Tuesday, July 22, 2008

JP Ranks High, Lofa Not So Much

by: Michael Steffes

With training camp starting on Friday and players starting to report today, this may be the last of the offseason rankings that we get a chance to discuss. The War Rooms Scouts, part of TSN, has ranked the linebackers. The linebackers are generally considered the Hawks strongest position, and this is partially represented in these rankings.

Julian Peterson is given very high marks, coming in at number 5. Looking at the rest of the rankings I would say that this is because the War Room has clearly put a premium on pass rushing. This is something the team has used Peterson to do a lot of in recent years, and it is reflected in his stats. However, this article ranks Lofa very far down the list at #18, behind a gaggle of MLB's including Urlacher, DeMeco Ryan, Patrick Willis and Ray Lewis. One of the things cited is his size. This is something Lofa never seems to be able to escape.

I was also surprised that Leroy Hill isn't mentioned, not even in the maybe next year category. Many people, including me, believe he is on the verge of gaining widespread recognition as one of the better linebackers in the NFL. Also, when you look at his pass rushing abilities, one would think he would get noticed here. Hopefully the team frees him up to rush the passer more this year. His sack in the Skins playoff game, in which he threw Mike Sellers into the QB to get the sack, was an all time classic play.

What are your thoughts on the way the War Room has laid out the linebackers?~END~