NFL Networks “Total Access” has been doing their ‘Best of’ series, and Friday morning they did the Top 5 Inside Linebackers in the game. Former NFL player and now talking head Solomon Wilcots did the list, and here are the players he came up with:
5. Lofa Tatupu – Seattle
4. DeMeco Ryans – Houston
3. Jon Beason – Carolina
2. Patrick Willis – San Francisco
1. Ray Lewis – Baltimore
While it’s hard to dis Lewis, and yes, he is an 11-time Pro Bowler, I would say at this point in their careers, I would take Willis over Lewis. Willis will lead the next generation of great inside linebackers, and last season he was worth every penny and more, going for 152 tackles, four sacks and three interceptions.
Other guys to consider:
Jerod Mayo – New England – Was the 2008 NFL Defensive rookie of the year, and while his numbers went down a bit last season in playing just 13 games, he will be the voice of New England’s D for a long time to come.
Bradie James – Dallas – 113 tackles last season in 16 games, and two sacks as well. Always seems to be around the ball, and at 30 years old still has some very good football left in him. Do not underestimate him and what he brings to the Cowboys D.
Bart Scott – New York Jets – A playmaker on D, Scott came to the Jets last season, and right away they were the #1 D in football. He had 92 tackles and a sack, and with the team adding more pieces on that side of the ball, I would expect Scott’s production to rise in 2010.