Power Ranking The NFL Divisions By Linebacker Situations

Kmess

Welcome to the second installment of the defensive NFL Divisional power rankings by position groups.

Early in the week we ranked Defensive Line

Last week’s offensive divisional rankings:

Running Backs

Quarterbacks

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Lines

Today we focus on the linebacker groups.  I will rank the divisions from 8 through 1.  Focused on the top 3 linebackers within each team’s depth chart.  Some players who you may more associate with DL but are listed as LB will be included within these rankings.

Let the rankings begin:

8. NFC EAST

Cowboys:  Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith, Sean Lee

Eagles:  Nathan Gerry, Jatavis Brown, Alex Singleton

Giants:  Markus Golden, David Mayo, Blake Martinez

Redskins:  Thomas Davis, Jon Bostic, Reuben Foster

This division absolutely has some studs and has the chance to finish the season MUCH higher… But there are also a ton of question marks.  Can Thomas Davis still play?  Besides Nathan Gerry do you know one linebacker on the Eagles?  Markus Golden is a stud but after him..  Sean Lee is a billion years old, Leighton Vander Esch is coming off neck surgery and Jaylon Smith literally can’t cover.

7. AFC NORTH

Bengals: Germaine Pratt, Josh Bynes, Logan Wilson

Browns: B.J. Goodson, Mack Wilson, Sione Takitaki

Ravens: Matthew Judon, L.J. Fort, Patrick Queen

Steelers: T.J. Watt, Vince Williams, Bud Dupree

Another group that has the potential to finish the season ranked possibly in the top 3-4.  I mean T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree together is a hell of a tandem.  I can’t wait to see what kind of player Patrick Queen becomes at the next level, especially getting to play with Judon.  But after those guys… Who the hell is Sione Takitaki, sounds like something I would order at a Hibachi grill.  We shall see.

6. AFC EAST

Bills: Matt Milano, Tremaine Edmunds, A.J. Klein

Dolphins: Emmanuel Ogbah, Raekwon McMillan, Kyle Van Noy

Jets: Jabari Zuniga, C.J. Mosley, Avery Williamson

Patriots: Chase Winovich, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Don’t’a Hightower

Again, the AFC East toward the bottom of the rankings.  C.J. Mosley can be a top 5 LB in the NFL, but was not healthy at all last season.  Tremaine Edmunds will make sure the Bill’s LB play above where they should.  I absolutely love the addition of Kyle Van Noy for the Dolphins, especially for Emmanuel Ogbah.  I would say the Patriots have the most solid group with Winovich and Hightower.

5. AFC WEST

Broncos: Von Miller, Alexander Johnson, Bradley Chubb

Chargers: Denzel Perryman, Kenneth Murrary, Drue Tranquill

Chiefs: Willie Gay Jr., Anthony Hitchens, Damien Wilson

Raiders: Nick Kwiatkoski, Cory Littleton, Nicholas Morrow

I think this is right where this group should be.  I mean Von Miller and Bradley Chubb may be the best duo in the league at getting after the QB from their positions.  Drue Tranquill played out of his mind as a rookie and that group gets even younger with the addition of first round pick Kennth Murrary.  Anthony Hitchens is the ultimate lunch pale go to work and knock heads linebacker in KC.  The weak link within this group will be coming from Las Vegas, prove me wrong.

4. NFC NORTH

Bears: Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan

Lions: Jamie Collins, Jarrad Davis, Reggie Ragland

Packers: Preston Smith, Christian Kirksey, Oren Burks

Vikings: Eric Wilson, Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr

When healthy name a better group of Mack, Smith and Trevathan… I will wait.  The addition of Jamie Collins is huge for the Lions and Reggie Ragland.  I hope he can play outside of New England.  Preston Smith was a madman playing his first season for the Packers last year.  Kendricks and Barr have been holding it down in Minnesota3 for a long time now, and don’t expect that to end this season.

3. NFC SOUTH

Buccaneers: Devin White, Levonte David, Shaquil Barrett

Falcons: Dante Fowler Jr., Deion Jones, Foyesade Oluokun

Panthers: Shaq Thompson, Tahir Whitehead, Jarmaine Carter

Saints: Demario Davis, Kiko Alonso, Alex Anzalone

You could argue that I could switch the NFC North and the NFC South and I wouldn’t fight you that hard.  But Shaq Barrett led the league in sacks last year and I feel like that has to count for something.  Deion Jones can cover anyone in the NFL, and I think Dante Fowler has a chance to ball out this season.  The Panthers got younger and I really like the addition of Whitehead holding down the middle for them.  Damario Davis is the best linebacker in New Orleans and has a chance to get Kiko to play at a very high level.

2.  NFC WEST

49ers: Kwon Alexander, Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw

Cardinals: Chandler Jones, Jordan Hicks, Isaiah Simmons

Rams: Samson Ebukam, Micah Kiser, Leonard Floyd

Seahawks: Jordyn Brooks, Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright

I mean look at the names in this group… Kwon Alexander, Chandler Jones, Jordan Hicks, Leonard Floyd, Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright.  Ballers, all ballers.  Some at different points in their career, like Wright who may have lost a step but can still play.  Bobby Wagner is still the best MLB in football, Jordan Hicks had about 700 tackles last year and Kwon Alexander is an absolute monster playing for the 49ers.  Again, if you wanted to make this group the top dog I wouldn’t fight you too hard.

1. AFC SOUTH

Colts: Darius Leonard, Anthony Walker, Bobby Okereke

Jaguars: Myles Jack, Joe Schobert, Cassius Marsh Sr.

Texans: Whitney Mercilus, Benadrick McKinney, Zach Cunningham

Titans: Vic Beasley Jr., Jayon Brown, Rashaan Evans

Darius Leonard is an absolute MONSTER for the Colts.  The former rookie defensive player of the year can legit do it all.  Myles Jack was told he may only play a few years, I think he has only missed one game in his career and is an absolute beast.  Whitney Mercilus sometimes is better at getting at the QB than his teammate J.J. Watt.  I really like Vic Beasley getting out of Atlanta and getting a new shot with the Titans.  Also, watch out for rookie Bobby Orereke in Indy to step in and be a real contributor with Leonard.

Those are the linebacker rankings.  I have to be honest, that was the hardest group yet.  Absoultely the rankings could be changed a bit and I would probably agree.

Tomorrow we move on to the cornerback groups.

Let us know what you think about the LB rankings.

-Kmess

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