Welcome to my Pre-Draft LB rankings. To be honest there is some serious depth at the linebacker position entering 2015. The linebacker position still remains the cream of the crop in the IDP world, with that I’d still target an elite LB to anchor your defense, especially if you start three or more. Sitting at the top of the rankings is Lavonte Kuechly, I mean Luke David, I mean Lavonte David or Luke Kuechly but it really doesn’t matter honestly. I put Lavonte at the top once again because he brings a little more to the table and can mirror Luke’s tackle numbers. But, debating between Lavonte and Luke for the #1 spot is like debating whether or not iPhone is better than Android. It’s all personal preference; carry on

1 LAVONTE DAVID TBB cleary a stud but is the 2nd LB, can outperform Luke
2 LUKE KUECHLY CAR 1B pretty much, nothing else to see here
3 CJ MOSLEY BAL the rising star, superb rookie season to build on should see bottomless amount of tackles for a long time
4 JAMIE COLLINS NEP under the radar to some, legit top LB1 – on the verge of becoming NEP’s top LB if he isn’t already, wait he is – carry on and draft him!
5 BOBBY WAGNER SEA injuries slowed his roll here and there but one of the best run stopping LB’s 110+ tackles easy
6 NAVORRO BOWMAN SF risk/big reward here, been almost 18 months since his horrific knee injury, long as no set backs during camp should return to top LB form
7 ALEC OGLETREE STL has averaged at least 88 solo tackles last 2 years, improves in coverage he’s going to be a star
8 DEANDRE LEVY DET even with Tulloch back, stats won’t drop should remain near the top of the LB’s in 2015
9 MYCHAL KENDRICKS PHI the best ILB PHI has and is fully healthy, big season up ahead even if he gets traded
10 TELVIN SMITH JAC would be higher if I didn’t like those above him, can make a case to be in the top 5 in the near future
11 KHALIL MACK OAK the tackles are there and already making a name for himself – add in the sacks – look out, low tier LB1 option high end LB2
12 DEMARIO DAVIS NYJ about to have a career year under Bowles, think Daryl Washington 2012
13 NIGEL BRADHAM BUF Will thrive with Rex, having a stout line will help him get to the QB
14 JERRELL FREEMAN IND underrated – when healthy one of the better LB’s
15 KEENAN ROBINSON WAS would actually rank him higher but no can do, still a legit under appreciated LB and is on the rise
16 JUSTIN HOUSTON KCC gets better each season now that he got paid what he got for an encore? 25 sacks?
17 PRESTON BROWN BUF he’s climbed up my board big time as I’ve done more study on him, going to be a tackling machine under Rex’s scheme
18 LAWRENCE TIMMONS PIT 2 more good steady years out of him than it’s passed onto the young helm
19 KIKO ALONSO PHI coming off ACL injury and to a team with more talented ILB’s than what he had in BUF, draft with caution or sell while you can
20 SIO MOORE OAK only thing that’ll stop him from reaching top 12 is his hip injury
21 DANNY TREVATHAN DEN has a new knee (what I read this off-season) and clearly the top all-around LB in DEN just needs to stay healthy
22 RYAN SHAZIER PIT lot of buzz on him, he’s definitely capable of unseating Timmons – not this year though – not yet. Dynasty leagues I’d definitely target him though as a LB2
23 VON MILLER DEN with Wade in town now he moves to OLB in 3-4 scheme, what suits him best and should see 15+ sacks easy and then some
24 JELANI JENKINS MIA flying under the radar but as good as it gets as your LB2, an off-season as a starter this time should definitely help
25 STEPHONE ANTHONY NOS Top 15 ceiling Top 20 Floor – will thrive in NOS and has little to no competition
26 AVERY WILLIAMSON TEN has all the tools to become TEN’s best LB, impressive rookie season now Brown is back Avery can rush the QB more
27 ERIC KENDRICKS MIN landed in a great spot, lot of talent around though but should be the man in 2016 (IDP wise) Top 15 ceiling
28 PAUL POSLUSZNY JAC if he can stay healthy can put together at least 2 more solid years for his IDP owners but there’s definitely a risk to drafting Poz
29 DERRICK JOHNSON KCC another risk/reward LB, no competition for tackles in the middle and can finish in the top 10 at seasons end, good for contending teams
30 CHRISTIAN JONES CHI is about to be the top LB in CHI, all-around talent will be put to use with Fangio
31 D’QWELL JACKSON IND ranking might be a little low but with a healthy Freeman, stats will simmer down a bit
32 CLAY MATTHEWS GBP playing ILB for a little while will boost his tackle numbers but hurt his sacks (slightly) still a solid value right now
33 VONTAZE BURFICT* CIN im shying away from drafting Burfict, way too risky but by all means if you take the chance & he plays – you got yourself a top 5 LB.
