Personally I think our linebackers are the biggest question mark on this team, and ultimately the players who will determine how far this team goes this season. I personally believe that LB is the weakest position group on our team. You could make a pretty strong argument that safety is our weakest position group but William Moore is a good safety, and either Lowery or Southward ought to at least perform as well as Decoud. Tight end is certainly a weakness but I don't think that tight end will be asked to do as much or is as vital of a position in our offense as it used to be.
All I see when I look at our LB's however are question marks.
Weatherspoon is the best linebacker we have, but he's also very injury prone, and hasn't played much ILB which he will be asked to do this season.
Worrilow and Bartu showed promise last season, but both need to bulk up and become better at shedding blocks if they want to play ILB in a 3-4. We may have already seen their ceiling, after all it isn't often that UDFA's become great NFL players though it certainly can happen.
Dent couldn't beat out Worrilow or Bartu last year and with all the new rookies he may not even make the roster.
Then this year we spent most of our late round picks on guys who could play ILB in Shembo, Spruill, and Smallwood, all of whom are obviously very raw and unproven.
OLB is even weaker than ILB in my opinion.
The most experienced person we have at OLB in a 3-4 is Biermann, but he is coming off injury and is a decent utility player at best.
I don't think Osi is a good fit at OLB at all, and I will be surprised if he isn't relegated to just rushing the pass rusher when we are in a nickel 4-3 defense.
Massaquoi looked pretty good in the last 4 games of the season last year, but that is an awfully small body of work to judge someone on, and once again most of his experience is as a DE in a 4-3 rather than an OLB.
After that all we really have is Maponga and Starr. Maponga has barely touched the field as far as I know, and Starr is probably going to take some time to develop if he does at all.
So to recap our LB core has an injury prone 1st rounder who hasn't lived up to expectations, a washed up veteran pass rusher better suited to a 4-3, a blue collar OLB who does a bit of everything but does nothing well and is coming off an injury, and a bunch of late round draft picks at various states in their development. Most of these players have little experience in a 3-4 defense.
If some young guys step up we may be okay, but I am not sold on the idea that quantity is going to make up for quality.