With the 2020 NFL regular season heating up in a big way as temperatures start to drop across the nation, it’s time to take another fun-filled look at the Top 10 defensive players in the league heading into Week 12. Let’s jump right into action so you can place your bets against their NFL odds.
NFL Defensive Player Rankings Heading Into Week 12!
No. 10 Jalen Ramsey – CB LA Rams
The fifth overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft out of Florida State has ‘just’ one interception to go along with 16 tackles and one stuff, but the fact of the matter is that the elite cover corner has only one pick – because no one is dumb enough to throw the ball his way! There’s a reason why the Rams have been so dominant on defense this season and it’s because Ramsey completely shuts down one side of the field and every team’s No. 1 wideout – while Aaron Donald wreaks havoc up front!
No. 9 Vince Williams – LB – Pittsburgh
Williams might be the most unheralded member of Pittsburgh’s stout linebacker unit, but the eighth-year former Florida State standout is tied for second in the entire league in tackles for loss (15) while adding three sacks, 37 total tackles and one forced fumble. Yes, the sixth round pick in the 2013 NFL draft benefits from playing alongside two Pro Bowl stars, but he’s been a blossoming force for a Steelers unit that leads the league in fewest points allowed.
No. 8 Brandon Graham – DE – Philadelphia
Sure, the lowly Philadelphia Eagles might be a complete mess as they head into Week 12 against Seattle with a pitiful 3-6-1 record, but it’s not for a lack of effort – and production from Brandon Graham, the 13th overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft. The former Michigan star ranks fourth in tackles for loss (13), while adding a stellar seven sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 28 solo tackles. Basically, Graham has been everywhere for an Eagles defense that is lacking talent almost everywhere.
No. 7 Trey Hendrickson – DE – New Orleans
You might not know how Trey Hendrickson is right now, but that’s okay, opposing quarterbacks across the league now do! The third round pick in the 2017 NFL draft is tied for the league lead in sacks (9.5) and has recorded an impressive 10 tackles for loss and one pass defensed. The former Florida Atlantic star is projected to finish with 15 sacks for the season and has had a major impact on why New Orleans has been so rock-solid defensively this season.
No. 6 Khalil Mack – LB – Chicago
The perennial Pro Bowler ranks sixth in tackles for loss (12) while recording 6.5 sacks, 22 solo tackles, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception. The Bears are floundering with four straight losses heading into Week 12, but it’s certainly not Mack’s fault that he can’t play offense.
No. 5 Bobby Wagner – LB – Seattle
Seattle’s perennial Pro Bowl linebacker ranks eighth in solo tackles (56)and third in total tackles (96). The second round pick in the 2012 NFL draft also has three sacks, six tackles for loss and five passes defensed. Sure, Seattle’s defense has been severely lacking this season – but Wagner is playing at as a high of a level as he ever has.
No. 4 Bud Dupree – LB – Pittsburgh
The 22nd pick in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Kentucky has recorded eight sacks, 18 solo tackles, nine tackles for loss, a pair of forced fumbles and three stuffs while making life hell for every opposing quarterback, running back and tight end he’s lined up against this season. This dude is everywhere!
No. 3 TJ Watt – LB – Pittsburgh
The 30th overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft has gotten better every year and is now a true difference-maker for a Pittsburgh defense that has routinely shut down the opposition all season long. Watt leads the NFL in tackles for loss (16) and has shown some serious versatility by racking up six passes defensed, 26 solo tackles, nine sacks and one interception. Watt also stopped the Grinch from stealing Christmas, but we’ll get to that next month!
No. 2 Myles Garrett – DE – Cleveland
The No.1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft has clearly lived up to expectations in his young career, his mugging of Mason Rudolph aside. All jokes aside, Garrett is tied for the league lead in sacks (9.5) and own the outright lead in forced fumbles with four. Garrett has also racked up a dozen (12) tackles for loss while recovering a pair of fumbles. No offensive lineman can contain Garrett for long, but the scary part is if the former Texas A&M star looks like a player that is going to get better as he moves further into his true prime.
No. 1 Aaron Donald – DT – LA Rams
Look, I’m not one to scary very easily seeing as how I hail from the mean streets of Philadelphia, but I’m almost shaking in my boots…er slippers…as I write about the incomparable Aaron Donald. The 13th pick in the 2014 NFL draft is undeniably the most disruptive defensive player in the NFL and it’s not even close really. Donald is tied for second in sacks (9.0) and has recorded 11 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and on fumble recovery while generally making life hell for every opposing offensive lineman – and quarterback – he faces each week – or maybe you missed how Donald harassed Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their impressive Week 11 win!