Yahoo! Ranks Oakland's Linebackers 17th in the NFL

May 19, 2010; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders rookie linebacker Rolando McClain (55) at organized team activities at the Oakland Raiders practice facility. Photo via Newscom

Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports is back at it with his positional rankings, this time breaking down NFL team’s linebacking units.

Cole rated the Raiders linebackers 17th in the NFL, the highest Oakland has ranked in any of the six positions done by Yahoo! so far this summer.

Here is what Cole had to say about Oakland’s linebackers:

17. Oakland: The Raiders made two really nice pickups this offseason at linebacker. The best move was taking Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain in the first round of the draft. The second was trading for Kamerion Wimbley, even if Wimbley isn’t exactly your prototype 4-3 outside linebacker. McClain is a no-nonsense, driven player who has a chance to be another Patrick Willis. That may be saying a lot, but McClain is the rare inside linebacker who can justify being selected in the top 20. As for Wimbley, his pass rush skills are solid, although he needs to play with more urgency all the time. The big question is whether he’ll ever figure out coverage. As for the rest, Trevor Scott and Thomas Howard will duel for the other outside linebacker spot and the depth is good.

What do you guys think? Is Cole’s assessment of the Raiders linebackers correct or should they rank higher?

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Tags: Kamerion Wimbley Oakland Raiders Rolando McClain

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  • Lawrence Jahn

    17th is absurdly low. I’d put them at 10th. You forget what the def line has done by bringing in Waufle and to absorb blockers and stop the run with the addition of John Henderson and Lamarr Houston. That twill m ake the LB’s much more effective. Also they added Quentin Groves, who gives them solid depth and a all around fierce pass rush. I see the Raider D being a top 10 defense this year.

  • Thomas Casale

    I see the defense being much improved this season as well Lawrence. However, most of these guys that do rankings look at last year instead of the upcoming season, which makes very little sense to me.

  • Lawrence Jahn

    Raider hater journalists look for the negative and the past and objective ones dont is the only sense I can make of it. Its also a myriad of additions to the offense that is going to make the defense, LB’s included, look much better. No more 3 and outs or turnovers on every possession with Jamarcus means the defense will be much fresher and when the 4th quarter rolls around, not gassed as they had been even with good conditioning the past few years. We routinely beat the Chargers for 3 quarters just to have LT break a big run off in the 4th and open up the game for them. This will not happen. Also our young Safetys will be another year older and more mature and will support the LB’s better as well.

  • Beth Mahoney

    Rolando McClain is going to make a huge difference. I watched this kid play in college and he is an absolute beast. Raider fans are going to be very happy once they see him play.