How does the Washington Commanders' defense fare against the rest of the NFC East?

Chicago Bears v Washington Commanders
Chicago Bears v Washington Commanders / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
3 of 4

NFC East Linebackers

Linebacker has been a weak position for the Washington Commanders for what feels like since London Fletcher retired.

They've tried to fix the solution in the past by going through the draft or by signing a veteran who they hoped could take the next step.

This offseason, Washington went with a different strategy. Again, they went through free agency. They didn't go bargain hunting this time, though. They signed future Hall of Famer Bobby Wagner. He might not be the player he was a few years ago, but he's got a lot left in the tank and led the NFL in tackles last season.

The bigger signing was Frankie Luvu. Luvu is in the prime of his career. He racked up 125 tackles last season (10 for loss), 5.5 sacks, five pass deflections, and two forced fumbles last season.

Pair Wagner and Luvu with an improving Jamin Davis, and that's a genuinely strong trio. There's no reason this won't be the best linebacker group in years for the Commanders.

However, the rest of the division puts up a ridiculous fight here.

The Dallas Cowboys have Micah Parsons. We're not even going to talk about the rest of the group. That's how good Parsons is. He's a legitimate MVP threat as a defensive player. There's no good game plan for him. Just be happy if he doesn't cause too much havoc against you.

The New York Giants have Kayvon Thibodeaux. While he may not be as good as Parsons, Thibodeaux is threatening to be a long-term defensive player of the year candidate. They also added Brian Burns this offseason (listed as a linebacker on their website, so don't get mad at me that I put him here and not on the defensive line). That's a terrifying 1-2 punch.

The Philadelphia Eagles are a little weak here. They brought in Devin White, which is a solid move, but he's not coming off his worst season in the NFL. Nolan Smith Jr. has a lot to prove, and Jeremiah Trotter Jr. was a fun draft pick, but he's a late-round pick who needs to prove he can play before contributing enough to jump any team in the division at this position.

NFC East linebacker rankings:

  1. New York Giants
  2. Dallas Cowboys
  3. Washington Commanders
  4. Philadelphia Eagles