2015 Top 5 Free Agent Defensive Linemen
Teams will look to these guys to rush the passer and stop the run. Today I rank the top five defensive linemen in free agency.
5. Jared Odrick
Bio: In his five seasons in Miami, Jared Odrick has proven to be a versatile defensive lineman. In that time he recorded 129 tackles, 16.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and an interception.
Bottom line: Quality, versatile defensive line starters are not easy to find in free agency.
Possible landing spot: Miami
4. Nick Fairley
Bio: In his four seasons in Detroit, Nick Fairley has had a very unpredictable career. In that time he has recorded 98 tackles, 13.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and a touchdown.
Bottom line: The ultimate boom-or-bust pickup, Fairley can be one of the best at his position when motivated.
Possible landing spot: Chicago
3. Greg Hardy
Bio: Greg Hardy finally came on strong for the Panthers in 2013. That year he set the team single game sack record with four and the team single season sack record with 15 while being named to his first pro bowl.
Bottom line: Hardy is not available to be signed until he comes off the Commissioner's Exempt List, and he could be facing further suspension. But his talent, production and age are worth ranking in the top five here. Someone will give him a chance.
Possible landing spot: Tennessee
2. Jerry Hughes
Bio: Over the past two seasons in Buffalo, Jerry Hughes has been one of the most underrated defensive linemen in the league. He has posted back to back 10 sack seasons as a member of one of the league's best defensive lines.
Bottom line: Hughes has averaged 10 sacks over the past two years which place him just below Pro Bowl level. How much of that production is the result of feasting on easier matchups provided by the presence of dominant All-Pros such as Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Mario Williams?
Possible landing spot: New York Giants
1. Ndamukong Suh
Bio: Since joining Detroit in 2010, Ndamukong Sub has been one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the game. He has recorded 239 tackles, 36 sacks, and two forced fumbles over his five seasons and has been a four time pro bowler and All-Pro.
Bottom line: Outside of quarterbacks and the two unanimous All-Pros in J.J. Watt and Rob Gronkowski, Suh and Odell Beckham Jr. are the two unique talents around whom NFL teams would most like to build a franchise. A double-team defeater against the run as well as the pass, Suh is on a Hall of Fame career path. Suh is likely on his way out after the Lions chose not to use the franchise tag on him.
Possible landing spot: Seattle