Ranking AFC West linebacker tandems

·2 min read

Linebacker may not be the valued position it once was, but having a pair of good ones is still important. And if you don’t, an opposing offense can feast upon that.

Let’s take a look at how the AFC West lines up with regard to their off ball linebackers.

1. Chiefs – Nick Bolton, Willie Gay Jr

The Chiefs used second round picks in consecutive years on Gay and Bolton and appear to have nailed both picks. After just one full season together, they look like they could be one of the better young linebacker duos in the league. Bolton in particular put up 112 tackles as a rookie last season.

2. Raiders – Denzel Perryman, Jayon Brown

Speaking of tackles, Perryman was a tackling machine last season. Based on his Pro Bowl year in 2021 alone, he is the best individual linebacker in this division. Brown joined the Raiders this offseason after spending the first five years of his career with the Tennessee Titans. He’s coming off a down year, but in the three years prior, he was a solid full time starter for the Titans.

3. Broncos – Jonas Griffith, Josey Jewell

Jewell’s 2021 season ended in the second week. But his 2020 season was his best, putting up 113 tackles. Griffith went undrafted last year out of Indiana State and worked his way into a starting job by the final four games of the season. In the final five games alone, he put up 45 tackles, which translates to 153 tackles over a full season. The Broncos may have something here. Time will tell.

4. Chargers – Kenneth Murray, Drue Tranquill

The Chargers let their best linebacker, Kyzir White, leave in free agency and he signed with the Eagles. Murray was a first round pick in 2020 and hasn’t exactly burst onto the scene. In fact, he seemed to get worse in his second season, starting just one game over the final seven. Tranquill a is a middle of the road talent. Barring a big leap by Murray in his third season, this tandem looks to be the Chargers’ weakest link on on otherwise pretty good looking defense.

Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire