Over the last two seasons, the Detroit Lions' DeAndre Levy has emerged as one of the top 4-3 outside linebackers in the NFL. He hasn't exactly received a ton of recognition or accolades for his play, though. Levy still hasn't even made the Pro Bowl, for example.
Slowly but surely, however, it seems that more and more people around the country are beginning to take notice of what Levy has done at linebacker. Case in point: NFL.com's Bucky Brooks recently ranked the top five tacklers in the NFL, and Levy made the list at the No. 4 spot.
The Lions linebacker is an impressive tackler with outstanding instincts, diagnostic skills and strong hands. He attacks the line of scrimmage with reckless abandon, yet rarely misses one-on-one tackles in the hole. His combination of balance, body control and agility, which is uncommon for a linebacker, enables him to also excel in pass coverage. He's recorded 12 career interceptions and consistently delivers "bang-bang" hits on crossing routes within his area. Considering Levy's dynamic pass-rush skills and overall versatility, the Lions' designated playmaker deserves recognition for his dominance as a sideline-to-sideline player.
Over the last two seasons, Levy has recorded 270 combined tackles. Last year alone, he had 151 combined tackles, including 2.5 sacks and one safety. He wasn't quite as disruptive in the passing game considering his interception total dropped from six in 2013 to one last year, but he made a big impact from the Lions' weakside linebacker spot, especially as a tackler.
More than anything, it's nice to see Levy mentioned among the likes of Lavonte David, Kam Chancellor, Bobby Wagner and Luke Kuechly. They were the other four players on this list of the top tacklers, and they are some of the top defensive players in all of the NFL. For Levy to be included alongside them is a sign that he is finally starting to get the type of recognition that he deserves.