D-line Rankings (06/05/14)

By John Ewing
NFL Positional Power Rankings – ranking every player in the NFL by position.

Our NFL Positional Power Rankings are based on an impact score (0 - 10 scale) for each player. These are the same rankings we share with NFL teams to discuss draft and roster creation as well as the basis for all of our NFL Draft content including 2014 Top 250 Rankings. The impact score is a relative value based on the projections that can put players in context across positions. A score of seven or above can generally outperform a replacement player in the NFL at his position; an eight or above can be expected to start adequately and a player with a rating over nine is a unique, game-changing athlete.

Why are positional rankings important? The ratings used in the positional rankings analysis are directly tied to the objective used to run each NFL regular and postseason game 50,000 times. The relative strengths and weakness of the teams have helped PredictionMachine.com go 35-9 (80% ATS) all-time in the NFL Playoffs.

Rankings: offensive skill positions (including quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends) and defensive line. Linebackers and defensive secondary rankings will be revealed in the coming days.

For more fun with impact scores check out the NFL Draft Machine.

Defensive Line Highlights
  • The highest rated player: Houston Texans' defensive end J.J. Watt (9.9 out of 10). The All-Pro is the only player in the NFL to receive a ranking of 9.9 out of 10.
  • Sixteen defensive linemen earned an impact score of nine or above (game-changing). Thus far, the defensive line is the most talented unit, relative to expectations at each position, in the NFL with 12.5 percent of the position players (Offensive line 10 percent, Skill positions 4.5 percent) earning a score of 9.0 or above.
  • The Rams and Jets have the best defensive lines in the league. Both teams added starters in the last two drafts. St. Louis – Aaron Donald (2014) and New York – Sheldon Richardson (2013).
  • The highest rated defensive ends: Houston Texans' J.J Watt (9.9 out of 10), St. Louis Rams' Robert Quinn (9.8 out of 10) and Arizona Cardinals' Calais Campbell (9.2 out of 10).
  • The highest rated defensive tackles: Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Gerald McCoy (9.8 out of 10), Detroit Lions' Ndamukong Suh (9.4 out of 10) and Cincinnati Bengals' Geno Atkins (9.4 out of 10).
Note: The defensive line rankings are based on position only (DE and DT). Players that are listed as linebackers but could be classified as defensive linemen in other schemes (3-4 vs. 4-3) are not included. For example: Denver's defensive line ranks 25th overall but that does not include Von Miller in the rankings. Had Miller been included the Broncos' defensive line would become a top five unit. No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney, expected to start at outside linebacker, is not included in Houston's rank.

Defensive Line Power Rankings

Team Average Defensive Linemen Ranking
St. Louis Rams 8.89
New York Jets 8.88
Seattle Seahawks 8.69
Oakland Raiders 8.41
Kansas City Chiefs 8.31
Arizona Cardinals 8.31
Carolina Panthers 8.28
Miami Dolphins 8.24
Indianapolis Colts 8.19
Buffalo Bills 8.17
New Orleans Saints 8.16
Tennessee Titans 8.15
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8.14
Houston Texans 8.14
Detroit Lions 8.08
New York Giants 8.05
Atlanta Falcons 8.03
Philadelphia Eagles 7.99
Baltimore Ravens 7.96
San Francisco 49ers 7.95
New England Patriots 7.95
Cincinnati Bengals 7.91
Minnesota Vikings 7.91
Denver Broncos 7.89
Pittsburgh Steelers 7.74
Washington Redskins 7.69
Cleveland Browns 7.69
Chicago Bears 7.69
Green Bay Packers 7.47
Dallas Cowboys 7.35
Jacksonville Jaguars 7.34
San Diego Chargers 7.24