Jay Higgins, Levani Damuni among top middle linebackers to watch in the 2025 NFL Draft

A look at the 2025 NFL Draft middle linebacker class.
Jay Higgins
Jay Higgins / Matthew Holst/GettyImages

The 2025 NFL Draft middle linebacker class might not have a prospect considered a top 50 prospect going into the season. However, they have several talented players who have impressive stats, including Iowa’s Jay Higgins, Utah’s Levani Damuni, and McNeese’s Micah Davey which make the 2025 preseason watch list.

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

ACC: Power Echols, North Carolina

Last season, the Tar Heels produced Cedric Gray who went to the Titans in the sixth round. This year they have another linebacker who should hear his name called on draft day in Power Echols. Last season, Echols recorded 102 tackles and two forced fumbles.

Big 10: Jay Higgins, Iowa

The Hawkeyes again should have one of the better defenses in college football this season after finishing fourth in the FBS last season having given up only 14.8 points per game last year. This year one of their leader will be linebacker Jay Higgins whose 90.8 coverage Pro Football Focus grade led all linebackers last season.

Big 12: Levani Damuni, Utah

Another team that consistently has a good defense is the Utah Utes, and they are also led by an intriguing linebacker. That backer is Levani Damuni who led the team in tackles by 20 tackles last season.

Levani Damuni, Cam Porter
Levani Damuni / Zak Krill/GettyImages

SEC: Debo Williams, South Carolina

Yet another highly productive linebacker in the 2024 NFL Draft is South Carolina’s Debo Williams. Last season, Williams recorded 113 tackles on the year.

Non-Power Four: Micah Davey, McNeese

A small school prospect to watch in the 2025 NFL Draft is McNeese linebacker Micah Davey. Last season, the FCS All-American accounted for 152 tackles and seven tackles for loss. He also comes from a good bloodline with his dad being former LSU quarterback Rohan Davey.

2025 NFL Draft Middle Linebacker Watch List

Micah Davey, McNeese

Jay Higgins, Iowa

Jaishawn Barham, Michigan

Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Kentucky

Jeffrey Bassa, Oregon

Carson Bruener, Washington

Julien Simon, UConn

Ruben Hyppolite II, Maryland

Xander Mueller, Northwestern

Cody Simon, Ohio State

Trevor Williams, Sam Houston

Darren Anders, Bowling Green

Ty Wise, Miami of Ohio

Daniel Bolden, Toledo

LaVonta Bentley, Colorado

Easton Mascarenas-Arnold, USC

Gaethan Bernadel, Stanford

Levani Damuni, Utah

Lander Barton, Utah

Marques Watson-Trent, Georgia Southern

K.C. Ossai, Louisiana

Jason Henderson, Old Dominion

Francisco Mauigoa, Miami

Power Echols, North Carolina

Matt Jones, Baylor

Ben Bywater, BYU

Nick Martin, Oklahoma State

Ben Roberts, Texas Tech

Alec Mock, Air Force

Chase Wilson, Colorado State

Zyrus Fiaseu, Arizona State

Jaheim Thomas, Wisconsin

Shemar James, Florida

D'Eryk Jackson, Kentucky

Chuck Hicks, Missouri

Debo Williams, South Carolina

Jacob Dobbs, James Madison