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Ranking the NFL: Defensive Lines

June 30th, 2008

The defensive line grades are up. I tried not to over-emphasize one great player, and tried to give credit to teams a bit more that had multiple impact players along their lines. Depth and the strength of the rotation matters as well. I tried my best not to make too big a bias towards stopping the run or rushing the passer. I think I found a pretty good balance, but if there is any skewing, it’s probably towards pass rush. Total points awarded for defensive lines was 48 points.

RNK TEAM        PTS  GRADE
1 Vikings 40 A-
2 Patriots 33 B+
3 Bears 32 B
4 Ravens 30 B
5 Saints 30 B
6 Colts 29 B
7 Giants 29 B
8 Steelers 29 B
9 Chargers 28 B-
10 Packers 28 B-
11 Bills 27 B-
12 Eagles 27 B-
13 Seahawks 27 B-
14 Buccaneers 26 B-
15 Texans 26 B-
16 Titans 26 B-
17 Browns 24 C+
18 Cowboys 24 C+
19 Jaguars 24 C+
20 Panthers 24 C+
21 Rams 23 C+
22 49ers 22 C+
23 Bengals 22 C+
24 Jets 22 C+
25 Broncos 21 C
26 Cardinals 21 C
27 Redskins 21 C
28 Falcons 20 C
29 Lions 20 C
30 Chiefs 19 C
31 Raiders 17 C-
32 Dolphins 15 C-

Why are the Falcons 28th? Simply put, because outside Abraham, no one has emerged as an impact player. The Falcons have pretty good depth, but they need one of their three other starters to emerge as a playmaker. Personally, I think you’ll see significant improvement from Anderson and Babineaux this year, but I’m not sure it’s going to be enough where the Falcons defensive line is considered good in relative times.

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