In recent years, the average top linebacker draft choice has been roughly 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, with a 4.61 40-yard sprint, 4.36 second shuttle, and 35.1 inch vertical leap. While that doesn't sound like much, consider that a typical middle linebacker in the NFL is usually around 250 pounds and can jump 36 inches high for a defensive player on the free safety position.
Middle linebackers are responsible for covering tight ends and running backs downfield, so they need to be able to cover large portions of the field. At the same time, they often will line up directly over the center on third downs or in goal-line situations, so they need to be able to handle that responsibility. They also typically have some ability to stop the run, so teams tend to ask them to put their hand in the dirt more than other linebacker positions.
In terms of height, most middle linebackers fall between 6 feet and 6 feet 2 inches tall. However, many players who play this position weigh at least 220 pounds, so they can still be fast enough to cover running backs and tight ends downfield.
The biggest threat to middle linebackers comes when they are unable to contain running backs and wide receivers downfield.
Vertical leaps range from 30.8 inches to 39.7 inches, with a 35.1 inch average. Most linebackers don't reach or exceed 38 inches in vertical leap because they want to stay focused on the field rather than looking at their watch.
Most outside linebackers do around 50 lifts per week, while inside linebackers usually work with 75-100 lifts per week. Weight training is important for linebackers to improve their ability to detect and stop running plays.
You should be able to pick up a book off the floor without reaching for it. This shows that you have good core strength. A reliable estimate of your peak torque during the bench press is 12 repetitions. Your peak torque during the squat is higher - 17 repetitions. Your peak torque during the deadlift is also high - 32 repetitions.
These numbers indicate that you should be able to lift about 120 pounds 10 times. You would need to lift 70 percent of your peak force to succeed on one attempt at lifting 150 pounds. A more realistic estimate for how many attempts it takes you to lift 150 pounds is 15-20.
Outside linebackers are ideally approximately 6'3" tall and weigh between 245-255 pounds, with minor variation depending on whether they play the Sam or the Will. Outside linebackers must be ready to shift positions and erupt into action since they must adjust to new plays more quickly than other positions. They also put a lot of pressure on their arms because they are expected to make tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Players at this position need great speed and agility because they must cover receivers who run full speed after the ball is thrown. They also must be strong enough to hold up against running backs and tight ends who try to block them out of the backfield. Finally, they must be able to shed any kind of tackle attempt made by guards or centers and get to the quarterback.
Outside linebackers tend to be large players who can play with an aggressive style against both smaller quarterbacks and larger running backs. They usually come from athletic families and that seems to help them make the transition from offense to defense easily. Although they don't have to be big players, most top level outside linebackers do measure at least 6'3" tall and weigh around 250 pounds or more.
The Pittsburgh Steelers' James Harrison is a great example of an outside linebacker who fits the profile we just discussed. He has eight seasons in the NFL so far and has already not only made the Pro Bowl but also won two Super Bowl rings.