Asamoah is undersized at 6-foot-1, 228 pounds, but he possesses sideline-to-sideline range. Projected contract: One year, $6 million, $4.5 million guaranteed, PFF Free Agency Rank: 75 Adam Holt. Okereke is now coming off back-to-back seasons with at least 100 tackles and 50 defensive stops. He was. Okereke is a solid stand-in next to Leonard. The 2022 season was Long's first as a full-time starter at middle linebacker, but he's made the most of opportunities in the past. For the purposes of these rankings, we are looking only at true off-ball linebackers, as 3-4 outside linebackers though designated as linebackers are in truth edge rushers. Walker had a career year for the Browns in 2021, and his 78.2 PFF coverage grade was the highest of his career. Jerome Baker, MIA: I love Baker this season as a Top 15-20 sleeper. A lot is riding on the development of Zaven Collins and Isaiah Simmons, who have simply not played well enough especially for first-round picks. NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowler. While Warner recorded a career-high 137 combined tackles (T-No. Overall, White has had an incredible start to his career, as he's picked up All-Pro honors, a Pro Bowl bid and a Super Bowl ring in just three years. Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks Seattle's defense may have deteriorated around him, but Bobby Wagner remains the class of the linebacker position, especially since Luke Kuechly 's retirement. The linebacker position in the game of football is one of the most important. PFF predicts Bears will sign three top-50 free agents originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago. Brown has seen his play taper off after a really nice sophomore campaign in 2018 in which he posted an 81.2 grade. His 913 snaps for the Raiders last season was a career-high mark and more than doubled his previous best. Cody Barton is another interesting player who will finally get a chance to start this season. David missed five games in 2021 due to injury, but he still had a solid season, recording 97 combined tackles. Still one of the more underrated players in the league, This is a precarious spot for the Packers to be in, even with 2021 All-Pro. The 2022 season was Longs first as a full-time starter at middle linebacker, but hes made the most of opportunities in the past. Gay hasnt graded as well but possesses the characteristics to become a top linebacker. Seven 49ers listed on PFF Top 101 Players of 2022 ranking By Site Staff follow Feb 23, 2023 at 12:56 PM -- shares Seven San Francisco 49ers landed on Pro Football Focus' Top 101 Players. Jewell is actually more of an all-around linebacker, but run defense has been his best area in the NFL. After missing most of the regular season, Dre Greenlaw came back for the end of the regular season and playoffs to form the perfect linebacker tandem with Warner. According to Stathead's AV tool, Leonard was tied in having the second-best season of any linebacker last year. Parsons was the No. Edmunds is just 24 years old and entering his fifth NFL season. The soon-to-be 30-year-old is a solid all-around off-ball linebacker who has three straight seasons logging at least 750 snaps, and he took a major leap in 2022 with the Denver Broncos. Perhaps most importantly in todays NFL, Tranquill followed up his 74.6 coverage grade in 2021 with a career-high 75.4 mark, with his 18 stops in coverage a top-20 figure among off-ball linebackers. The strongest players are experts at open-field takedowns and make it hard for quarterbacks to feel comfortable throwing toward the middle of the field. Milano has put up outstanding PFF grades in both coverage and against the run but has struggled to put it all together over one season. Tindall is a true sideline-to-sideline linebacker. Just 25, he's on his way. While Bobby Okerekes grade has fluctuated over the years, Darius Leonard the star of the Colts' defense has been rock solid since exploding onto the scene as a rookie. The top 10 linebackers in NFL currently are dynamic weapons and reliable leaders. David Long, meanwhile, was playing at a solid level before an injury forced him to miss most of the second half of the 2021 season. 