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That was quick: Falcons have a top 10 linebacker group

Two years ago the Falcons were in the running for worst linebackers in the league.

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NFL: NFC Championship-Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons
Dan Powers-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons are only a few years removed from fielding Joplo Bartu, Paul Worrilow, an Prince Shembo as their starting linebackers. Man, 2014 was terrible.

Dan Quinn came in with a plan to get rid of the slow guys and add some serious speed. The linebackers are young and crazy fast. It’s enough of a turnaround that USA Today gave the group some respect.

All speed, all the time. Vic Beasley led the NFL with 15½ sacks, but you can still run right at him. Rising star Deion Jones rarely left the field as a rookie. De'Vondre Campbell also started in his first year but should be wary of third-round pick Duke Riley.

I can’t wait to see Riley and Jones on the field at the same time. Quinn has been scary successful with getting young defensive players up to NFL speed, and the arrow is only pointing up for these players. After the draft we thought the Falcons might have the most athletic linebackers in the entire NFL. Give them another year or two, and they might just have the best overall linebackers in the entire NFL.