Kiko Alonso is slated to start next to Davis despite being limited to just 296 snaps a year ago. The rest of the depth chart contains Jordan Kunaszyk and his seven career snaps to go with three undrafted rookie free agents. The player we’d really like to see more of is Shaun Dion Hamilton, a 2018 sixth-round pick who earned an impressive 74.9 overall grade last year on just 387 snaps. Gerry hasn’t been as effective in coverage as you’d expect to see from a college safety, and tackling has also been an issue given that he's missed 17.8% of his attempts, ninth-worst in the league. Nathan Gerry returns after playing 669 snaps last season — including the playoffs — and posting a career-high 62.2 overall grade. Schobert has shown that he can play the run in the past — recording a 77.2 run-defense grade in 2017 — so it's not as if his play there is a lost cause. Anthony Walker is the other projected starter and is coming off his best year in coverage, posting a 73.3 grade. Tackling was also an issue — Evans missed 18 on the season when including the playoffs. 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. But he is also pretty much a throwback player at this position in that he is much better vs. the run (mostly between the tackles) than the pass and is primarily a downhill player. And today, it's time for the linebackers. There are a few linebackers who are moving on to new teams. 1 spot on PFF's 2020 NFL linebacker rankings. 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. Jack was a rangy playmaker in his first three years in the league, so he needs to bounce back to get this unit moving in the right direction. While many point to the San Francisco pass rush as the catalyst for their defensive revival in 2019, we shouldn't overlook how good their coverage was as a team. 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. By: Trevor Sikkema. Co-host of the Draft Dudes podcast. Former first-round pick Haason Reddick is coming off the worst year of his career, as he struggled mightily in zone coverage on his way to a 29.2 coverage grade while providing little else in the run game or as a pass-rusher. 2020 NFL Linebacker Rankings 1. The Bears didn’t have a linebacker play more than 12 games last year as the position was ravaged by injuries, though a stellar performance by Nick Kwiatkoski helped the unit post the eighth-best grade in the league. White is in line for more snaps given that he’s a former safety who performs well in the underneath zone concepts the Chargers employ. 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. The average NFL player is pretty athletic, so this designation is not… Kwon Alexander returns for his second season in San Francisco after being limited to just 423 snaps last year. 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 … 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. 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. UFA: A player who has completed four or more accrued seasons and whose contract has expired. A thin linebacking corps is very dependent on Smith’s development and Trevathan returning to form. 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. He missed only four tackles all year and allowed fewer than seven yards per reception on passes that were deemed to be into his coverage. It’s still not the most exciting linebacking corps in the league, but the Bengals have intriguing youth combined with veteran role players who should make this unit better. February 15, 2020 3:22 pm. If he gets back to that level as a run defender in the middle of Jacksonville's defense and maintains his play in coverage, he'll push himself closer to the top tier of NFL linebackers. Few young players had higher expectations than Devin Bush last season, with the Steelers trading up to No. He may be relegated to creative blitz packages if he’s not dealt prior to the season. And that gives the Bears one of the most volatile groups in the league. Cunningham played more man-coverage snaps than any other linebacker last season (239), and players like Alvin Kamara, Christian McCaffrey and Mark Andrews were able to produce several big plays against Cunningham in man coverage. The Browns had one of the NFL's worst linebacking units a year ago, and they enter 2020 with plenty of question marks among their young players. 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. Kwiatkoski moves on to the Raiders, leaving the starting role in the hands of Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan. 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. PFF's exclusive metrics provide Linebacker (LB) position rankings, grades, and snap counts. 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. 2020 NFL Draft Outside Linebacker Rankings. Littleton does do two things at an elite level, though — cover and tackle. 10 to draft him in the hopes of immediately improving their middle-of-the-field defense. 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. Johnson was a 28-year old rookie who battled legal issues and made the most of his first opportunity in the league. In each of his four full seasons with the Patriots (2013, 2014, 2015 and 2019), Collins has delivered PFF coverage grades of 69.0 or higher and PFF pass-rushing grades of 75.0 or higher as one of the better blitzing linebackers in the league. Edwards is below average athletically, and there may be some coverage limitations, but he’s been a productive player since his freshman year at Wisconsin. 