Vince Williams Lists His Favorite Inside Linebackers Of The 2023 Draft Class

Vince Williams isn’t a Pittsburgh Steelers’ scout. But he’s putting on his scouting hat and giving his thoughts on the 2023 NFL Draft class at inside linebacker. Who better to evaluate the group than him, a former sixth round pick who overcame the scouting report concerns about him not being big or fast enough. Even in retirement, he still carries a critical eye, now coaching linebackers at Pine-Richland High School.

Earlier Friday, Williams sent out a couple tweets offering his impression on this year’s class and ranking the top names. Here’s how he listed the top four.

It’s a different list than most but certainly an interesting one. His top-ranked inside linebacker is Washington State’s Daiyan Henley, a former receiver-turned-safety-turned-linebacker who transferred from Nevada to WSU for 2022. There, he racked up 106 tackles and forced three fumbles. With his receiver background and top-tier athleticism, he’s picked off five combined passes the last two years while he was utilized more as a pass rusher this past season, finishing with four sacks. At this year’s Combine, he blazed a 4.54 40. While he does have long 33 inch arms, there are concerns about his slight frame at 6007, 225 pounds, and his overall run defense and ability to shed blocks. Our Jonathan Heitritter gave him just a fourth round grade.

Texas’ DeMarvion Overshown is cut from a similar cloth, a long and lanky converted safety. Last year, he recorded 96 tackles (ten for a loss) with four sacks and broke up five passes. A bit bigger than Henley at 6025, 229 pounds, he turned in a similar 40 at 4.59.

Clemson’s Trenton Simpson and Arkansas’ Drew Sanders are largely viewed as the top off-ball linebackers in the class, coming in at #3 and #4 on Williams’ list. Simpson is another top-tier athlete with an incredible 4.43 40 time, though there’s questions about his best position and scheme fit, a potential tweener who doesn’t quite have a home. He’s drawn comparisons to Cleveland’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Sanders is a bigger body at 6043, 235 pounds who can rush off the edge or play off the ball. Consistent tackling is an issue but he was highly productive in his first year starting last season, notching 103 tackles and 9.5 sacks.

One player Williams is lower on than many is Iowa’s Jack Campbell. A name earning serious buzz after a great Combine workout, Williams didn’t go into specifics but tweeted he didn’t “see it” with him.

Pittsburgh certainly could and likely will add to their inside linebacker room at some point in the offseason. There’s a solid list of potential free agent adds and a handful of names in this year’s draft the Steelers could look at with one of their top four picks in the draft.

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