Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 5/25/12

Patrick Willis, San Franciscon 49ers

A recent ranking of linebackers by an NFL analyst motivated me to create my own top five. We will be taking a look at just every position and ranking the top five in the NFL. For today though, lets take a look at the linebackers.

5. Jon Beason. While Jon missed most of the 2011 season due to injuries, but he still should be considered one of the top five linebackers in the NFL. The Carolina Panthers missed his presence last season as they went 6-10. Jon is not only one of the defensive leaders on the team, but a leader in general.

4. Brian Urlacher. Brian’s birthday was today, and even at 34 years old he should still be considered in the top five. He is a consistent defensive force and the leader of the defense and team. He can still go sideline to sideline and the play the pass with the best at his position.

3. Ray Lewis. There is no doubt who the leader is for the Baltimore Ravens. Ray Lewis has been one of the best, if not the best, linebackers that has ever played in the NFL. While he is getting older and losing ground on the younger players, he is still able to get it done. He is the face of the Ravens team.

2. Terrell Suggs. Terrell has benefited a great deal from playing side by side with arguably the best linebacker of all-time Ray Lewis. Suggs has come into his own, and has become a consistent pain in the offenses back side, where he usually puts quarterbacks. He will command control of the defense once Ray Lewis is gone.

1. Patrick Willis. The San Francisco 49ers’ Patrick Willis is the best linebacker in the NFL today. He is a physical specimen, and a tackling machine. You can make the argument for other players, but Patrick has a firm grasp on the position.

These rankings are subjective. There are many other great players that could have been mentioned here that weren’t. DeMarcus Ware, Clay Matthews, James Harrison, and Lance Briggs to name a few. These are the best at their position in my opinion though

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