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. New York Giants (LW: 13) The New York Giants are starting to run away with the … The Rank value requires a minimum number of snaps played. Historical Rankings for Paddy Fisher-OLB-Northwestern as a ILB . Skip to navigation. Alexander is another rangy, middle-of-the-field defender who usually grades well in coverage. 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. October 2nd, 2020. His best coverage grade was just a 62.1 mark that came his rookie season in 2017. Kwiatkoski is the opposite of Littleton — he loves to get dirty in the run game and can get after the quarterback as a blitzer, evidenced by his 81.8 pass-rush grade last season. The Cardinals also add. Jatavis Brown is another new addition who did his best work as a rookie in 2016 when he graded at 77.6 overall. 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 19th. Davis-Gaither played more of a hybrid role at Appalachian State, rushing the passer 190 times to go with 316 snaps in coverage, and he’s a smooth mover who should add subpackage versatility, though he must improve his tackling after missing 33 tackles over the last two years. The NFL's best linebacking corps have both high-end players and depth, and that’s what we leaned on when putting together this ranking. The Raiders invested heavily at linebacker this offseason, propelling them from one of the worst to one of the best units in the league. Zack Lambert 5 months ago 5 min read. Nicholas Morrow rounds out the depth chart, yet has never graded above 53.5 in his three seasons in the league. 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). 2020 NFL Draft: Linebacker Rankings By Athlon Sports , 4/14/20, 11:30 AM EDT Isaiah Simmons is the clear-cut No. Our Big Board is updated regularly leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft. NFL Free Agents : Linebackers: Updated: 7/27/2020 : Pos: QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DL | LB | DB Note: QB, RB, WR, TE, & K rankings based on potential fantasy value for 2020. However, his PFF grades of 57.0 and 59.4 in his first two NFL seasons speak to the idea that it hasn't all come together yet. The top 2020 outside linebacker prospects available for the 2020 NFL Draft. Like several players later on this list, Smith is someone who we know has the tools to be a top-flight NFL linebacker. Weight: 241. Collins rejuvenated his career in his return to New England, grading above 70.0 for the first time since 2015. Linebackers are your most consistent week-to-week scorers, defensive line comes next, and then defensive backs. Dominate your IDP draft. His consistency, run defense and versatility still makes him one of the top linebackers in the NFL. His explosiveness made him an attractive developmental first-round pick, but it appears that his best fit is as a subpackage blitzer. He'll continue to man the position with teammate Rashaan Evans heading into next season. The Bills have a solid linebacker unit capable of matching up with running backs and flying around the field. Don't trust any 1 fantasy football expert? Last season, Packers linebackers graded at just 58.2 overall, good for 21st in the league. 2020 NFL draft prospect rankings: Linebacker. 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. In this year’s draft, the Browns added Jacob Phillips, another run-first player who struggled to a 52.2 coverage grade last year at LSU. He starts with his tiered top 25 with 26-50 soon to follow. Next to him is 2018 sixth-rounder Foyesade Oluokun, who has graded in the 60.0s in each of his two NFL seasons. His success in 2020 hinges on him returning to form as the strong coverage linebacker he was in 2017 and 2018, and there's reason to believe he can achieve that. Wagner has the second-best overall grade in the league over the past two years (90.5), behind only the recently retired Luke Kuechly. He’s also a viable blitz threat, but he was used in that capacity just 19 times last season after regularly being sent after the quarterback at certain points with the Panthers. Average ranking: 12.6 (12th) Listed at 6-foot-4, Wright is a longer linebacker who can cause problems in coverage for opposing offenses in Seattle's zone defense. Note that the "NFL%" and "z-score" columns refer to the NFL positional averages and not to the draft positional averages. In addition to Kendricks’ playmaking in coverage, he also had the third-best run-defense grade (90.1) while tying for 10th with 17 pressures. New England annually has one of the best linebacking groups in the league, though the team has some turnover at the position heading into 2020. So, look for some creativity when it comes to Floyd’s role with the team. Historical Rankings for Paddy Fisher-OLB-Northwestern as a ILB. 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. It may be too much to expect another three-phase career year from Kendricks, but he’ll likely be among the league’s best in 2020. 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. This means that a 0.0 z-score and 50.0 percentile would represent a player who rates as a league-average NFL athlete at the position. Davis should be an anchor in the middle of the Saints' defense once again in 2020. Littleton has earned the fifth-best coverage grade over the last three years, and there’s no immediate replacement on the roster to fill that role. He has the size. The Indianapolis Colts signed linebacker Chris Covington to the practice squad, the team announced Tuesday. 