The NFL’s 25 best pass-rushers

Which NFL defenders are best at creating pressure on opposing quarterbacks? Sam Monson breaks down the list.

| 1 month ago
Aaron Donald

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The NFL’s 25 best pass-rushers


With the loss of J.J. Watt to injury, the league is not only without its best player this season, but without arguably its best pass-rusher, too. Watt is a devastating pass-rusher who has set the standard when it comes to getting after the QB, really since entering the league in 2011.

There are players having excellent seasons, but the overall number of dominant pass-rushers this season seems to be unusually down, and the sack numbers for many of them highlight the relative lack of total pressure across the board.

Here are the top 25 pass-rushers in the NFL right now, several of whom are leaning heavily on a past body of work to still be ranked as close to the top as they are, because so far in 2016, they haven’t been able to match the standards of previous seasons.

1. Aaron Donald, DT, Rams

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 95.6

Much like with Watt before him, I’m running out of ways to describe how good Aaron Donald is, and yet he still seems to be underrated, possibly because he hasn’t recorded the same kind of sack numbers. Donald leads the entire league this season with 38 total pressures, averaging 5.4 per game with at least three against every opponent. Nobody uses his hands better as a pass-rusher, shedding blocks even when they manage to get ahold on him—simply put, he might be the single-most unblockable force in the league right now. Donald may not get to the QB immediately every time, but given enough time, the Rams’ star DT will get there eventually. The same can’t be said for even the most potent and explosive pass-rushers.

2. Von Miller, OLB, Broncos

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 85.9

Von Miller has picked up this season right where he left off last year, winning games with impact plays and strip sacks. He has nine sacks and 33 total pressures to his name, and has been the league’s most devastating edge rusher for awhile now. Miller owns the perfect blend of speed, athleticism, strength, and agility, and often proves just too difficult for tackles to contend with on the right side of the line. The best are stretched to the limit to contain him, and the worst might as well just give up and go home. Miller earned himself a blockbuster contract with his run to end last season, culminating in the Super Bowl 50 trophy and MVP award—he’s done anything but take his foot off the gas since.

3. Chandler Jones, OLB, Cardinals

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 89.0

Chandler Jones is proving to be one of the best pickups of the offseason for any team. He has been arguably the league’s best edge rusher through seven weeks of the season, and almost single-handedly shut down the Seattle offense this past week by abusing their left tackle(s). Jones has exceptional length, which allows him to get into the pads of tackles, giving him the chance to win with strength more than speed (compared to a rusher like Miller). It’s an unusual skill-set, though, and Seahawks LT Bradley Sowell, for one, had no answer, routinely ending up on the floor as Jones hit him with his push-pull move to defeat the block.

4. Brandon Graham, DE, Eagles

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 87.5

Brandon Graham has been the league’s most underrated pass-rusher for years now, and is finally starting to get some of the recognition he deserves. Graham has 30 total pressures on the season and four sacks across six games. The relative lack of sacks was always the bedrock of the criticism Graham received, so if he continues to notch them this season, he may continue to receive the plaudit. Even if they dry up, though, he is one of the league’s most consistent players when it comes to generating pressure on the quarterback, regardless of which side of the line or from what stance he is rushing from.

Brandon Graham

5. Calais Campbell, DT, Cardinals

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 83.9

The quirk of this season is that Calais Campbell is a very good pass-rusher, but probably one that would be several spots lower on this list in a typical year. He has two sacks and 19 total pressures so far, and by far his best performance has come from beating up on the hapless Seahawks’ offensive line. Campbell is a player that can change games with his ability to collapse pockets from the inside. While other pass-rushers seem to be having a down season, the Arizona DT continues to keep on trucking, matching his consistently-good pass-rush performance year after year.

6. Gerald McCoy, DT, Buccaneers

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 83.7

Gerald McCoy is one of a few defensive tackles that have the ability to get somewhere close to Donald’s transcendent dominance over a season, but it’s been awhile since we have seen him hit those highs. This season, he has 19 total pressures, but more than 100 fewer snaps than many of his rivals. Against the 49ers, McCoy notched a ridiculous 11 total QB pressures in a single game, and showed that he can still be a force capable of wrecking games with his quickness and burst through the line.

