Honorable Mentions: Mike Daniels, Linval Joseph, Damon “Snacks” Harrison
- Jurrell Casey
2017 Stats: 16g, 1 FF, 6 Sacks, 41 Tackles
Casey was a huge presence in the middle of the trenches last year for the Tennessee Titans and helped them clinch a playoff spot. With a playoff win over the Chiefs in the playoffs Casey and the Titans showed they have what it takes to win a key playoff game. Casey looks to add another pro bowl appearance to his resume this year after making the last 3.
- Geno Atkins
2017 Stats: 16g, 9 Sacks, 29 Tackles
This 6x Pro Bowler and 2x All Pro DT shows no sign of ageing as he continues to tear apart offensive lines. While his stats don’t reflect how dominant he is on the field, the players ranked him 63rd on the NFLs top 100 list. The Bengals are trying to return to their playoff contention status and will need Atkins to step up and make their defense credible again.
- Ndamukong Suh
2017 Stats: 16g, 2 FF, 4.5 Sacks, 29 Tackles
The boy named Suh is a monster of a man and isn’t afraid to play dirty. His stint with Miami is now over and he has now joined a legitimate Lombardi contender, the LA Rams. The change of scenery will surely help return him to his All Pro status. If Suh can get along with the other hotheads and scumbags on the team then they will likely be the team to beat this year.
- Fletcher Cox
2017 Stats: 14g, 1 FF, 2 FR, 1 TD, 5.5 Sacks, 15 Tackles, Super Bowl Champion
Fletcher Cox led the Philadelphia Eagles to the #1 seed in the NFC and an eventual Super Bowl victory over the Patriots in the 2017 season. This year they look to continue their success and return to the Super Bowl with their scary defensive front with Cox in the middle. Cox has openly said that his personal goal for this year is the DPOY and will have to do all he can to overthrow the man ahead of him on this list.
- Aaron Donald
2017 Stats: 14g, 5 FF, 1 FR, 11 Sacks, 32 Tackles
The reigning defending DPOY has been the key factor on defense for the Rams since his arrival 4 years ago. With a Pro Bowl in every year and an All Pro in his last 3, Donald continues to show why he is the best in the league. He is currently in talks with the Rams about a contract extension which would help lockdown their most productive and intimidating defensive player. The biggest concern for the Rams is the team chemistry as they’ve added a ton of new faces.