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Washington Commanders have two top-20 linebackers according to CBS Sports Rankings

Washington Commanders have two top-20 linebackers according to CBS Sports Rankings

The Washington Commanders have rebuilt from the ground up, and one of the areas of the franchise that was in desperate need of an overhaul and facelift was the defense – one that ranked near the bottom of the league in nearly every statistical category in 2023. The offense in 2023, which also underwent a shake-up in the lead-up to 2024, was a mixed bag, but with the defense unable to keep up, it became difficult for the Commanders to find any sort of consistency over the course of the season.

On paper, both sides of the ball have improved, but the heart and soul of a defense are the linebackers. The Commanders did a fantastic job of signing two of the league’s best linebackers here on the free agent market. According to CBS Sports, those two LBs, Frankie Luvu and Bobby Wagner, are among the top 20 players at their positions heading into the 2024 NFL season.

Former Jets UDFA Frankie Luvu has come into his own over the past few seasons with the Carolina Panthers, recording over 100 tackles and five sacks each season, making him a clear addition to the Commanders and ranking him the 17th best linebacker in the game according to CBS Sports.

Frankie Luvu

December 24, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu (49) tackles Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Photo Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

“The former Jet had a career year with the Carolina Panthers in 2023, recording 125 combined tackles, 5.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, 11 QB hits, five passes defensed and two forced fumbles,” CBS Sports’ Jordan Dajani wrote in his rankings column. “Luvu parlayed that performance into a three-year deal worth up to $36 million with Washington and will play under Dan Quinn alongside Bobby Wagner. Luvu is on this list because of his style of play, which focuses on attacking ball carriers and quarterbacks and seems to fit well into the scheme Washington will employ.”

The other addition to head coach Dan Quinn’s defense in 2024 is future Hall of Fame linebacker Bobby Wagner. Wagner hasn’t slowed down yet in his 13th season in the NFL and is coming off a great season with the Seahawks even at age 33. It doesn’t look like Wagner is slowing down anytime soon and that’s enough for CBS Sports to rank him as one of their top 10 linebackers at number ninth.

Bobby Wagner

December 10, 2023; Santa Clara, Calif.; Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) jogs on the field before the start of the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Photo Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports / Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

“Wagner has long been considered the best linebacker in the NFL and at 34 years old he still deserves a spot in the top 10,” Dajani wrote. “After all, he led the league with 183 tackles last year! Wagner will be in the Hall of Fame one day as he is a 10-time All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowler. He has recorded 12 consecutive 100-tackle seasons (that’s his entire career) and is still a dominant run defender.”

The pairing of Wagner and Luvu should be a nightmare for defense, as they both play well from the sideline to the sideline and are proven tacklers. The duo should be able to support each other and keep the defense as a whole in line with their leadership qualities.

READ MORE: Washington is among the teams Brandon Aiyuk could be traded to

Stay at CommanderGameday and that Commanders in the crosshairs Podcast for further coverage of the Washington Commanders during the 2024 season.

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