7. Geno Atkins, DT, Bengals

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 77.1

Geno Atkins has the ability to rival Aaron Donald for pass-rushing at the defensive tackle spot, and at his best, would probably be No. 2 on this list, but the 2016 version of Geno Atkins just hasn’t been that guy yet. He has 23 total QB pressures, but in only one game—against Miami’s porous offensive line—was he truly dominant as a pass-rusher. That game accounts for six of his pressures and two of his three sacks on the season. The rest of the time, Atkins has been closer to average. He only maintains a spot this high because of how consistently good he has been in the past, along with the assumption that at some point this season he will round back into old form.

8. Cameron Wake, DE, Dolphins

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 84.3

Cameron Wake’s career looks destined to be bookended with roles as a situational player only—a role that he probably didn’t deserve at either end. Returning from injury this season, Wake found himself relegated to a situational rusher by the Dolphins, but he is still clearly their best pass-rusher, notching 26 total pressures in only 195 snaps. Wake has at least a pressure in every game this season—even the two in which he combined for just 31 snaps—and in the two games in which he has seen more of a starter’s role, he has nine combined pressures. The veteran still has plenty in the tank.

9. Khalil Mack, OLB, Raiders

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 75.5

Where is the 2015 Khalil Mack? The guy we have seen so far in 2016 shouldn’t be anywhere near as high as this on the list, but he was so good a year ago that it feels wrong to drop him much further. Mack hasn’t been bad this season, but he just hasn’t been the game-changer he was a year ago. In 2015, he was arguably better than Von Miller over the regular season; in 2016, he has 26 total pressures—nine fewer than Miller—despite 46 more pass-rushing snaps. Mack definitely misses the interior presence of Mario Edwards Jr. inside of him, but it isn’t the cause of him failing to win as many one-on-one matchups on the outside.

10. Jurrell Casey, DT, Titans

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 80.2

Jurrell Casey’s play against the run this season hasn’t matched past levels, but his pass-rush continues unabated. He has 23 total QB pressures, and has been close to pressure on multiple other occasions. Talking about a player’s motor is often seen as a backhanded compliment—a slight on other more tangible qualities—but Casey is a relentless defender that will keep coming until the play is dead and buried.

11. Fletcher Cox, DT, Eagles

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 82.6

The switch to more of a one-gap, attacking defense hasn’t quite had the boost to Fletcher Cox’s production that it was speculated it might, but he has still been a formidable interior pass-rusher. Cox has 22 total pressures on the season, and has graded well in that area in all but one game—ironically, the Minnesota encounter, where he was one of the few players not to get much pressure against a Vikings line that was hemorrhaging it all day.

12. Cliff Avril, DE, Seahawks

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 76.6

Cliff Avril tends to sway from hot to cold as a pass-rusher, but when he is on, the Seahawk is one of a few NFL players that can absolutely ruin games for an offense. Against the Cardinals this week he notched three sacks, three hits, and four hurries, and that represents his third game this season with at least one of each variety of QB pressure. If Seattle got that version of Avril every week, we’d be looking at a Von Miller rival, but even with the inconsistency, those game-changing performances are valuable enough to rank him this high.

13. Joey Bosa, DE/OLB, Chargers

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 85.5

Caution is the only thing keeping me from putting rookie Joey Bosa higher, because the tape and PFF grading from Bosa over the last two seasons in college and his first three games in the NFL is staggering. He was by far the best pass-rusher in the nation in college football over the past two seasons at Ohio State, and he has begun his NFL career generating pressure at a greater rate than anybody we have seen over the past decade of grading. Bosa is actually generating pressure at a higher rate right now than Von Miller, and only the assumption that we will see that cool off a little over the season sees him this low on the list. The Chargers have themselves a stud.

bosa_rookie-watch

14. Dont’a Hightower, LB, Patriots

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 77.7

The first player on the list that doesn’t play either edge rusher or on the D-line’s interior, Dont’a Hightower is the best blitzer in the game. This season, he has three sacks and 12 total pressures from only 54 blitzes, and a year ago he totaled 24 pressures on the blitz. Hightower has an excellent ability to hide his approach before bursting through the line gap with the kind of strength and speed that blockers can’t counter, and it’s a valuable part of New England’s pass-rush.

15. Michael Bennett, DE, Seahawks

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 72.9

Another player curiously less dominant in 2016, Michael Bennett has been one of the league’s most-consistent pass-rushing forces for years. Capable of rushing from the outside and inside in sub-packages, Bennett has a quickness to his first moves that often defeats blocks on contact and leaves linemen scrambling to save themselves on the play. He has 24 total pressures this season, which is on pace for a drop in 20 overall from a year ago.

16. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Dolphins

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 77.6

Not quite matching 2015, Suh is nonetheless on pace to be as good (if not better) this season in Miami as he ever was in Detroit, though his pressure numbers are down. Suh’s run defense continues to be strong, but he has just 24 total QB pressures, a dip on what he has averaged the past couple of seasons. He does, however, remain a consistently disruptive player, capable of powering through blocks and making a nuisance of himself on the line in either facet of the game.

17. Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Texans

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 84.3

The Houston Texans have actually developed an impressive stable of pass-rushers—it just looks much less impressive without J.J. Watt on the field. Whitney Mercilus has become a fine complement to him, and even with no Watt in the game, has been producing. Mercilus has five sacks and 26 total pressures this year, and had some of his best games since Watt has been shut down for the season. He has become a legitimate force in his own right, and one that would be even better with Watt taking the attention away from him.

18. Carlos Dunlap, DE, Bengals

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 82.9

Carlos Dunlap is a rare physical specimen, standing 6-foot-6 in height and weighing north of 275 pounds. He has the length and size that can win in ways most tackles aren’t used to contending with, and he is on a run currently of five sacks in his last five games. Dunlap has 30 total pressures on the season, and has been doing it without the typical unstoppable dominance of Geno Atkins inside him. Dunlap has also notched six batted passes on pass-rushes this season by reading the QB and getting his hands in the throwing lanes.

19. Nick Perry, OLB, Packers

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 82.7

This list seems to be populated by many players that have been better in the past, but Nick Perry is somebody playing the best football of his career, developing into a real weapon for the Packers. Perry has 27 total pressures on the season so far, which is one shy of tying his career high for an entire year. He has finally become a starting player, with his snap percentage on defense jumping from the 30.0s in the previous two years to 75.7 percent this season.

20. Jerry Hughes, OLB, Bills

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 83.6

It seems strange to think that Jerry Hughes was once run out of Indianapolis as a draft bust, having totaled 33 pressures in his first three seasons with the Colts. He has matched that number in seven games this year for the Bills, and continues to be one of the best edge rushers in the game—exactly the player the Colts thought they were drafting in the first round back in 2010. Hughes is another player that hasn’t always had the sack totals to go along with his consistent pressure, but he is regularly affecting the opposing quarterback.

21. Brian Orakpo, OLB, Titans

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 82.1

The knock on Brian Orakpo has always been injuries. When he was on the field, he was almost always a consistently-disruptive pass-rusher, capable of generating pressure and sacks on the QB. This season in Tennessee, he has sacked the QB seven times and has 32 total pressures to his name. That sack total matches his total from a season ago in just seven games, and he is well on his way to his best pass-rushing performance since 2011.

22. Lorenzo Alexander, OLB, Bills

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 81.1

You don’t find many impressive pass-rushing performances from former offensive linemen, tight ends, and special teamers, let alone one from a player that is all three at the same time. Lorenzo Alexander may have the strangest career of anybody on this list, but right now, he has sacked the QB 10 times in the 2016 season, once more than Von Miller and the most in the National Football League. That figure flatters his overall pass-rush numbers a little—he has 24 total pressures—but it already represents a career high by seven sacks. His QB pressure total is also a career high, and he is playing a higher percentage of defensive snaps than he ever has before. This is a remarkable season from Alexander so late in his NFL career.

23. Malik Jackson, DT, Jaguars

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 79.8

Could Malik Jackson be the same impact player he was for the Broncos, away from the weaponry that team was able to deploy around him to keep the offense’s attention away? The answer is probably no, but he is a lot closer to that level than people were expecting. Jackson has 23 total QB pressures this season for the Jaguars, despite getting home for a sack just once, and has notched them on 173 pass-rushing snaps as Jacksonville has actually decreased his role from the one he had in Denver last year.

24. Anthony Barr, LB, Vikings

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 72.6

A college edge rusher, Anthony Barr has transitioned into a legitimate stand-up linebacker, but he retains some of that experience when it comes to generating pressure on the blitz. Barr has nine total pressures this season on the blitz from 58 pass-rushing snaps, to go along with the 27 he tallied a year ago from only 102 blitz snaps. Barr interestingly isn’t ever deployed as a true edge rusher, but he hasn’t forgotten how to rush the quarterback.

