Join Date: Dec 2004
Rep Power: 10
Sporting News Magazine Defensive Position Team Rankings
1. Colts - Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis and Raheem Brock are great- and getting better.
2. Panthers - Mike Rucker will bounce back well with DT Kris Jenkins back to take away blockers.
3. Dolphins - Led by Pro Bowl pick Jason Taylor, this unit has talent, depth and versatility.
4. Patriots - Richard Seymour might be the best end in the league; Ty Warren is solid, too.
5. Jets - John Abraham and Shaun Ellis are terrific- and in their primes.
6. Cardinals - New LE Chike Okeafor solidifies what should be an excellent front four.
7. Saints - Depth and talent abound, with Darren Howard, Charles Grant, and Will Smith.
8. Buccaneers - Simeon Rice and Greg Spires create all kinds of havoc for opponents.
9. Steelers - Aaron Smith played like a Pro Bowler, and Kimo von Oelhoffen is solid.
10. Vikings - The teamís strong set of pass rushers must prove themselves against the run.
11. Falcons - Patrick Kerney racked up sacks last year, and Brady Smith is underappreciated.
12. Bears - Adewale Ogunleye should rebound well from injury. Alex Brown is on the rise.
13. Bills - Aaron Schobel and Chris Kelsay bring high effort and good pass-rushing skills.
14. Giants - Michael Strahan and Osi Umeniora should be solid starters, but there is a lack of depth.
15. Packers - The absence of a complete, dominant player dictates a committee approach.
16. Eagles - The team needs to get more sacks from Jevon Kearse; the depth is good.
17. Cowboys - The team used four draft picks on this spot, which should improve the depth and talent.
18. Lions - James Hall turned the corner in 2004, but Kalimba Edwards has yet to do so.
19. Seahawks - Grant Wistrom and Bryce Fisher are high-energy pass rushers; a third is needed.
20. Rams - Leonard Little is an elite pass rusher, but Anthony Hargrove is unproven.
21. Bengals - Robert Geathers and David Pollack improve the unitís depth and pass rush.
22. Texans - Robaire Smith is solid; Gary Walker must return to his 2002 form.
23. Ravens - The unit lacks experience but has potential; adjusting to the 4-3 will take time.
24. Browns - Orpheus Roye will be a force, but Kenard Lang might not fit, and depth is shaky.
25. Chiefs - Eric Hicks is steady; Jared Allen and Carlos Hall have upside as pass rushers.
26. Niners - Marques Douglasí arrival will help, but moving Bryant Young to end is a gamble.
27. Jaguars - The left side is a major worry, and RE Reggie Hayward never has been consistent.
28. Raiders - The arrival of Derrick Burgess makes this a more complete unit.
29. Chargers - Luis Castillo was drafted to help boost a sagging pass rush at tackle and end.
30. Redskins - Starters Renaldo Wynn and Phillip Daniels lack pure pass-rushing skills.
31. Titans - The team will count on getting more from Bo Schobel, Travis LaBoy and Antwan Odom.
32. Broncos - This revamped unit has a lot of big names but also has a lot to prove.
1. Jaguars - Marcus Stroud and John Henderson are stellar, and Tony Williams provides depth.
2. Lions - Shaun Rogers is the dominant anchor on a young and rapidly improving line.
3. Patriots - Keith Traylor (experience) and Vince Wilfork (youth) complement each other well.
4. Chargers - Jamal Williams leads a strong run defense. Luis Castillo should help.
5. Panthers - The return of Kris Jenkins should help tremendously; he is capable of dominating.
6. Vikings - Kevin Williams will benefit playing next to Pat Williams; the depth is also good.
7. Falcons - If not for the pass-rushing standout Rod Coleman, the grade would be C+.
8. Steelers - Itís normally a strength, but there are questions about Chris Hokeís knee.
9. Cowboys - Jason Ferguson and LaíRoi Glover are a top pair, but there is little depth.
10. Cardinals - Darnell Dockett is a rising star, and Russell Davis is coming off his best season.
11. Bears - The team loves its options; Tommie Harris projects as a future Pro Bowl pick.
12. Eagles - Thereís excellent depth with backups Sam Rayburn, Hollis Thomas and Mike Patterson.
13. Buccaneers - This is a talented group, but Anthony McFarland and Ellis Wyms must stay healthy.
14. Redskins - Cornelius Griffin is a force; Brandon Noble has good run-stopping ability.
15. Titans - Albert Haynesworth has Pro Bowl potential, and Randy Starks will be a force.
16. Bills - Sam Adams is dominating, but Tim Anderson and Ron Edwards are unproven.
17. Packers - Grady Jackson has been outstanding when healthy, but everyone else is unproven.
18. Texans - NT Seth Payne is disruptive against the run, but he hasnít been healthy.
19. Colts - The rotation lacks bulk against the run but gets a good pass-rush push.
20. Bengals - There are no superstars, but the unit is unselfish and works well together.
21. Rams - Ryan Pickett must improve as a pass rusher; Jimmy Kennedy finished strong in í04.
22. Dolphins - Larry Chester and Tim Bowens could be among the best, but health is an issue.
23. Jets - Dewayne Robertson has star potential, but it looks grim after him.
24. Raiders - Youth and energy complement aging veterans Warren Sapp and Ted Washington.
25. Ravens - The talent is young and unproven, but should get better as the season goes on.
26. Broncos - Underachieving Gerard Warren joins a blue-collar group.
27 Saints - Brian Young hustles non-stop but needs a superior run-stuffing complement.
28. Seahawks - How well Marcus Tubbs responds after a disappointing rookie season will be key.
29. Chiefs - Ryan Sims must step up for the defense to make a major improvement.
30. Browns - The Browns are pressing their luck by relying heavily on Jason Fisk.
31. Giants - Fred Robbins is no star, but heís the only given in a rotation full of uncertainties.
32. Niners - Bryant Young is moving to end in a 3-4, leaving little at nose tackle.
Join Date: Dec 2004
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1. Bills - Takeo Spikes, Jeff Posey, and London Fletcher can do it all, all over the field.
