AFC North linebackers ranked from worst to best in 2023

  • The Steelers have fully re-vamped their linebacker group for 2023.
  • It's a youthful but exciting group in Cleveland.
  • Roquan Smith is the best linebacker in the division.
  • The combination of Logan Wilson and Germaine Pratt gives the Bengals a strong group.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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2. Baltimore Ravens

Linebacker group: Roquan Smith, Patrick Queen, Malik Harrison, Trenton Simpson, Del'Shawn Phillips, Kristian Welch

It may surprise some, but the Ravens must take the runners-up place at the linebacker spot. They made a significant commitment to the position when they made a move for Roquan Smith last season. Not only did it cost them a second and fifth-round pick, they had to give Smith a bumper extension to seal the deal.

Now settled in the system, you can expect Smith to return to be one of the premier linebackers in the league. Even though the position, in general, has taken a dip in value, Smith is an on-field general and tackling machine.

Part of making a move for Smith was that the Ravens didn’t see the development they expected in first-round selection Patrick Queen. The Ravens declined his fifth-year option, and 2023 will be a ‘prove-it’ situation for Queen.

The Ravens are unlikely to spend big on a second linebacker, so it’s Queen’s opportunity to put himself in the shop window. Behind the starters, third-round pick Trenton Simpson was widely considered a first-round pick last offseason, so has the talent to threaten Queen’s spot and may ultimately be his successor. He will battle it out with Malik Harrison for that role.

While Smith may be the best overall linebacker in the division, the question marks around Queen, and the lack of experience of Simpson means the Ravens have to settle for second.