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Top 10 Best Middle Linebackers in NFL 2024 Rankings

Ranking the best NFL Middle Linebackers going into the 2024-2025 season as Fred Warner of the San Francisco 49ers leads the way

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By admin | June 27, 2024

Who are the Best Middle Linebackers in the NFL Currently?

The one position on the defensive side of the football that might not get enough recognition is at the middle linebacker position. As all eyes turn to the positions that produce sacks, get after the cornerback, and shut down elite wide receivers, the interior linebacker position is a position that often produces fewer sacks and interceptions than other positions on the defensive side of the ball. However, when you start to look around at the best middle linebackers in the NFL it is hard not to like what the top two NFL stars bring to the table each night. Those two stars are Fred Warner of the San Francisco 49ers and Roquan Smith of the Baltimore Ravens who take home the top two spots on the Top 10 NFL Middle Linebackers 2024 Rankings list.

Warner is as versatile as any linebacker in the NFL while having the talent to stop the run, get to the quarterback when called upon as well as cover opposing tight ends and running backs in the passing game. The former BYU Cougars linebacker has posted at least 118 tackles in each of his first six seasons within the NFL.

Meanwhile in Baltimore, Smith has been a valuable addition to the roster since the Ravens acquired Smith during the 2022 NFL season from the Chicago Bears. Smith is coming off his third straight season posting at least 158 tackles along with posting at least 1.5 sacks in all six seasons of his seasons.

Joining Smith and Warner among the best middle linebackers include Demario Davis of the Washington Commanders, Tyrel Dodson of the Seattle Seahawks, and Bobby Wagner of the Washington Commanders.

Here is a look at the Top 10 NFL Middle Linebackers 2024 Rankings list:

Honorable Mention

Bobby Okereke

Team: New York Giants

Just missing the Top 10 NFL Middle Linebackers 2024 Rankings list is the New York Giants middle linebacker Bobby Okereke. Sometimes a change of scenery is just what a person or player needs and that was the case for the former Stanford Cardinal who posted the highest overall grade of his career from PFF after posting a 78.9 overall grade last season.

The former Cardinal star continues to be a strong defender against the run but even more impressive coverage linebacker in passing situations. Over 17 games last season, Okereke posted 149 tackles to go alongside a career high 2.5 sacks, two interceptions, 10 passes defended, and 14 stuffs.

As the Giants look to get back into playoff contention, the team will rely on their defense including Okereke to help take a step forward in a loaded NFC East division.

CJ Mosley

Team: New York Jets Just 

Father time has yet to slow down CJ Mosley who continues to turn in strong seasons each season including last season. Mosley who will enter the 2024 NFL season at 32 years old has been a stellar draft selection out of the Alabama Crimson Tide both with the Baltimore Ravens as well as with the New York Jets.

Over the past three seasons Mosley has posted at least 150 tackles in each season including 151 last seasons while also posting seven passes defended and 8.5 stuffs. The strong play in coverage earned Mosley a 90.6 grade in coverage while also continuing to be a force against the run.

With a healthy Aaron Rodgers, the Jets have goals of winning the AFC East and making a run at the Super Bowl during the upcoming 2024 NFL schedule.

Top 10 NFL Middle Linebackers 2024 Rankings

10. Quincy Williams

Team: New York Jets

Sliding in at number 10 on the Top 10 NFL Middle Linebackers 2024 Rankings list is the New York Jets Quincy Williams.

Williams alongside veteran linebacker CJ Mosley formed one of the top linebacker tandems in the NFL last season while his overall play took a huge step forward while posting a career high 139 tackles in 17 games played.

Williams, who saw a huge improvement overall during his fifth NFL season also showed improvement both against the run including posting a career high 70.4 run grade to go along with a career high 81.1 overall mark from PFF at the linebacker position.

9. Patrick Queen

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

The big question entering the 2024 NFL season is whether or not Patrick Queen will continue to develop or will he take a step back after landing with the Baltimore Ravens NFC North rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Lofty expectations were put on the back of queen after the Ravens selected him with the 28th overall pick during the 2020 NFL Draft. After a slow start and the addition of Roquan Smith during the middle of the 2022 NFL Season, Queen has showcased his true playmaking abilities including posting a career high 133 tackles last season to go along with 3.5 sacks.

Queen is a versatile linebacker who can play the run or against the pass while also having the speed and athleticism to get to the opposing quarterback.

8. Matt Milano

Team: Buffalo Bills 

Despite going down after five games last season, the Buffalo Bills linebacker Matt Milano continued to show improvement before the injury after a stellar 2022 NFL season.

The former Boston College Eagles linebacker’s biggest concern is staying healthy after playing in just 16 games twice over his first seven NFL seasons. Luckily for the team Milano has been around the facility including at the Bills Organized Team Activities (OTA’s) leading many to believe he will be healthy to make a full return to start the 2024 NFL season.

In just five games, however, Milanos play had ranked among the best at the position alongside other top middle linebackers including posting two interceptions to go along with 30 tackles. 