2022 NFL Linebacker Rankings 1. All of this culminates with the 2022 NFL Draft from Las Vegas, Nevada on Thursday, April 28th. He has yet to post a sub-70.0 grade, with three out of his four years coming in above 78.0. NFL free agency is a year-round process, as teams scout opposing players in an effort to defeat them during the year and perhaps sign them in the offseason. He can chase down the fastest of running backs. While Mike Zimmer is gone, new defensive coordinator Ed Donatell is an experienced coach who can get the most out of Kendricks and this defense as a whole. He pairs with the solid Matt Milano, who posted the second-best season grade of his career (67.0) in 2021. Much of this unit's potential lies with third-round rookie Christian Harris, who managed 34 run stops at Alabama in 2021 (tied for 36th among 374 qualifying FBS linebackers). Login or Register Projections: QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DEF | DL | LB | DB A couple of former Clemson stars made this ranking of the NFL's top wide receivers from the 2022 regular season. Gary Cosby Jr./USA TODAY Sports (Dean); Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports (Ojabo) 1. Unfortunately for Vander Esch, he once again finds himself in the middle of the pack of a deep free-agent group at linebacker, but he should do a bit better this time around. Anthony Brown is an okay slot and Kelvin Joseph was actually the highest rated CB. Now that we're at the end of the 2021-22 NFL season, the free agency picture is coming into focus and teams are beginning to identify potential targets to improve their roster weaknesses. In his recent post on linebackers, PFF's Sam Monson ranked Nick Bolton No. Both players posted the highest grades of their career, helping the Bengals to a Super Bowl appearance. Still, in a league that continues to throw more and more, Bentley remains best-suited as an early-down run defender who can generate the occasional quarterback pressure. Getting outside the . both project to be every-down linebackers on ideal defenses for expected production. Monson ranked Long, who has been an absolute steal since being drafted in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft, as the No. Since entering the league, Warner has 118 or more total tackles in every season and was named First-Team All-Pro in 2020. Contract projection: Available in PFF's free agency rankings. 1 on our list. 2021 PFF grade: 84.3 (2nd of 89). Projected contract: Two years, $14.5 million ($7.25M per year), $8.5 million total guaranteed, PFF Free Agency Rank: 99 Amid replacement-level cornerback and safety play at times, Warner's gravitas over the middle of the field allowed the team to play a high percentage of zone coverage to protect its outside cornerbacks. The Packers long searching for a reliable off-ball linebacker brought Campbell aboard on a one-year, $2 million contract, and his 86.7 overall grade was second among linebackers through Week 8 while his 90.7 run-defense grade ranked first, leading to a Pro Bowl nod. 4. The Penn State product ranked No. Rounding out the top-tier of linebackers. Here's why that is important: PFF's Fantasy Football Expected Points tool is primarily used for identifying potential over and undervalued players. Pro Football Focus's top linebacker in the 2020 NFL Draft only kind of, sort of plays linebacker. Rookie Devin Lloydand sophomore Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah both project to be every-down linebackers on ideal defenses for expected production. Warner had a transformative effect on the 49ers defense when he became the starter. Parsons lined up as an edge rusher on 40.6% of his snaps as a rookie, and thats where he did the bulk of his damage. Former Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons just wrapped up his second season in the NFL, and he continues to leave little doubt the Dallas Cowboys made the smart decision using a first-round draft pick on him. Edwards has posted 75.0 grades or better in two of his three NFL seasons and is one of the more underrated players in the league. Pro Football Focus supported claims of San Francisco's top-end roster by putting seven of their players in the top 101 of the 2022 season. Some of the players in this group have been All-Pro caliber linebackers in the past, but Jones is coming off a PFF grade in the 30s after once looking like the next great young linebacker in the league. Unlock all tools and content including Player Grades, Fantasy, NFL Draft, Premium Stats, Greenline and DFS. PFF's exclusive metrics provide matchup previews, position rankings, grades, and snap counts. 