Oct 13, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny (51) returns a interception for fifty nine yards and a touchdown in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Is Paul Posluszny a Top Inside Linebacker?

The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t been blessed with too many Pro Bowl appearances over the last several years, but one of the few players who has made the trip to Hawaii representing the Black and Teal is middle linebacker Paul Posluszny.

Paul Posluszny’s value to this team has been a hot topic in the Jacksonville media (this website included), but the national perspective seems to be that Posluszny is a very good inside linebacker. Case in point, Erik Lambert over at NFL Mocks recently did a ranking of inside linebackers in the NFL, and he put Posluszny all the way up at number 6.

#6 – Paul Posluszny – Jacksonville Jaguars

He may have been dealt a raw deal when he ended up with the Jacksonville Jaguars but that hasn’t stopped Paul Posluszny from becoming a Pro Bowler.  In fact he has more tackles (420), sacks (7) and interceptions (7) in three years with Jacksonville than he did four previous seasons with Buffalo.

Ignorant comment about getting a “raw deal” in Jacksonville aside, Lambert doesn’t really make a strong point. Posluszny did make it to the Pro Bowl, but as an alternate. Tackle numbers are a terrible way to evaluate a player’s value, especially in a 4-3 defense where the mike linebacker is expected to rack them up. And while Posluszny’s sack and interception numbers are middle-of-the-road for inside linebackers, he’s been notoriously suspect in coverage his entire career.

All the while, it can’t be discounted that Posluszny does play the role he’s asked of fairly well. He patrols the middle and tackles at a good rate. But in no situation would I take Posluszny over Bobby Wagner, Stephen Tulloch, or Karlos Dansby – all of whom Lambert has ranked behind Posluszny.

 

– Daniel Lago

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