Perhaps at no position was the Miami Dolphins' youth movement more prevalent than at linebacker, where the team ditched veterans Akin Ayodele and Reggie Torbor and let free agents Joey Porter and Jason Taylor walk in the 2010 offseason.
Stepping into significant roles at outside linebacker were second-year CFL import Cameron Wake and second-round rookie Koa Misi. The team also drafted two linebackers—Chris McCoy and Austin Spitler—in the seventh round of the draft.
In free agency, former Arizona Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby was the Dolphins' most prized acquisition, signed to a five-year, $43 million contract with $22 million guaranteed.
Despite the dip in starting experience among the Dolphins' top four linebackers, the team's defense shot to the top 10 of the league, thanks to the arrival of defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, continued dominance by the defensive line, and the emergence of Wake as one of the NFL's best pass rushers.
So how did the Dolphins' linebackers grade out individually? Continue on to find out...
Chris J. Nelson majored in journalism at Georgia State University and currently works for Turner Sports in Atlanta. He operates his own Miami Dolphins website, The Miami Dolphins Spotlight, and he can be followed on Twitter here.