The NFL's best inside linebackers, No. 6: Jerrell Freeman
No one on this list can match Freeman for narrative. Despite playing high school in Baylor's back yard (at University High School in Waco, Texas), the Bears were only interested in Freeman as a walk-on, so he ended up at DIII power Mary Hardin-Baylor. Following a similar path in the pros, Freeman led the CFL in tackles after the NFL passed on him. When the Colts gave him a chance in 2012, he showed how great he could be immediately, recording 145 tackles in his first year. Despite missing three games in 2015, he finished with 112 tackles. He reads plays exceptionally well, and though he can still be caught flat-footed in pass coverage, he has improved there, plus his motor keeps him in plays many linebackers would never impact. In Week 16 against Miami, Freeman made two goal line stops despite starting both plays on the weak side. After signing with Chicago this off-season, he has a chance to join Cameron Wake as one of the best active CFL success stories.