Top Ten NFL Teams With the Best Defensive Lines Going Into the 2020 Season
The Top Ten
For a team with as many problems as they have, the Football Team has a strength on defensive line. They have a lot of first rounders playing and starting on it. Veteran and Pro Bowler Ryan Kerrigan and 2019 first round pick Montez Sweat on the edge, with Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne on the interior. Lets not forget their first round pick this year, second overall draft pick Chase Young, who will make this defensive line even better. Every single player I just talked about are all first round picks. Let's not forget some of the underrated players like Matt Ioannidis and Nate Orchard.
Despite the poor record last season, it was not at the fault of their line. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are one of the best defensive end partners in the NFL, and now they have recently signed Linval Joseph to play in the middle. He is a good run stuffer, and can sometimes get after the quarterback. Essentially, the Chargers have three Pro Bowlers that start along their defensive line. Not to mention 2019 first round pick Jerry Tillery learning behind Joseph. For a team looking to find their footing again, their line will definitely help.
The 49ers definitely have arguably the best defensive line in the NFL. Just look at what they did last season. On a defensive line with three great players in Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, and DeForest Buckner, they wrecked havoc on opposing offensive lines, and they got to the Super Bowl with that line being one of the causes for it. Now that Buckner is with the Colts, the 49ers drafted Javon Kinlaw in the first round, which isn't much of a downgrade. Their defensive line for next season projects as Bosa, Armstead, and Kinlaw starting, with Ronald Blair and Soloman Thomas providing good depth. This 49ers defense is great, and the defensive line headlines it.
The Saints are a sure and solid team, and their defensive line shows that. Defensive end Cameron Jordan is the main man on the line, and is always among the best defensive players in the entire NFL. Marcus Davenport, playing opposite of him, has also shown potential and may break out some time soon. On interior defensive line, Sheldon Rankins and Malcom Brown fortify the defensive line, with David Onyemata and the former undrafted free agent Shy Tuttle backing them up. The Saints are a great team not only because of their high flying offense, but their defensive line as well.
The Eagles, while focusing on improving their secondary, made their defensive line even better this offseason. They signed Javon Hargrave to play alongside Pro Bowler Fletcher Cox on the interior of the line, which will make a good duo. The edges feature Brandon Graham, who has been playing well for over a decade now, and the young Derek Barnett. Unlike their secondary, their defensive line also has good depth.
While they did not always show it last season, the defending Super Bowl Champs have a good defensive line. The team's offense is the main attraction, but their defense has also been key. Chris Jones recently signed an extension with the Chiefs, which definitely helps in the long run. He may be a defensive tackle, but is a sack master. He plays next to Frank Clark, who the Chiefs traded for before their Super Bowl season. He battled injury, but when he did play, made a great impact. Less known players like Tanoh Kpassagnon and Mike Pennel provide good depth as well.
The Bears showed in 2018 why their defensive line was so good, and even though injuries and regression battered the team last season, their defense stood tall, especially the defensive line. Akiem Hicks is its best player, and when he missed time due to an injury last season, it showed. He is a top defensive end in the league right now. On the interior, Eddie Goldman has proved a valuable player in stopping the run, and is an underrated tackle.
I think the Raiders have a quietly good defensive line. Their best defensive player right now is last year's fourth round pick Maxx Crosby at defensive end, who recorded double digit sacks his rookie season, with 10. Their first round pick of the same year, Clelin Ferrell, has not panned out yet, but he still has a lot of time to sometime do it. Johnathan Hankins and Maurice Hurst have also been solid contributors.
There has been hype around the Buccaneers team this offseason, but it mainly centered around the offense. The defense is getting overlooked, especially their defensive line. Vita Vea is really coming together as an elite run defender, and Ndamukong Suh has been great veteran help for the defensive line. Defensive end William Gholston has also be a solid contributor since his rookie season in 2013.
While they lost two great players in Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen, the Vikings still have a good defensive led. It is all centered around defensive end Danielle Hunter, who has made a big impact for the line. Recently signed Michael Pierce should help Shamar Stephen on the interior as well.