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Who are the three best Falcons linebackers?

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I'm going to guess that

The GOAT.
The GOAT.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Linebacker has long been a strength for the Atlanta Falcons, with some arguable Hall of Famers manning the position and many valuable, longtime starters. This is probably one of the weakest linebacker corps in Falcons history over the last few years, and thankfully the Falcons just added some real talent there that will hopefully be on the outskirts of this list down the line.

Here's my top three:

  1. Tommy Nobis
  2. Jessie Tuggle
  3. Keith Brooking
I will just be honest with you: I badly, badly want to put Jessie Tuggle first, because he's my favorite Falcon ever. Despite playing in far fewer games, however, Nobis was considered a slam-dunk Hall of Famer who got screwed over because he played on a series of lousy Falcons teams, and since I don't have an argument for that (and because he inspired Norm Van Brocklin to praise him, which was rare), Mr. Falcon is #1.

Tuggle clocks in just behind him thanks to a long, distinguished career spent annihilating opposing players and earning the very justified nickname "The Hammer." From there, you have your choice of some very good players including Keith Brooking, Buddy Curry, and Greg Brezina, but I'll go with Brooking, who was a legitimately tremendous linebacker who was unfortunately lackluster when it counted in the 2008 playoffs. You can't kill the man for that.

What does your list look like?