25. Julius Peppers, DE, Packers

2016 PFF pass-rush grade: 82.4

Julius Peppers is a player that has thrived by becoming more of a situational threat for the Packers. This season, he is playing just 43.7 percent of Green Bay’s defensive snaps, which is the lowest mark of his career by more than 20 percent. He has responded by racking up three sacks and 16 total QB pressures in 116 pass-rushing snaps, and still has much of the same freak-athleticism that made him such an effective every-down force throughout his career.

| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN.

  • AJ

    Green Bay has 2 players on this list, and neither of them is Clay Matthews (and rightfully so). Imagine what they could be if he gets going, assuming he isn’t over the hill at this point in his career. Funny to think a few years back he was literally the team’s only source of pass rush.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I think the Packers have probably benefited some from being in a division where opponents have weak offensive lines and/or a QB that isn’t particularly mobile. They have been stellar against the run though.

    • Philip Matsikoudis

      I agree.

    • Bill Doerr

      The only problem is the Packers have benefitted playing a soft schedule thus far this year & in a division with two of the worst defenses in the NFL that the 2 Packers Players listed have benefitted from. 19th ranked Nick Perry has been a bust since entering the NFL in 2012. I only say he is a bust because Green-Bay spent a 1st round pick to acquire him had he of been drafted in say the 3rd to 5th round he would not of been a bust because over his career he has been a solid rotational OLB slash role player kind of player…. I think Perry’s production this season is due to playing teams w/ some of the worst softest O-Lines n the NFL like the Jags & Vikings which are two of the worst lines n the NFL same with the NY Giants/Bears/Lions O-Lines which are horrid O-Lines that give up constant QB Pressures on their QB. Nick Perry didn’t just magically & spontaneously develop into a top tier pass rushing OLB 5 years/seasons into his NFL Career.
      25th Ranked Julius Peppers is ranked 25th for a reason & that is because he no longer comes off the edge with the elite speed or ability to come off the snap like a bat out of hell because he is aging & cannot play everydown because he can no longer play the run. Though Peppers is still effective as a situational pass rusher or 3rd down pass rusher , at 36 years old is aging quickly n wont be playing much longer. He turns 37 in January , even though he is ranked 25th best NFL pass rusher via PFF he isn’t a core player because of age so he wont be around much longer, the Packers should start looking to replace Peppers in the 2017 NFL Draft!!!!!!!

      My Arizona Cardinals also have two players listed on this list ( though AZ should definitely have 3 maybe even 4 on the list ill explain below) as well like Green Does but while the Packers are listed at the very bottom of the list the Cardinals two players are listed in the TOP 5!!!!

      Listed first at number 3 overall is one man of the most dangerous/lethal pass rushing duo in the NFL this season in 6″5 1/2 /260PD (7FT-4IN Wing-Span) Chandler Jones who is playing out of his mind n is ranked #1 by Pro Football Focus rushing the QB & ranks #5th vs the run of 45+ ranked OLBs. Jones combination of Elite power & speed off the snap/ball (elite short area speed posting a 6.98sec 3 cone time & 4.28 20YD shuttle) elite athleticism/explosiveness (36in vertical jump n 127in broad jump which both were the best of all OLB/DEs @2012 combine n show the insane explosiveness Jones has despite being 260-265pds) with elite very rare 35 3/4in long arms with an arsenal of different pass rush moves is what makes Chandler Jones an outright DOMINANT pass rusher. With 35 3/4in long arms with all the god given Jones has its almost unfair for Offensive Tackles trying to block him as Jones 9 out of 10 times gets his hands on the tackle first n then fully extends , once Jones extends his arms out tackles cant even touch Jones or get their hands on him n its over from there. The Arizona Cardinals absolutely fleeced New England n the trade for Chandler Jones as all NE received is a 58th overall 2nd round pick (almost a 3rd rd pick) for an Elite top tier Pro-Bowl DE in Chandler Jones while AZ received one of the top 3 pass rushers in the NFL who AZ is keeping long term as they are expected to announce a long term contract agreement very soon!!!!

