Best Defensive Ends In The 2021-22 NFL Season

Ashish Priyadarshi
|Published February 12, 2021

The NFL has no shortage of talent when it comes to the defensive end position. In this article, we’ll look at the top three defensive ends in the league.

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Note: This list excludes Aaron Donald as he plays more as an interior linemen than a true edge rusher.

Also read: “Thank You Houston I Love You” JJ Watt, Ex-Texans Star Defensive End, Tweets Heartwarming Video Following Release

Top Three Defensive Ends Ranked:

3. Za’Darius Smith: Green Bay Packers

After spending his first four years with the Baltimore Ravens, Smith cashed in on a great four-year $66 million contract with the Green Bay Packers in 2019. Since then, he’s been an absolute beast.

He’s posted 13.5 and 12.5 sacks in 2019 and 2020 respectively, and his stats are among the best for his position. In sacks, he ranks third among edge rushers. He also posted 35 tackles this year, showing that he was a force in the running game as well.

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2. Myles Garrett: Cleveland Browns

Garrett’s numbers may not jump off the page right away, but when you consider that he only appeared in 14 games this year, you realize how much of a threat he was.

Garrett posted 12 sacks (just half a sack behind Smith) and 33 solo tackles (just two behind Smith). Garrett has been a dominant pass rusher ever since he was drafted number one overall in 2017. Despite teams scheming around him, Garrett has yet to let up.

He’s great in the pass game too as he’s only allowed a rating of 77.1 when targeted.

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1.TJ Watt: Pittsburgh Steelers

There was nobody else who would top this list. Watt led the NFL in every major statistical category for a defensive end, and he was a strong contender for the Defensive Player of the Year award.

Watt led the league in sacks with 15, he deflected 7 passes, and picked up an interception. He also led the league in tackles for loss with 26, six clear of second place. Watt also did all this while playing in 15 games. This is something his brother, JJ Watt, was quick to highlight.

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Also read: ‘T.J Watt led NFL in every major category’, J.J Watt thinks T.J. Watt Deserve DPOY Over Aaron Donald

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About the author

Ashish Priyadarshi

Ashish Priyadarshi

Ashish Priyadarshi is The SportsRush's content manager and editor. Ashish freelanced for 1 year in the NFL division before taking on an editorial role in the company. He then tacked on managing content while adding on a writing role in the NBA division. Ashish has been closely following the NFL and NBA since the 2012 season when the Patriots lost the Super Bowl and Derrick Rose was at the height of his powers. Since then, Ashish has focused on honing his knowledge for both leagues in, even writing crossover pieces. In his free time, Ashish is an avid basketball player, he loves to watch movies and TV shows, immersing himself in the cinematic world. Ashish studies computer science and data science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and would love to mesh his love for sports with his technical skills.

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