Cleat Geeks

Tomahawks and Touchdowns: Linebacker Competition Breakdown

The Chiefs should have one of the NFL’s best linebacker units in 2016. Three of the Chiefs linebackers were named to the NFL Pro Bowl in 2015. All three will return to the Chiefs in next season. They will be the Chiefs best position group and will play an important part in the success of the team.Jets Chiefs Football

Tamba Hali has been to six straight Pro Bowls with the Chiefs. He signed a three-year contract with the Chiefs in the off-season. In 2015 he had 39 tackles including 6.5 sacks. The Chiefs should expect a similar result in 2016 and he could make his seventh straight Pro Bowl. He will likely be the Chiefs weak side outside linebacker next season.JustinHouston


The Chiefs other outside linebacker, Justin Houston, was also named to the Pro Bowl in 2015. Justin Houston is the Chiefs strong side linebacker and is considered one of the best in the NFL. Last season he had 7.5 sacks and 30 combined tackles. He has been a Pro Bowler the last four seasons. There is no reason why he will not be a Pro Bowler in 2016. Not only will he be one of the Chiefs best players in 2016 he will also be one of the best in the NFL at outside linebacker.

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images


The Chiefs drafted Derrick Johnson in the first round in 2004 and he is currently tied as the longest tenured player on the team. Johnson was also a Pro Bowler in 2015. He has been to four Pro Bowls in his career. Johnson returned from a torn ACL in 2015 and had 4.5 sacks and two interceptions. Johnson brings veteran leadership to the Chiefs linebacker corps. Inside linebacker is one of the most important positions on a team and Derrick Johnson is the perfect fit for the role. He will be a very important player for the Chiefs in 2016.


The rest of the Chiefs linebackers are not as experienced as Hali, Houston and Johnson. The Chiefs fourth linebacker that will likely start is Josh Mauga. In 2015 Mauga started 14 games and was responsible for 58 combined tackles and two interceptions. Mauga is not an elite player but he fits into the Chiefs system and completes the Chiefs 3-4 linebacker group.JoshMauga

The Chiefs linebacking corps is one of the best position groups in the NFL. The starters have been to a combined 14 total Pro Bowls. The Chiefs have three elite players at linebacker and it will be the heart of their defense. Not only do Tamba Hali, Justin Houston and Derrick Johnson bring talent to the Chiefs roster they also bring veteran leadership. They will be very important players for the Chiefs on and off the field. The Chiefs have a little depth at linebacker but projected starter Josh Mauga was very reliable last season. Linebacker is the Chiefs best position group and their play will determine how well the team does next season.

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