NFL Outside Linebacker Rankings

Jake DeWitt

Tier 1

1. Von Miller (Denver Broncos)
The reigning Super Bowl MVP is the most fearsome pass rusher in the NFL. When Miller plays at least 15 games, he’s good for at least 11.0 sacks. He recorded a career high 18.5 sacks in 2012. When he doesn’t actually sack the QB, he sure as heck hits him hard. He’s also great at forcing fumbles. We should note he also qualifies as a defensive end, but is listed here because this truly is his best position.

2. Khalil Mack (Oakland Raiders)
Of course, sack statistics alone don’t accurately measure one player’s contribution to hurrying the quarterback, but it’s still worth mentioning Mack tallied 15 sacks in 2015, but has just one in 2016. Needless to say teams have started to account for his dominant presence on the Oakland defense.

3. Justin Houston (Kansas City Chiefs)
You can make the argument that Houston should be the single-season sack leader. Houston finished 2014 with 22.0 sacks, falling just 0.5 sacks shy of Michael Strahan’s single-season record. Strahan basically accrued one sack after Brett Favre fell to the turf out of respect for the New York Giants’ all-time great. Houston could be higher on this list, but he’s played a full regular season just three times in five full seasons.

Tier 2

4. Dont’a Hightower (New England Patriots)
5. Clay Matthews (Green Bay Packers)
6. Pernell McPhee (Chicago Bears)
7. Vontaze Burfict (Cincinnati Bengals)
8. Lavonte David (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
9. Sean Lee (Dallas Cowboys)
10. Terrell Suggs (Baltimore Ravens)
11. Tamba Hali (Kansas City Chiefs)
12. Anthony Barr (Minnesota Vikings)
13. KJ Wright (Seattle Seahawks)
14. Chad Greenway (Minnesota Vikings)
15. Telvin Smith (Jacksonville Jaguars)
16. DeAndre Levy (Detroit Lions)
17. LaMarr Woodley (Pittsburgh Steelers)
18. Jabaal Sheard (New England Patriots)
19. Ryan Kerrigan (Washington Redskins)
20. Tahir Whitehead (Detroit Lions)
21. Jadaveon Clowney (Houston Texans)

Tier 3

22. Shaq Thompson (Carolina Panthers)
23. Aldon Smith (Oakland Raiders)
24. Bruce Irvin (Oakland Raiders)
25. Paul Kruger (New Orleans Saints)
26. Nick Perry (Green Bay Packers)
27. James Harrison (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Tier 4

28. Dante Fowler Jr. (Jacksonville Jaguars)
29. Brian Orakpo (Tennessee Titans)
30. Whitney Mercilus (Houston Texans)
31. Alec Ogletree (Los Angeles Rams)
32. Julius Peppers (Green Bay Packers)
33. Elvis Dumervil (Baltimore Ravens)
34. Leonard Floyd (Chicago Bears)
35. Melvin Ingram (San Diego Chargers)
36. Akeem Ayers (Indianapolis Colts)
37. Myles Jack (Jacksonville Jaguars)
38. Jaylon Smith (Dallas Cowboys)
39. Aaron Lynch (San Francisco 49ers)
40. Courtney Upshaw (Atlanta Falcons)

Tier 5

41. Shaq Barrett (Denver Broncos)
42. Bud Dupree (Pittsburgh Steelers)
43. Jelani Jenkins (Miami Dolphins)
44. Shane Ray (Denver Broncos)
45. Darron Lee (New York Jets)
46. Dannell Ellerbee (New Orleans Saints)
47. Derrick Morgan (Tennessee Titans)
48. Erik Walden (Indianapolis Colts)
49. Dee Ford (Kansas City Chiefs)
50. AJ Klein (Carolina Panthers)

 

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Author: Thrive Nation

Amateur sports journalism blog, primarily posting about the latest happenings in EPL, MLB, NFL, and Boxing.

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