These names represent the three linebacker positions in a 4-3 defensive scheme.
Sam: The strong-side linebacker, this player is physical enough to stop the run but also capable of dropping back and covering the tight end in passing situations.
Mike: The inside linebacker, he must read offensive alignments and make adjustments to the front seven. He must be highly instinctive, and versatile enough to stop the run, drop back in coverage and have pass-rushing skills.
Will: The weak-side linebacker. His primary task is to pressure the quarterback. Athleticism is the top trait teams seek for this pass-rushing specialist.
Examples of "Sam" Linebackers: Dont'a Hightower, New England Patriots (25th overall, 2012 NFL Draft); Jarvis Jones, Georgia (2013 prospect)
Examples of "Mike" Linebackers: Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers (9th overall pick, 2012 NFL Draft); Alec Ogletree, Georgia (2013 prospect, pictured)
Examples of "Will" Linebackers: Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Bucs (88th overall, 2012 NFL Draft); Damontre Moore, Texas A&M (2013 prospect)
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