Packers: Ranking NFC North inside linebackers ahead of 2021 NFL Season

The Green Bay Packers hope to get the most out of their team in the NFL playoffs. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The Green Bay Packers hope to get the most out of their team in the NFL playoffs. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers have a significant disadvantage at inside linebacker compared to the rest of the NFC North, but will that play a role in their 2021 NFL season?

Green Bay hasn’t put much (or any) stock into the position in years and, as a result, is lacking in talent at inside linebacker. PFF recently ranked the top 32 players at the position heading into the 2021 NFL season and not a single Packer made the list. That’s embarrassing.

The rest of the NFC North was represented with two of the players coming in the top 10 of the list. After ranking the rest of the defensive positions in the division, inside linebacker is the final one. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

The Green Bay Packers are behind the game when it comes to inside linebackers so let’s rank the top ones in the NFC North ahead of the 2021 NFL season.

4. Krys Barnes/Kamal Martin, Green Bay Packers

The Packers have two youngsters at the position in Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin with the former likely to earn the starting gig. Barnes is a solid player who contributes more to the running game given his lack of top speed. Martin is the more flashy of the two, but he’s also the most prone to mistakes. Green Bay is hoping for some positive strides from each of these players in Year 2.

3. Jamie Collins Sr., Detroit Lions

Jamie Collins Sr is another player who followed the previous Lions’ regime from New England to Detroit. He had a solid 2020 campaign in Detroit and can do a little bit of everything. The Lions will look to capitalize on that momentum as they try to climb their way out of the NFC North basement.

2. Roquan Smith, Chicago Bears

A top-10 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Roquan Smith has had an up and down first couple of years considering his draft status. After a slow rookie season, he was much improved in 2020 and is one of the most athletic linebackers in the NFL. He excels in coverage and can take away any running back or tight end in the passing game. The Bears will continue to rely upon him in that capacity and hope he can improve his run support as well.

Next. Packers: Ranking NFC North safeties. dark

1. Eric Kendricks, Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings defense has a loaded front seven and that continues with Eric Kendricks topping this list. Kendricks is also an elite coverage linebacker and can run sideline to sideline with ease. He’s also great in the run game, making his game extremely solid all around. As one of the very best linebackers in all of the NFL, he makes things difficult for opposing offenses.