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.
The Texans and JJ Watt have agreed to part ways. The end of an era.
– 5 Pro Bowl Appearances
– 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year
– 3-Time DPOY
– Texans record for most sacks and forced fumbles
– 1/35 players in NFL history to record 100+ career sacks#Texans #JJWatt #NFL pic.twitter.com/ydyF17WKhK
— FantasyData (@FantasyDataNFL) February 12, 2021
Note: This list excludes Aaron Donald as he plays more as an interior linemen than a true edge rusher.
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.
Just in case anyone forgot the #NFL is a popularity contest:
Per @PFF, Zadarius Smith finished top-10 in:
Pressures: 1st (93)
Sacks: 4th (16)
QB Hits: 2nd (22)
Hurries: 4th (55)
Stops: 9th (36)
— Eli Berkovits (@BookOfEli_NFL) May 1, 2020
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.
Myles Garrett was getting this sack by any means necessary 😂
— ESPN (@espn) September 27, 2020
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.
Aaron Donald is an absolutely incredible player. I love watching him play & he’s headed to the Hall of Fame without question. This has nothing to do with AD personally.
This is me saying what my brother won’t.
TJ played 1 less game and STILL led the NFL in every major category. pic.twitter.com/m1vzrD88WU
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 7, 2021