent seasons at Oklahoma State. In 2021 he recorded 11.5 sacks and was named a Freshman All-American. This past season he was named to the All-Big 12 season after accounting for 15.5 tackles for loss.

SEC: Harold Perkins Jr., LSU

Even though Perkins had a disappointing 2023 season, he still should be a first-round pick next April. His top trait is his ability to get after the passer having recorded 13 sacks over the past two seasons. In order to not just be a situational pass rusher though he is going to need to improve against the run.

Non-Power Four: Korey Foreman, Fresno State

Korey Forman was the number three recruit coming when he signed with USC. However, he had average production recording only 25 tackles in three years. He hopes to boost that production this season by transferring to Fresno State.

2025 NFL Draft Outside Linebacker Watch List

Trey Moore, Texas

Harold Perkins, LSU

Josaiah Stewart, Michigan

Barrett Carter, Clemson

Danny Stutsman, Oklahoma

Collin Oliver, Oklahoma State

Jack Kiser, Notre Dame

CJ Taylor, Vanderbilt

Korey Foreman, Fresno State

Colin Ramos, Navy

Chandler Martin, Memphis

Jhalyn Shuler, South Florida

Seth Coleman, Illinois

Lanell Carr, Indiana

Nick Jackson, Iowa

Jimari Butler, Nebraska

Sonny Styles, Ohio State

Kydran Jenkins, Purdue

Mohamed Toure, Rutgers

Darryl Peterson, Wisconsin

Reggie Peterson, FIU

CJ Nunnally, Akron

Matt Salopek, Miami of Ohio

Keye Thompson, Pittsburgh

Jacob Manu, Arizona

Jack Endries, California

Jestin Jacobs, Oregon

David Bailey, Stanford

Kain Medrano, UCLA

Karene Reid, Utah

Charles Willekes, Arkansas State

Aiden Fisher, Indiana

Cameron Whitfield, Louisiana

Kendre Gant, Houston

Wayne Matthews III, Michigan State

Quentin Wilfawn, South Alabama

Jalil Clemons, Southern Miss

Tre Freeman, Duke

TJ Quinn, Louisville

Solomon DeShields, Pittsburgh

Austin Moore, Kansas State

Andrew Simpson, Boise State

Jackson Woodard, UNLV

Jihaad Campbell, Alabama

Eugene Asante, Auburn

Jalen McLeod, Auburn

Smael Mondon Jr., Georgia

J.J. Weaver, Kentucky

Ty French, West Virginia

Marquise Fleming, Wingate

Micah Cretsinger, Saginaw Valley State