Though the Carolina Panthers have a mighty strong argument, the top linebacking group in the NFC South goes to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With all the cards on the table, Mike Smith’s group of linebackers simply has the best blend of experience, youth, skill, and play-making ability.
David is the clear leader of the bunch and when you have one of the best players in all of football you have a solid leg up on the competition. However, Alexander and Beckwith hold up their ends of the bargain.
The second best group of linebackers roaming the South are the Carolina Panthers. Fairly obvious once you saw that Tampa was first. There’s no doubt that this is a two-team race, and Carolina’s group is formidable.
Kuechly is the best middle linebacker in the league and Davis remains rock solid. However, their depth isn’t great and with Davis missing the first four games of this season it’s a legitimate question regarding the quality of his replacement.
Deion Jones and the Atlanta Falcons come in at number three. Jones and Campbell form an exciting young duo but are thin behind them and suffer a bit playing three linebackers. They’re solid, but a clear third behind the Buccaneers and Panthers.
For just the second time in this series of rankings, the New Orleans Saints finish last. Their group is filled with solid players but has nothing close to star power or a consistent play-maker. Fortunately for the Saints they’re strong enough nearly everywhere else on defense to cover up most deficiencies from their linebackers.
That’s it for the linebackers, which the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came away on top of. It’s a safe bet that we’ll see more elite play from David, Alexander, and company in 2018 and beyond. Next week we’ll be taking a look at the defensive ends of the South, so be sure to check back for that and more!