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oubronco
06-15-2010, 04:29 PM
Ranking the linebackers in the AFC West

June, 14, 2010 Jun 142:00PM ETEmail Print Comments96 By Bill Williamson

We are continuing our AFC West position-by-position rankings with the linebackers. Itís a deep, interesting group:

1. Elvis Dumervil, Denver: Dumervil flourished last year in his first season as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense. He led the NFL with 17 sacks. He is a premier player.

2. D.J. Williams, Denver: Williams is a very solid player. He is extremely steady.

3. Shawne Merriman, San Diego: Merriman hasnít been the same since 2007 prior to his knee injury. Still, he is a fine player who could easily regain his pass-rush mojo in 2010.

4. Shaun Phillips, San Diego: Phillips is an active player who always seems to be around the ball.

5. Rolando McClain, Oakland: This is a high ranking for a rookie. But I expect the No. 8 overall pick in the draft to be an instant impact player.

6. Tamba Hali, Kansas City: Hali is a good player. He is one of the better defensive players on Kansas Cityís roster.

7. Stephen Cooper, San Diego: Cooper is a tackling machine. He is a very instinctive player.

8. Derrick Johnson, Kansas City: Johnson was in coach Todd Haley's doghouse early last season. Still, he ended the season strong.

9. Brandon Siler, San Diego: This is a young player to watch. He showed very nice play-making ability last season.

10. Larry English, San Diego: English needs to make major strides in his second season. The No. 16 overall pick in last yearís draft was a bit of a disappointment.

11. Kamerion Wimbley, Oakland: Wimbley joins Oakland after a trade from Cleveland. He was an average player in Cleveland, but he does have some decent pass-rush skills.

12. Trevor Scott, Oakland: Scott is an interesting player. He is making the full-time move from defensive end to weakside linebacker as he attempts to replace Thomas Howard. If it takes, I can see him jumping up this list next year.

13. Mike Vrabel, Kansas City: Vrabelís skills are slipping. But he is such a smart, strong leader that he belongs on this list.

14. Robert Ayers, Denver: Ayers had a very slow rookie season after being the No. 18 overall pick last year. He has to make strides in his second season.

15. Quentin Groves, Oakland: He will likely be a role player after coming over in a trade from Jacksonville.

16. Wesley Woodyard, Denver: Woodyard has to continue to get better but he has solid potential.

17. Andy Studebaker, Kansas City: It will be interesting to see how Studebaker develops. He has some good play-making ability.

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Killericon
06-15-2010, 04:30 PM
SoCalBronco, we have a positive mention of DJ Williams in aisle 4, positive mention of DJ, aisle 4.

montrose
06-15-2010, 04:54 PM
I wouldn't have Merriman that high and would bring up Johnson. I love Woody but he got toasted by TEs last season, Haggan deserves to be on the list before him.

gyldenlove
06-15-2010, 05:09 PM
Haggan should be slotted in as number 8 or 9 on that list, he has done more than Siler and company. Vrabel should be a bit higher and Thomas Howard should probably be on that list in the teens somewhere. Ayers and English should be holding hands on that list, both have a ways to come.

Hamrob
06-15-2010, 05:41 PM
Haggan should be slotted in as number 8 or 9 on that list, he has done more than Siler and company. Vrabel should be a bit higher and Thomas Howard should probably be on that list in the teens somewhere. Ayers and English should be holding hands on that list, both have a ways to come.Haggan sucks.

Inkana7
06-15-2010, 05:52 PM
Haggan sucks.

IIRC, Haggan was 1st on the team in TFL and 2nd in FF. So...no he doesn't.

gyldenlove
06-15-2010, 05:53 PM
Haggan sucks.

He is better than Wimbley and English.

Br0nc0Buster
06-15-2010, 06:07 PM
Haggan sucks.

hes better than half the guys on this list

SoDak Bronco
06-15-2010, 06:09 PM
Damn Raiders..I wanted McClain..Great Pick, by the way, are they switching to a 3-4?

gyldenlove
06-15-2010, 06:18 PM
Damn Raiders..I wanted McClain..Great Pick, by the way, are they switching to a 3-4?

