Edge rushers are some of the toughest and quickest linemen in the game. They fight in the trenches and do the dirty work. Here are the top 4-3 Defensive Ends in today’s NFL.
Top 10 4-3 Defensive Ends
10 – Cameron Jordan
Recording 47.5 sacks in the past four seasons, Jordan was one of the lone bright spots on the Saints’ defense. He recorded 12 run stuffs, 6 pass deflections, and 23 quarterback hurries. Jordan has a great combination of size, power, strength, and speed.
9 – Cliff Avril
Avril is a consistent edge rusher on the stout Seattle Seahawks defense. He has long arms and an explosive first step. Recorded 39 tackles, 11.5 sacks. and 18 quarterback hurries last season.
8 – Olivier Vernon
The New York Giants signed Vernon this offseason to help fix a miserable pass rush. He did just that, as he recorded 63 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 8 run stuffs, one forced fumble, and was seconding the league with 37 quarterback hurries. Vernon is a strong and powerful end.
7 – Connor Barwin
Barwin does it all for the Eagles’ defense. He can rush the passer, set the edge on run plays, and can drop into coverage. However, as he is getting into the later stages of his career, his production has gone down a bit. Barwin is tall and physical at the point of attack. He is a relentless pass rusher who can chase down ball carriers as well.
6 – Everson Griffen
Griffen has recorded 30.5 sacks in the past three seasons. This past season he recorded 26 quarterback hurries. He performed well enough to make his second consecutive Pro Bowl. For one of the bigger guys, Griffen has some impressive speed and range.
5 – Michael Bennett
Bennett has been a key part of the Seattle defense for a couple of years now. In the 11 games he played this season, he recorded five sacks and 34 tackles. In the past five seasons he has recorded 41 sacks. Bennett uses a strong bull rush to get to the quarterback.
4 – Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah
“Ziggy” Ansah is coming off a season in which he recorded 14.5 sacks and was named to his first Pro Bowl and earned second-team All-Pro honors. Ansah was bothered by injuries the whole 2016 season, and he recorded only two sacks and 35 tackles. Ansah has an unreal combination of size, length, power, and foot speed.
3 – Vic Beasley Jr
Beasley took the league by storm in his second year out of Clemson. After recording only four sacks his rookie year, Beasley led the league with 15.5 sacks. He also forced a league leading six fumbles, returning one of them for a touchdown. The former running back is explosive off the snap, and has some serious quick feet.
2 – Carlos Dunlap
Last season Dunlap recorded a career high 13.5 sacks. This past season his sack numbers wee down a bit, however he set a career high with 15 pass deflections. He had eight sacks, to go along with 23 QB hits, and three forced fumbles. Dunlap was named to the AFC Pro Bowl team. He possess some great power and has a freak-like combination of power and speed.
1 – Khalil Mack
Khalil Mack is an absolute animal. Mack has recorded 26 sacks in the past two seasons. Most noteworthy, last season Mack became the first player to be named to the All-Pro team at two different positions, defensive end and linebacker. Mack is a explosive and versatile playmaker who seems to be in the middle of every play on the Raiders defense.
Agree with the list? Have your say in the comment section below.
Want to write at LWOSports.com? Send a sample list to Mike@lastwordonsports.com.
Main image credit: