Outside linebackers, the heavy hitters of the league and some of the greatest sack artists, wreak havoc on the field each and every play. The need to disrupt plays, stuff runs and get to the quarterback makes the position one of the most dynamic on the field. The combination of size and speed is a must.
The Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware has just that. His burst and athleticism are good enough to earn him the No. 1 ranking on Bleacher Report's list of the top 64 outside linebackers.
James Harrison, the oft-maligned Steeler, came in at No. 2. Largely known for his fines and brutal hits, Harrison has a motor like no other. His ability to cover the run and the pass make him an elite athlete.
Von Miller, the 2011 defensive Rookie of the Year, gave nothing short of what the Broncos were hoping for when they drafted him second overall. For that, Bleacher Report ranked him at No. 3.
This list is another installment in Bleacher Report's NFL 1,000 series, profiling the top 1,000 current players in the league. The next edition will be released April 14 and will feature wide receivers.
Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo also made the list. After New England switched to a 3-4 defense, Mayo began lining up at outside linebacker exclusively. His experience as an inside linebacker has helped with his reads, enabling him to land the No. 16 spot.
Rob Ninkovich came in at No. 48. Although his athletic abilities aren't on the same level as that of the leaders on this list, he is able to hold his own with his ability to read and react.
More NFL 1,000 Rankings: Quarterbacks I Fullbacks I Left Tackles I Right Tackles I Centers I Right Guards I Tight Ends I Left Guards I Punters I Kickers I Strong Safeties I Free Safeties I Defensive EndsI Defensive Tackles I Inside Linebackers
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