25 Greatest Linebackers in NFL History – bnok.vn | Expert Predictions, Picks, and Previews

Greatest Linebackers in NFL History

Biggest Linebackers in NFL Historical past

Ray Lewis

Linebacker is likely one of the most essential and demanding positions in soccer. A really nice linebacker should be capable of learn the offense, set the defensive scheme, play the run with cat-like instincts and defend the cross with the utmost precision. All whereas being tasked with avoiding blocks and holding tabs on the opposing quarterback. A tall order to say the least, and these 25 gamers did it higher than anybody within the historical past of the NFL.

See more: Best linebackers in nfl history

There are a variety of things that go into figuring out a linebacker’s place in NFL historical past. The assorted roles of a linebacker have modified tremendously through the years as the sport has advanced, making it one of the troublesome positions to gauge. For the aim of this train, the factors included private achievements, workforce accomplishments, statistics, total affect on the sport and the period by which every performed.

Listed here are 10 that hardly missed the reduce (in alphabetical order):

Robert Brazile Nick Buoniconti London Fletcher Luke Kuechly Von Miller Hardy Nickerson Joey Porter Pat Swilling Zach Thomas Andre Tippett

And listed below are the 25 best linebackers in NFL historical past:

25. James Harrison

Pittsburgh 2002, ‘04-12, ’14-17; Cincinnati 2013; New England 2017

4-time All-Professional, 5-time Professional Bowler

Tremendous Bowl XL, XLIII champion (Steelers)

2008 NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months

Harrison is likely one of the most imposing linebackers to ever play the sport. The Steelers’ all-time sack chief (84.5 profession sacks) performed an important position in serving to Pittsburgh win two Tremendous Bowls. He’ll endlessly be remembered for his 100-yard interception return for a landing in Tremendous Bowl XLIII, the longest defensive play within the sport’s 55-year historical past.

24. Sam Huff

New York Giants 1956-63; Washington 1964-69

6-time All-Professional, 5-time Professional Bowler

1956 NFL champion (Giants)

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 1982

The hard-hitting linebacker and chief of the Giants protection performed in six NFL title video games. He was the primary NFL participant to grace the quilt of Time journal and even garnered his very personal CBS tv particular in 1960 entitled “The Violent World of Sam Huff.”

23. Patrick Willis

San Francisco 2007-14

Patrick Willis

6-time All-Professional, 7-time Professional Bowler

2007 NFL Defensive Rookie of the 12 months

2009 Butkus Award winner (Skilled)

Whereas Willis’ NFL profession was comparatively quick, he positively left his mark on the sport. He made the Professional Bowl in each season by which he performed greater than 4 video games. He was a positive tackler and one of the instinctual defenders ever. In the end, Willis will undoubtedly be inducted into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame.

22. Rickey Jackson

New Orleans 1981-93; San Francisco 1994-95

6-time All-Professional, 6-time Professional Bowler

Tremendous Bowl XXIX champion (49ers)

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 2010

Jackson is likely one of the most underrated linebackers in NFL historical past. The Corridor of Famer is the Saints’ all-time sack chief and one of many best cross rushers within the historical past of the sport. His 128 profession sacks rank sixteenth all-time. Jackson additionally recorded 1,173 tackles throughout an exceptionally productive profession.

21. Kevin Greene

Los Angeles Rams 1985-92; Pittsburgh 1999-95; Carolina 1996; San Francisco 1997; Carolina 1998-99

3-time All-Professional, 5-time Professional Bowler

1996 NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 2016

Greene was a pressure to be reckoned with from his outdoors linebacker place. He has extra sacks than any linebacker in NFL historical past (160) and presently ranks third total. He is also the oldest participant ever to steer the league in sacks (14.5 in 1996 at age 34). Greene was inducted into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 2016.

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20. Terrell Suggs

Baltimore 2003-2018; Arizona 2019; Kansas Metropolis 2019

2-time All-Professional, 7-time Professional Bowler

Tremendous Bowl XLVII (Ravens), LIV (Chiefs) champion

2003 NFL Defensive Rookie of the 12 months

2011 NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months

2011 Butkus Award Winner (skilled)

The Ravens’ all-time sack chief paved a path of success that may be matched by solely a choose few linebackers in NFL historical past. Suggs’ 139 profession sacks rank eighth on the all-time record and second amongst linebackers. The longer term Corridor of Famer is also amongst elite firm as certainly one of simply 4 linebackers in NFL historical past that may declare an NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months Award and a couple of Tremendous Bowl ring.

19. Harry Carson

New York Giants 1976-88

6-time All-Professional, 9-time Professional Bowler

Tremendous Bowl XXI champion

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 2006

Together with Lawrence Taylor, Carson served as a disruptive pressure in the midst of the Giants protection and helped kind one of many best linebacker tandems in NFL historical past. He’s broadly regarded by his friends as among the best all-around linebackers to ever play within the NFL.