34 ANTHONY BARR MIN why does this feel too low for Barr? Either way he’s been a target of mine in any league as my low end LB2 high end LB3 option, looked good prior to injury in 2014.
35 ZACH BROWN TEN coming off injury, ready to roll – draft with confidence he’ll compliment Avery
36 THOMAS DAVIS CAR aging vet still produces but I see a slight decline (not much) with Shaq in town now
37 JAMES LAURINAITIS STL still capable of racking up solo tackles, possibly lost a step but not even 30 yet very servicable
38 SEAN WEATHERSPOON ARI if he can stay healthy this will be a steal for ARI, signed a prove it deal to well, prove it. When healthy he’s a capable LB2 and who will compete for tackles in ARI with him? (nobody)
39 PERRY RILEY WAS still a solid LB to own, especially in tackle heavy leagues, targeting as a LB3 with LB2 value some weeks
40 DONTA HIGHTOWER NEP starting to buy into him but as a LB3, but could prove me wrong
41 KARLOS DANSBY CLE you’re only buying him if you’re contending and need a bunch of tackles, otherwise pass on Dansby as he probably has 1 maybe 2 more years left but torched will be passed to Kirksey
42 DEVON KENNARD NYG BUY NOW! This will be the cheapest you’ll get him
43 PAUL WORRILOW ATL just not a believer, only reason he racks up a bunch of tackles is because lack of competition and lack of competition and …
44 SEAN LEE DAL probably the ultimate risk/reward and if he’s looking good in camp he’s definitely rising in my ranks legit top 5 LB just needs to stay on the damn field
45 BRANDON MARSHALL DEN superb year in 2014 thanks to a bunch of injuries to the Broncos LB unit but Marshall held his own but I’m not buying, you can. Trevantan is a much better LB FYI
46 CURTIS LOFTON OAK short term buy, with Mack and Sio on the field it’ll probably mask his weaknesses will still be servicable for tackles but nothing more buy at your own risk
47 STEPHON TULLOCH DET a top 25 LB when healthy and DET can have 2 top 25 LB’s in Levy and Tulloch as it’s been done before, if I’m contending I’m giving Tulloch a slight look at the right price
48 JEROD MAYO NEP another stud LB that has lost his throne because he just couldn’t stay healthy, Mayo is not even the best LB on his team anymore and could see a reduced role – buyer beware
49 DAVID HARRIS NYJ savvy vet that will still contribute
50 JERRY HUGHES BUF lot of folks shying away from Hughes, not me – you’re drafting Hughes the same reason you’re drafting Von Miller, Aldon Smith and Ryan Kerrigan. He’ll produce, you’ll thank me later
51 RYAN KERRIGAN WAS has become a solid scoring LB, I was waiting too see this consistency career high in sacks in 2014, what will he do for an encore?
52 DENZEL PERRYMAN SDC in prime opportunity to become the leader of the defense early on, Butler has lost a step and Te’o isn’t anything special, Perryman the Thumper will lay the wood on ball carriers, got a feeling he’ll rise in my ranks soon
53 KJ WRIGHT SEA a healthy Wagner and improving Pierre-Louis will eat into his production a little but SEA still thinks highly of him
54 ALDON SMITH SF how will he fare without Justin Smith, because it seems Aldon struggled when Justin was out of games
55 JT THOMAS NYG undervalued right now and can make a case for top 25, opportunity is there and Giants like him a lot
56 CHRIS KIRKSEY CLE first order of business is that he needs to beat out Robertson for the starting ILB job next to Dansby, second order of business would be improving in coverage but he going to be alright nice dynasty grab
57 BRIAN CUSHING HOU deems himself healthy as he’s ever been, this rank seems way too low though what the hell am I doing?
58 CONNOR BARWIN PHI he’ll still get after the QB just this time he’ll have Graham opposite of him beating him to the punch
59 BUD DUPREE PIT if PIT indeed will utilize Bud in a “Jamie Collins type role” he’s going to rise in my ranks and I’ve already targeted him in just about every draft I could, cheap round 4 – well, he was prob a 3rd now?
