Defensive Rankings (06/26/14)

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 go 35-9 (80% ATS) all-time in the NFL Playoffs.

Previous Rankings: offensive skill positions, offensive line, defensive line, linebackers, secondary and overall offense.

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

Defensive Highlights
  • The Chiefs have employed a stars and scrubs strategy to defensive roster building. Kansas City is the only team to have four starters with impact scores of 9.0 out of 10 or higher. At the same time, three starters have scores indicative of replacement level talent.
  • Defensive talent is evenly distributed. Three out of every four teams have at least one player with an impact score of 9.0 or higher. Only half of the teams have an offensive player as talented.
  • Jacksonville is bad. The Jaguars have the worst collection of talent on both sides of the ball, finishing last in both offensive and defensive team talent rankings.
  • They say defense wins championships? However, only five of the top ten defensive teams from the rankings below made last year's playoffs.
  • Only two teams, Denver and San Francisco, have top ten offenses and defenses. Dallas has a top five offense, yet the second-worst defense.
  • The Seahawks are the only team without a weakness; every starter has a score of 8.0 or higher. Seattle is so talented that you could replace the team's best defensive player with a replacement level talent and the 12th Man would still be cheering for the best defense in the league.

Defensive Power Rankings

Team Average Defensive Ratings
Seattle Seahawks 8.51
Kansas City Chiefs 8.39
San Francisco 49ers 8.24
New York Jets 8.21
Denver Broncos 8.21
Carolina Panthers 8.19
Arizona Cardinals 8.16
Buffalo Bills 8.16
Tennessee Titans 8.14
Baltimore Ravens 8.14
Indianapolis Colts 8.10
Oakland Raiders 8.10
Pittsburgh Steelers 8.09
New England Patriots 8.08
Cincinnati Bengals 8.08
St. Louis Rams 8.08
Houston Texans 8.07
Detroit Lions 8.05
Cleveland Browns 7.99
Minnesota Vikings 7.97
New Orleans Saints 7.96
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7.91
Atlanta Falcons 7.87
Philadelphia Eagles 7.85
New York Giants 7.85
Miami Dolphins 7.84
Washington Redskins 7.81
Green Bay Packers 7.74
San Diego Chargers 7.70
Chicago Bears 7.53
Dallas Cowboys 7.52
Jacksonville Jaguars 7.52