Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles And in each of his three seasons, the 6'4", 252-pound speed rusher has been an outstanding run stopper. Kyle Van Noy, Miami Dolphins Larry Ogunjobi likely makes up the other starting member of the defensive line, but he will be pushed for playing time by Andrew Billings on base downs, while rookie Jordan Elliott hopes to earn playing time rushing the passer. There also wasn't much in terms of pressure coming from anybody other than Flowers. Atkins had his least effective season in 2019 since tearing his ACL back in 2014 and may be on the downswing in his great career. However, the Falcons have added multiple former first-round picks to see if they can do any better. Derek Barnett’s playing time increased last season, even with some time missed due to injuries, but he didn’t take a corresponding step forward as a player. Chandler Jones is the star player on the Cardinals' defensive front. While neither played badly last season, both players are capable of more and the team will be hoping to get some better play out of them in 2020. He is now in Arizona, leaving, to be the most likely candidates to bring some heat on the quarterback. Robert Quinn, Chicago Bears was solid in 2019, grading at 73.3 overall on just under 500 snaps, but it's unlikely that he has the upside to replace Van Noy’s production. TUNE IN to NFL Network for 2020 NFL Draft coverage Bosa is also a plus run stopper, and there aren’t any real holes in his game. Greg Gaines adds to the run-stuffing expertise along the Rams' line, while Sebastian Joseph-Day saw almost 500 snaps last season and graded solidly across the board. He’s put up double-digit sacks in five of the last seven seasons, can kick inside and is a practiced, disciplined run stopper. 25. * @see https://support.google.com/dfp_premium/answer/7673898#personalized On the edge, Carl Lawson’s play regressed last season, and he earned a career-low PFF grade (55.5) while notching just 35 total pressures on 268 pass-rushing snaps. The one name who could surprise is Vincent Taylor, who has performed well when given an opportunity but has only seen the field for 437 snaps in his three-year career. Watt’s PFF grade over the past two seasons is almost back to where it was before injuries first started to derail a Hall of Fame career. Still, at times he was a liability in the run game and has seen his playing time decrease in each season in the league. Samson Ebukam has been a solid run defender and an average pass-rusher, and he could be pushed for playing time by Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, who is entering Year 3 after barely playing but flashing rush ability when he has. Both players are run-focused nose tackles without the pass-rushing versatility to play alongside each other. Tarell Basham, Jordan Jenkins and Kyle Phillips all topped 500 snaps in 2019, but none of them were able to generate more than 40 total pressures or earn a pass-rushing grade north of 70.0. Miller has been arguably the best pure edge rusher of his generation, and if he can’t return to that form, it’s a tough thing for Denver to replace. 28. was the best-graded member of the group a season ago but will now be plying his trade in Miami in 2020, while, That frees up plenty of opportunities for players to earn time, particularly to replace Van Noy. Suh’s days as a dominant force may be gone, but he is still a very solid contributor. Ndamukong Suh, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jones had 19 takedowns in 2019; he led the league with 17 in 2017; and he’s put up double-digit sacks every year since 2015. He added nine quarterback hits, 46 QB hurries and 39 run stops, and he was unquestionably a force multiplier in San Francisco’s Super Bowl defense. Bruce Irvin returns for a second stint with the team that drafted him in the first round back in 2012, but Irvin hasn’t earned a pass-rush grade north of 70.0 since his second season in Seattle. An increasingly effective rotational inside-outside pass rusher during his four years with the Ravens, Smith turned his play up several notches after the Packers gave him a four-year, $66 million contract and set him loose in Mike Pettine’s multiple fronts. Tyler Lancaster is a run-first presence who has registered just 13 total pressures across two years and 323 pass-rushing snaps. that he graded at just 72.7 last year at LSU. Third-round rookie Terrell Lewis should have a good chance to start on the edge, but his PFF grade never matched the enticing physical tools he flashed in his lone season starting at Alabama. That wasn’t the best season Flowers has ever had, but it’s probably a fair return in his first year as their big-money free-agent acquisition. Unlike Rankins, he doesn’t have the excuse of injuries to explain the significant decline last season. Year after year, his name is rarely mentioned when it comes to naming the top players at his position. Former first-round picks Vic Beasley Jr. and Takkarist McKinley have been disappointments, with Beasley now departed and McKinley likely on his last chance. 250+ three-page scouting profiles - advanced stats, 3-year grades, player comps, combine data and Senior Bowl grades - for the 2021 draft class. Kyler Fackrell was also added to the mix, but again, his production has come in spikes and flashes at the NFL level, and he never managed to be a consistent threat during his time in Green Bay. With the competition for playing time fairly open, maybe he could finally earn some playing time in 2020. window.addEventListener('load', function () { A disruptive player in college, Bryan has been a better run defender than he has been a pass-rusher and has just 37 total pressures across two seasons and 380 rushes. He carried over his college profile of being better against the run than the pass, and he must improve his 58.6 pass-rush grade to justify his price tag. Rookie third-round pick Jonathan Greenard was very productive at Florida last season but struggled against the best competition he faced. Watch the best moments from the