LA Rams: 15 greatest linebackers of All Time

LA Rams August 22, 2020 in Inglewood, California.
LA Rams August 22, 2020 in Inglewood, California. /
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LA Rams All-Time Lists Jim Youngblood
Mandatory Credit: Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports /

LB. (1976-83). Jim Youngblood. 2. player. 51.

When you think of the old-school physicality of an NFL middle linebacker, the image of Jim Youngblood always seems to come to mind. Surprisingly, versatility was not often discussed and seldom praised during Youngblood’s playing days. But it was his ability to play both middle and outside linebacker that made him so effective.

His teammates were Isiah Robertson and Jack Reynolds, both of whom welcome Youngblood to the team with open arms. That trio helped to ensure the Rams made it to the playoffs each year. And it was the strength of the Rams linebackers that helped them compete in Super Bowl XIV, the one where the Rams nearly upset the Pittsburgh Steelers.

How good were the LA Rams linebackers? In Youngblood’s 12 seasons with the team, he helped the Rams to earn a spot in the NFL Playoffs in nine of those 12 seasons. While he shifted from a middle linebacker to the weakside linebacker role, Youngblood was a hulking defender who stood 6-foot-3 and weighed 235-pounds.  He was named All-Conference twice in his career, and All-Pro in one season.

Youngblood was another player who truly set the bar for outstanding linebacker play. He had 14 pass interceptions over his career and turned four of those into pick-six touchdowns. Youngblood has not yet been inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, despite his performance as the leading tackler for the Rams for six seasons.