The Top 10 Defensive Lines for 2020
As it stands for the moment, the NFL is playing its season in full come September. As the season approaches, I’m going to be taking a look at the landscape of the NFL, position by position, over the course of the next several weeks. We’ll be talking about the who’s who of the NFL in our own little version of the NFL Network’s “Top 100 Players” bit they do every year. Up next, we’re talking about the top 10 NFL defensive lines for 2020!
TOP 10 NFL DEFENSIVE LINES FOR 2020
10. Los Angeles Rams – All due respect to Michael Brockers and A’Shawn Robinson, the Rams could literally just line up Aaron Donald and Aaron Donald alone at the defensive line on every position and still crack the top 10 of this list.
9. Baltimore Ravens – I absolutely love what the Ravens have in the front of Derek Wolfe, Brandon Williams, and Calais Campbell. They were 5th in the NFL against the run in 2019, and adding a guy who is one of the best run defenders in the league (Campbell) only helps their cause. Not to mention, there’s plenty of reason to be excited about the drafting of Justin Madubuike.
8. Buffalo Bills – Watch out for this Bills team in 2020. Jerry Hughes has been the model of consistency since joining the Bills. Ed Oliver has a ton of talent and potential. Trent Murphy and Vernon Butler are no slouches either. Plus, I love the fit of AJ Epenesa joining the fold. This is going to be a U N I T.
7. Los Angeles Chargers – I don’t know that anyone in the league has the book end pass rushers that the Chargers have in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. It’s the middle of the line that needs beefing up considering the Chargers were 18th in the league against the run. Linval Joseph certainly helps, but they need Jerry Tillery to step up.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – WHOMST among us realizes that the Bucs fielded the best run defense in the league in 2019? Well, they did – and that’s in large part due to the progress of Vita Vea. Now, Vea gets to line up next to Ndamukong Suh and the serviceable William Gholston to try and run it back on what was an underrated defense in 2019.
5. Washington Football Team – There is SO much talent along that WFT defensive line – Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat. That’s insane. Add in that they drafted Chase Young, and I dare say it’s the most talented defensive line in the NFL. Until they can put it together on the field, though, I’ll hold off on crowning them the best. Maybe Ron Rivera is the guy that can get ’em there.
4. Green Bay Packers – With all of the talk centering around the Packers offense and the changes Matt LaFleur made to it, people might’ve lost sight of just how well this Packers defense blossomed in 2019. Particularly, the defensive line – Kenny Clark has developed into one of the best all-around nose tackles in the game today. With the Smith brothers rushing the passer, this unit can get after it.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers – An awful lot of people thought T.J. Watt should’ve won ‘Defensive Player of the Year’ a season ago after he emerged as one of the great disruptive forces in the league. But, even outside of Watt, that Steelers defensive line is nothing to be trifled with – Cameron Heyward is a stud, and they’ll get Stephon Tuitt back and healthy for 2020. This should be another productive season from that unit.
2. San Francisco 49ers – A lot of this is going to depend upon whether or not Javon Kinlaw can come in right away and fill the void left by DeForest Buckner. But, this D-line is all about Nick Bosa to me, a guy who looks like he could be the next great pass rush force in the NFL. Across from him, having guys like Arik Armstead and Dee Ford get after quarterbacks makes this one of the most fearsome fronts in the league.
1. Philadelphia Eagles – Year after year, the Eagles field one of the most stout defensive lines in the league. This year’s unit feels particularly beefy. You’ve got the always reliable Brandon Graham, one of the best DTs in the league in Fletcher Cox. Then, you get a healthy Derek Barnett, and acquire Javon Hargrave from the Steelers and that front is other-worldly. This line was 3rd against the run in 2019, and it only got better in the offseason. This should continue to be the gold standard of NFL defensive lines.
OTHER 2020 NFL TOP 10S
Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD and #BeBetter. “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley