Ravens LB's Ray Lewis & Jameel McClain (photo credits: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE)
After ranking the cornerbacks and safeties, SB Nation now turns its attention to ranking the top linebacker units in the NFL. They had the Baltimore Ravens safeties and cornerbacks ranked in the top ten but now take a look at the Ravens squad that lost veteran Jarret Johnson to free agency and NFL Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs to a possible season-ending Achilles Tendon injury.
Writer Ryan Van Bibber still ranks the Ravens linebacking corp 2nd best in the league, which is a huge tribute to veteran Ray Lewis, who may not be nearly the guy he was in his prime, but is still among the best-prepared guys going into a game. Bibber gives love to inside linebacker Jameel McClain, who came to the Ravens as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Syracuse.
With Suggs sidelined for part if not all of 2012, Lewis and McClain will be joined by rookie Courtney Upshaw and probably Paul Kruger, both of whom could make an instant impact with the chance to log significant playing time. Bibber has the San Francisco 49ers ranked ahead of Baltimore and the Pittsburgh Steelers ranked right behind the Ravens.
Ironically, the Ravens went 3-0 against both of those teams in 2011.