That grade led all linebackers when including the playoffs, and Davis’ emergence has helped turn a weakness into a strength in the middle of the field for the Saints. Here are my updated linebacker rankings for the 2020 draft: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports 1. Littleton does do two things at an elite level, though — cover and tackle. Our 2020 Draft LB rankings are updated daily. He starts with his tiered top 25 with 26-50 soon to follow. Only three linebacking units had a lower grade than the Chiefs last season. NFL Stat Leaders 2020 ... Miami linebacker Jerome Baker's sack of Mahomes sets up a punt as the Dolphins' defense dominates early. It's a number that highlights both his ability to limit the big play and his ability to make plays on the ball when the opportunity presents itself. With Johnson’s emergence and Davis’ stability, the Broncos have one of the best linebacker units in the league. Recording grades of 80.0 or higher as both a run defender and in coverage, as Vander Esch did in 2018, is impressive stuff. 2020 NFL draft prospect rankings: Linebacker. Former first-rounder Jarrad Davis is now in the last year of his contract after Detroit declined his fifth-year option. -best since 2014. He fits the Seahawks’ brand of physicality and athleticism, with the only question being how many plays he makes in coverage; he had just one pass breakup on over 1,300 career coverage snaps in college. The Colts have one of the better linebacker groups in the league, led by Darius Leonard, who has been going in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Martinez has had a quirky career, both at Stanford and in the NFL, as he has a top-10 season against the run (2016) and in coverage (2018), though he has just one year with an overall grade above 70.0 (74.0 overall in 2018). June 10, 2020 9:30 am Luke Kuechly was the best linebacker of his generation. Trevathan has a different story, as he’s graded at 65.0 or better in every full season until his 61.9 grade in 2019 that including a career-low 50.3 mark in coverage. Warner was a big part of that. Burks is an athletic player who played all over the field at Vanderbilt — from free safety to edge rusher to linebacker — and his NFL transition to linebacker has not gone smoothly. It's not hard to see why he's referred to as “The Maniac” when you watch him flying around the field and making plays. Linebackers are your most consistent week-to-week scorers, defensive line comes next, and then defensive backs. He has his limitations when left in single coverage, but McKinney handles short-zone responsibility well enough and has posted 70.0-plus coverage grades in three out of his five NFL seasons. San Francisco has one of the best groups of coverage linebackers in the league — it just needs to cut down on the missed tackles to live up to its potential. Kendricks had produced grades in the 60.0s in his previous three seasons, so last year was one in which he finally put it all together in each phase. Now make your pick. The Bucs' linebacker unit ranking depends on White’s development — if he takes the next step, Tampa Bay features one of the most athletic, effective duos in the league. In addition, 2019 third-rounder Quincy Williams struggled to a 33.1 overall grade on 494 snaps while other players who are no longer on the team added to the poor performances from Jacksonville linebackers. The 49ers have revamped their linebacking corps over the past three years and now boast a solid unit that fits their defensive scheme. He had tackling issues, as well, finishing with 16 misses during the regular season while posting just a 39.5 run-defense grade, sixth-worst in the league. 3 spot last season, grading out at 66.7. They enter 2020 with one of the best units in the league as the corps remains intact, led by Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith. Broncos' Diontae Spencer spins away and takes off for punt return TD. View consensus Linebacker prospect rankings from the top NFL Draft analysts. His previous two efforts were the best of his career, as he posted a 73.5 grade in 2018 and an 80.2 grade in 2017. He had tackling issues, as well, finishing with 16 misses during the regular season while posting just a 39.5 run-defense grade, sixth-worst in the league. Alexander is another rangy, middle-of-the-field defender who usually grades well in coverage. He’s done his best work against the run, grading at 70.0 or better in all but one year of his eight-year career. He's not as versatile as Cunningham in coverage, but he isn't a big negative there, either. Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams. He’s been excellent at limiting big plays in zone coverage and has forced an incompletion on 7.4% of targets, ranking 18th, over the past two years. He’s flanked by K. J. Wright, who is coming off the lowest grade of his career (59.9) but put up marks of at least 65.0 or better in each of the other eight years. Bradley has man-coverage skills and can add value covering running backs out of the backfield. The Colts have one of the better linebacker groups in the league, led by, Indianapolis added more length with 2019 third-rounder. Davis' three years have been disappointing — he peaked with a 52.8 overall grade as a rookie in 2017, and while he showed signs of life in coverage in 2018, he dropped back to a 32.6 grade last season, fourth-worst in the NFL. Jack was flagged eight times in a partial 2019 season compared to five times across the 2017 and 2018 seasons combined. Milano was outstanding in coverage last season, as his 83.3 grade ranked fourth among linebackers and he allowed just 6.6 yards per reception, fifth-best in the league. They can win as run defenders, pass-rushers and coverage defenders. The Cowboys also return, The Buccaneers are hoping they found his clone in, The Texans have the only two linebackers to rank in the top 10 in run defense over the past three years in. From 2012 to 2016 — Davis' first five seasons in the NFL — his highest single-season PFF grade came at just 62.6 in 2014 with the New York Jets. 250+ three-page scouting profiles - advanced stats, 3-year grades, player comps, combine data and Senior Bowl grades - for the 2021 draft class. His 90.3 coverage grade is fifth-best in the league over the past three years. He also missed just six tackles compared to 117 total tackles made,  his 28 pressures ranked third among linebackers and his 32 run stops were tied for sixth at the position. Losing Luke Kuechly, the best linebacker of the decade, was never going to be easy, and it leaves a gaping hole in the middle of Carolina’s defense. There’s terrific value later, and a few great ones at the top, but not a whole bunch in the middle. Many of the top ones fall into the edge rusher category, and the ones on this list are mostly tweener types who don’t necessarily fit a set role. Hitchens is a few years removed from looking like one of the good, young coverage linebackers, but he has not performed well in his two years with the Chiefs. Oh, and his 90.3 overall grade led the way at the position. One of the unsung heroes of the 49ers' Super Bowl run was 2019 fifth-rounder Dre Greenlaw, who stepped in with a 72.6 coverage grade that ranked 15th in the league while missing only four tackles including the playoffs. Klein comes over from the Saints to add depth, though he’s graded in the 40.0s in three of his past four NFL seasons. GasDoc's 2020 IDP Linebacker rankings. The Panthers have put a lot of coverage responsibility on Thompson, and he's held up reasonably well through 546 coverage snaps in the slot since 2015 (nearly 100 more than the next closest linebacker). He's consistently one of the better tackling linebackers in the league — missing just 6% of his tackles over the past five seasons — and he's been about as steady as they come in run defense with run-defense grades between 68.4 and 78.3 in all eight of his NFL seasons. Hightower bounced back from injury-prone and subpar years in 2017 and 2018 to grade at 71.3 last season, including his best coverage grade since 2016. He has the explosiveness. * - denotes 2021 prospect. Muse crushed his offseason workouts and could add another athletic option for the Raiders after a solid college career in which he lined up all over the field. By Gladys Louise Tyler. And today, it's time for the linebackers. Miami desperately needs him to progress in that area, as he’s supposed to be the chase-and-run athlete of the linebacking corps. Many of the top ones fall into the edge rusher category, and the ones on this list are mostly tweener types who don’t necessarily fit a set role. Jones’ ability to patrol the middle of the field is one of the catalysts for the Falcons’ defense. They enter 2020 with one of the best units in the league as the corps remains intact, led by, Smith ranked right behind Vander Esch with an 84.0 overall grade, sixth-best in 2018, but he regressed last season with a 70.2 grade that ranked 19, . Johnson was on precisely no one's radar heading into last season. Bush’s athleticism has given Pittsburgh a different look, and he posted a solid 65.2 coverage grade; he’s primed to take a big step forward in Year 2. 