The Quarterback Blog looks at the Top 25 NFL Pass Rushers as part of our look at the Top Active NFL Players. The Pass Rusher list includes both Defensive Ends and Outside Linebackers and was one of the most difficult lists to put together yet with several Pro Bowlers and All-Pro players not making the list.
TOP 25 NFL PASS RUSHERS
T25.) JABAAL SHEARD, Cleveland Browns: In his 3rd season with the Browns, Sheard has 18 sacks to go with 7 passes defended and 7 forced fumbles in his 40 career games.
T25.) DARNELL DOCKETT, Arizona Cardinals: A natural DT, Dockett has 40.5 sacks in his 10-year career with the Cardinals as well as 343 tackles and 3 Pro Bowl appearances and 1 All-Pro.
T25.) CHRIS LONG, St. Louis Rams: The son of Howie Long, Chris has 48.5 career sacks in his 6th NFL season with the Rams.
T23.) BRIAN ORAKPO, Washington Redskins: The 5th year rush linebacker out of Texas, Orakpo has 36 sacks and a pick-six to go with 16 passes defended and 6 forced fumbles and 140 tackles in 60 career games.
T23.) RYAN KERRIGAN, Washington Redskins: The 2012 Pro Bowler is in his 3rd NFL season with the Skins and has 22.5 sacks, 2 picks with both being returned for TD’s and 15 passes defended with 9 forced fumbles and 115 tackles.
22.) JUSTIN HOUSTON, Kansas City Chiefs: The 2012 Pro Bowler is in just his 3rd NFL season but has made an impact with his 26.5 sacks and 137 tackles (including a safety) in just 43 games. Has already recorded a career-high 11 sacks this season in 11 games.
21.) ELVIS DUMERVIL, Baltimore Ravens: In his 8th NFL season Dumervil has 3 Pro Bowl trips and a 1st Team All-Pro to go with his 73 career sacks (17 in 2009) and 18 forced fumbles in just 102 career games.
20.) OSI UMENYIORA, Atlanta Falcons: The longtime Giant, Umenyiora is in his 11th NFL season with 2 Pro Bowls and a two-time 1st Team All-Pro with 2 Super Bowl wins. Osi has recorded 81.5 career sacks with 34 forced fumbles and 285 tackles in 140 games.
19.) CHANDLER JONES, New England Patriots: The younger brother of Ravens DT, Arthur Jones and UFC star Jon Jones, Chandler has 16.5 sacks in just his 2nd NFL season to go with 5 passes defended, 4 forced fumbles and 56 tackles in his 25 games.
18.) ROBERT QUINN, St. Louis Rams: In just 42 games in his first 3 seasons, Quinn has come on strong with 28.5 sacks (13 so far in 2013) as well as 8 forced fumbles (1 for a TD) and 76 tackles.
17.) ROBERT MATHIS, Indianapolis Colts: The 5-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl winner has 106 sacks and 44 forced fumbles with 14 recoveries to go with 357 tackles in 158 games.
16.) TAMBA HALI, Kansas City Chiefs: The Liberian-born Hali, now in his 8th NFL season, has 71.5 sacks and 27 forced fumbles with 337 tackles in just 121 games. Was voted to 3 Pro Bowls and a 1st Team All-Pro.
15.) CAMERON WAKE, Miami Dolphins: The self-nominated “best” pass rusher in the game, Wake has 49.5 sacks in just 72 career games to go with 9 passes defended, 8 forced fumbles and 150 tackles as well as 2 Pro Bowls and a 1st Team All-Pro.
14.) JUSTIN TUCK, New York Giants: The longtime Giant in his 9th NFL season, has 2 Pro Bowls and 2 1st Team All-Pro’s to go with his 2 Super Bowl wins and 52 career sacks with 25 passes defended and over 300 tackles.
13.) JUSTIN SMITH, San Francisco 49ers: The veteran DE in his 13th NFL season has 78 sacks, 30 passes defended, 14 forced fumbles, 9 recoveries and almost 600 tackles in 200 career games which has earned him 4 Pro Bowl nods and a 1st Team All-Pro and 2 2nd Team All-Pro considerations.
