Top 20 defensive players on the market

A week prior to totally free company began, 5 leading protective gamers were gotten rid of from totally free representative boards.

4 protectors got the franchise tag: New york city Giants protective lineman Leonard Williams, New york city Jets security Marcus Maye, Denver Broncos security Justin Simmons and New Orleans Saints security Marcus Williams. Likewise, Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David got an extension. Williams, Maye, Simmons and David all would have been top-10 offered free-agent protectors, and Williams most likely wasn’t away. As normal, a variety of effect protectors are off the board long prior to totally free company starts.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett celebrates after sacking Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes during the second half of Super Bowl LV. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett commemorates after sacking Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes throughout the 2nd half of Super Bowl LV. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

That does not imply there aren’t some excellent alternatives. Groups who wish to enhance on defense can still discover some useful fits. Here are the leading 20 protective gamers in totally free company.

20. CB Desmond King

King was a strong manufacturer for the Los Angeles Chargers, and he likewise had a first-team All-Pro season as a kick returner. If he remains in the ideal plan fit he can be a reputable alternative, as long as his brand-new group does not anticipate him to be a real No. 1 cornerback.

Floyd was a little a frustration as a first-round choice for the Chicago Bears, however broke through the double-digit sack barrier in his very first year with the Los Angeles Rams. Floyd isn’t a safe bet to match his 10.5 sacks from last season, however he’s a capable pass rush and a lot of groups require that.

Hilton is a slot cornerback, which has a great deal of worth in today’s video game. Having a reputable slot cornerback to stick with a few of the very best inside receivers in the video game is a must, and Hilton has actually filled that function extremely well the previous 4 seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sherman is a little a difficult case. He is 33 years of ages, not a prime age for many cornerbacks, and he had an injury-plagued 2020. However in 2019 he was sensational for the San Francisco 49ers, and he’s a Hall of Popularity skill. If you’re getting anywhere near the 2019 Sherman, not to point out anything like his peak years with the Seattle Seahawks, he can be a substantial benefit. It’s dangerous though.

16. CB Shaquill Griffin

Griffin was a starter for all 4 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, and he made a Pro Bowl in 2019. He’s most likely not elite, however he’s young with a great deal of experience and will suit some group’s defense as a starter.

15. CB William Jackson III

Jackson, a previous first-round choice, never ever became a terrific gamer with the Cincinnati Bengals. However he was excellent, still has that draft pedigree and plays an important position. He’ll have no trouble getting paid.

14. LB Matt Milano

Milano’s value to the Buffalo Bills showed when he was hurt last season. The defense didn’t look the same when he was out. He plays a devalued position of off-ball linebacker, but there is still a place for old-school linebackers in the game and Milano is very excellent at his role.

The king of the one-year deals is on the market again. Suh’s Pro Bowl days might be over at age 34, however he can still play a ton of snaps, provide a decent pass rush and is still very good against the run. Suh has positioned himself perfectly, as a perennial free agent who plays a position that’s hard to fill and willing to answer the call for any team that feels it might be one piece away.

12. EDGE Haason Reddick

The Arizona Cardinals misused Reddick, a former first-round pick, as an off-ball linebacker until his fourth season, when they shifted him to the edge. Reddick then posted 10.5 sacks in his final 11 games, including five sacks against the New York Giants. That strong finish leaves teams trying to figure out if that was a small-sample fluke or if Reddick finally unlocked his potential in the right role.

11. EDGE Trey Hendrickson

Hendrickson, always a productive rotational player for the New Orleans Saints, became a starter in 2020 and posted 13.5 sacks. Metrics say that number was a bit bloated and could regress, but Hendrickson can still be a difference-making pass rusher.

10. EDGE Romeo Okwara

It was odd that the Detroit Lions didn’t use the franchise tag. Even if they were ready to move on from receiver Kenny Golladay, Okwara might have been a good investment after a 10-sack breakout season. Okwara is still just 25 years old and many teams will be interested.

9. DT Dalvin Tomlinson

Tomlinson is a big body who can anchor the middle. He has never missed a video game in four seasons with the New York Giants and even can give a bit of an interior pass rush. For teams looking for a big tackle to occupy blockers in the interior of the line, Tomlinson is the top option.

8. S John Johnson III

Johnson was a good playmaking safety with the Los Angeles Rams, and there will be plenty of speculation that the Chargers will bid for him considering Johnson’s old defensive coordinator Brandon Staley is the Chargers’ new head coach.

7. S Anthony Harris

Harris had a excellent 2019 season, leading the NFL in interceptions. He didn’t have any interceptions last season, and his down season and age (he’ll turn 30 in October) will work against him in free agency a bit. But he’s still a good option and plenty of teams could use an upgrade at safety.

6. EDGE Yannick Ngakoue

Ngakoue has had a bumpy last couple years, wanting out of Jacksonville, having a short stay in Minnesota after a trade and then going to the Ravens in another trade during last season. Despite it all he’s posted at least eight sacks in each of his five NFL seasons, and that kind of track record at age 25 will lead to a big payday.

5. EDGE Bud Dupree

Dupree is a tricky case. He tore his ACL in the second half of last season when he was playing on the franchise tag with the Pittsburgh Steelers. If a team believes he’ll be fully healthy, he could be a good addition. Dupree has 19.5 sacks in 27 games over the past two seasons. Some team will take a shot on the former first-round pick being healthy, or Dupree will take a one-year deal to prove it and then hit free agency again.

4. EDGE Matt Judon

Judon surprisingly got the franchise tag last offseason from the Baltimore Ravens. Judon is a good, solid linebacker who consistently posts strong sack totals. He’s not a great one-on-one pass rusher, but some team is going to pay him to help their rush.

3. EDGE Jadeveon Clowney

It’s OK if you push Clowney way down the list. He had a miserable season with the Tennessee Titans. Clowney might be a little overrated — he might overrate his own abilities too, based on his contract desires — but he is a quality defender, especially against the run, and can take over a game. And even though it seems like he’s been around a long time, he just turned 28 in February.

2. EDGE Carl Lawson

Lawson isn’t a sure thing. He has just 11.5 sacks the past two seasons, and teams will be paying him like he’ll get much more than that. Lawson is 25 years old, has good pass-rush ability and spent most of his time in Cincinnati being used as a function player. Perhaps he can explode in his second stop.

1. EDGE Shaq Barrett

The Denver Broncos obviously didn’t know what they had with Barrett. Once Barrett escaped Denver for Tampa Bay, his career took off. The Bucs couldn’t give him the franchise tag once again because they used it on receiver Chris Godwin. Most teams are either in dire need of an edge rusher or could use another one, and Barrett has actually been one of the best the past two years. He might get a monster offer.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.