NFL Free Agency 2018: Top 10 Inside Linebacker Free Agents

Physically imposing and incredibly fast, inside linebackers are more than just fierce enforcers that are effective at tackling their respective opponents. To be truly great at the linebacker position, these athletes have to possess the heightened instincts and perceptive vision to discern whether a play will be executed on the ground or through the air. Although inside linebackers are known for their tackling prowess and strength, the more elite players at the position have become much more proficient at batting down passes, which is vital when they are up against a game managing quarterback that loves to check the ball down to their intermediate receiving options. Gritty, determined and fearless, inside linebackers are the unsung heroes when it comes to taking down quarterbacks while stopping overly confident running backs simultaneously.

10. Christian Jones

Setting a career high in combined tackles (90) while forcing one fumble, Christain Jones performed at an extremely high level after putting up meek numbers in 2016. Quick and athletic, Jones loves to be around the action and will be a constant nuisance to opposing running backs who attempt to outrun him.

9. Kevin Minter

Although he played in just nine games with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2017, Kevin Minter consistently proved to be a productive tackling machine that could regularly fluster opposing quarterbacks. While some teams may be hesitant to give him a chance because of his drop off in production in 2017, Minter is a highly efficient playmaker when healthy and should have a bounce-back year in 2018 if he can stay healthy.

8. Paul Posluszny

A member of the elite front seven known as “Sacksonville” , Paul Posluszny was an efficient linebacker that faded into the background due to the other exceptional playmakers that were placed around him. However, if he can be featured prominently in a defense that is in need of a highly aggressive linebacker, Posluszny is easily good for 100 combined tackles if not more in a given season.

7. Anthony Hitchens

Despite playing in just 12 games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2017, Anthony Hitchens was still able to set a career high in combined tackles (84). At age 25, Hitchens is still developing his skill set and has the potential to be a fantastic playmaker when it comes to sacking the quarterback on a consistent basis.

6. Jon Bostic

Although the Indianapolis Colts were largely an inept team defensively in 2017, Jon Bostic was one of the few bright spots for the woeful franchise. Recording 97 combined tackles, Bostic clearly has the strong hands and the tenacity to be a disruptive linebacker, he just needs to be a bit more consistent when taking down the quarterback.

5. Preston Brown

Since his inaugural season in 2014, Preston has recorded more than 100 combined tackles per season, a statistical feat that is incredibly difficult to accomplish. Considering that the stud linebacker has never missed a game in his four-year career, Brown is a worthy addition to a team that is looking for consistent production from a player that rarely fails at tackling the opposition.

4. Zach Brown

Accruing seven interceptions over his five-year career, Zach Brown is an extremely athletic linebacker that is effective at dropping back in coverage. On top of that, Brown is a fierce tackler that is fantastic at pursuing running backs and taking down quarterbacks that spend a little too much time remaining in the pocket.

3. Todd Davis

An underrated yet effective part of the Denver Broncos prolific front seven, Todd Davis will most likely be looking to establish himself as a respective and elite linebacker on a team that needs help on the defensive line. The tenacity and skill set is obviously there, Davis just needs the requisite reps and trust to take the next step to become a well-known linebacker in the NFL.

2. Avery Williamson

A linebacker with an incredibly high floor from a production standpoint, Avery Williamson is effective as a tackler, quarterback sacker and as a pass intercepter in coverage. Considering his youth (age 25) and his ability to stay healthy (has missed just one game in his four-year career), Williamson should be offered a fairly lucrative contract in free agency.

1. NaVorro Bowman

Although NaVorro Bowman may be considered washed up and doomed to regress mightily in the very near future, the veteran linebacker is still a sensational tackler and is incredibly physical despite being just 6’0″. If Bowman can stay out of trouble and keep his focus on being a relentless playmaker, the somewhat forgotten linebacker could be due for an amazing bounce back season in 2018.

NFL Free Agency 2018: Top 10 Defensive Linemen Free Agents
NFL Free Agency 2018: Top 10 Defensive Linemen Free Agents
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