2021 PFF grade: 43.7 (71st of 89). When healthy, Johnson is among the best sideline-to-sideline run-defenders at off-ball linebacker in the league. Teams could do a lot worse than White if they are looking for a solid weakside linebacker who has the speed to stay with pass-catchers in coverage for the most part. The PFF grades aren't always right on point, but they do serve as a generally effective tool for comparisons . For all the young players' struggles, there are a lot of promising linebackers who have the talent to become elite players at this level. The grades for the Detroit Lions in their 9-8 campaign offer up an analytically-based glimpse of how the Lions performed. The following tiers reflect which players are in the best situations to produce they're ranked based on the likelihood of doing so every single week. Although Parsons didn't walk away from the 2022 season with hardware to show off for his accomplishments in 2022 the way he did in his rookie season in 2021, Parsons continues to . Age: 28. Going back to our introductory paragraph, versatility is needed at the linebacker position, and his versatility is the reason why Parsons comes in at No. 7 ranking in Pro Football Focus' list of the top 25 safeties of the 2022 . Another player without elite physical tools, Jewell reads the game very quickly and is consistently in the right place at the right time against the run. Though he's 32 years old, David hasn't taken a major step backwards just yet. Research past fantasy performance with sortable player stats including PFF-exclusives like aDOT and fantasy points per opportunity. A position of concern and potential weakness heading into last season has become a real strength for Kansas City. Barr is a bit of a unique player, generally deployed as a Sam linebacker in a 4-3 scheme who occasionally gets his hand in the dirt. Eichenberg was a PFF first-team All-American this past season and is the most valuable returning linebacker according to PFF's wins above average metric. The only season in which he did not record at least 100 tackles was his rookie campaign, when he missed two games. Defensively, the attrition was less significant; however, one of the unit's leaders did leave in free agency Foye Oluokun. PFF's exclusive metrics provide matchup previews, position rankings, grades, and snap counts. Speed and Matthew Adams late-round dart throws. Even Micah Parsons a Defensive Player of the Year candidate as a rookie put up middling run-defense and tackling grades in his first year in Dallas. And even though he hasnt quite been able to maintain an elite level of play every season, his impact on the field is obvious. heading into 2022, here's how each team's linebacking corps stacks up. Leonard burst onto the scene with 163 combined tackles, seven sacks, four forced fumbles and two interceptions in his rookie season back in 2018. is likely another surprise player based on where he tends to go in drafts, but dont let the age fool you. Luckily for the Philadelphia Eagles, he was still available in the third round. Kendricks is one of the games best coverage linebackers, able to consistently squeeze throwing lanes and make plays on the ball once its in the air. So, who's the best off-ball linebacker in the NFL today? Devin Lloyd and Nakobe Dean will be the talk of the class and likely the only two first-round linebacker prospects in 2022, but there's still a lot of talent at the position on Days 2 and 3 of the draft. A position of weakness for the Eagles in 2021 might turn into a position of strength in 2022 with the additions of rookie Nakobe Dean and veteran Kyzir White to pair alongside T.J. Edwards, who had a breakout 2021 season. The criteria for making the top tier of IDP linebackers is relatively simple: be an every-down linebacker and play in a linebacker-friendly defense that breeds above-average tackle efficiency for the position. He was everything for the Green Bay defense, and while he might be the next linebacker to rejuvenate his career with a new team ( la Demario Davis), he very well could also be a one-hit wonder. Davids 72.3 overall PFF grade is the lowest mark he has posted in a single season since 2016, and Wagners 71.8 was his lowest since 2015. He went from having a one-year contract worth $2 million to signing a five-year deal that carries an AAV of $10 million! The Rams attacked the linebacker position this offseason, adding Bobby Wagner. His past two years against the run have been horrid, with him posting 39.8 and 30.0 run-defense grades. Although Wagner might be on the downswing of a great career, this unit could push for a top-five spot by the season's end if he rebounds after a poor 2021. Hes the complete package for a modern off-ball linebacker. Walker is one of the best run-and-hit linebackers in the class. His 75.9 grade two years marked a career high. For all the young players' struggles, there are a lot of promising linebackers who have the talent to become elite players at this level. This is a case of one elite linebacker pulling along another whose narrative hasnt really matched his production. 