7. Lavonte David

Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The 34-year-old aging veteran despite seeing some drop off at the position continues to rank among the best all around linebackers in the NFL.

Since being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 2012 NFL Draft, Lavonte David has spent his entire career with the team while racking up 1,479 career tackles to go along with 33.5 sacks, 65 passes defended, and 28 forced fumbles.

David will enter the 2024 NFL season coming off a season with 134 tackles and 4.5 sacks. The Buccaneers linebacker will look to add his 11th 100 tackle season of his career while missing the mark in just two of his previous 13 NFL seasons. In addition, David is strong up-front posting 15 stuffs while also posting five passes defensed last season.

6. Tremaine Edmunds

Team: Chicago Bears 

In his first season with the Chicago Bears, Tremaine Edmunds slotted in well while taking over the full-time spot of former linebacker Roquan Smith who was traded during the 2022 NFL season.

The move looked to be a smart move and one that cost a lot less money despite the high production received. Edmunds, who had spent his previous five seasons with the Buffalo Bills turned in his six straight 100 plus tackle seasons despite playing in just 15 games last season.

As expectations are high for the Bears with the addition of talented first round pick Caleb Williams as well as a rebuilt offense, the Bears and their fans will need their defense to take a big stride forward to compete in a loaded NFC conference as well as an NFC North division.

The former Virginia Tech Hokies star also added four interceptions, 6.5 stuffs, and one defensive touchdown last season.

5. Bobby Wagner

Team: Washington Commanders

Rounding out the Top 5 on the Top 10 NFL Middle Linebackers 2024 Rankings list is the newly acquired Washington Commanders linebacker Bobby Wagner. Wagner ranks among the best run defensive linebackers in the NFL and a linebacker who is not afraid to get to the line of scrimmage while playing aggressively.

After rejoining the Seattle Seahawks after just one season with the Los Angeles Rams, Wagner produced a career high 183 tackles to go along with 3.5 sacks and 21.5 sacks.

Despite not ranking among the best in pass coverage, Wagner makes up for it with his ability to get to the ball carrier while also bringing them down. The Commanders will turn to Wagner to bring veteran leadership to their defensive unit during the 2024 NFL season.

4. Tyrel Dodson

Team: Seattle Seahawks

A name to watch entering the 2024 NFL season is Tyrel Dodson who is primed for a huge season with the Seattle Seahawks after four solid seasons with the Buffalo Bills.

Dodson who will be joining a Seahawks team looking to retool their defense under new head coach Mike MacDonald will turn to Dodson as a full-time player after Dodson appeared in just 589 snaps last season with the Bills.

Despite the limited playing time, the former Texas A&M Aggies star posted a career high 74 tackles leaving lofty expectations to develop after signing with a Seahawks team known for producing talented linebackers. In a limited usage role, Dodson posted a 90.2 grade from PFF which would rank among the best in the NFL.

3. Demario Davis

Team: New Orleans Saints

As all eyes are set on the top two middle linebackers in the NFL, one middle linebacker who is well worth the mention is the New Orleans Saints veteran Demario Davis. Davis who is 35 years old however still plays at a prominent level across the defensive side of the football.

The third-round pick during the 2012 NFL Draft registered his seventh consecutive season with at least 100 tackles as well as his ninth overall after posting 121 tackles over 17 games last season.

Davis trailed only Roquan Smith and Fred Warner with an 89.6 PFF grade while also joining those two with a PFF grade of at least 80 both against the run and in coverage. 

2. Roquan Smith

Team: Baltimore Ravens

Over the years the Baltimore Ravens have had a history of anchoring down some of the best linebackers in the NFL with Roquan Smith being one of the latest to take home that title. Like Warner, Smith is coming off a stellar 2023 NFL season including earning his second straight First Team All-Pro selection.

The Ravens linebacker is a solid all-around linebacker who posted PFF grades of at least 80 in both pass coverage as well as run defense over 17 games played last season.

The Ravens linebacker finished the season with 158 tackles including eight stuffs while also posting 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and one interception. Smith will look to continue the high play in 2024 as expectations are set high for the team for another run at a Super Bowl.

1.  Fred Warner

Team: San Francisco 49ers

In at number one on the Top 10 NFL Middle Linebackers 2024 Rankings list is the San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner. Warner, who was drafted by the 49ers during the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, has blossomed into the league’s best linebacker who can do it all for the team.

Warner posted 11 passes defended during the regular season last year to go along with four interceptions in the passing game. In addition, Warner added 2.5 sacks, 132 total tackles, and four forced fumbles earning him a 90.4 grade from PFF ranking highest among the linebacker group.

The strong overall play landed Warner his third Pro Bowl and third First Team All-Pro selections of his NFL career. As the 2024 NFL season approaches elevated expectations are set for Warner and the 49ers with the Super Bowl title on their mind.

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Players Count 10
  1. Rick Leonard

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  2. Matt Gono

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  3. Kiko Alonso

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  4. Ty Summers

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  7. Tanner Vallejo

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  9. Ryan Neuzil

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  10. Reuben Foster

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