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Ranking the NFL's 5 best linebackers

Roquan Smith has made a big change in the Chicago Bears defense
Roquan Smith has made a big change in the Chicago Bears defense
Walter Sharp
ANALYST
Modified 20 Nov 2020, 18:30 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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The linebacker position in the NFL has changed a lot over the years.

It has gone from the bruiser-style linebacker to more of a coverage-style linebacker. When NFL franchises look for their linebackers they base it not only on tackles, but how they play in coverage.

Let's take a look at the top five linebackers in the NFL today.


5. Fred Warner (San Francisco 49ers)

The San Francisco 49ers drafted linebacker Fred Warner in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Now in his third season, he's made an impact on defense for them. The 49ers linebacker is on pace to surpass his career-high in interceptions. So far in 2020 he has put up great stats for the 49ers defense.

2020 Defensive Stats:

  • 79 Total Tackles
  • 3 Pass Deflections
  • 5 Tackle for Losses
  • 2 Interceptions

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4. Bobby Wagner (Seattle Seahawks)

The Seattle Seahawks drafted Bobby Wagner in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Wagner has been a difference-maker for the Seahawks defense and has had many great years. In the nine seasons that Bobby Wagner has been with the Seahawks, he has shown his dominance at the linebacker position. Wagner is on pace to break his career highs in sacks.

2020 Defensive Stats:

  • 87 Total Tackles
  • 3 Sacks
  • 5 Tackles for Loss
  • 5 Pass Deflections

3. Devin White (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted linebacker Devin White in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. In his second season with the Buccaneers, White has already made an impact on defense. White is on pace to surpass his career highs in total tackles and pass deflections. He has already passed his career high in sacks.

2020 Defensive Stats:

  • 88 Total Tackles
  • 5 Sacks
  • 11 Tackles for Loss
  • 2 Pass Deflections
  • 1 Forced Fumble
  • 1 Fumble Recovery
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2. Roquan Smith (Chicago Bears)

The Chicago Bears selected linebacker Roquan Smith in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. In his third year with the Bears, Smith has proven to be a leader on the defensive side of the football. The linebacker out of the University of Georgia has surpassed his career-high in forced fumbles this season. Smith is also on pace to break his career-highs in sacks, pass deflections, and total tackles.

2020 Defensive Stats:

  • 96 Total Tackles
  • 15 Tackles for Loss
  • 2 Sacks
  • 5 Pass Deflections
  • 1 Forced Fumble

1. Blake Martinez (New York Giants)

The New York Giants signed Blake Martinez as a free agent after he spent four years with the Green Bay Packers. Martinez was drafted by the Packers in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. The New York Giants linebacker has surpassed his career-high in interceptions this season. He is also on pace to break career-highs in fumble recoveries and forced fumbles. Blake Martinez has been a great addition to the Giants defense.

2020 Defensive Stats:

  • 96 Total Tackles
  • 7 Tackles for Loss
  • 2 Sacks
  • 1 Interception
  • 1 Forced Fumble
  • 1 Fumble Recovery
  • 3 Pass Deflections
Published 20 Nov 2020, 18:30 IST
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