2020 NFL Draft Position Rankings: Linebackers Jan 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Clemson Tigers linebacker Isaiah Simmons (11) reacts as he leaves the field after losing the College Football Playoff national championship game against the LSU Tigers at … ** - denotes 2022 prospect. The question for Littleton is in the run game, where he’s graded at only 48.9 over that three-year span, but that hasn’t hurt his standing as one of the league’s most valuable linebackers. Written By: Joe Marino. Sikkema's 2021 NFL Mock Draft 3.2. However, Evans had his struggles in coverage, where he left far too many routes open behind him in zone coverage and surrendered 13.1 yards per reception into his coverage. News & Analysis PFF Rankings: The NFL’s top 25 linebackers ahead of the 2020 NFL season The Chiefs have enough versatile players in the secondary to mitigate any weaknesses at linebacker, but they also have a few intriguing young players who may be able to contribute this season. Weight: 241. Listed below is a sam ple of my 2020 Linebacker Rankings for IDP Redraft Leagues. He led all off-ball linebackers with 277 pass rushes and 33 pressures, including seven sacks. An edge rusher at Wisconsin, Baun has excellent agility and graded at 80.0-plus in coverage in each of the last two seasons, albeit on small samples. This is the 3rd part of our Defensive Ranking series, ranking the top 30 linebackers for your NFL IDP Fantasy Football leagues. It was a promising debut. Kiser has just one snap to his name, while Howard saw the field for 102 snaps last year, grading at 60.7 overall. They drafted Germaine Pratt in the third round of the 2019 draft, but he struggled to a 51.0 overall grade as a rookie. The Vikings have a solid group that plays to their defensive style. It’s not the best of years for linebackers. – NFL Premium Stats. CBS Sports breaks the linebacker class into four tiers ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft. Collins is familiar with the defensive system, and he’s yet another versatile weapon who can play all over the defensive formation while providing one of the better blitz threats in the league. UFA: A player who has completed four or more accrued seasons and whose contract has expired. He has recovered nicely from a knee injury that dropped him to the second round of the 2016 draft, and he’s now one of the league’s best all-around linebackers. That may have to be the case again with three new (young) starters at cornerback. Shaq Thompson is the top remaining option, and the Panthers showed their faith in him by locking him up before he got to free agency. The rest of the unit is wide open, starting with a pair of 2018 draft picks in Micah Kiser and Travin Howard. Leonard has the sixth-ranked grade among linebackers over the past two years and has missed just 5.6% of his tackles, good for seventh-best. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates. Few players have turned their careers around in recent years quite like Demario Davis, who had never graded above 62.6 in his first five years in the league but posted 70.0-plus marks in back-to-back years before a 90.3 grade last year. At his best, Davis was one of the rangiest linebackers in the league, peaking with three elite coverage grades from 2013 to 2015 with the Panthers. There have been two versions of Jamie Collins over his seven-year career —  the New England Patriots player who looked like one of the best linebackers in the NFL and the Cleveland Browns player who looked far removed from that status. Ranking the outside linebacker prospects for the 2020 NFL Draft. Tackling was also an issue — Evans missed 18 on the season when including the playoffs. He’s done his best work in the run game throughout his career, though last season’s 46.5 grade is the worst of his career. He's been impressive as a tackler for much of his career and turned in PFF run-defense grades of 70.0 or higher in each of the four seasons prior to last year. Projected 40 Time: 4.7. No linebacker who has seen at least 50 targets in coverage since 2018 has allowed a lower yards-per-target mark than Brown's 5.6. Next to Bush is Vince Williams, more of a traditional run-stopping thumper who has been one of the league’s best blitzing linebackers over the past three years. February 15, 2020 3:22 pm. Thompson is a solid coverage player who takes on plenty of responsibility within Carolina’s scheme; he plays under control — and has missed only 42 tackles in his five-year career — and he wins with quickness in the run game where he’s graded at 70.0-plus in all but one year of his career. nfl resources; forums; ... Linebacker Rankings: 2020 : Regular Season, Updated: 9/7/2020: Want Custom Fantasy Scoring? 