      The man that pairs with Chandler Jones to form the most dangerous, lethal pass rushing duo in the NFL is Elite 2nd Year OLB/DE 6″3 1/2 265PD OLB Markus Golden who is an absolute beast of an OLB w/ Elite Power/Athleticism who is absolutely RELENTLESS going 110MPH on every single snap till the whistle, he should be on this list as he ranks 4th in sacks with 6.5 Sacks/11QB Hits/27 QB Pressures & 2 Forced Fumbles in 7 games. Golden is on pace for 14-15 sacks with Markus Golden already having a healthy 6.5 sacks in 7 games… Golden wears these big RT’s out over 4 quarters with his relentless attack & non stop motor where he literally goes 110MPH every snap full throttle to the whistle. He just wears RT’s out, and as the game wears on they struggle to match Golden’s Athleticism n intensity/stamina n Golden’s relentless non stop motor as Golden plays every snap at 120MPH to the whistle & over the game he wears those big RTs out. Markus Golden’s non-stop motor & relentless playing style paired with his Elite power/strength & Athleticism is what makes him such a dominant pass rusher, He is very similar to a young James Harrison. Markus Golden (along with Chandler Jones) will most definitely make both the Pro-Bowl & All-Pro 1st team this season in just his second season in the National Football League!!!!

      #5 on this list with a 83.9 overall grade who plays one of the hardest positions to be truly dominant at as a pass rusher is 3-4 Defensive-End Calais Campbell. Pro Football Focus ranks Calais Campbell 2nd overall among all 3-4 DEs ranking as both elite rushing the QB n stopping the run. When teams go against AZ they get the ball out of their QBs hands quick FAST & in a Hurry not just because of AZs Elite Outside Pass-Rush or AZs Elite D-Line but also because 6″8 305pd Calais Campbell has been an absolute beast rushing the passer & is extremely hard to block.. Against the run this year Campbell has been practically unblockable coming off blocks into the backfield n wrecking opponents plays!!!! Arizona has multiple excellent to Elite Defensive Linemen with a lot of young high-mid pick players who are going to continue getting better n better which is a big reason why AZs Elite Defensive Line is among the best in the NFL!!!!!

      • Kevin

        Are you serious. Not going to lie I only read the first paragraph and realized how much you typed so I had to consider my plans for the rest of my night.

        Nick Perry has consistently been injured which has impacted him the majority of his first 4 years. This is the first offseason/season he has yet to have a injury and just happens to be the year he has seriously improved his production. He has always been a very impactful player in the run game and now he has developed a better arsenal of pass rushes.

        Peppers has aged and lost some speed but he still has a lot to offer, especially in a limited role where he can stay energized late in the season and be the impactful player in big moments like he has in the past. GB has options for Peppers replacement so not sure they are overly concerned with finding a replacement through the next draft.

        The Packers also have Mike Daniels who could have easily been on this list and I was fully expecting him to be. He is a premier interior lineman that is equally as dominant against the run as he is as a pass rusher.

        Matthews has had a down year after switching back to OLB from ILB but I highly doubt his career trajectory follows down the same path. He very well could join the elite again but who knows. Datone Jones is another 1st rd pick like Perry who has made big gains this year after switching to OLB this offseason. GB definitely doesn’t have a shortage of outside pass rushers.

        • Nelson Cobb

          Really, does he really expect people to read all that crap?? Especially after seeing his 1st comment above that shows how much of a total Arizona homer he is.

      • GBPFan12

        Pretty sure our pass rush has been pretty decent since 2014, so to act like our guys are just flukes or padding their stats on a cupcake schedule is some straight up drivel.

        It was the run defense that was awful these past few years, we’re currently no.1 in run defense so far this year… albeit Elliott lit us up (coincidentally in a game w/o our 3 starting CBs, meaning our safeties had to drop back instead of play in the box).

  • Bill Doerr

    Elite OLB/DE 6″5/260PDs (7ft 4in wing span) Chandler Jones is playing out of his mind & has been a HUGE addition to Arizona’s Elite Defense ranked 2nd overall. Jones along with elite OLB Markus Golden are both having All-Pro/Pro-Bowl seasons & they give Arizona one of the NFLs elite best edge/pass rushing duos in the NFL… I still cannot believe AZ was able to pick-up Elite Pro Bowl OLB/DE Chandler Jones from NE for just a 2nd Round Pick (& it was practically a top of 3rd round pick as it was the 58th overall pick, which NE turned into a OG n backup WR) as NE got fleeced in that trade only getting a 58th overall pick for an Elite Pro-Bowl Pass Rusher when they should of asked for a #1 pick.
    On the season Jones is ranked via PFF #1 pass rushing getting after the QB out of every OLB/DE ranked & ranks #5th versus the run of 45+ ranked OLBs & Jones ranks 3rd overall among all OLBs. On the season thru 7 games n 274 pass-rush snaps, Jones has 5.5 sacks/8QBhits/29 Pressures & 1 batted pass, per PFF. He also has 48 quarterback contacts, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Opposing QBR has dropped from 53.2 when Jones is on the sideline to 41.9 when he’s on the field. He’s the only player in the NFL with at least five sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries this season. Jones is playing out of his mind.

