SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber returns with another ranking of NFL teams, this time based on the linebackers each team has. And, with these rankings, the Miami Dolphins continue their streak of three-out-of-three rankings in the twenties. After being ranked as the 21st team based on the cornerbacks, and then the 29th team based on safeties, the Miami linebackers earn the team a 22nd rank.
Of the position, Van Bibber writes:
"The Phins' ranking suffers a little because Cameron Wake goes from outside linebacker to defensive end as the team shifts to a four-man front. They still have a solid middle linebacker in Karlos Dansby. Kevin Burnett bumps out to the weakside, and Koa Misi needs to rebound from a down year as the starter opposite Burnett."
While I can understand the Dolphins ranking slipping because Wake is no longer a linebacker, dropping all the way down to 22nd does not make sense to me. The Dolphins were a dominating defense at the end of the year, last year, based on the defensive line and linebacker play. Dansby and Burnett showed they could stuff the run, and, for the first time in recent memory, actually provided the Dolphins with someone who could at least somewhat cover a tight end.
I really feel that in these rankings, the Dolphins' defense suffers from the team's overall record over the past couple of seasons, as well as the slow start they had last year. The strength of the defense at the end of the 2011 season gets lost in the fact that the team stumbled out of the blocks last year.
What do you think of the latest rankings from Van Bibber? Let us know in the comments below.