I have covered the defensive fronts and the inside linebackers, now we finish off the first and second line of defense with outside linebackers. For those 3-4 defenses, ranking the outside linebackers depends a lot upon sack totals. For the 4-3 defenses, it is a bit more tricky. In both cases, coverage ability is important.
Outside linebackers must be athletic enough to cover tight ends and running backs downfield as well as rush the passer when called upon. They are also often tasked with sealing the outside edge to turn running backs and quarterbacks to the inside. It is the most versatile position on the defense and if they miss an assignment, it could mean big yards for the offense.
Here are the AFC West team rankings