60 SHAQ THOMPSON CAR can’t deny his talent and will learn with Kuechly and Davis, no better duo to learn from – versatilty is key here and stats will follow
61 MASON FOSTER CHI 2-down thumper will continue to eat up tackles in CHI
62 ROLANDO MCCLAIN DAL suspension kind of hurts but that’s not the worry the worry is can he maintain what he’s done last year because you know he sort of came out of nowhere and started racking up tackles again
63 BENARDRICK MCKINNEY HOU early candidate for a 2-down role, that hurts his value and would need a solid training camp to showcase what he’s capable of still a nice dynasty buy because Cushing can’t stay healthy
64 GERALD HODGES MIN the future is now, bye Greenway hello Hodges (not yet but you get the point)
65 PAUL DAWSON CIN behind on the depth chart (for now) could have mid-season impact ala Avery Williamson type impact
66 MARIO WILLIAMS BUF big play leagues target Mario
67 BRANDON GRAHAM PHI this ranks seem too low for Graham but I like him and he’s going to breakout (finally) entering camp as starter and increased in snaps wouldn’t be surprised if he finished 2015 in top 35
68 KWON ALEXANDER TBB the future could come quicker than expected, he can definitely beat out Lansanah for the SLB would be ideal to move him to WLB but one Lavonte David sits there so yeah
69 DARYL SMITH BAL another savvy vet who racks up just about the same amount of assisted tackles as solos
70 KOA MISI MIA never bought into the hype but he’s servicable as your LB4/5 or one who you use to spot start while your stud is on bye
MANTI TE’O SDC will he finally put it all together in 2015, Chargers kind of sort of need him too
71 SAM BARRINGTON GBP opportunity is there, definitely an upgrade over Brad Jones and AJ Hawk tho
72 DEMECO RYANS PHI Eagles kept him, he’s getting paid a nice chunk of change but will PHI put 3 ILB’s on the field at the same time? Question is how many snaps or what is Ryans role, we go from there
73 CHAD GREENWAY MIN probably the last year Greenway is IDP relevant, thanks for all those tackles
74 JONATHAN NEWSOME IND big play LB on the rise, with increased playing time should see 10-12 sacks
75 BRUCE CARTER TBB Bucs view him as their future MLB I view him as no better than a LB5 option
76 BRUCE IRVIN SEA has his weeks, if you own him hopefully you start him on his big games
77 JADEVEON CLOWNEY HOU off-season reports that his knee is looking good, I know Clowney is a beast but talk about all the setbacks – still worth a shot especially since he’s so damn cheap
79 PERNELL MCPHEE CHI how will he do with increased snaps? Could definitely have a career year though
80 KEVIN MINTER ARI is the time now or never? Just never? … ok then worth rostering if you have up to 45 or more roster spots
81 TAHIR WHITEHEAD DET he’s still penciled in as the starter, Van Noy has done nothing to get the SLB position and Whitehead proved what he can do
82 JAKE RYAN GBP eventually he will rise in my rankings, I dig the move to ILB and has the tools to succeed there just the learning process right now will kill his value in 2015, nice stash though
83 HAU’OLI KIKAHA NOS Saints said goodbye to Galette and you should say Aloha to Kikaha, big play LB though so temper expectations
84 ARTHUR MOATS PIT good run stopping OLB, favored to start opposite Harrison but will be in camp battle with Dupree (yikes)
85 JEREMIAH ATTAOCHU SDC remember that game against the Cardinals? He seemed to get to Palmer at will, well he’s legit and if he’s healthy he’s bound to have a big year as Chargers need all the edge rushers they can get
86 ANTHONY HITCHENS DAL McClains suspension definitely opens the door for Hitchens as he should see an increase in snaps early on which would make him a nice buy in deep leagues that start 3 or more LB’s
87 EMMANUEL LAMUR CIN deep league / deep roster worthy – nothing more (sadly) unless he improves his game drastically
88 DONALD BUTLER SDC my oh my how he has fallen, price is cheap enough to hope for a bounceback though
89 MICHAEL WHILHOITE SF taking over for Borland/Willis – did pretty good last year now more responsibility in 2015 I see him no better than a LB4 option tho, limited upside
90 KEVIN PIERRE-LOUIS SEA solid stash if you can for your dynasty team, with Malcolm Smith gone he figures to see his role & he’s much more athletic lot of potential with KPL!
91 JON BEASON NYG the mighty have fallen indeed, Beason was so good before but its ok Beason so many injures and as long as he’s healthy he’s the Giants starting MLB
92 TERRELL SUGGS BAL Ball So Hard University President
93 PRESTON SMITH WAS Preston’s a good fit for WAS opposite Kerrigan, more athletic and better skill-set than Murphy should have no problem getting starting gig
94 RAMIK WILSON KCC got a feeling he’ll end up starting next to Johnson sooner than later, if so he rises in ranks
95 JUSTIN DURANT ATL will contend with Worrilow on tackle opportunities but just a 2-down LB that’s solid vs the run
96 ELVIS DUMERVIL BAL he likes to sack the QB but don’t think he reaches 17 sacks again and that’s pretty much what he offers
97 ZA’DARIUS SMITH BAL the future in BAL still has a learning curve so give him a year
98 CHRIS MCCAIN MIA solid off-season so far, favorite to start at SLB sleeper status esp if Koa struggles
99 KYLE VAN NOY DET has to show he can beat out Whitehead first to get the starting job
100 BROOKS REED ATL could possibly show something in ATL, got to be a deep roster to want him though otherwise waiver wire fodder

There’s going to be a bunch of shuffling as off-season progresses, from the draft to free agency to injuries which is why I’ll keep this updated as much as I can.  Until then, shoot your questions at me via twitter @IDPwithBEE_8o8.


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