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The 5 O'Clock Club: Ranking the NFC East Inside Linebackers

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It’s 5 o’clock somewhere...

I realize there’s only really one thing on every Redskin fan’s mind today, but I thought I’d return to regularly scheduled programming anyway.

It’s July. Free Agency is finished. The draft is in the books. The biggest question about Kirk Cousins contract status has been answered, and, although some new ones pop up, they’re not really worth spilling digital ink over until the calendar flips over to 2018. Training Camp is 10 days away, and it seems like a good enough time to consider how the Redskins stack up against their division rivals.

Today, I’d like to think about Inside Linebackers in the NFC East.

In 2012, London Fletcher was still playing at a high level for the Redskins. In 2013, age caught up with him, and ever since, the Redskins have been trying to solve the problem of ILB.

At one point it seemed like Keenan “the barbarian” Robinson and Perry Riley might be the answer, but it was false hope. Eventually, Will Compton stepped up when the starters were injured. Mason Foster came in as a pretty solid free-agent pick up, but somehow, the puzzle has remained unsolved. Joe Barry played Su’a Cravens at LB in an attempt to get some speed and athleticism at the position on passing downs. This season, it appears that Cravens will be playing at Strong Safety.

This offseason, the front office went after one of the higher-profile free agents, bringing in Zach Brown from Buffalo. Brown is known for his speed and tackling.

Jay Gruden also fired Joe Barry and promoted one of the Redskin linebackers of the glory years — Greg Manusky — to the position of Defensive Coordinator. Having a former LB running the defense should help shouldn’t it?

Will this be enough to solidify the middle of the 2nd level defense? Will the Redskins finally be able stop the running back and defend tight ends in the passing game, rather than having to choose one or the other?

  1. Which team has the best ILB corps in the NFC East?
  2. Which team has the worst?
  3. Who is the “beastiest” ILB in the division?

I am happy to give my answer to question #3:

The ‘beastiest’ ILB in the division is Sean Lee of the Dallas Cowboys.

Along with Luke Kuechly of the Carolina Panthers, Lee is possibly the best ILB in today’s NFL.

You’ll find the top three linebackers (and an extra player here or there) on each of our division rival defenses according to Our Lads.

Eagles

Nigel Bradham, Jordan Hicks, Mychal Kendricks

Giants

Devon Kennard, BJ Goodson, JT Thomas, (Jonathan Casillas), (Keenan Robinson)

Cowboys

Damien Wilson, Anthony Hitchens, Sean Lee, (Jaylon Smith), (John Lotulelei)

Poll

Question 1: Which Redskins linebacker will have the most tackles for loss in 2017?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Kerrigan
    (121 votes)
  • 8%
    Gallette
    (24 votes)
  • 3%
    Smith
    (11 votes)
  • 3%
    Murphy
    (11 votes)
  • 2%
    Foster
    (7 votes)
  • 26%
    Brown
    (75 votes)
  • 2%
    Compton
    (7 votes)
  • 8%
    Anderson
    (25 votes)
281 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Question 2: Which Redskins linebacker will have the most interceptions in 2017?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Kerrigan
    (35 votes)
  • 1%
    Gallette
    (3 votes)
  • 7%
    Smith
    (19 votes)
  • 4%
    Murphy
    (10 votes)
  • 7%
    Foster
    (19 votes)
  • 47%
    Brown
    (115 votes)
  • 11%
    Compton
    (28 votes)
  • 5%
    Anderson
    (13 votes)
242 votes total Vote Now