defensive line at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. Meanwhile, injuries limited Ford, but when he was on the field, he backed up his breakout 2018 season. Justin Jones and Damon Square both saw significant playing time last season and return to the team, but neither graded better than average. Chicago's defensive front is still led by Khalil Mack, but he was something of a one-man band in 2019 — Akiem Hicks was limited to just 191 snaps of action, and nobody else was able to consistently dominate. The Alabama product notched just 19 total pressures across 349 pass-rushing snaps a season ago, making him one of the least efficient pass-rushers in the league. all on the roster. Watt ended the season with the highest pass-rushing grade (91.7) of any edge rusher in the league in addition to racking up 81 total pressures. The biggest question mark for Denver heading into the season is whether Von Miller’s down year in 2019 was just a blip in a near-flawless career thus far, or whether it was the start of a decline that, at some point, is inevitable. Take Aaron Donald, for example. Poona Ford has impressed in the NFL so far, but more as a run defender than as any kind of pass-rush force, and he has just 19 total pressures over two years. 31 overall selection. They combined for 119 total pressures last season in what was a relatively down year for Ingram. Jordan Phillips, Arizona Cardinals Brandon Williams remains and needs to return to his best play after seeing his run defense grade drop 10 grading points in 2019. Smith held the rookie record for total pressures (64) until this past season when Nick Bosa blew past that mark, and he could transform this defensive front if he can return anything like the talent he showed in the past. 1 player at his position on PFF’s Big Board because of it. }); 26. Houston had a top-10 pass-rushing grade (81.9) and generated 60 total pressures on the year despite playing nearly 150 fewer snaps than the year before and 300 fewer than the season before that. June 10, 2020 9:30 am Luke Kuechly was the best linebacker of his generation. 10. 4 Houston police officers involved in fatal shooting of Nicolas Chavez are fired . In addition, Danny Shelton was brought in from the Patriots to anchor the middle of the line. #washingtonfootballteam #chaseyoung #montezsweat #daronpayne #Jonathanallen #theherd #nfl #nfl2020 #undisputed #httr Frank Clark also got the big-money deal when the team acquired him from Seattle, but his first season was a letdown, seeing him register just 47 total pressures in the regular season before an uptick in the playoffs. /** var dfpMoreSlots = []; The 29-year-old did see a dip in his sacks, but he’s still one of the most talented and impactful interior defensive linemen in the league. } else if (document.attachEvent) { 0. The former first-rounder had only 30 total pressures from 412 rushes, which falls into the category of “good for a nose tackle” but some way short of dominant overall. If he can’t make a sizeable leap forward in 2020, it’s difficult to see where the pressure will come from. Devon Kennard had the next highest pressure total, at 43. He had the best year of his career in 2018 and was on pace for his second-best season before injury shut him down. Few franchises have undergone more change this offseason than the Carolina Panthers, and that extends to their defensive line. Last year’s second-round pick Trysten Hill was a project at the time and saw just 121 snaps as a rookie, but he could also earn more playing time if he can demonstrate development. Isaac Rochell pegs Chargers' defensive line as best in NFL. The Panthers doubled down on the defensive line in the second round, adding. is also in the midst of a contract standoff with the team, and while he is still only 25 years old, he hasn’t been a genuinely elite edge-rusher since his 2017 season. Having a good defense in the NFL is extremely … There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to this group, but there is a very believable scenario where the talent comes together quickly and makes them a very formidable unit to contend with. Listed as a defensive tackle on the Los Angeles Rams' roster, he also played a total of 338 snaps at left or right defensive end last season, per Pro Football Focus. Whitney Mercilus, Houston Texans NFL Team Defense Rankings 2020. Chicago's defensive front is still led by, Hicks' return should help with that. The team has a series of useful role players that grade solidly but nobody consistently making a difference and scaring opposing offenses. Melvin Ingram III, Los Angeles Chargers Overall, the Jets defensive line is not swimming in high-end talent, but the one player who was supposed to possess that in abundance could break out and change the entire dynamic of the group. Graham still notched an impressive 67 total pressures and graded well against both the run and pass, so he will likely be a strong starter in 2020. Another step forward in his third year would see him emerge as one of the better interior pass-rushers in the league. Bravvion Roy was a late-round addition as a rotational nose tackle who has freakish movement skills for such a fire hydrant of a body and could stick around given his ties to new head coach Matt Rhule. At this point, we’ll chalk it up as a fluke and expect him to return to form in 2020. On the other side of the line, Marcus Davenport continuing his development will be critical to the success of this unit overall. Rank 2 The best defensive lines have both high-end players and depth, and that’s what we leaned on when putting together this ranking. and certainly has the talent to provide pressure, even if he might need a situational role early. The former Michigan star played just 244 snaps as a rookie and made little impact, earning a PFF grade in the 50.0s. Last season, including the playoffs, no interior defensive lineman had more quarterback hurries than Clark’s 58, and only Aaron Donald had more total pressures than Clark’s 69. His college tape is very inconsistent, but he was dominant during the showcase bowls. if (typeof element === 'function') { The team’s problem has been assembling a supporting cast capable of helping Donald maximize his impact. Brown had back-to-back seasons in college with a PFF grade above 90.0, and he has the kind of power and strength that few other players have. Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams The best defensive lineman in the NFL, and the best defensive player on most Sundays. Clark, who has never put up more than six sacks in a season, is an example of why that statistic doesn’t always mean as much as we think. Last year, he notched 21 total pressures and even made a couple of plays in coverage. Donald also led the league in tackles for a loss for the second straight season. This team is unusually well-stocked with run-defending nose tackles, with Abry Jones, Al Woods and rookie Davon Hamilton all on the roster. Corey Peters offers the same type of impact, albeit a more proven version, and fourth-round pick Leki Fotu makes a trio of run-focused interior defenders. Joseph’s impact as a pass-rusher has slipped over the past couple of years, but of more concern is that his run defense — which was virtually peerless at his best — also slipped to merely above-average in 2019. Every pick the team made in the 2019 draft was spent on defense — three of those picks were spent on defensive linemen, including first-round pick. The new additions will be joining stalwart. The New England defensive front has undergone some significant turnover this offseason. Most of the personnel on the roster are more run-focussed, which likely leaves the Okwara duo to take advantage of their pass-rushing snaps and prove they can hurry the quarterback. That unit has since been chipped away at, though, and the departure of. , are solid yet unspectacular, but last year’s fifth-round pick. Athlon's player rankings are just one of the features that appear in the 2020 Pro Football magazine. In his rookie campaign, the second overall pick totaled nine regular-season sacks, four more in the postseason, and his 102 total pressures ranked second in the league behind only Green Bay’s Za’Darius Smith. Jordan posted 83 total pressures last season, the fifth-straight year he has topped 70 and the fourth-straight season his PFF pass-rushing grade has been 80 or higher. Harrison Phillips’ strong run defense is back in the equation after being limited to just 77 snaps last season, and Vernon Butler has been added to the mix after the former Panthers first-rounder peaked with a 68.7 overall grade in 2017. The team has added Kyle Van Noy to the mix, a player who rejuvenated his career as a classic Patriots hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker. Does Pittsburgh really have the best defensive line in the NFL? * 'measurement': 5 Alongside Cox inside, the team added former Steeler Javon Hargrave, giving them an incredibly powerful interior duo. * @see sites/all/modules/athlon/amg_consent_management/assets/config/config.json Cameron Heyward was the best interior defender in the league outside of Aaron Donald; Javon Hargrave had a big season after taking over for the injured Stephon Tuitt; and Bud Dupree had career-highs in pressures, overall grade, run-defense grade and pass-rush grade. Print. Calais Campbell, Baltimore Ravens. And while his run defense was solid, that’s not why you draft a player with the third overall pick. He had the best year of his career in 2018 and was on pace for his second-best season before injury shut him down. In 2019, he put up a career-high 7.5 sacks, with 46 pressures and 40 run stops. Share this article 64 shares share tweet text email link Gavino Borquez. Sweat notched 27 total pressures last season on 274 pass-rush snaps. The other side of the line is more of a question mark. So much of what the Jets expect from their defensive front relies on the development of Quinnen Williams, who was the Jets’ top pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. Atkins’ great play was lost in Cincinnati’s 2–14 season and in a defense under Lou Anarumo that didn’t always have the right players in the right places. Preseason Hall of Famer Steven Means may only have half the preseason games (at most) this year to state his case for regular-season snaps, but he has an absurd 41 total pressures over his last three preseasons. Whitney Mercilus rediscovering his best play would also go a long way to helping this unit. Jadeveon Clowney, Free Agent Shelton is primarily a run-stuffing force, and for added insurance in that area, the team also drafted Utah’s John Penisini in the sixth round. The Philadelphia Eagles have had one of the strongest defensive lines in football for years — not just blessed with top-end talent, but with incredible depth. Watch the best moments from the defensive line at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. Davon Godchaux is also slated to start inside after three up-and-down seasons, while second-round pick Raekwon Davis should add yet another strong run defender into the mix. Clark came into the NFL as a fairly one-dimensional player, but he has developed into a true every-down force. 12. Ferrell was a solid run defender but offered almost nothing as a pass-rusher, which is obviously an unacceptable return for the fourth overall pick in the draft. Quinton Jefferson, Buffalo Bills As you will see below, sometimes what a player does and how well he does it, matters more than the position listed next to their name. This defensive front likely relies on finding somebody beyond Trey Flowers to be a consistent force, particularly when it comes to generating pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Onyemata saw his PFF grade drop more than 25 points and his pass-rushing grade sink from 75.8 to 61.7. Both figures were new career highs for a player whose progression has been steady and inexorable in the NFL. Fletcher Cox – Philadelphia Eagles If you’re looking at the Mt. Rushmore of NFL defensive tackles in 2020, Fletcher Cox has to be on it. 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