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  • CSD Mag Positional Rankings: Linebackers

CSD Mag Positional Rankings: Linebackers

Over the past month or so, I’ve rolled out 15 “teasers” for the CSD Mag (if you missed any, you can find them all under the football tab) Now, it’s time to start rolling out the full thing, starting with my “positional rankings” The categories for these are: QB, RB, WR, OL, DL, LB, DB, and ST (Special Teams). They will be released in that order.

All stats via sports-reference.com, and all recruiting rankings via 247sports.com

#1 – Alabama

Reuben Foster, Ryan Anderson, and Tim Williams are out for the Tide, but Nick Saban will still have the nation’s best linebacking core. Rashaan Evans, the #1 inside linebacker from the class of 2014, steps into a starting role alongside Shaun Dion Hamilton. Christian Miller (OLB) should be a pass-rushing machine, and the Tide bring in a multitude of 4-star underclassmen to round out the unit.

#2 – Georgia

Georgia returns three of four starters from last year’s group of linebackers, but Kirby Smart also brought in three four-star recruits at the position to add depth. Natrez Patrick and Roquan Smith (95 tackles) will lead the defense at the Mike and Will respectively. Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy each recorded five sacks in 2016, and should they improve on that number, Georgia’s defense will be able to stand up with the best of the SEC West.

#3 – Stanford

The Stanford front seven is always up with the best in the country, but this year’s unit is one of David Shaw’s most experienced yet. They return all four starters, and a lot of depth at inside linebacker. Last year Stanford flew under the radar despite finishing with ten wins, that won’t happen this year.

#4 – Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s defense was one of the best in the country last year, despite all the injuries. They lost Chris Orr in Week One, and then-leading tackler Jack Cichy in Week Seven. This year, they get back Orr and Cichy, return TJ Edwards (8.5 TFL in 2016) and add Alabama transfer Christian Bell.

#5 – Washington

Last year’s playoff run was somewhat derailed last year when middle linebacker Azeem Victor went down in Week 10, he had recorded 67 tackles in ten starts, and he should return to be the leader of the unit in 2017. ILB Keishawn Bierria made 2nd-team All Pac-12 in 2016, and he could push for 1st-team this year.

#6 – Virginia Tech
#7 – USC
#8 – Miami
#9 – Ohio State
#10 – TCU
#11 – Iowa
#12 – Florida State
#13 – LSU
#14 – Auburn
#15 – Clemson
#16 – BYU
#17 – Oklahoma
#18 – Texas
#19 – Penn State
#20 – Kentucky
#21 – Louisville
#22 – Indiana
#23 – Notre Dame
#24 – Virginia
#25 – Florida

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