1 linebacker prospect in this year's draft class Jatavis Brown is another new addition who did his best work as a rookie in 2016 when he graded at 77.6 overall. We combine rankings from 100+ experts into Consensus Rankings. 1) Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma; Ht: 6-2 Wt: 234. Littleton should help correct both those areas. Listed at 6-foot-4, Wright is a longer linebacker who can cause problems in coverage for opposing offenses in Seattle's zone defense. 2020 NFL Linebacker Rankings 1. Beckwith graded at 53.0 on 847 snaps as a rookie in 2017. Adding Collins is a major boost to this linebacking corps, and they could surprise given that they have several players who have at least played well at some point, though last year was a poor overall performance. This ranking involves some projection for Bush because his 62.9 PFF grade as a rookie ranked 36th out of 91 qualifiers in 2019, but there is reason to believe he is primed for a significant second-year jump. The Dolphins' linebacking corps looks like a bottom-tier unit, but a strong year of progression from McMillan and Baker could change that in a hurry. It will be interesting to see how he fares without the Hall of Fame-bound Kuechly in the middle of that defense. Here is where the Los Angeles Rams rank in terms of average, best and worst:. By: Jaime Eisner. Tackling was also an issue — Evans missed 18 on the season when including the playoffs. 2021 NFL Draft Targets Giants Fans Should Watch On 10/3. L.J. The draft shows that the linebackers will have a bigger role for Baltimore in 2020, however, as they drafted LSU’s Patrick Queen in the first round and Ohio State’s Malik Harrison in the third. If we were ranking how good players could become, Edmunds would comfortably be in the top five. 2020 NFL power rankings, Week 15: Chiefs, Packers win division titles ... Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson 34 is hit by Chicago Bears linebacker Trevis … He'll continue to man the position with teammate Rashaan Evans heading into next season. As PFF's Sam Monson pointed out in a piece highlighting players entering prove-it years in 2020, Smith came out of Georgia as a player who profiled to be a strong point in coverage with the athleticism, instincts and feel needed to be a difference-maker. There are a handful of teams that are in dire need of an inside linebacker presence but landing spot will be very key on who to select in rookie drafts. Dorian O’Daniel and Ben Niemann are also in the mix for nickel snaps, as both players projected as coverage-first players coming out of college and both have been solid in that department in limited time over the last two years. Mosley playing only 114 snaps on the year. Like several players later on this list, Smith is someone who we know has the tools to be a top-flight NFL linebacker. He’s slowly regressed since then, bottoming out with a 29.4 grade on just 94 snaps last season, but he’s an explosive blitzer who is worth a second look as a sub-package player. The Jaguars signed Joe Schobert, who produced the eighth-best coverage grade among linebackers over the past two years (83.6). Jerome Baker posted the fifth-worst run defense grade (39.1) in 2019, a huge step back from his 77.3 mark as a rookie in 2018. Skip to navigation. New York Giants (LW: 13) The New York Giants are starting to run away with the … He’s now four seasons removed from his peak 90.0 overall grade in 2015 — his best mark since then has been just 70.5. That comes down largely to the ability he has shown in coverage. December 11th, 2020. Collins is familiar with the defensive system, and he’s yet another versatile weapon who can play all over the defensive formation while providing one of the better blitz threats in the league. McKinney is a thumper and a leader. Last season, Eric Kendricks had a legitimate case for Defensive Player of the Year, as his 90.2 overall regular-season grade and 12 pass breakups each led all linebackers. December 3rd, 2020. out of 112 linebackers. He comes in as the second most valuable linebacker, per PFF WAR, over that eight-year stretch, as well. Myles Jack disappointed with the lowest grade of his career at 45.9 overall and looked a step slow in coverage on his way to a 45.8 mark. NFL