In the off-season we’re consumed by attempting to predict the coming year. Naturally, the biggest single predictor of future performance is recent-past performance. In this series so far, we’ve looked at defensive line and safeties. Today we focus on the glamour position of linebacker.
The point of this article is to understand how repeatable LB success is and has been, and therefore what reasonable level of confidence we can have in last year’s top LBs being as good this year. This is not (at this stage) about identifying which of last year’s top LBs might not repeat – just working out what number we can expect to not be at the top of the 2019 list.
The table below lists the last 10 seasons of top-24 LBs (applying the same fairly standard scoring system to all years equally). For the sake of completeness, it’s worth noting that return yardage and defensive TDs are not included here. They’re so unpredictable it just skews the data.