Kyle’s 2020 Positional Rankings: Linebackersby Kyle O'Connell February 11, 2021 0 comments
Over the next several weeks, I will be ranking the top ten NFL players at each position. These rankings will be solely based on performance in the regular season and will not include any injured players. The positions of players were determined from ESPN.com.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top ten linebackers from the 2020 NFL season.
No. 10 | Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts
Leonard didn’t dominate as much as last year, however, he still led one of the best defenses in the league. Leonard totaled 132 tackles, three sacks, and three forced fumbles on the season.
No. 9 | Roquan Smith, Chicago Bears
Smith made a huge jump this season and is on track to becoming one of the best middle linebackers in the league. Smith tallied 139 total tackles, four sacks, and 18 tackles for loss.
No. 8 | Joe Schobert, Jacksonville Jaguars
Schobert made a name for himself this season after finishing fourth in total tackles and interception three passes, one of which he returned 43 yards for a touchdown. Unfortunately, Jacksonville’s defensive woes resulted in Schobert’s stellar play going unnoticed.
No. 7 | Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears
Mack’s impact on the game goes way beyond stats, however, it wasn’t his best year in the stat sheet and thus he falls a bit in my rankings. He finished the season with nine sacks, three forced fumbles, and 15 tackles for loss. Between Mack and Smith, the Bears have potentially the top linebacker duo in the league.
No. 6 | Zach Cunningham, Houston Texans
Cunningham was the only bright spot on the Texans’ defense this season. He led the league with 164 total tackles, including 106 solo tackles. The 26-year-old is proving to be worth the $58 million contract extension he signed last season.
No. 5 | Jason Pierre-Paul, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pierre-Paul returned to his old form this season and helped lead the Buccaneers’ dominant pass rush. JPP finished the season with 9.5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, and four forced fumbles, all with only seven fingers.
No. 4 | Za’Darius Smith, Green Bay Packers
Za’Darius Smith dominated opposing teams this season, totaling 12.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and 17 tackles for loss. Smith proved to be worth the four-year, $66 million contract extension he signed this past offseason.
No. 3 | Devin White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After having a breakout rookie season last year, White stepped into a larger role and took the lead of the Buccaneers’ defense. With blazing speed and tackling in the open field, White racked up 140 total tackles, nine sacks, and 18 tackles for loss.
No. 2 | Haason Reddick, Arizona Cardinals
With Chandler Jones sidelined for most of the season, Reddick exploded onto the scene and established himself as one of the top outside linebackers in the league. Reddick led the league with six forced fumbles, while also adding 12.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss.
No. 1 | T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers
Watt was the face of the Steelers’ top-ranked defense and was the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year this season. He led the league with both 15 sacks and 26 tackles for loss and accounted for the most yards lost with 112. If not for Aaron Donald, Watt would be looking at his first career DPOY award.