Rankings. image/svg+xml. Projected 40 Time: 4.6. The Rank value requires a minimum number of snaps played. Bush's overall grade jumped to 69.3 over the Steelers' final eight games — 23rd among 85 linebackers to play 150 or more snaps over that time frame. April 14, 2020 8:00 pm. The Browns will heavily count on all three players in 2020. Harrison is more of a throwback, and he’s coming off an impressive 87.1 grade against the run last season. to the mix after four years in Atlanta where he posted subpar coverage grades but missed only 23 of his 291 tackle attempts. On Thursday, we rank the best linebacker corps in the NFL. After we saw four linebackers go in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, there's a good chance that the 2021 class could match those numbers next spring.. The Seahawks are loaded at linebacker and are in good shape for both the short and long term. Malik Jefferson is another former Bengal who will be competing for playing time after seeing just 11 snaps in two years. Brown is not a player who comes up all that often when discussing the league's best linebackers, but he deserves a spot in the conversation. Lee is coming off the two lowest grades of his career — a 57.8 mark in 2018 and a 61.5 grade last season. Cunningham is the playmaker of the group, leading the league in run-stop percentage last season (14.2%). That's why the Raiders signed him this offseason. From versatile defenders to pass-rushing specialists to those who excel in coverage, this year's linebacker class figures to play a prominent role when the draft commences on April 23. Kansas City had four players play at least 300 snaps, with, Kansas City has been searching for a good coverage linebacker for a few seasons, and they may have found one in second-round pick. Jones was incredible in 2017, finishing with a 91.7 coverage grade while consistently making plays on the ball in crunch time. Littleton is a modern-day linebacker who can match up with running backs and make plays on the ball in zone coverage. Member of the FWAA. – All Premium Article Content Martinez is a solid player — though the tackle stats are misleading — and he’s yet to put together a high-end season in all facets. 2020 NFL Schedule: Team ... 10 officially in the rankings and six honorable mentions. Start a mock draft all mock draft posts. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports. Well look no further than the multi-purpose tool by the name of Isaiah Simmons! Floyd hasn’t topped a 61.4 pass-rush grade over the last three years, but he's been solid against the run and in coverage over his four-year career. Greenlaw's play as a rookie came as a pleasant surprise for San Francisco, particularly with him needing to take on a larger role as Kwon Alexander missed time due to injury. NFL 2020 Top 30 Linebacker Rankings. That means a lot of the ordering — particularly later on — comes down to preference on the type of linebacker that you're looking for. It’s not the best year to be needing a dominant middle backer, but there is enough talent here for the Cleveland Browns to find some potential play-makers. One of the biggest surprises of the 2019 season was the emergence of Alexander Johnson, who finished with the top run-defense grade in the league (91.4) and the fourth-ranked overall grade (88.5). A true three-down linebacker, Leonard has graded well in all phases, and his length has fit well in the Colts’ zone-heavy scheme. last year, and he has 14 pass breakups and two interceptions in his young career. Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NFL player performance data. The Texans have the only two linebackers to rank in the top 10 in run defense over the past three years in Benardrick McKinney and Zach Cunningham. Isaiah Simmons, Clemson. Many analysts tried to figure out where Simmons' best fit at the next level, but the Cardinals have him at linebacker, where they had the third-worst coverage grade in the league last season (32.0). His consistency, run defense and versatility still makes him one of the top linebackers in the NFL. It’s just a matter of improving his zone-coverage skills, which were just a step slow in college. Ravens linebackers saw the field on a league-low 815 snaps during the regular season as they de-emphasized the position and loaded up on defensive backs instead. Kendell Beckwith also returns after missing each of the past two seasons. Missed tackle rate as a rookie Ratings are PFF ’ s just a step back last season, ranking inside! 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