9 linebacker in coverage with a 73.9. Put some respect on Demario Davis In 2022, he boasted a pass . Ranking NFL's top 10 linebackers entering 2022: New No. No linebacker corps gets its collective noses dirtier than the Patriots' unit. He started in 16 games after starting in only 11 total in his previous three NFL seasons. Brown appeared to be on his way to a strong free agency in the 2021 offseason after three solid seasons as a starter, but he may have been an unfortunate victim of the salary cap drop, as he ultimately agreed to return to the Titans on a one-year, $4.5 million deal. Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner (54) lines up over Green Bay Packers center Josh Myers (71) during the first quarter at Levi's Stadium. It was his first season missing fewer than 10% of his tackle opportunities, and he put up an 86.8 overall grade with seven tackles and two defensive stops during a strong playoff run. Perryman was looking for a new contract heading into 2022 but ultimately played out the year, earning a strong 80.5 run-defense grade. Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) reacts after a play against the Carolina Panthers in the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium. His first year with the Packers resulted in a whopping 85.0 mark. Kansas City Chiefs linebacker group ranked as 9th-best in NFL by PFF Teams AFC East Bills Dolphins Jets Patriots AFC North Bengals Browns Ravens Steelers AFC South Colts Jaguars Texans Titans. Projected contract: Two years, $15 million ($7.5M per year, $10M total guaranteed), PFF Free Agency Rank: 86 section: | slug: ranking-nfls-top-10-linebackers-entering-2022-new-no-1-as-bobby-wagner-finally-dethroned | sport: football | route: | The entire schedule was released on January 31, 2022. Jordyn Brooks is an ascending star who will get more snaps this year. The 2022 Atlantic Coast Conference football season, part of the 2022 NCAA Division I FBS football season, was the 70th season of college football played for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). There is hope that Channing Tindall, Miami's rookie linebacker out of Georgia, can find his way on the field. Drafting Quay Walker out of Georgia in the first round also helps the Packers' cause. Singleton earned a career-best 82.6 run-defense grade that ranked eighth among off-ball linebackers, tallying more than 100 tackles for the second year in a row, with his two-year total of 212 ranking sixth among off-ball linebackers. The Georgia product was named second-team All-Pro in 2020 and 2021, and recorded a career-high 163 combined tackles last year -- which ranked fifth among all linebackers. Honorable mentions: Tremaine Edmunds, Matt Milano, Logan Wilson, Shaq Thompson, Alexander Johnson, Deion JonesJeremiah Owusu-Koramoah,Zach Cunningham, Anthony Walker, C.J. 2021 PFF grade: 65.1 (22nd of 89). The former undrafted free agent is in for a big pay raise this offseason after making the absolute most of his one-year deal. This is a precarious spot for the Packers to be in, even with 2021 All-Pro DeVondre Campbell back for another season in the same defense he broke out with. It's good news, then,. Cole Holcomb could yet turn into a solid linebacker, while 2021 first-round pick Jamin Davis could also improve after a poor first season. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Okereke was particularly stout against the run, with his 13 defensive stops against the run tied for the 13th most. 2021 PFF grade: 65.1 (T-23rd of 89). Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports David has been consistent, as only one linebacker has recorded more tackles since he entered the league, and that player is found later on in this list. 70 & No.71 on PFF's Top-101 players for the 2022 NFL season. Wagner gets a new opportunity on a new team with a lot more talent around him this season, so there is good reason to suspect that his grade might bounce back. He is a truly freakish athlete and will be 25 years old throughout his entire sixth NFL season in 2023 after being selected No. Davids 88.5 coverage grade this season ranked second among off-ball linebackers, and his elite 93.0 mark over the past four seasons is the top mark at the position. This ranking may be a surprise after the Seahawks lost future Hall of Famer Bobby Wagner in free agency this offseason, but Wagner seemed to be on the downslope of his career. 