    Elite Pass-Rusher Chandler Jones is arguably the best Pass Rusher in the NFL right now, but is undeniably one of the top 3 best Edge Pass Rushers in the NFL this season. Chandler Jones is going to be in Arizona over the long haul as well as AZ & Jones have been in contract talks for a while & are expected to announce a long term deal soon!!!!

    • Bill Doerr

      It is down right criminal Arizona’s 2015 2nd round pick pass-rushing OLB/DE Markus Golden isn’t on this list. At 6″3 3/4in tall n 265pds OLB/DE (I say OLB/DE cause AZ runs a Hybrid 3-4 Defense so they mix in 4-3 looks often) Markus Golden has developed into an Elite top 10 Pass-Rusher with a relentless non stop motor paired with elite power/strength w/ excellent athleticism & above average speed/quickness. On the season Golden ranks in the top 10 both pass rushing n vs the run, Golden sets a nasty edge & is a flatout beast stopping the run. On the season Markus Golden has 27 Tackles 6.5 Sacks/11QB Hits/27 QB Pressures & 2 Forced Fumbles in 7 games, RT’s struggle badly esp as the game wears on to match Golden’s Athleticism n intensity/stamina n Golden’s relentless non stop motor as Golden plays every snap at 120MPH to the whistle & over the game he wears those big RTs out!!!! A lot of NFL Pundits and people in general like to compare Golden to a young James Harrison as both have the same builds & the exact same strength as young J. Harrisons best strengths as well was his elite power/strength & non stop relentless motor giving 110% on every snap as Golden does!!!

      Arizona needs to send a thank you Note to both the Denver Broncos & the Steelers because going into the 2015 draft AZ had the 24th overall pick & planned on drafting an OLB with their 1st round pick n OT/RB with their 2nd RD Pick.. As the First Round wore down with AZ sitting at 24th overall after trading down a couple spots it looked like both Bud Dupree n Shane Ray would be available w/ AZ coveting Bud Dupree. A few picks before it was AZs turn w/ the Steelers knowing AZ needed a OLB they traded down to 22nd overall n selected Bud Dupree. AZ figured its ok they would draft Shane Ray 24th as the Bengals (#23rd pick) didn’t need a pass rusher n then came the announcement the Broncos had traded up to 23rd overall n Denver drafted Shane Ray!!!! With no pass rusher left worth drafting 24th overall AZ was able to draft a Franchise LT prospect ( AZ is breaking Humphries in at RT but next year plan on moving Humphries to LT n Veldheer to RT where Veldheer would be an All-Pro RT) In 6″5 now 320pd DJ Humphries who was the most athletic LT w/ the best feet & highest ceiling off all LTs n the entire draft & then of course in the 2nd round AZ drafted Elite 6″3/265pd OLB Markus Golden….

      AZ needs to thank both the Steelers n Broncos for jumping in front of them, thank the Steelers for being greedy n jumping in front of AZ before AZ could draft Dupree because Dupree is looking like an injury prone OLB n possible bust & Thank for the Broncos for drafting Shane Ray not because Ray is a bust, but because it forced AZ to have to look at 2nd round pass rushers n thanks to Lady Luck & Fate AZ ended up with a much better pass rushing OLB/DE than Ray is in Rays old college teammate with AZ getting an Elite OLB in Markus Golden who is only going to get even better…. AZ needs to Thank PIT/DEN because they also altered the course of AZs draft because had they of gotten an OLB they very likely would of taken a RB in Round 2 & OT/RT in the 3rd round!!!!