18. Joe Schmidt

Detroit 1953-65

9-time All-Professional, 10-time Professional Bowler

2-time NFL champion (1953, ’57)

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 1973

NFL 100 All-Time Crew (2019)

In 2007, Schmidt was named the sixty fifth Biggest Soccer Participant ever by The Sporting Information. He was famend for his toughness and led a profession worthy of his standing within the Corridor of Fame.

17. DeMarcus Ware

Dallas 2005-13; Denver 2014-16

7-time All-Professional, 9-time Professional Bowler

Tremendous Bowl 50 champion (Broncos)

2008 NFC Defensive Participant of the 12 months

Butkus Award winner (2008, ’11, Skilled)

Ware’s 138.5 sacks rank ninth all-time and solely Kevin Greene and Terrell Suggs have extra sacks from the linebacker place. His physique of labor is actually worthy of first-ballot induction into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame (eligible 2022).

16. Ray Nitschke

Inexperienced Bay 1958-92

7-time All-Professional, 1964 Professional Bowl choice

5-time NFL champion (1961-62, ’65-67)

Tremendous Bowl I, II champion

1962 NFL Championship Sport MVP

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 1978

The Corridor of Famer was the chief of a Inexperienced Bay protection that helped construct a colossal dynasty beneath Vince Lombardi.

15. Invoice George

Chicago 1952-65; Los Angeles Rams 1966

8-time All-Professional, 8-time Professional Bowler

1963 NFL champion (Bears)

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 1974

George helped revolutionize the linebacker place, as he’s credited as the primary to drop again into cross protection. He is also considered the NFL’s first true center linebacker, and by default, the originator of the 4-3 protection.

14. Brian Urlacher

Chicago Bears 2000-12

5-time All-Professional, 8-time Professional Bowler

2000 NFL Defensive Rookie of the 12 months

2005 NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 2018

Urlacher was one of the full center linebackers to ever play the sport. He recorded 1,353 tackles, 41.5 sacks and was liable for creating 34 turnovers. He was named NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months in 2005, and a first-ballot choice for induction into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 2018.

13. Ted Hendricks

Baltimore Colts 1969-73; Inexperienced Bay 1974; Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders 1975-83

9-time All-Professional, 8-time Professional Bowler

Tremendous Bowl V (Colts), XI, XV, XVIII (Raiders) champion

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 1990

NFL 100 All-Time Crew (2019)

A towering presence (6-7), “The Mad Stork” is the tallest linebacker to ever play the sport. He additionally is likely one of the most embellished linebackers in NFL historical past.

12. Willie Lanier

Kansas Metropolis 1967-77

8-time All-Professional, 6-time Professional Bowler

2-time All-AFL, 2-time AFL All-Star

Tremendous Bowl IV champion

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 1986

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NFL 100 All-Time Crew (2019)

Lanier earned the nickname “Contact” for a motive. He was a infamous head-hunter and a devastating hitter. He additionally excelled in cross protection, which helped him to 27 profession interceptions.

11. Derrick Brooks

Tampa Bay 1995-2008

9-time All-Professional, 11-time Professional Bowler

Tremendous Bowl XXXVII champion

2002 NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 2014

NFL 100 All-Time Crew (2019)

Brooks is usually considered one of the instinctual and technically sound linebackers to ever play the sport. He was a positive tackler and excelled in cross protection. He recorded greater than 1,700 tackles and was liable for 49 turnovers throughout his Corridor of Fame profession.

10. Bobby Bell

Kansas Metropolis 1963-74

2-time All-Professional, 3-time Professional Bowler

6-time All-AFL, 6-time AFL All-Star

2-time AFL champion (1966, ’69)

Tremendous Bowl IV champion

1969 NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 1983

NFL 100 All-Time Crew (2019)

Bell (6-4, 230) was one of the imposing and bodily gifted linebackers ever. He additionally was one of many quickest gamers of his period, no matter place. The Corridor of Famer recorded 26 interceptions from his outdoors linebacker place and is tied with Derrick Brooks for essentially the most profession interceptions returned for a landing (6). Bell scored 9 touchdowns throughout his profession.

9. Chuck Bednarik

Philadelphia 1949-62

10-time All-Professional, 8-time Professional Bowler

2-time NFL champion (1949, ’60)

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 1967

NFL 100 All-Time Crew (2019)

A real Iron Man, Bednarik by no means left the enjoying area throughout a sport. Along with his linebacker duties, he additionally served because the Eagles’ heart on offense. He’s unquestionably one of many all-time greats, and one of the punishing tacklers within the historical past of the sport. Along with being a Corridor of Fame soccer participant, and the namesake for the award given to essentially the most excellent defensive participant in school soccer, Bednarik was a veteran of World Conflict II.

