The Browns can promote someone from the practice squad or make a move from the outside with the roster now at 52, one below the 53-man limit. Rashaan Evans and Jayon Brown took most of the Titans’ snaps at linebacker last season, and they both return this year. Kansas City had four players play at least 300 snaps, with Reggie Ragland leading the way with a 63.5 overall grade. He’s done his best work in the run game throughout his career, though last season’s 46.5 grade is the worst of his career. The wild cards are Reuben Foster and Kevin Pierre-Louis. opacity:1; Brown has established himself as one of the better coverage linebackers in the NFL, ranking 17th during the regular season last year after finishing fourth in 2018. Few young players had higher expectations than Devin Bush last season, with the Steelers trading up to No. In order to fill that void in coverage, the Jets need a step forward from 2019 fifth-rounder Blake Cashman after he graded at just 49.1 overall on 424 snaps last season. Oft-injured Alex Anzalone was also limited to just 46 snaps last season, but he had a strong 2018 that included a 67.8 coverage grade and 16 pressures on just 72 rushes. Copyright © 2000-2020 Sports Reference LLC. Alexander is another rangy, middle-of-the-field defender who usually grades well in coverage. Last season saw rookie fifth-rounder Cole Holcomb play 718 snaps, and he earned a solid 71.3 run-defense grade though his 43.4 coverage grade ranked just 86th in the league. Kenny Young comes over from Baltimore where he’s graded in the 50s across two years and 480 snaps. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. Losing Luke Kuechly, the best linebacker of the decade, was never going to be easy, and it leaves a gaping hole in the middle of Carolina’s defense. If Floyd really gets grouped with the edge rushers, there is not a more inexperienced linebacking corps in the NFL. In addition to Kendricks’ playmaking in coverage, he also had the third-best run-defense grade (90.1) while tying for 10th with 17 pressures. Watch our How-To Videos to Become a Stathead, Subscribe to Stathead and get access to more data than you can imagine. Ragland has moved on, though, earmarking Damien Wilson and Anthony Hitchens as the projected starters. With Joe Schobert moving on to the Jaguars, the Browns lose a valuable piece of their back seven and will trot out one of the younger linebacking units in the league. The latest football news, analysis, and rankings from PFF. A couple of years ago, the Colts had one of the worst linebacker units in the league. 10 to draft him in the hopes of immediately improving their middle-of-the-field defense. The Texans have the only two linebackers to rank in the top 10 in run defense over the past three years in Benardrick McKinney and Zach Cunningham. His 90.3 coverage grade is fifth-best in the league over the past three years. Dont’a Hightower has been a staple since 2012, showing off the coveted versatility to play the run, drop into coverage and rush the passer from various alignments. 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, Kwiatkoski moves on to the Raiders, leaving the starting role in the hands of, , a 2018 first-rounder who looked like the prototype for the modern-day linebacker coming out of Georgia. He played college football at Texas. display:inline-block; Speed, a 2019 fifth-rounder, adds depth as an athletic backup, and, It’s an entirely new look for the Raiders at linebacker, as free agents. The Eagles added more athleticism in the draft with. Fred Warner has emerged as one of the better coverage linebackers in the league in his two seasons but needs to cut down on his 37 missed tackles, the sixth-highest total during that time. Craig Robertson also returns for his fifth year with the Saints to add depth, grading out at 60.0-plus in four of his six qualifying seasons. © 2005-2020 CBS INTERACTIVE. Malik Jefferson, LB, Los Angeles Chargers, stats and updates at CBSSports.com. padding:15px; Here are the best linebacking groups in the NFL heading into 2020. His previous two efforts were the best of his career, as he posted a 73.5 grade in 2018 and an 80.2 grade in 2017. Before his blunders in coverage, Lippett was also credited with a brutal missed tackle in the open field. An explosive athlete with 4.42 speed, White was an effective blitzer at LSU. The Patriots also signed Brandon Copeland from the Jets, who is more of the pass-rush conversion type that New England has had success with in the past. 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. There’s little experience beyond those two, as 2019 sixth-rounder David Long played just 155 snaps as a rookie and Nick Dzubnar, who spent his first five seasons with the Chargers, has 71 career snaps. 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. – Fantasy Football Draft Guide, Cheat Sheets & Advanced Stats (College Stats), Weighted Career AV (100-95-...): 2 (11994th overall since 1960), High School: Subscribe to PFF's EDGE or ELITE subscriptions to get access to the following tools, charts, etc. Jerry is in a tight battle for the starting left guard spot, so this performance could help build some separation from Christian Westerman, Michael Johnson and Trey Hopkins. Fort returns after a solid 270 snaps in which he graded at 73.5 last season, but Josh Bynes and Patrick Onwuasor both move on, leaving about 900 snaps of playing time for the rookies and Fort to fill. Jones’ ability to patrol the middle of the field is one of the catalysts for the Falcons’ defense. © Provided by USA Today Sports Media Group LLC. Subscribe to our Free Newsletter, This Month in Sports ReferenceFind out when we add a feature or make a change. Vander Esch was limited to just 510 snaps last season and took a step back with a 58.5 grade after a 2018 campaign in which he posted an 84.4 mark that ranked fifth in the league. The other name to watch is third-rounder Tanner Muse, who played safety at Clemson. Hitchens is a few years removed from looking like one of the good, young coverage linebackers, but he has not performed well in his two years with the Chiefs. It’s just a matter of improving his zone-coverage skills, which were just a step slow in college. If Oluokun holds up for the entire season, his pairing with Jones should help move the Falcons forward as a defense after a rough 2019. This group's success will be determined by which Martinez shows up in his first year as a Giant as well as Mayo’s development in his second year of extended action. The rest of the five players on the depth chart have combined for four career snaps, so the pressure is on Bush and Williams to produce at a high level. The Oklahoma product’s prowess in coverage took a big step back last season, but that was only a five-game sample size, and he’s just one year removed from earning an elite 72.4 grade from PFF in 2018. Now that he's healthy, he'll be able to compete for an increased role at strongside linebacker. Mosley was injured in Week 1 before playing 68 snaps in Week 7, but that was all we saw from the sixth-year linebacker after he signed a five-year, $85 million contract before the season. The Cowboys feature one of the best one-two punches at linebacker in Vander Esch and Smith, and they need the duo to get back to its 2018 form to maximize the defense's potential. Browns waive LB Malik Jefferson ... JC Tretter, Sheldon Richardson earn spots on PFF's Week 10 team of the week. text-decoration:none; Fantasy football rankings and projections for Los Angeles Chargers LB Malik Jefferson view Malik Jefferson Fantasy Outlook with Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft Learn More Collins is familiar with the defensive system, and he’s yet another versatile weapon who can play all over the defensive formation while providing one of the better blitz threats in the league. Kwiatkoski is the opposite of Littleton — he loves to get dirty in the run game and can get after the quarterback as a blitzer, evidenced by his 81.8 pass-rush grade last season. The Chargers promoted Jefferson to the active roster Saturday. He’ll be yet another case to see if on-field production can overcome physical limitations.
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