Top 10 Outside Linebackers in NFL 2022 Rankings
Where T.J. Watt, Micah Parsons, Joey Bosa, and more of the best Outside Linebackers rank going into the 2022-2023 NFL Season
At the start of the Fan Rankings NFL positions series for 2022 positional rankings, we are going to look at the best outside linebackers in the league. When I came up with this look two people stood out T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys. Watt, I believe, was the MVP of the league last season and Parsons on the other hand made an impact on the Cowboys' defense that doubled their win total from 2020 by looking like a young Lawrence Taylor.
I have Watt over Parsons today, but Parsons is just scratching the surface in his ability as a pass rusher and playing in coverage as a 4-3 outside linebacker. Darius Leonard, Joey Bosa, Matthew Judon are all impact players as well. Let’s get to the 2022 NFL Outside Linebacker Rankings.
Team(s): Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Chargers
2021 Stats: 15 Solo, 6 Sacks, 0 FF, 0 INT
Mack suffered a season-ending foot injury playing on a struggling Chicago Bears defensive unit last worn down by years of carrying an inept offense. Now he will be heading to the Los Angeles Chargers to pair alongside Joey Bosa and at only 31 years old he has a few more years to make an impact before he calls it a career.
Team(s): Washington Commanders
2021 Stats: 83 Solo, 1 Sacks, 2 FF, 2 INT
Holcomb and defensive tackle Jonathan Allen were the best players on Washington's defense posting 143 tackles and two interceptions last season. Holcomb will be happy to have Chase Young and Montez Sweat fully healthy this season to have some of the burden off him in Jack Del Rio's defense.
Team(s): Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams
2021 Stats: 33 Solo, 9.5 Sacks, 1 FF, 0 INT
Miller proved last postseason that he can be an effective pass rusher, especially in Super Bowl 56. Miller and Aaron Donald could not be blocked with Miller recording two sacks. Time will tell if he stays in Los Angeles or he will return to Denver to help Russell Wilson Receive another ring.
Team(s): Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2021 Stats: 37 Solo, 10 Sacks, 3 FF, 1 INT
Barrett had a Pro Bowl season with ten sacks in 2021 and has quietly become one of the most consistent and reliable pass rushers in the NFL over the past here seasons, and 29 years old and will be a part of Tampa Bay sustaining their contender status with Tom Brady coming back.
Top 10 Outside Linebackers
10. Chandler Jones
Team(s): Arizona Cardinals
2021 Stats: 31 Solo, 10 Sacks, 6 FF, 0 INT
Jones posted the seventh double-digit sack season of his career on his way to another Pro Bowl. He is now a pending free agent looking for one more big payday, hopefully to contender to get another ring on his resume. At 32, he needs another few dominant seasons for him to be wearing a gold jacket.
9. Myles Jack
Team(s): Jacksonville Jaguars
2021 Stats: 62 Solo, 0 Sacks, 0 FF, 0 INT
Jack had another 100 plus tackle season on his resume, unfortunately, it was being wasted on a terrible Jacksonville Jaguar team. It is a shame that he has never played in a Pro Bowl or received an All-Pro Selection due to the organization's shortcomings.
MYLES JACK WAS NEVER DOWN!!! 🥲🥲 pic.twitter.com/KnXgXNeQQ1— Daniel (@Not_DanielP) March 15, 2022
8. Harold Landry
Team(s): Tennessee Titans
2021 Stats: 51 Solo, 12 Sacks, 1 FF, 0 INT
Landry has become one of the rising stars on the Titans defense, posting 12 sacks and living up to his $75 million contract extension he signed before last season. Landry made his first Pro Bowl last season and at 25 he is bound to make many more.
7. Matthew Judon
Team(s): New England Patriots
2021 Stats: 38 Solo, 12.5 Sacks, 0 FF, 0 INT
Judon was possibly the biggest impact free agency signing last season bringing in the best pass rusher Bill Belichick has in years by recording 12.5 sacks and making his third consecutive Pro Bowl.
6. Demario Davis
Team(s): New Orleans Saints
2021 Stats: 70 Solo, 3 Sacks, 0 FF, 0 INT
Davis proves that you can get better with age. In his age 32 season, he received his third straight All-Pro selection. Davis recorded 10 tackles and three sacks on a defense that almost single handedly carried their team to the postseason.
Demario Davis is an incredibly good football player pic.twitter.com/oWzlyg8KtI— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) November 2, 2021
5. Robert Quinn
Team(s): Chicago Bears
2021 Stats: 38 Solo, 18.5 Sacks, 4 FF, 0 INT
Quinn is another player that has been consistent throughout his career. 2021 was his best season for the struggling Bears. Quinn bounced back from a down year in 2020 which he only recorded two sacks with 18.5 sacks. With the Bears heading towards a rebuild with a new head coach and a new general manager now in the fold, Quinn would be an enticing piece to a contender looking for pass-rush help.
4. Joey Bosa
Team(s): Los Angeles Chargers
2021 Stats: 36 Solo, 10.5 Sacks, 7 FF, 0 INT
Bosa is one of the best pass rushers on the field when he is healthy. Bosa played in 16 games and recorded 10.5 sacks on his way to his third straight Pro Bowl Selection and he will have Mack as a bookend pass rusher and J.C. Jackson to help him out in the secondary in Brandon Staley's defense.
Joey Bosa with the stab/club. Use the stab to get the blocker thinking power, then take it away as you reduce your hitting surface & clear the outside hand with the club. Have a #passrush plan! #chargers pic.twitter.com/byBs1B4mhF— DLineVids (@dlinevids1) March 13, 2022
3. Darius Leonard
Team(s): Indianapolis Colts
2021 Stats: 75 Solo, 0 Sacks, 8 FF, 4 INT
Leonard has four All-Pro Selections in four seasons in the league. He is a force at the outside linebacker position and can play in the middle. He is the prototypical 4-3 linebacker that can run, tackle and cover. If he can keep staying healthy throughout his career he should continue getting 100 plus tackles per season for the rest of his career.
2. Micah Parsons
Team(s): Dallas Cowboys
2021 Stats: 64 Solo, 13 Sacks, 3 FF, 0 INT
Parsons is a lot like Leonard except that he is a supreme pass rusher that can play anywhere in the front seven. Parson will revolutionize the linebacker position in the way that Lawrence Taylor. I can guarantee it. This past season he unanimously won the NFL Rookie of the Year award.
Probably my favorite play from him this game pic.twitter.com/WzZvquAH6I— jonathan (@chivoo42) March 1, 2022
1. T.J Watt
Team(s): Pittsburgh Steelers
2021 Stats: 48 Solo, 22.5 Sacks, 5 FF, 0 INT
Watt carried the Steelers to the playoffs last season with his single-season tying record-tying 22.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. When he was off the field, the Steelers could not function at all on defense. The Steelers finished dead last against the run and that was a far cry from the Steelers defense of years past.
What is so impressive for Watt tying the sack record is that he missed two games due to injuries and left the game early in two other games. The only thing that can stop him from getting his single-season sack record is injuries.
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