- Evan Weaver Sr. Cal - Weaver could have won Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year last year. 155 tackles, 8.5 for-loss, 4.5 sacks, and two ints, including a pick six that resulted in Cal upsetting Washington? He’s a stat machine that should put up more with Jordan Kunasyzk graduated.
- Troy Dye Sr. Oregon - Dye was better as a sophomore than a junior, but he still could have jumped to the NFL last year and didn’t. He’s the best athlete at linebacker in the conference and great at making plays in the backfield with elite size to finish with big hits.
- Colin Schooler Jr. Arizona - Schooler might actually be the best linebacker in the conference. He’s a tackling machine, that rarely makes mistakes and holds down the Arizona defense. He could turn into Scooby Wright.
- Nate Landman Jr. Colorado - Landman was quietly an All-Pac-12 player last year and should be ready to take another step forward in 2019. He puts up great numbers and should be the star of Colorado’s linebacker unit with a couple key seniors graduated.
- Merlin Robertson So. Arizona State - Don’t be surprised if he’s the top linebacker in the conference by the end of the season. He’s the full package and already started to put it all together as a true freshman in 2018.
- Jahad Woods Jr. Washington State - Woods worked great with Peyton Pelleur in 2018 and should continue to progress as a junior. He had more than 80 tackles in 2018 and was a playmaker with three sacks, an int and four forced fumbles.
- Tony Fields II Jr. Arizona - Like Schooler, he’s a young, underrated talent at linebacker. He already has nearly 200 tackles in his career, 12 for-loss, seven sacks, and an int.
- Krys Barnes Sr. UCLA - The Bruins have a lot of talent and experience at LB and Barnes if the best of the bunch. He had more than 80 tackles, with 10 for-loss in 2018.
- John Houston Sr. USC - A steady force for the USC defense, he should take over leadership duty from Cameron Smith. He already has more than 160 tackles in his career.
- Darien Butler So. Arizona State - Was right there with Robertson as a standout freshman. He should progress towards All-Pac-12 territory.
- Keisean Lucier-South Sr. UCLA - He’s kind of a hybrid and one of the better edge players in the conference. He came on strong in 2018 with 11.5 tackles for-loss and three sacks.
- Jordan Fox Sr. Stanford - The Cardinal aren’t as strong as they were at linebacker in recent seasons, but Fox is a standout in the making. He had a breakout year in 2018 with more than 50 tackles, 8.5 for-loss, and four sacks.
Top 2019 Pac-12 linebackers: Cal’s Evan Weaver and Oregon’s Troy Dye are the Pac-12’s best
Ranking the Pac-12’s top linebackers heading into 2019.
By Jack Follman