2015 NFL Free Agency Preview: Top 5 Outside Linebackers

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Oct 12, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Justin Durant (52) celebrates after a failed fourth down play by the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter of a 26-20 Dallas victory at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

3. Justin Durant

Pros: Excellent speed and strength for the position, with prototypical size for a 4-3 outside linebacker. Durant is an experienced veteran who still has great physical tools and plays with good football IQ and instincts. He can attack, shed and get to the ball as well as fly out and make plays on the perimeter, and he’s a consistent pass defender.

Cons: turns 30 in September. Suffered a torn biceps last season and missed the second half of the year, after missing six games in 2013 as well. Durant doesn’t have adequate size to be used as a 4-3 “under” strongside linebacker, and he isn’t particularly scheme versatile.

Scheme Fit: Durant is a traditional 4-3 outside linebacker who can be either the Will or Sam in a conventional 4-3 or “over” look but can only be the Will in a defense like the one the Raiders will probably run in 2015, though he has the football IQ and size to potentially be a Mike backer. He was drafted by Jack Del Rio in Jacksonville in 2007, and played with Del Rio for four seasons.

Market Value: Durant’s value may not be high as a player approaching 30 with a recent injury history and a limited range of scheme fits. He could be retained by Dallas for not too much, but if he does go to the market look for him to get a two, maybe three year deal for about $12M-$15M.

Would he sign with the Raiders: yes. Durant may come to Oakland to play with his old Jacksonville head coach as a situational or backup player if the market doesn’t develop for him. Durant could be of value to the Raider defense, especially because of his familiarity with Jack Del Rio, and could come cheap.

Next: 2015 Free Agent OLB Rankings: #4 Sean Weatherspoon