Linebackers (20)

Derrick Brooks, Kevin Greene, Ray Lewis, Junior Seau Brian Urlacher.

Modern Positional Average

Linebackers: Derrick Brooks, Kevin Greene, Ray Lewis, Junior Seau Brian Urlacher.

Stats

  • Games 226
  • Approximate Value 152
  • AV/G 0.7699
  • Pro Bowls 9.8
  • First Team All-Pros 4.8
  • Interceptions 20.2
  • Quarterback Sacks 62.6
  • Tackles 1478.8
Already a Super Bowl Champion (and Super Bowl MVP) Miller is on a Hall of Fame pace and could be considered a Hall of Famer right now based on AV/G.  The Linebacker is still in his prime and has been a Pro Bowl Selection in eight of his nine seasons.  His AV/G is also more than Hall of Fame worthy for his position.

Stats

  • Games 135 (-91)
  • Approximate Value 118 (-34)
  • AV/G 0.8741 (+0.1042)
  • Pro Bowls 8 (-1.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 3 (-1.8)
  • Interceptions 2 (-18.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 106 (+43.4)
  • Tackles 490 (-988.8)
With our split on Defensive Ends/Tackles and Linebackers, Suggs now makes the MPA for Approximate Value.  A Free Agent as of this writing, Suggs joined the Kansas City Chiefs late last year, and now is a two-time Super Bowl Champion.  If he does not sign with anyone again, it is a great way to leave the game.

Stats

  • Games 244 (+18)
  • Approximate Value 155 (+3)
  • AV/G 0.6352 (-0.1347)
  • Pro Bowls 7 (-2.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 1 (-3.8)
  • Interceptions 7 (-13.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 139 (+76.4)
  • Tackles 895 (-583.8)
Wagner is on a six-year streak of Pro Bowls and four-year streak of First Team All-Pros.  The former Super Bowl winner’s fifth First Team All-Pro eclipsed the MPA, and the Middle Linebacker led the NFL last year in Combined Tackles (2019).  That was the second time he was the league-leader in that category.

Stats

  • Games 119 (-107)
  • Approximate Value 112 (-40)
  • AV/G 0.9418 (+0.1719)
  • Pro Bowls 6 (-3.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 5 (+0.2)
  • Interceptions 10 (-10.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 19.5 (-43.1)
  • Tackles 1075 (-403.8)

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A former Defensive Player of the Year, and now an All-Decade member, Mack has had four straight years as a Pro Bowl Selection and three of his last four seasons were rewarded with a First Team All-Pro.  Still under 30, Mack has an AV/G that is well over the MPA, and if he remains dominant for just two more seasons, he should get in.

Stats

  • Games 78 (-148)
  • Approximate Value 65 (-87)
  • AV/G 0.8192 (+0.0493)
  • Pro Bowls 5 (-4.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 3 (-1.8)
  • Interceptions 2 (-18.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 61.5 (-1.1)
  • Tackles 399 (-1079.8)
Matthews played one season for the Rams, after playing a decade in Green Bay.  Still looking for work as of this writing, Matthews is a six-time Pro Bowler, but his last one was in 2015.

Stats

  • Games 155 (-71)
  • Approximate Value 97 (-55)
  • AV/G 0.6474 (-0.1225)
  • Pro Bowls 6 (-3.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 1 (-3.8)
  • Interceptions 6 (-14.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 91.5 (+28.9)
  • Tackles 519 (-959.8)
Mosley’s AV/G is well higher than the average MPA for a Linebacker, though his traditional numbers are low for this stage of his career, and he doesn’t have that First Team All-Pro.  Mosley joined the Jets last year, but only played two games due to a groin injury, and he is opting out this season due to COVID concerns.  This definitely puts a hold on his Hall of Fame chances.

Stats

  • Games 79 (-147)
  • Approximate Value 67 (-85)
  • AV/G 0.8471 (+0.0772)
  • Pro Bowls 4 (-5.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-4.8)
  • Interceptions 10 (-10.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 8.5 (-54.1)
  • Tackles 588 (-890.8)
In 2014, Houston led the NFL with 22 Sacks, and he went to four straight Pro Bowls ending at 2015.  That seems like a long time ago, as he has been average since, and unless he has another Pro Bowl worthy year, he won’t make it to Canton.

Stats

  • Games 118 (-108)
  • Approximate Value 73 (-79)
  • AV/G 0.6186 (-0.1513)
  • Pro Bowls 4 (-5.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 1 (-3.8)
  • Interceptions 4 (-16.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 89.5 (+26.9)
  • Tackles 426 (-1052.8)
The calling card for Jones and the Hall is his 96.0 Sacks, and he should reach three digits this year.  The more he gets to the Quarterback, the better his chances get.

Stats

  • Games 119 (-107)
  • Approximate Value 76 (-76)
  • AV/G 0.6387 (-0.1312)
  • Pro Bowls 3 (-6.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 2 (-2.8)
  • Interceptions 0 (-20.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 96 (+33.4)
  • Tackles 421 (-1057.8)
Sure, it is only two years, but that AV/G of 1.0714 is higher than Lamar Jackson, and that of any other defensive player on this list.  If Leonard and the Colts rise like many people think they can, it could be a huge vault up this list for the young Linebacker.