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. Kendell Beckwith also returns after missing each of the past two seasons. They can win as run defenders, pass-rushers and coverage defenders. Well look no further than the multi-purpose tool by the name of Isaiah Simmons! Weissman's 2021 NFL Mock Draft 3.2. CBS Sports breaks the linebacker class into four tiers ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft. This past season was the first year where he didn't record a run-defense grade above 70.0, coming in at 66.7. 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. The Cowboys also return Sean Lee, who has become more of a role player at this point in his career but still brings experience and leadership to keep the unit together. 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. Shaquem Griffin also cycles back and forth between linebacker and edge rusher, though he struggled in coverage as a rookie. also had the worst overall grade of his career, at 61.0, but he has three-plus years of solid coverage grades under his belt and there’s a good chance he bounces back to pair with Simmons and solidify the middle of the defense for Arizona. Ranking the outside linebacker prospects for the 2020 NFL Draft. The former college edge rusher has taken to the position switch and become an excellent zone defender, though he’s struggled against the run with a 46.8 grade over the past two years. * - denotes 2021 prospect. Mock Drafts you're on the clock. 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. James Vaughters is a hybrid linebacker/edge with 26 career snaps to his name, while Barkevious Mingo is another hybrid who has two years with 70.0-plus grades on the edge (2017 with the Colts, 2014 with the Browns). If you're expecting Littleton to come down and make a difference in the run game, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. It hasn't taken long for Leonard to become a focal point of the Colts defense under defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. He was, however, an excellent coverage player in college. Trevon Young and Jermaine Grace round out the depth chart with their 18 career snaps. In the run game, Thompson uses his quickness to be effective despite being on the smaller end for a linebacker. Kirksey is an athletic linebacker with coverage skills, but he has just one year with a coverage grade above 60.0 — it came in 2015 when he posted an impressive 80.0 that ranked 11th in the league. With Joe Schobert moving on to the Jaguars, the Browns lose a valuable piece of their back seven and will trot out one of the younger linebacking units in the league. He has sported a top-20 coverage grade at the position in each of the past two years — reaching as high as sixth in 2018. Johnson is a bigger linebacker by today's NFL standards at nearly 250 pounds, and he used that size to his advantage in the run game where he posted a 91.4 run-defense grade for the season. Unfortunately for IDP enthusiasts, the linebacker class in 2020 is pretty thin. Deone Bucannon is also in the mix, though he has graded above 70.0 just once in his six-year career — and that was back in 2015. Edmunds will have to clean up the missed tackles and improve in coverage to rise toward where most slot him currently — a top-10 linebacker — on this list next season. That means a lot of the ordering — particularly later on — comes down to preference on the type of linebacker that you're looking for. Rashaan Evans and Jayon Brown took most of the Titans’ snaps at linebacker last season, and they both return this year. 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. The Saints have one of the best mixes of production and depth, so a healthy unit in 2020 should rank among the best in the league. last season (14.2%). Last season, Lions linebackers produced the second-worst overall grade (40.7) among the 32 units. The only other linebacker on the roster with any experience is Joel Iyiegbuniwe, who has 27 career snaps in his two seasons. 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. Start a mock draft all mock draft posts. It’s a pivotal year for Smith, a 2018 first-rounder who looked like the prototype for the modern-day linebacker coming out of Georgia. Fantasy football player rankings from FFToday. 2020 NFL Power Rankings: Los Angeles Rams. These power rankings are adjusted based on coach, quarterback and the market each season. Atlanta needs several of the young cornerbacks they've added to step up in order to see meaningful improvement in their team coverage, but the impact that Jones has over the middle of the field shouldn't be overlooked. There’s no sugarcoating the Jaguars’ performance last season — their linebackers had by far the worst overall grade in the league (30.1). McKinney has picked up PFF coverage grades of 70.0 or higher in three of the past five seasons. In 2018, the Cowboys had the second-highest graded linebacking corps in the league (80.2), and they dropped to 11th with a 66.2 grade last season. Johnson was on precisely no one's radar heading into last season. Wilson posted a 50.4 overall grade on a career-high 828 snaps while Hitchens had the lowest grade in the league against the run, at 34.1. His explosiveness made him an attractive developmental first-round pick, but it appears that his best fit is as a subpackage blitzer. Only three linebacking units had a lower grade than the Chiefs last season. For Vander Esch — who will be making an appearance later on — it was injury that led to the disappointing season. Warner’s 74.5 coverage grade ranked 11th last year, and he has 14 pass breakups and two interceptions in his young career. Kansas City has been searching for a good coverage linebacker for a few seasons, and they may have found one in second-round pick Willie Gay, Jr. An outstanding athlete, Gay ran a 4.46 and posted high-end jumps at the combine to go with a 90.0 coverage grade on limited snaps last season. Wilson has an old-school build; he can play the run and looked good in Wyoming’s simple coverage schemes. Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NFL player performance data. They have a slew of options, starting with first-round pick Kenneth Murray. 2020 NFL Draft: Linebacker Rankings. 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. The Jets linebackers had the third-lowest overall grade in the NFL last season, at 45.7, and their downward spiral started with C.J. 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. The big move this offseason is the addition of Christian Kirksey to replace departed Blake Martinez. Instead, we’ve seen a solid rookie season followed by a poor 52.4 overall grade last season that ranked just 76th among linebackers. Past Rankings Listed Out. If Gay is ready to go, the Chiefs have a place for him in sub-packages immediately. 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. 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. 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. Foster is a former first-rounder who looked like a future star after his rookie season in 2017, but off-field issues, poor play and a season-ending injury last season have all derailed his career. We combine rankings from 100+ experts into Consensus Rankings. The 49ers have revamped their linebacking corps over the past three years and now boast a solid unit that fits their defensive scheme. Baker also has room to provide in coverage, where he graded at 58.9. No other Packers linebacker has any NFL experience, as 2019 seventh-rounder Ty Summers and 2019 undrafted free agent Curtis Bolton round out the depth chart. Here are the best linebacking groups in the NFL heading into 2020. 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. When on the field, Cichy is effective, but injuries have destroyed his career to this point. 2020 NFL Draft Inside Linebacker Rankings. His 72.6 coverage grade ranked 15th among 91 qualifying linebackers on the season. The Bears didn’t have a linebacker play more than 12 games last year as the position was ravaged by injuries, though a stellar performance by, Kwiatkoski moves on to the Raiders, leaving the starting role in the hands of, , a 2018 first-rounder who looked like the prototype for the modern-day linebacker coming out of Georgia. If there was a bright spot on Miami's defense last season, it was second-year linebacker Raekwon McMillan‘s performance against the run — where he produced an 11th-best 77.0 mark. You are not logged in. Davis is still effective enough to contribute, especially on a lesser team, but he may best be used as a versatile blitz/coverage option in sub-packages. Vander Esch turned in a terrific rookie season in 2018 — he graded out as one of the top five linebackers in the NFL, with an 85.4 overall grade — but he wasn't able to build on that this past season thanks to a neck injury that limited him to just six healthy games at the start of the year. Cunningham uses his great length to slice through blockers to get to the ball in the run game, but he has similar coverage limitations that make him exploitable against quick running backs. (Jeff Bottari/AP) Kendricks is coming off the best season in his five-year NFL career. It was Mayo’s first time playing more than 150 snaps in a season, and he made the most of it. It doesn't take long, though, before you get to players who excel against the run or against the pass but not against both. Coming into the NFL in the same 2012 draft class as Kuechly and Wagner has left David as the forgotten man at the position. It’s not the best of years for linebackers. Josey Jewell added to that, as well, with an 88.5 run-defense grade on 214 total snaps. Former first-rounder Jarrad Davis is now in the last year of his contract after Detroit declined his fifth-year option. 250+ three-page scouting profiles - advanced stats, 3-year grades, player comps, combine data and Senior Bowl grades - for the 2021 draft class. 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. No matter what you ask Wagner to do, he does it at a high level, with 90.0-plus run-defense, pass-rush and coverage grades over the course of his career. Kansas City had four players play at least 300 snaps, with Reggie Ragland leading the way with a 63.5 overall grade. Share this article 368 shares share tweet text email link Luke Easterling. 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. He’ll be yet another case to see if on-field production can overcome physical limitations. He's earned this top spot with strong, well-rounded play throughout his career. The Seahawks are loaded at linebacker and are in good shape for both the short and long term. Arizona addressed a major weakness when they selected Isaiah Simmons in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, as their linebacking corps was one of the league’s worst last season. The Dolphins brought in former Patriot Elandon Roberts, who established himself as more of a run-stopping thumper in his four years in New England. 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