2. Broncos - A combination of speed, size and playmaking ability makes this Denverís best unit.
3. Steelers - James Farrior and Joey Porter headline a unit that makes the defense thrive.
4. Falcons - Atlanta added even more speed alongside Keith Brooking and Demorrio Williams.
5. Chargers - Donnie Edwards is coming off a big year, and Shawne Merriman could be special.
6. Panthers - Losing Mark Fields hurts, but Dan Morgan and Will Witherspoon are top-notch.
7. Bears - The starters are excellent. WLB Lance Briggs is a Pro Bowl-caliber player.
8. Dolphins - Zach Thomas and Junior Seau swarm to the ball; Jason Taylor could shine in a 3-4.
9. Patriots - Mike Vrabel and Willie McGinest make plays, and Chad Brown should help.
10. Niners - This unit has plenty of producers, but success will hinge on the outside starters.
11. Titans - Keith Bulluck is a force, and there are solid players around him.
12. Jets - Jonathan Wilma was the top defensive rookie; Eric Barton and Victor Hobson are solid.
13. Cardinals - The starting three are decent; the unitís strength lies in its depth.
14. Giants - MLB Antonio Pierce is a huge upgrade; WLB Barrett Greenís knee is a concern.
15. Buccaneers - WLB Derrick Brooks and MLB Shelton Quarles are as good as any linebackers.
16. Redskins - Marcus Washington can do everything from either side; the depth is solid.
17. Rams - Chris Claiborne provides a much-needed run stuffer in the middle.
18. Ravens - Ray Lewis remains, but Terrell Suggs is now an end and Ed Hartwell is gone.
19. Eagles - MLB Jeremiah Trotter is one of the NFLís best; the outside starters are adequate.
20. Jaguars - Mike Peterson and Daryl Smith are keepers, but there is little after them.
21. Cowboys - The unit has potential; two rookies are expected to be significant contributors.
22. Bengals - David Pollack is a nice addition, but the pieces need time to jell.
23. Packers - Best-case scenario: Nick Barnett excels and Ray Thomas regains his í02 form.
24. Vikings - All three spots are questions; MLB Sam Cowart is the steadiest performer.
25. Texans - This unit has been overhauled, but whether that will make it better is unclear.
26. Seahawks - With all three í04 starters gone, the pressure is on the new guys to step up.
27. Lions - There is a lot of talent and potential, but so far, the playmaking has been lacking.
28. Browns - Converting to a 3-4 will be a chore considering the lack of quality linebackers.
29. Colts - David Thornton and Cato June arenít playmakers, and thereís a hole in the middle.
30. Chiefs - Newcomers Kendrell Bell and Derrick Johnson could change this grade drastically.
31. Raiders - No one is dominant; Danny Clark is the most consistent of the bunch.
32. Saints - The unit is in desperate need of a difference-maker; depth also is a concern.
1. Eagles - Brian Dawkins and Mike Lewis form the best combination in the league.
2. Patriots - Rodney Harrison hits like a truck. Eugene Wilson excels in coverage. Both are smart.
3. Steelers - Troy Polamalu and Chris Hope are young, athletic and fast and hit like linebackers.
4. Bills - Lawyer Milloy and Troy Vincent are intelligent and physical. The depth is good.
5. Jaguars - Donovin Darius provides a presence over the middle; Deon Grant is reliable.
6. Cardinals - Adrian Wilson is coming off his best season; Robert Griffith brings experience.
7. Ravens - Ed Reed is one of the NFLís best players, but Will Demps can be a liability in coverage.
8. Vikings - Darren Sharper is an upgrade; Corey Chavous must hold off Willie Offord.
9. Seahawks - Michael Boulware is a ball hawk; Ken Hamlin has a lot left to prove.
10. Buccaneers - Dexter Jackson and Jermaine Phillips are strong, physical defenders.