Stats

  • Games 28 (-198)
  • Approximate Value 30 (-122)
  • AV/G 1.0714 (+0.3015)
  • Pro Bowls 1 (-8.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 1 (-3.8)
  • Interceptions 7 (-13.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 12 (-50.6)
  • Tackles 284 (-1194.8)
Barr had four consecutive Pro Bowl years (2015-18) but did so without a First or Second Team All-Pro Selection.

Stats

  • Games 85 (-141)
  • Approximate Value 53 (-99)
  • AV/G 0.6235 (-0.1464)
  • Pro Bowls 4 (-5.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-4.8)
  • Interceptions 2 (-18.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 15 (-47.6)
  • Tackles 417 (-1061.8)
Hunter is a pick for a lot of people to have a breakout defensive campaign, and he is coming off of back-to-back Pro Bowl and 14.5 Sack years.  The Defensive End is already over 50 Sacks, and if he gets a First Team All-Pro (which he is more than capable of), he will vault up this list.

Stats

  • Games 78 (-148)
  • Approximate Value 49 (-103)
  • AV/G 0.5769 (-0.193)
  • Pro Bowls 2 (-7.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-4.8)
  • Interceptions 13 (-7.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 54.5 (-8.1)
  • Tackles 276 (-1202.8)
We could argue that Lavonte David is the most underrated player of the 2010s.  Whether that assessment is true or not, he has been a tackling machine who could reach that AV/G in a few years.  He does need Pro Bowls and All-Pros though, and needs to do it soon as tackles alone won’t do it.

Stats

  • Games 121 (-105)
  • Approximate Value 73 (-79)
  • AV/G 0.6033 (-0.1666)
  • Pro Bowls 1 (-8.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 1 (-3.8)
  • Interceptions 11 (-9.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 22.5 (-40.1)
  • Tackles 1008 (-470.8)
Three of Kerrigan’s four Pro Bowls were captured in the last three seasons and he already has the MPA for Sacks.  However, 2019 was not a great one, and he needs to return to the 10-Sack mark in 2020 for even an outside look.

Stats

  • Games 140 (-86)
  • Approximate Value 74 (-78)
  • AV/G 0.5286 (-0.2413)
  • Pro Bowls 4 (-5.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-4.8)
  • Interceptions 3 (-17.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 90 (+27.4)
  • Tackles 437 (-1041.8)
A three-year veteran, T.J. Watt, is on a two-season Pro Bowl streak, and he was a First Team All-Pro last year.  He has recorded 34.5 Sacks and 36 Tackles for Loss placing Watt in the upper-echelon of pass-rushers.

Stats

  • Games 47 (-179)
  • Approximate Value 32 (-120)
  • AV/G 0.6801 (-0.0898)
  • Pro Bowls 2 (-7.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 1 (-3.8)
  • Interceptions 3 (-17.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 34.5 (-28.1)
  • Tackles 177 (-1301.8)
Playing for the New England since 2012 and winning three Super Bowls will raise your profile, but he is a two-time Pro Bowler and he put himself on the fringe of the Hall of Fame hunt last year with an Approximate Value season of 17.  The momentum will end this year as he has opted out of 2020 due to COVID-19.

Stats

  • Games 102 (-124)
  • Approximate Value 68 (-84)
  • AV/G 0.6667 (-0.1032)
  • Pro Bowls 2 (-7.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-4.8)
  • Interceptions 1 (-19.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 25.5 (-37.1)
  • Tackles 505 (-973.8)
Time has likely elapsed for Davis, but any player who exceeds 100 Approximate Value and is still active will get a spot on this list.

Stats

  • Games 192 (-34)
  • Approximate Value 101 (-51)
  • AV/G 0.5260 (-0.2439)
  • Pro Bowls 3 (-6.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-4.8)
  • Interceptions 13 (-7.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 29 (-33.6)
  • Tackles 1210 (-268.8)
K.J. Wright is set to begin his tenth year with the Seahawks, and he has 855 career Tackles.

Stats

  • Games 128 (-98)
  • Approximate Value 71 (-81)
  • AV/G 0.4423 (-0.3276)
  • Pro Bowls 1 (-8.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-4.8)
  • Interceptions 5 (-15.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 11.5 (-51.1)
  • Tackles 855 (-623.8)
Lee has quietly put together a nice career but age is not on his side, as he is 34 years old.

Stats

  • Games 59 (-167)
  • Approximate Value 109 (-43)
  • AV/G 0.5413 (-0.2286)
  • Pro Bowls 2 (-7.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 1 (-3.8)
  • Interceptions 14 (-6.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 4 (-58.6)
  • Tackles 782 (-696.8)
Edmunds had a sneaky good year where he went to his first Pro Bowl.  This is only his third year, and he could be something special if he builds on his 2019 Season.

Stats

  • Games 31 (-195)
  • Approximate Value 23 (-129)
  • AV/G 0.7419 (-0.028)
  • Pro Bowls 1 (-8.8)
  • First Team All-Pros 0 (-4.8)
  • Interceptions 3 (-17.2)
  • Quarterback Sacks 3.5 (-59.1)
  • Tackles 236 (-1242.8)