The front seven consists of the defensive tackles, defensive ends, and the linebackers. They do all the dirty work in the trenches. The big guys go to war against the offensive line and tight ends to stop not only the pass, but also the run. These guys have to account for pass rushing, run defense, and even pass coverage. Here are the top front sevens in the NFL today.
Top 10 Front Sevens in NFL This Season
10. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have one of the best front sevens in the league, however multiple injuries plagued this unit. Linebackers Justin Houston and Derrick Johnson missed significant time due to injuries and were key parts of this defense. Donator Poe is still however one of the biggest defensive tackles in football, it seems like his presence alone played a big part in this top front seven. When fully healthy this group probably has the ability to be a top-5 front seven.
9. New York Giants
The New York Giants defense turned things around this season. All of that could be thanks to defensive tackle Damon Harrison. Harrison was one of the very best at stuffing the run this season. Although the Giants linebackers were a bit shaky this year, their run defense was impressive enough to land them in the top-10. They finished 1st in red zone defense, 3rd in rush yards/game, 3rd in tackles, 2nd in points/game, and 10th in yards/game.
8. Green Bay Packers
Although the Packers defense did struggle most of the season, the front seven is not at fault. The defensive line of Julius Peppers, Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, and Nick Perry preformed phenomenally. Green Bay is only missing a linebacker, as Clay Matthews preformed well but appears to be on the downside of his career, and Jake Ryan performed well. Green Bay recorded the sixth most sacks in the league this season.
7. Houston Texans
Even without J.J. Watt, the Texans front seven was a top-10 unit. Jadeveon Clowney went out and did his thing. He showed all the doubters that as the #1 pick in the draft, he isn’t a bust. Brian Cushing was all over the field making tackle after tackle. The brightest spot for the Texans probably came from Whitney Mercilus, who established himself as one of the NFL’s top edge rushers. When Watt returns next season, this unit will be very frightening. They finished with a league best 301 yards allowed/game and an 11th best 20 points/game.
6. Denver Broncos
Denver’s defense is one of the best units in the league. Last season they single handedly carried them to a Super Bowl victory. Von Miller is the main part of that, as he is just a freak coming off the edge. Derek Wolfe, DeMarcus Ware, Brandon Marshall, and also second year linebacker Shane Ray all pitched in. Denver allowed the fourth least yards/game, allowed the least passing yards/game, and recorded the third most sacks in the league.
5 Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota had one of the top defenses in the league this past season. Linval Joseph is one of the biggest and most impactful interior defensive linemen in the league. Eric Kendricks had an outstanding second year out of UCLA. Chad Greenway with Kendricks and Anthony Barr is an underrated linebacking trio. This front seven led Minnesota to being one of the top defenses in the NFL this season.
4. Los Angeles Rams
Aaron Donald alone is a dominating force, and one of the best defensive linemen in the game. Throw in guys like linebackers Mark Barron and William Hayes, and defensive end Robert Quinn, and he is even better. LA allowed the ninth least yards/game this season.
3. Arizona Cardinals
Chandler Jones was just the piece this Cardinals front seven was missing. Arizona recorded the highest pressure rate of any team in the NFL this past season, and the most sacks/game. Although the secondary took a bit of a downfall this past season, the front seven stayed effective.
2. Carolina Panthers
Everyone knows Carolina’s linebackers are some of the best in the league. Luke Keuchly, Thomas Davis, and Shaq Thompson form a trio topped by not many. The names most people didn’t know about but sure do now are Kawann Short and Mario Addison. Addison finished the season with 9.5 sacks in only 433 snaps. Short dominated around the line of scrimmage, finishing as one of the best interior defensive linemen in football. The Panthers recorded the second most sacks in the league this past season.
1. Seattle Seahawks
Seattle has one of the most ferocious defenses in the league. A lot of that credit can be due to the fact that their front seven is without a doubt the best in football. Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright were a very productive linebacking duo this season, as a result they both made the All-Pro team. Throw those two together with a defensive line that forces a ton of pressure, and as a result good things will happen. The Seahawks defense allowed the fifth least total yards/game and the second least rushing yards/game.