That is what rumors say. The Raiders had a really good first couple of days, I still think they "forgot" to tell Crazy Al that the draft starts on Thursdays.

boltaneer
06-15-2010, 06:21 PM
Eh, English still has a ways to go but he played pretty well down the stretch last year. It doesn't show in the stats (sacks) but he was getting pressure on the QB.

TheElusiveKyleOrton
06-15-2010, 06:22 PM
Every time I read a Williamson column, my first thought is that it's from Bleacher Report or some equally crappy online content repository. Just poor writing in general.

Oh, Burger Bill.

tsiguy96
06-15-2010, 06:24 PM
Eh, English still has a ways to go but he played pretty well down the stretch last year. It doesn't show in the stats (sacks) but he was getting pressure on the QB.

same thing is said about ayers :thanku:

gotta be consistent and finish or its all for nothing (in stats anyway).

KipCorrington25
06-15-2010, 06:26 PM
He lost credibility with Ayers.

hookemhess
06-15-2010, 08:16 PM
Ayers? Does this guy watch American football?

Hamrob
06-15-2010, 08:20 PM
hes better than half the guys on this listHaggan is a career backup who is going to start for us this year. That doesn't give me much to smile about. He played a spot role last year and that's where he can help a team. The fact that we are settling on him in the middle irks me!

Br0nc0Buster
06-15-2010, 09:45 PM
Haggan is a career backup who is going to start for us this year. That doesn't give me much to smile about. He played a spot role last year and that's where he can help a team. The fact that we are settling on him in the middle irks me!

Who cares how much he started before last year?
He started last year and played well
Wasnt an all star, but held his own
ILB should be a better spot for him since that is what he is more familiar with

People just think Haggan isnt good because he isnt a big name
look Merriman is ranked 3rd, he hasnt done anything since he has been off the juice but because of his name people still think he is good

The Joker
06-16-2010, 03:34 AM
Haggan should be more than serviceable at SILB.

He's the kind of big bodied downhill player you want at that spot, he should be a solid 2-down run defender and that's all we really need from that spot.

Ayers is the big one for us. We need him to step up and be a good player opposite Doom. If he does that, we'll have a very good LB unit. Hopefully the recent benching isn't a bad omen for him.

tsiguy96
06-16-2010, 04:27 AM
i see lists like this and i see why people think the entire AFCW sucks. we have one great and one ok LB (2 unknowns), but **** there is teams with better LB cores than this list.

Tombstone RJ
06-16-2010, 07:59 AM
McClain should not be on the list at all. Also, as I predicted (quite accurately in 2004-5) that Sandy Eggo was going to be the best team in the AFCW (and everyone here was laughing) I am now saying the Broncos defense is HANDS DOWN, the best defense in the AFCW.

Drek
06-16-2010, 11:03 AM
Haggan is a career backup who is going to start for us this year. That doesn't give me much to smile about. He played a spot role last year and that's where he can help a team. The fact that we are settling on him in the middle irks me!

Haggan played more snaps at OLB last year than the SILB did, since our SILB comes off the field in nickel packages.

Now he's moving back to his native ILB job where he will largely be asked to work within his comfort zone (run stuffing). Him replacing Davis is one of the least worrisome position changes we've made this off-season.

yerner
06-16-2010, 11:25 AM
I agree, Haggan is garbage.

Bronco Boy
06-16-2010, 11:28 AM
Andy Studebaker, a ha ha.

Flex Gunmetal
06-16-2010, 11:28 AM
lol. Of course ayers is going to be on the list. There are 16 starting LBs in the afcw, and dumbass BW makes a top 17 list....

Kaylore
06-16-2010, 12:10 PM
I really wanted English last year and expect him to be pretty solid for the Boltz if they ever get a coach who doesn't suck.

RunSilentRunDeep
06-16-2010, 01:44 PM
Shawn Merriman would need a time machine to be the third best linebacker. He's done.

bronco militia
06-16-2010, 01:46 PM
Shawn Merriman would need a time machine to be the third best linebacker. He's done.

yee gadds, no doubt!