6 in the NFL in sacks and No. March 2, 2023 3:21 pm ET. 2021 PFF grade: 64.2 (24th of 89). Here are PFF's top 32 linebackers ahead of the 2021 NFL season. Projected contract: Four years, $40 million ($10M per year, $22.5 million total guaranteed), PFF Free Agency Rank: 63 2021 Snaps: 1,148 The Rank value requires a minimum number of snaps played. Barr agreed to a pay cut before the 2021 season that also voided the 2022 and 2023 seasons on his five-year extension signed in 2019. He packs a punch as a downhill player, as he can light up offensive linemen with ease. 2021 Snaps: 987 Aug 9, 2022. With that in mind, some of these units have fewer members than others. Mosley endured the worst-graded season of his NFL career. Let's have a look at them. Lavonte David is still one of the best linebackers in the game . JaWhaun Bentley is a hard-nosed player like his counterpart Mack Wilson. He signed a monster five-year, $95 million extension last July, and is worth it considering he's just 25. He also frequently lines up at safety, defensive line and nickel corner, and if he had his way . Tremaine Edmunds has not quite lived up to expectations, but hes still young and can grow into a good player. Here are the top free agents at linebacker, taken from PFF's free agency rankings. Johnson got off to an unusually late start to his NFL career and has battled injuries, but he has been an excellent linebacker when he has been on the field. Edmunds 86.9 coverage grade in 2022 was the third-best mark among off-ball linebackers, and he forced an incompletion on 10.3% of targets into his coverage while allowing just four explosive receptions the entire season (0.9% of targets into his coverage, ninth among linebackers). The Ravens are still looking for that breakout year from Patrick Queen after two subpar seasons. After ranking the best individual linebackers heading into 2022, here's how each team's linebacking corps stacks up. Leighton Vander Esch has not lived up to the hype he created for himself after a monstrous rookie season, and so we may see another linebacker eventually fill in for him. NFL NFL Home Tools NFL Scores NFL Premium Stats NFL Player Grades Free Agent Rankings QB Annual 2022 Linebackers with the most INT's in both man and zone coverage last season Man: Bobby Okereke (2) Zone: Darius Leonard (4) White has had four straight seasons with coverage grades above 60.0, which is not an easy feat for an off-ball linebacker in todays NFL against so many hi-lo concepts and the increase in run-pass options putting a ton of stress on the position. Bobby Wagner may surprise some based on his age. Please try again later. Offensive Line | Quarterback | Backfield | Pass-Catcher | Secondary | Linebackers | Special Teams) 2022 NFL Defensive Line Rankings Below is every team ranked 1-32 by how their defensive line shapes up for 2022. You are not logged in. The 1B tier has just as much going for them, with zone-heavy defenses, expected positive tackle efficiency and an every-down roles. I also gave a target round for your rookie drafts, these are just suggestions as all drafts are different. NFL 2022 Draft Positional Rankings: Linebackers By Jacob Wayne | Mar 30, 2022, 1:34pm #1: Devin Lloyd - Utah #2: Nakobe Dean - Georgia #3: Chad Muma - Wyoming #4: Leo Chenal - Wisconsin #5: Christian Harris - Alabama #6: Brian Asamoah - Oklahoma #7: Brandon Smith - Penn State #8: Channing Tindall - Georgia #9: Damone Clark - LSU Projected contract: Two years, $18 million ($9M per year, $11.5 million total guaranteed), PFF Free Agency Rank: 55 Projected contract: Two years, $9.5 million ($4.75M per year), $5.25 million total guaranteed. However, he earned an additional $500,000 in incentives along with a trip to the Super Bowl, so it couldve been worse, all things considered. PFF Free Agency Rank: 86 2021 Snaps: 783 2021 PFF grade: 64.2 (24th of 89) Barr agreed to a pay cut before the 2021 season that also voided the 2022 and 2023 seasons on his five-year extension signed in 2019. He has top-notch natural coverage skills for a linebacker his size, but everything else is a work in progress. Long plays a downhill, attacking brand of football that helps him blow up a lot of plays but also makes him particularly susceptible to over-committing on play-action passes and missing tackles when he takes a poor pursuit angle. After looking like one of the worst linebackers in the NFL for a few years in Green Bay, Blake Martinez rebounded with a solid season in 2020 in New York before succumbing to injury early in the 2021 campaign. Its hard to overstate Fred Warners effect on the 49ers' defense in their run to the NFC championship in 2021. Below, we will rank the NFL's top 10 linebackers entering 2022. 