NFL's top 10 linebackers in 2016
Luke Kuechly, Bobby Wagner among LBs who should be thriving
The NFL is a quarterback-driven league, but not just on offense; every defense needs a quarterback of its own as well. In some cases, that quarterback aligns in the secondary as a safety, but more often, the defensive signal caller patrols the middle of the field as a linebacker.
Being a quality linebacker entails more than just what shows up in the box score. A top flight 'backer must be a leader, both through his words and his play. Offenses have become so multiple and operate at such a fast tempo that a linebacker must be able to get his unit lined up and in the right defense on the fly.
That type of player is who we're looking for in our top 10 linebacker rankings for 2016. (Note: Pass-rushing linebackers are excluded from this list. They are included on our top pass-rushers for 2016 list).
To see the top 10 linebackers for 2016, you must be an ESPN Insider.
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Lynch offers statement, doesn't answer Q's
- 'Beast Mode' pop-up store doing brisk sales
- Gordon fires at critics in letter: I'm no addict
- Player: Seahawks miffed over HGH tests
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
FUTURE OF FOOTBALL
What does the future of football look like? ESPN.com will spend the week gazing into our crystal ball. The week kicked off with a look at the next class of college stars and continues with predictions for future college and NFL power rankings.