      Thanks to PIT/DEN jumping in front n altering AZs draft course, AZ ended up w/ franchise LT who was the most athletic of all OTs n the draft w/ the best LT Feet by far in 6″5 now 325pd DJ Humphries possessing Elite Athleticism/Power. After red shirting as a rookie Humphries is now starting in year 2 with AZ breaking him in at RT. Humphries has Elite All-Pro potential/talent , he has mad some mistakes in pass-pro but for the most part has been very good getting better each week in pass-pro & has been not only Elite run blocking but outright dominant as a run blocker. Next season DJ Humphries very likely will slide to LT n Jared Veldheer (who is more of a natural RT even though he ranks as an elite top 10 LT via PFF every year) to RT. Then of course in round 2 Arizona got an Elite OLB in Markus Golden capable of 12-15 sacks per season on pace on pace for 13-14 this year. In the 3rd round AZ was able to draft perhaps their best pick/player of the 2015 draft in drafting 6″2/225pd RB David Johnson posses elite 4.41spd for his size with elite athleticism, elite power, elite speed/quickness with the fastest 5-10yds burst speed in the NFL n his ability to accelerate out the hole is by far the best in the NFL & Has the best jump cut ability, by far best stop/start ability & is BY FAR the most elusive RB in the NFL, is by far the best RB making a man miss he makes it look easy. Johnson reminds me a ton of Adrian Peterson w/ the same kind of running style, jump cut ability, and elusiveness but with David Johnson also being an Elite Receiving RB n Elite route runner able to line up out wide, n the slot n out the backfield , he reminds me a lot of Matt Forte except David Johnson is even better than Forte as a receiver… David Johnson is a mix of AP/Forte and unlike anything the NFL has seen before because Johnson is both an Elite RB n Elite Receiver/Route-Runner.. David Johnson is BY FAR the best Elite RB in the NFL right now n will make both All-Pro n Pro-Bowl this year.

      Elite RB David Johnson already has over 1,000+ YDs from scrimmage thru 7gms w/ 681yds rushing/4.8YPC/8TDs rushing/35 first downs n 25% 1st down percentage w/ 8 20+YD runs already n 2 40+YD runs with 325yds receiving/ 12YD/AVG per reception/1TD. Johnson is on pace thru 16 games for 1,557 yards rushing with 18 rushing TDs with 743yds receiving n 3-5 receiving TDs. Elite All-Pro Caliber RB David Johnson is by far easily the NFLs best RB in the league , Arizona owes a BIG THANK YOU to DEN/PIT because them trading up turned into a hat trick of 3 Elite All-Pro caliber players in LT/RT DJ Humphries, Elite All-Pro Caliber OLB Markus Golden n Elite All-Pro Caliber RB David Johnson the best RB on Planet Earth right now.

      • Kevin

        According to PFF Golden is rated as the 24th edge rusher in pass rush so it’s not all that surprising they kept him off their list of top 25 pass rushers considering other positions were taken into consideration.

      • corners

        i wish this was about the dolphins, otherwise its a huge wall of text

        I wanted david johnson in the draft btw. He destroyed the combine

  • Steve Hoffman

    The simple fact Everson Griffin is not on this article is showing how invalid this article really is.

    It should be left to 4-3 DE’s and 3-4 OLB or “Edge” rushers only. So Perry, and Barr should not be included on this list at all.

    And Everson Griffin, maybe Clay Mathews should absolutely be on it.

    • rodrigo pedro

      lol,Clay Matthews.
      nice job trying to cover up your bias by saying a guy who hasn’t been that good for a few years now should be in it.

  • BeansNRice

    Amazing how rookies completely dominate the NFL every year. BOSA is already the best defensive player. Football is a young mans game…younger = better.

    • corners

      Why do you think they do? Probably has more to do with no nfl tape than age.

      Also, rookie defensive lineman usually seem to get poff running once in the nfl. Less to learn than other positions. Its more about their ability and size, not age.

  • Elden Neemia

    how in the world a guy sack 7x and 32 QB pressure end up ranking number 21 and a guy 5 sacks 27 QB pressure is higher? seriously superstition really cloudy up where credit is due. Amazing!

    • corners

      Names would have been more helpful to people reading your comment

  • Daniel Varnadore

    Vic Beasley is 3rd in the league in sacks with 7.5 but not even in the top 25? I know he’s not as polished as some of the other guys but he should at least be in the top 20…

    • corners

      looks like you are correct

  • corners

    Wake needs to move up this list. After just 1 year from tearing his Achilles tendon he has 6.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. In just 4 starts……