2015 NFL Free Agency Preview: Top 5 Outside Linebackers

2 of 6

Sep 7, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer (6) is sacked by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds (93) during the first half at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

1. Jason Worilds

Pros: Jason Worilds is a solid pass-rusher who has taken the place of LaMarr Woodley in the Steelers defense over the past two seasons (Woodley missed a big chunk of 2013 with an injury before signing with the Raiders in 2014). Worilds has prototypical size for the position, with good speed and a quick second-move step and excellent hands to defeat blockers and finish his pass rush with a sack or clean knockdown. He’s a highly productive pass rusher, having recorded 15.5 sacks over the past two seasons. He also has the hips and lateral quickness to play in space and present the viable threat of a dropback.

Cons: Worilds is not a great run defender, and shows a lack of instincts and discipline in the run game combined with poor recognition and reaction. He is somewhat undersized to be converted to a 4-3 defensive end, and may lack the frame and strength to be an every-down edge player. He’s also not a really good zone pass defender, and this combined with his poor run defense instincts make him a one-trick pony.

Scheme Fit: He’s a prototypical 3-4 rush linebacker who has the minimum size (6’2″, and plays at about 255-260) to be a LEO end in a 4-3 under scheme. He does not have the instincts to play a typical 4-3 linebacker role, but he could also be a good fit as a stud linebacker in a 4-3 under look, playing as a stand-up 7-tech end for all intents and purposes.

Market Value: NFL teams are always looking for a good pass rusher, and Worilds is one, who has played for perhaps the best defensive coordinator in NFL history. He will attract interest from a number of teams, especially teams who run a 3-4 or are switching to a 3-4. Look for Worilds to cash in somewhere to the tune of four or five years and as much as $40M.

Would he sign with the Raiders: doubtful. Worilds is a theoretical fit for a defense that uses a LEO end but he’s really a 3-4 rush linebacker and neither Del Rio nor Norton is a 3-4 all the time type of coach. With his high market, he’d probably not be a great value for the Raiders, as Reggie McKenzie may not want to dump $8M or more a year into a situational player.

Next: 2015 Free Agent OLB Rankings: #2 Brian Orakpo