11. Redskins - Sean Taylorís concentration must match his talent; the run support is good.
12. Broncos - John Lynch and Nick Ferguson lack speed but excel against the run.
13. Chargers - There are high hopes for Terrence Kiel and free-agent pickup Bhawoh Jue.
14. Titans - Tank Williams makes plays- when healthy. Lamont Thompson is effective.
15. Lions - Kenoy Kennedy is a big hitter, and Terrence Holt has a lot of potential.
16. Bengals - Madieu Williams is a blossoming star, but the run defense needs an enforcer.
17. Colts - Bob Sanders and Mike Doss are big hitters with big futures, but they are green.
18. Bears - SS Mike Brown and FS Mike Green have switched spots; they should fit better.
19. Jets - Five have been drafted the past three years, but only Erik Coleman has worked out.
20. Saints - Dwight Smith brings talent and playmaking ability; Jay Bellamy is underrated.
21. Giants - Shaun Williams is trying to come back from injury; Gibril Wilson is promising.
22. Texans - The starters are set with Marcus Coleman and Glenn Earl, but the depth is shaky.
23. Panthers - Much will depend on whether Thomas Davis plays here or at linebacker.
24. Niners - SS Tony Parrish creates turnovers but lacks a veteran complement at free safety.
25. Chiefs - Sammy Knight provides a fearsome presence, but Greg Wesley lost his fire in í04.
26. Browns - Brian Russell is the only experienced starter; Brodney Pool, Sean Jones offer hope.
27. Falcons - Bryan Scott is recovering from surgery; everyone else is old and slow.
28. Dolphins - Tebucky Jones and Travares Tillman both are suspect in coverage.
29. Raiders - Even with a healthy Derrick Gibson, this group has plenty of room to improve.
30. Rams - There are few sure things at the teamís most unstable position.
31. Cowboys - Roy Williams is a star, but there is no depth and no proven starter at free safety.
32. Packers - Darren Sharper is gone, and it will be a while before Nick Collins can fill his shoes.
CB coming out shortly
Most of them are alright, some are out of place.. what do you all think ?
Join Date: Apr 2005
Rep Power: 2603
I suppose Smith is solid, but we must have at least one other solid Dline member. I am not particlualry sold on walker but we need him to be decent. Perhaps getting TJ into the mix will keep things fresh. We need a solid Dline in order to get Babin and Peek up there haraasing the QB. By getting pressure on the QB, our linebackers become that much more effective and our secondary is that much tougher to throw against.
Join Date: Apr 2005
Rep Power: 2603
The linebacker rating is understandable considering there are question marks out there. IMHO a 3-4 defense starts and stops with an effective D-line. The D-line needs to clog up the O-line so that the ends can come in and pressure the QB. This will ultimatly help the linebackers as they can drop back and help the secondary or take down a QB which has gotten past the lline and the ends. The secondary also has lless time that the b has to get the ball to the receivers so that helps too. I think our secondary is sititng pretty well, our linebackers look decent, and our ends could be in for a big year. The place I am conserned is the D-line.
Join Date: May 2005
Rep Power: 10
It is what it is.
Hall of Fame
Join Date: Jun 2004
Rep Power: 11
How lond ago were these ratings posted? Because Traylor is now a dolphin.
But besides that these ratings are pretty good, eventhough I though that the LB corps would be rated a little higher. I still don't think that the cowboys LBs are better than ours.
"Democracy is not for the people." - Judge Dredd
Join Date: May 2004
Rep Power: 61262
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