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Von Miller is the best linebacker in the NFL, says Mike Singletary

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Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary said Tuesday that the Denver Broncos' Von Miller is the best linebacker in the NFL heading into 2014.

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Mike Singletary's on-field resume is impressive. He is a Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker and 10-time Pro Bowler. He won Super Bowl XX with the Chicago Bears. He was even an NFL head coach for a short while with the 49ers.

So when Mike Singletary is asked to rank his top linebackers in the NFL right now, and a Denver Bronco sits atop his list, I sit up and pay attention.

Singletary ranked his top linebackers in the NFL while appearing as a guest on the NFL Network. Here are the results:

5. Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers
4. NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco 49ers
3. Patrick Willis, 49ers
2. Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens
1. Von Miller, Denver Broncos

NFL Network host Dan Hellie stole the words out my mouth when he said, in response to Miller's slot, "I guess it shouldn't surprise me too much, but I was a little surprised."

Indeed, Miller and the Peyton Manning-led Broncos aren't often recognized for their defensive prowess.

"First of all, (he's a) pass rusher," Singletary responded. "He is a playmaker. He is a guy that you put out there, and you have to account for him everywhere."

Singletary is spot-on here. Miller made it a point of focus to improve his game at all levels in 2013 - I saw him practicing with the secondary during training camp to improve his coverage skills - and it showed. Yet he still remained a huge threat as a pass rusher, grading out at +20 in pass rush by ProFootballFocus.com.

The next-highest-ranked pass rusher from the 4-3 OLB position graded a +6.8.

Singletary went on to compliment Miller's attitude and leadership - a role we wanted Miller to officially step-in to a year ago, before news of his off-field issues surfaced.

"Of course, all of these guys could be No. 1," said Singletary. "But (Miller) is a guy that I really feel is a leader. I feel he's a great player. I feel he has a great attitude. I think he is the total package."