B/R NFL 1,000: Top 40 Inside Linebackers

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B/R NFL 1,000: Top 40 Inside Linebackers
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Who are the best inside linebackers in today's NFL? Fans of a certain team are going to be happy with our selections. 

Inside linebackers have to be able to stop the run or break back in pass coverage. They need the speed to range to the sideline and the strength to bust through blockers and tackle big backs. To determine who's best, we've assessed how well today's ILBs exemplified those traits in 2011.

The quest comes as part of the B/R NFL 1,000. The series offers an in-depth look at every position in the NFL, breaking down players' skills in a way never before seen on the Internet.

B/R 1,000 rankings don't assess who had the best year, or even who has the most potential. Rather, players are judged on their current skills and mechanics, based on film study of the 2011 NFL preseason and regular season only.

After hours spent scouting every starter and every potential starter, the top 40 inside linebackers have been scored on 10 criteria (more on the criteria here). In the slides that follow, we'll explain each player's strengths and weaknesses as the final ranking is revealed.

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