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Chargers played youngest linebacker corps in 2015, Chiefs played 3rd oldest

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The Chargers don't give their fans much reason for hope, but the youth of the defense, specifically its linebackers, just might qualify.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

One of the few bright spots of the San Diego Chargers 2015 season was the young linebacking corps led by its youngest member, Denzel Perryman.

The snap-weighted age of the Chargers' linebackers was only 25.49 years, which is a solid 1.34 standard deviations from the league average at the position. And their number would actually be lower had the Chargers coaching staff given up the folly of wasting snaps on Donald Butler earlier and instead let Perryman loose on the league sooner.

Obviously, the unit's returning players will be a year older across the board next season, but with Butler likely gone this offseason and possibly to be replaced by a younger player, the San Diego defense will still be very young at linebacker in 2016.

An increase in playing time for Perryman and fellow second-year player, Kyle Emanuel, should be good for the youth movement and for the overall talent level of the position group. It will be interesting to see if the team's new eldest starting linebacker Melvin Ingram can stay healthy again and if the younger Jerry Attaochu can pull that off for the first time.

RK Team SWAge
1 Chargers 25.49
2 Buccaneers 25.61
3 Broncos 25.66
4 Texans 25.77
5 Redskins 25.90
6 Dolphins 25.95
7 Bills 26.06
8 Cardinals 26.14
9 Saints 26.21
10 Rams 26.36
11 Seahawks 26.37
12 Cowboys 26.41
13 Vikings 26.44
14 49ers 26.46
15 Patriots 26.56
16 Bears 26.62
17 Titans 26.74
18 Panthers 26.78
19 Jaguars 26.91
20 Raiders 26.98
21 Lions 27.07
22 Eagles 27.23
23 Bengals 27.51
24 Ravens 27.61
25 Steelers 27.77
26 Browns 27.93
27 Giants 27.95
28 Falcons 27.99
29 Packers 28.06
30 Chiefs 29.00
31 Jets 29.25
32 Colts 30.00

As you can see, the Chargers aren't alone in the AFC West in having rolled out a youthful group of linebackers. The Denver Broncos' unit was also top three. The Kansas City Chiefs are notably on the complete opposite spectrum with the third oldest linebackers. For the sake of not leaving them out, the Oakland Raiders are around the middle.