When you think of the NFL’s best linebackers, there are a few names that immediately jump to the top of the list.
Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens has been one of the league’s most dominant linebackers for the past decade. Brian Urlacher of the Bears is another name that is among the cream of the linebacking crop, following in the footsteps of past Bear greats like Mike Singletary and Dick Butkus. Finally, San Diego’s Shawne Merriman has proven in recent years that he merits mention among the elite at his position.
And though he has only been in the NFL for one season, there is another name that is destined to be in that same group of linebacking greats. That’s the San Francisco 49ers’ Patrick Willis, an All-Pro who demonstrated as a rookie that he was more than worth the 11th pick in the 2007 draft.