The former safety is on to his fourth team, and while he should add coverage versatility, it hasn’t shown up in the form of production since 2016. Dallas will be hoping both Smith and Vander Esch get back to 2018 form next season. Edmunds has performed well in stretches, but he has yet to put it all together for an entire season. An Indiana product, Covington joins the practice squad after previously working out for the team in October. The Chargers are strong on the defensive line and in the secondary, and the linebacking unit is needed to give them a complete defense. Alonso has struggled in his past two full seasons with grades in the 40.0s, but he was off to a good start with a 69.5 overall grade last year. Davis is another strong run defender who helped Broncos linebackers post an 88.4 grade against the run, by far the best mark in the league among teams last season. Littleton is a modern-day linebacker who can match up with running backs and make plays on the ball in zone coverage. This list will not include the likes of T.J. Watt, Khalil Mack or Von Miller — all of whom ranked highly in the edge defender rankings that came out earlier this week. 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. 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. UFA: A player who has completed four or more accrued seasons and whose contract has expired. Blitzing linebackers are a New England staple, and the team must replace Jamie Collins’ production after he ranked second behind Hightower with 32 pressures. Kendell Beckwith also returns after missing each of the past two seasons. He may be relegated to creative blitz packages if he’s not dealt prior to the season. Mosley playing only 114 snaps on the year. Member of the FWAA. December 3rd, 2020. Oh, and his 90.3 overall grade led the way at the position. Historical Rankings for Paddy Fisher-OLB-Northwestern as a ILB. View consensus Linebacker prospect rankings from the top NFL Draft analysts. Elandon Roberts also moves on after four years as an early-down run-stopper, a role that should fall to Ja’Whaun Bentley, who was an outstanding run defender in college and has shown flashes on his 432 career snaps. NFL teams for looking for linebacker help in the 2020 NFL Draft will have all sorts of options available to them. Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Linebacker Rankings 2020 By Athlon Sports , 7/23/20, 11:45 AM EDT Darius Leonard's ability to do it all makes him one of the top fantasy linebackers Of course there are a few exceptions in the secondary, which is why those names crack the list. Pierre-Louis, on the other hand, has played just 779 snaps in his five years in the league, though he recorded a 90.5 grade last year in what was an excellent stint for the Bears. Covering receivers who are that talented one-on-one is a tough ask for any linebacker. T.J. Edwards is the name to watch in this group as the former undrafted free agent has played well when called upon — he earned a 77.6 overall grade in the preseason and an 83.4 overall mark on 122 regular-season and postseason snaps. The official source for NFL news, video highlights, fantasy football, game-day coverage, schedules, stats, scores and more. 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. 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. CBS Sports updated the composite rankings recently, which means there is … Updates occur when transactions are made official by the league. 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. 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. April 14, 2020 8:00 pm. 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. April 16, 2020 1:07 pm. The focus for Chargers linebackers this year is improving a coverage grade of 53.5 that ranked just 23rd in the league last season. With Murray’s blazing speed and 102 tackles in 14 games, he’s still a prime candidate for a high draft pick. However, he has tackling issues of his own, missing 13 of his 46 attempts last year to form the worst rate in the league. The Indianapolis Colts signed linebacker Chris Covington to the practice squad, the team announced Tuesday. Now make your pick. A.J. He'll continue to man the position with teammate Rashaan Evans heading into next season. * - denotes 2021 prospect. Wright brings a long presence to the Seahawks’ zone-heavy scheme and like Wagner, he can play the run and blitz at a level among the league’s best. Warner’s 74.5 coverage grade ranked 11th last year, and he has 14 pass breakups and two interceptions in his young career. 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. 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. 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. 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. His 86.8 coverage grade over those two years is lower than only Lavonte David, Cory Littleton and Luke Kuechly at the position. Then there is 2019 fourth-rounder Drue Tranquill, who posted a solid 66.6 grade on 382 snaps as a rookie, the same exact grade as 2018 fourth-rounder Kyzir White, who played 372 snaps. Tackling was also an issue — Evans missed 18 on the season when including the playoffs. 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. 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. Davis should be an anchor in the middle of the Saints' defense once again in 2020. Alexander is another rangy, middle-of-the-field defender who usually grades well in coverage. It's not difficult to get overshadowed by Wagner, but Wright is still one of the better linebackers in the league in his own right. 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. 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 … 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. His 47 run stops in 2019 were nine more than the second-place Kuechly at linebacker, driving a career-high run-defense grade of 84.8. Warner's PFF grade this past season was brought down by a 46.8 run-defense grade and over 20 missed tackles, but he was better in both areas as a rookie in 2018 and is developing into one of the better coverage linebackers in the NFL. 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. Ranking the inside linebacker prospects for the 2020 NFL Draft. 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. The only other linebacker on the roster with any experience is Joel Iyiegbuniwe, who has 27 career snaps in his two seasons. 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. 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. 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. Davis has done his best work as a blitzer, grading in the 70s in all three years and amassing 58 total pressures. Wagner has the second-best overall grade in the league over the past two years (90.5), behind only the recently retired Luke Kuechly. Baker also has room to provide in coverage, where he graded at 58.9. For this unit to go from weakness to strength, we need to see the old Kirksey and Burks needs to play up to his athletic potential. 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). He picked up overall grades of 65.0 or higher in each of the first eight seasons of his career, but that streak came to an end this past season. Bradley has man-coverage skills and can add value covering running backs out of the backfield. In 2019, the Browns drafted Sione Takitaki in the third round and Mack Wilson in the fifth, but it was Wilson who played 942 snaps on his way to a 41.7 overall grade that ranked eighth-worst in the NFL. Unlock NFL Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft, Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS, In 2018, the Cowboys had the second-highest graded linebacking corps in the league (80.2), and they dropped to 11, with a 66.2 grade last season. Kwiatkoski moves on to the Raiders, leaving the starting role in the hands of Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan. It’s not the best of years for linebackers. 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. The losses of veterans Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis in recent seasons mean that Thompson is going to be relied on to lead what projects to be one of the NFL's youngest defenses. 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. In his four-year career, Jones has 24 pass breakups and 10 interceptions, though he has graded in the 60.0s in the run game in his three full seasons. It may be a surprise to see Milano come in above his teammate — 2019 Pro Bowl linebacker Tremaine Edmunds — on this list, but the coverage ability he has shown over the past two seasons is hard to ignore. Over that same two-year stretch, the 37.9 coverage grade for Raiders' linebackers collectively came out ahead of only the Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants. February 15, 2020 3:22 pm. The Steelers will be counting on him to play a big role in 2020 because the depth behind Bush and Vince Williams at linebacker is unproven at best. 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. Login Be The Expert. Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NFL player performance data. New York Giants (LW: 13) The New York Giants are starting to run away with the … Perhaps with Kuechly out of the picture, this is the year that David gets his well-earned recognition. One of the biggest surprises of the 2019 season was the emergence of. Unfortunately for IDP enthusiasts, the linebacker class in 2020 is pretty thin. 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. 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