8. Junior Seau

San Diego 1990-2002; Miami 2003-05; New England 2006-09

Junior Seau

10-time All-Professional, 12-time Professional Bowler

1992 NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months

1994 AFC Participant of the 12 months

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 2015

NFL 100 All-Time Crew (2019)

Seau was one of the instinctual linebackers to ever play the sport. He was a positive tackler and at all times gave the impression to be in the correct place on the proper time, which is obvious by his 1,849 profession tackles. Seau tragically took his personal life on the age of 43, three years previous to his 2015 induction into the Corridor of Fame. His suicide is believed to be the results of CTE, a type of mind injury linked to a number of concussions.

7. Jack Ham

Pittsburgh 1971-82

8-time All-Professional, 8-time Professional Bowler

Tremendous Bowl IX, X, XIII, XIV champion

1975 NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 1988

NFL 100 All-Time Crew (2019)

Versatile and intensely quick, Ham was one of the full linebackers in NFL historical past. His 53 pressured turnovers are essentially the most all-time by a linebacker. He additionally helped lead the famed “Metal Curtain” protection to 4 Tremendous Bowl victories.

6. Derrick Thomas

Kansas Metropolis 1989-99

6-time All-Professional, 9-time Professional Bowler

1989 NFL Defensive Rookie of the 12 months

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 2009

One of many best cross rushers in league historical past, Kansas Metropolis’s all-time sack chief had 126.5 sacks in simply 157 NFL begins. Thomas additionally holds the NFL report for sacks in a single sport with seven. If not for his premature loss of life on the age of 33, stemming from issues from accidents sustained in a automotive accident, Thomas could also be even larger on this record.

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5. Mike Singletary

Chicago 1981-92

9-time All-Professional, 10-time Professional Bowler

Tremendous Bowl XX champion

2-time NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months (1985, ’88)

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 1989

If you consider Singletary, the very first thing that involves thoughts is intense focus. The one factor that might match his signature stare was the stellar play of “Samurai Mike” on the sphere. Singletary was one of many key leaders of the well-known ’85 Bears protection, arguably the best protection within the historical past of the NFL. He additionally performed an enormous position in one of the dominant performances by a protection in Tremendous Bowl historical past.

4. Jack Lambert

Pittsburgh 1974-84

8-time All-Professional, 9-time Professional Bowler

Tremendous Bowl IX, X, XIII, XIV champion

1974 NFL Defensive Rookie of the 12 months

2-time NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months (1967, ’83)

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 1990

NFL 100 All-Time Crew (2019)

He was the infamous chief of one of many best defenses to ever make its manner onto a soccer area – Pittsburgh’s famed “Metal Curtain.” The versatile center linebacker performed a big position in serving to the Steelers win 4 Tremendous Bowls in a span of six years within the Nineteen Seventies. Lambert’s signature toothless snarl struck worry into the hearts of the opposition and lends credence to his legendary standing as one of many hardest gamers all-time.

3. Dick Butkus

Chicago 1965-73

8-time All-Professional, 8-time Professional Bowler

2-time NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months (1969, ’70)

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 1978

NFL 100 All-Time Crew (2019)

There’s a motive the award given to one of the best linebacker in highschool, school and the NFL every year is known as after Butkus. He was the quintessential linebacker and simply the best of his period. Butkus’ nasty disposition and skill to explode anybody standing in his path, made him one of the feared gamers within the historical past of the sport.

2. Ray Lewis

Baltimore Ravens 1996-2012

10-time All-Professional, 13-time Professional Bowler

Tremendous Bowl XXXV, XLVII champion

Tremendous Bowl XXXV MVP

2-time NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months (2000, ’03)

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 2018

NFL 100 All-Time Crew (2019)

A real enforcer in each sense of the phrase, Lewis’ depth was unmatched by any participant of his period. He led a number of the best defenses in NFL historical past in each efficiency and spirit. He holds the NFL report for essentially the most Professional Bowl choices by a center linebacker (13). He is also the one linebacker to ever win a Tremendous Bowl MVP and be named NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months in the identical season (2000). Love him or hate him, Lewis has earned the title of best center linebacker of all-time.

1. Lawrence Taylor

New York Giants 1981-93

10-time All-Professional, 10-time Professional Bowler

Tremendous Bowl XXI, XXV champion

1981 NFL Defensive Rookie of the 12 months

1986 NFL MVP

3-time NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months (1981-82, ’86)

Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, Class of 1999

NFL 100 All-Time Crew (2019)

L.T. may hit like a freight practice, however it was his finesse and excessive soccer IQ that helped him revolutionize the linebacker place. He’s not solely the best linebacker in NFL historical past, he is one of many sport’s best gamers interval. Taylor is certainly one of solely two defensive gamers (DT Alan Web page, 1971) within the historical past of the NFL to be named NFL MVP. He’s the one linebacker to ever take the honour.

— Written by Rob McVey, who’s a part of the Athlon Contributor Community. Comply with him on Twitter @Rob_UTVOLS.

(Prime picture courtesy of bnok.vn)

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