1 as Bobby Wagner finally dethroned Ranking the top 10 linebackers for the upcoming NFL season By Jordan Dajani Jun 28, 2022 at. Thompson was back to his best in coverage this past season, posting a 74.5 PFF grade in that area, his best mark since his sophomore season. Minnesota Vikings players on both sides of the ball, including Kendricks, have already opened up about the culture change they have felt early on this offseason with Kevin O'Connell. Cunningham is one of the most run-focused linebackers in the game, but his PFF coverage grade has declined throughout his career, dripping from average at best to outright poor over the last two seasons. 3 Rams make PFF's top 101 players of 2022 Teams AFC East Bills Dolphins Jets Patriots AFC North Bengals Browns Ravens Steelers AFC South Colts Jaguars Texans Titans AFC West Broncos Chargers. Projected contract: Three years, $25.5 million ($8.5M per year, $16.5 million total guaranteed), PFF Free Agency Rank: 65 He finished as the highest-graded linebacker in football, recording 140 tackles, two interceptions and a career-high six sacks. We have seen elite play from the seventh-year pro, but we've not nearly seen enough of it, given his physical talents. Roquan Smith has had an up-and-down NFL career so far, and the team will be hoping he can bounce back from a 47.1 grade last season. With Oluokun one of the few young players available, a market could develop for him that exceeds expectations. That's because he's both a speedy 240 pounds and one of the best tacklers in the class, having missed only seven times on 138 career attempts. Plenty of well-known 'backers had coverage grades in the 30s this past season. Sam Monson of PFF recently ranked the top linebackers in the NFL and organized them in tiers. 2021 Snaps: 717 Give him the freedom to play fast, and he'll excel. Micah Parsons this season: 0 TDs allowed in coverage (284 snaps) 88.7 PFF Grade (1st among all LBs) 93.0 pass-rushing grade (Best in NFL) Those traits have allowed him to make a lot of tackles, but tackles are not always good plays for linebackers if they come after a big gain on the ground or because they were out of position in coverage. Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NFL player performance data. Why drafting Dallas Cowboys LB Micah Parsons among the top-12 may not be the best decision. He tallied a career-high six pass breakups in 2022. Elandon Roberts and Jerome Baker are average linebackers who have just one 70.0-plus season grade among their 10 combined years in the NFL. Teams are afraid to throw at Surtain, and he has one of the lowest target totals among . Christian Kirksey has not had a season of note since 2016 with the Browns, yet he projects as a starter in this defense once again. Campbells 90.4 tackling grade is his fifth straight such mark above 75.0, and that sure tackling goes a long way in Green Bay. He allowed 81.0% of passes thrown his way to be caught and missed 17 tackles in all. Milano was a fifth-round draft pick back in 2017 but has dramatically outperformed his first-round teammate, Tremaine Edmunds, within the Buffalo defense. PFF ranks 49ers Fred Warner as the top linebacker in the NFL According to PFF's Sam Monson, the 49ers have the best linebacker in the NFL and another top-20 player at the position. Parsons is versatile, smart and instinctive. AVG. Projected contract: Two years, $14 million ($7M per year, $9 million total guaranteed), PFF Free Agency Rank: 61 2021 PFF grade: 53.0 (50th of 89). After sitting out in 2020, C.J. Meanwhile, David will have to get it there himself, given that the Bucs defense wasnt exactly bereft of talent last season. Clemson junior Trenton Simpson Simpson had a solid role as a freshman in 2020, totaling 28 tackles with 6.5 tackles for loss and four sacks, in addition to a forced fumble. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports By Sam Monson May 24, 2022 No. 88 selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. For IDP fantasy football leagues, there is a ton of variance in preseason player rankings, but utilizing tiers can help us properly value each group of players in. 3 linebackers Seahawks should . . 2021 Snaps: 979 They spent a lot of money on Roquan Smith at the linebacker spot, [so] why not bring in another Georgia guy?" . He may be coming off one of his worst statistical seasons in recent memory, but he also missed five games with injury. Its a rebuilt Jaguars linebacking corps after losing Myles Jack to the Steelers. Shaq Thompson is a bona fide star, and he may be playing alongside a diamond-in-the-rough partner in Frankie Luvu. Micah Parsons is one of the best young talents in the league, but he does split his time between off-ball linebacker and edge rusher, where he's at his best work. Seahawks only have one player in PFF's top-40 graded edge defenders Teams AFC East Bills Dolphins Jets Patriots AFC North Bengals Browns Ravens Steelers AFC South Colts Jaguars Texans Titans AFC.