The Big 10 and the Big 12 are at the top of the middle linebackers watch list

The 2025 NFL Draft middle linebacker class may not have a prospect who is considered a top 50 prospect entering the season. However, they have several talented players with impressive stats, including Iowa’s Jay Higgins, Utah’s Levani Damuni and McNeese’s Micah Davey, who is the Watchlist preseason 2025.

ACC: Power Echols, North Carolina

Last season the Tar Heels were 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 should have one of the again better defenses in college football this season afterward fourth in the FBS last season after giving up just 14.8 points per game last year. This year, one of their leaders will be linebacker Jay Higgins, whose 90.8 Pro Football Focus grade led all linebackers last season.

Big 12: Levani Damuni, Utah

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

Levani Damuni, Cam Porter

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

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

Micah Davey, McNeese

Jay Higgins, Iowa

Jaishawn Barham, Michigan

Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Kentucky

Jeffrey Bassa, Oregon

Carson Bruener, Washington

Julien Simon, UConn

Ruben Hypopolite 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, South Georgia

KC Ossai, Louisiana

Jason Henderson, Old Lordship

Francisco Mauigoa, Miami

Power Echols, North Carolina

Matt Jones, Baylor

Ben Bywater, BYU

Nick Martin, State of Oklahoma

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