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Top 10 NFL Defensive Front 7 Rankings for the 2022 season, by Positional Unit

Publish Date: 08/08/2022
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
IRVINE, CA - JULY 29: Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams looks on during training camp at University of California Irvine on July 29, 2022 in Irvine, California. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Top 10

Today we will look at the top ten front seven’s heading into the 2022 season. Washington is not on this list because the names have been there, but the production has not. Check out the best new betting sites for betting on the NFL.

10. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts didn’t have any player among the top 60 for pressure rate last season, out of 140 players with at least 250 pass rush snaps. Yannick Nakaoue (ranked 33rd) will be a valuable addition. However, Kwity Paye (ranked 64th) must make strides in his second season to help this unit climb. This unit will have to be good to compensate for a lack of secondary help.

9. Green Bay Packers

Nobody generated more pressure on non-blitzes than Green Bay (32.8%), a crucial stat for Joe Barry’s defense, which was in the bottom 10 for blitz rate. This production helped lift the front seven to the top 10 in our unit ranks, despite a weak run defense that will need two rookies to step up.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

T.J. Watt alone should be reason enough to place the Steelers’ front seven at the top of their league. It’s important to note how dependent the Steelers are on Watt. Pittsburgh allowed 5.2 yards per pass when Watt was on the field. It allowed 6.2 yards per pass without him. A lack of depth is the root cause of this unit’s underperformance.

7. Cleveland Browns

Cleveland achieved a remarkable 35% pressure rate with Myles GarrettJadeveon Clowney on the field together. However, the pressure rate dropped to 25% when one of the players was not on the field. The front seven can be a top-tier unit if both players stay healthy.

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa was among four teams with three players who recorded at least 40 pressures in the last year. All three of these players are back ( Shaquil Barrett, Devin White, Vita Vea ). The unit’s loss of Ndamukong Suh is a weakness, but Logan Hall, a second-round selection, will fill in.

5. Los Angeles Chargers

Joey Bosa was 11th out of edge-rushers, generating a 14.2% rate. Khalil Mak joins the unit with a 12.5% pressure rate. This makes the Los Angeles front seven an elite duo. The defensive line has been upgraded by the addition of Sebastian Joseph-Day as nose tackle he excelled in Brandon Staley’s scheme with the Rams. Check out the top sports betting sites for betting on the NFL.

4. Philadelphia Eagles

With the addition of Jordan Davis, the interior defensive line ranks among the league’s best. But what will the edge-rushers do? Derek Barnett was ranked 68th among 75 qualified edge-rushers for pressure rate last season.

3. San Francisco 49ers

On 25.8o% opponent dropbacks, they generated pressure in 2.5 seconds or less, which is the league’s fifth-best rate. The unit will be able to replicate the production with rookie Drake Jackson as an interim replacement for Arden Key.

2. Buffalo Bills

Buffalo is among the three teams that are ranked amongst the top five in each category of defensive units. The Bills were ranked second in league pressure rate (35%) and they added Von Miller to their front-seven rankings, jumping from 17th place to fourth.

1. Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are our top-ranked front seven.  A unit that should continue to be dominant, despite losing Von Miller. The Rams were among five teams that allowed less than four yards per rush attempt in last season’s league, despite stacking at the league’s lowest rate.

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