In the grand scheme of things stats don’t matter, wins do. We would all be lying if we said we didn’t care about stats however. In this series we will be looking at the statistical leaders of each division in the NFL. For this article we’ll take a look at tackle leaders for each division. Tackle leaders in the NFL must be extremely talented themselves, and they must have an extremely talented defensive line in front of them. Without further adieu, let’s get into it.
AFC North: LB Devin Bush- Pittsburgh Steelers
The AFC North is a bit of a weak division when it comes to high tackle players. Devin Bush is one of the most physically gifted linebackers in the league and if he can have a year alike his rookie season, then we will assuredly see some big numbers from 55.
Devin Bush Tackle Projection: 121 TOTAL
AFC South: LB Zach Cunningham- Houston Texans
Whenever you talk about tackle leaders, Zach Cunningham’s name has to be in the conversation. The former Vanderbilt Commodore has never had less than 90 tackles in a season and has had over 140 total tackles in each of the last two seasons. The Texans defense will be on the field more often than not this year and I expect Cunningham’s numbers to benefit.
Zach Cunningham Tackle Projection: 159 TOTAL
AFC East: LB Tremaine Edmunds- Buffalo Bills
Edmunds has been a 100+ tackle defender since his rookie season and will look to continue this trend in his 2021-22 campaign. Tremaine is a huge part of this Bills defense and I believe he will be integral to a deep playoff run this season.
Tremaine Edmunds Tackle Projection: 128 TOTAL
AFC West: LB Kenneth Murray- Los Angeles Chargers
I am a huge Kenneth Murray believer and I think he is going to take a massive jump in his sophomore season. The Chargers are looking for defensive stars outside of Bosa and Derwin James and I think they found him in Kenneth Murray. This guy is going to be a sideline to sideline and will be making plays left and right.
Kenneth Murray Tackle Projection: 124 TOTAL
NFC North: LB Eric Kendricks- Minnesota Vikings
One of the best linebackers for the last few years has been Eric Kendricks. Eric is an uber athletic defender with great sideline to sideline range and coverage ability. In a year where the Vikings must make the playoffs, I think Head Coach Mike Zimmer will rely on Eric Kendricks.
Eric Kendricks Tackle Projection: 132 TOTAL
NFC South: LB Devin White- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In my opinion, I think this will be the season where Devin White establishes himself as the best linebacker in the NFL. He is lightning fast on tape and can do absolutely anything you could ask of a defender. If the Buccaneers hope to get back to the promised land, they have to rely on their defensive super star in White.
Devin White Tackle Projection: 152 TOTAL
NFC East: LB Blake Martinez- New York Giants
A good way to describe Blake Martinez would be “tackle machine”. Martinez is a consistent run stuffer who plays close to the line. He is always looking for TFLs and is a heat seeking running back missile. The Giants are another team with playoff expectations and they will need a strong season from Martinez to do so.
Blake Martinez Tackle Projection: 163 TOTAL
NFC West: LB Bobby Wagner- Seattle Seahawks
You could go with Budda Baker, Jamal Adams, or Bobby Wagner here and a case could be made for all. In the case of a tie, I am going to go with the future HOFer in Bobby Wagner. Wagner is the definition of a tackling machine and will need to be huge for Seattle this year if they wanted to make a deep playoff run.
Bobby Wagner Tackle Projection: 152 TOTAL