The 2022 NFL season is approaching, and The Playmaker is here to give you his Top 5 rankings for each position. Today we focus on the other side of the football which defense. Here are the Top 5 rankings for defensive linemen.
5. Chandler Jones, Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals were one of the hottest teams early in the season last season but had a disappointing ending to that season. The same thing can be said about our number five defensive lineman in Chandler Jones. The Cardinals' defensive end had a hot start to the 2021 season with five sacks in the first game of the season. However, that production fell down as the season went along and the Cardinals found themselves not only losing the NFC West Division but being ousted in the Wildcard Round by division rival Rams. Nevertheless, Jones was still a much productive d-lineman in the league. Jones finished the season with 31 tackles, 10.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery.
4. Jeffrey Simmons, Tennessee Titans
Number four is a man that was terrorizing offensive linemen down in Nashville, Tennessee. That man will be Jeffrey Simmons of the Titans. One of the best defensive teams in the league were the Titans and part of was because Simmons caused a lot of hell in the offensive backfield. Having a guy like Simmons in the middle of your defensive line, make the opposing offenses think twice about running the ball up the middle and how quickly the QB should get rid of the football. Simmon 2021 campaign saw 52 tackles and 8.5 sacks. Expect more of the same from Simmons in 2022 as the defense of Titans will look to be even better than last season.
3. Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams
What can be said about a man who is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year and number three of this list? Simply, dominant. This is Aaron "Freakin" Donald of the Los Angeles Rams. Arguably the best player in the NFL today is Donald. The man gets doubled and tripled-teamed more than anyone in the league and still puts up crazy numbers that be amongst the top in the league. Donald had 38 tackles, 12.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles in 2021 which can be said to be a down year. More importantly, Donald raised his level in the playoffs that help lead to the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl 56 when he put the finishing touches on Joe Burrow. After taking time away from the gridiron and celebrating as a champion, Aaron Donald is returning with a raise in his contract to continue his dominance over the league and try to capture more Super Bowls in LA.
2. Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns
Even though Cleveland had an up-and-down last season, but still managed to make the playoffs, the same cannot be said for their defensive leader. That being Myles Garrett. The Browns defensive end continues being one top pass rushers in the league today and this including Jadeveon Clowney. Garrett put up 33 tackles, 16 sacks, a forced fumble, and fumble recovery in 2021.
1. Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers
This could come as a surprise to some, but not many especially if you paid attention the 49ers last season. The number one defensive lineman going into 2022 is a guy who is known but is not talked about as much as Garrett and Donald are. This man being one Nick Bosa. The Niners' DE had probably the best season of the defensive linemen go despite losing to the Rams and Aaron Donald in the NFC Championship Game. 40 tackles with 15.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles, Nick Bosa made the case for best defensive linemen in the NFL last season, and we acknowledge it. Nick Bosa and Niners' defense will be looked upon to produce similar numbers if not better without the uncertainties with Deebo Samuels and Jimmy Garoppolo.