12.) ALDON SMITH, San Francisco 49ers: The 2012 NFC Player of the Year and Pro Bowl and 1st Team All-Pro nominee is in his 3rd NFL season where he’s accumulated 40 sacks in just 38 games.
11.) JASON PIERRE-PAUL, New York Giants: JPP was a risk as a draft choice but has paid off. JPP has 29.5 sacks to go with 2 intercepted passes, both returned for TD’s and 22 passes defended, 5 forced fumbles and 152 tackles which earned him 2 Pro Bowl nods and a 1st Team All-Pro selection as well as a Super Bowl win.
10.) JOHN ABRAHAM, Arizona Cardinals: In his 14th NFL season, Abraham has 129 sacks, 29 passes defended, 46 forced fumbles and 448 tackles with the Jets, Falcons and Cardinals in 186 games where he’s been selected to 4 Pro Bowls and 3 1st Team All-Pro’s.
9.) MARIO WILLIAMS, Buffalo Bills: The former #1 overall draft choice in 2006, Williams has come alive in Buffalo with 74.5 career sacks (11 so far in 2013) and 16 passes defended, 14 forced fumbles and nearly 250 tackles with 2 Pro Bowl’s and 2 1st Team All-Pro selections.
8.) DWIGHT FREENEY, San Diego Chargers: Freeney, the former 7-time Pro Bowler, 3-time 1st Team All-Pro, once 2nd Team All-Pro and Super Bowl winner has 108 sacks, 43 forced fumbles and 267 tackles in his 12-year career (mostly with the Colts). Also a former AFC Player of the Year.
7.) VON MILLER, Denver Broncos: A Pro Bowler and All-Pro in each of his first two-seasons, Miller, now in his 3rd season with the Broncos has 34 sacks, a pick-six, 11 forced fumbles with one recovered for a TD and 123 tackles in just 36 games.
6.) TERRELL SUGGS, Baltimore Ravens: In his 11th NFL season, and 1st without Ray Lewis, Suggs has 5 Pro Bowl selections, 2 All-Pro’s and a Super Bowl with his 93.5 sacks, 7 interceptions (2 for TD’s), 48 passes defended, 25 forced fumbles with 12 recovered and nearly 500 tackles in just 160 career games in Baltimore. Was also named an AFC and NFL Player of the Year.
5.) JARED ALLEN, Minnesota Vikings: Constantly one of the best pass-rushers in the league, Allen has 122 sacks in just 10-seasons which has earned him 5 Pro Bowl visits and 4 1st Team All-Pro’s. Also has 5 picks (1 for TD), 50 passes defended, 29 forced fumbles with 17 recoveries (1 for TD) and over 430 tackles and 4 safeties. Was also named an NFC Player of the Year.
4.) JULIUS PEPPERS, Chicago Bears: The former NFC Player of the Year, Peppers has also been named to 8 Pro Bowl’s and both 3 1st and 2nd Team All-Pro’s in his 12 NFL seasons where he has accumulated 115.5 sacks, 9 interceptions, 63 passes defended, 39 forced fumbles and over 440 tackles as well as 11 defensive TD’s.
3.) DEMARCUS WARE, Dallas Cowboys: In his 9th NFL season, Ware has 7 Pro Bowl appearances, 4 1st Team and 3 2nd Team All-Pro seasons and an NFC Player of the Year award. Has made 116 sacks and 32 forced fumbles with over 430 tackles and 4 defensive TD’s.
2.) CLAY MATTHEWS III, Green Bay Packers: In his 5th NFL season, Matthews has an NFC Player of the Year and 4 Pro Bowls and 2 1st Team All-Pro’s and a Super Bowl. Matthews has also accumulated 48.5 sacks, 4 interceptions (2 for TD’s), 23 passes defended, 9 forced fumbles with 3 recoveries (1 for TD) and 182 tackles.
1.) J.J. WATT, Houston Texans: The 2012 AFC and NFL Player of the Year, is in his 3rd NFL season and has 35.5 sacks, 24 passes defended, 7 forced fumbles with 6 recoveries, 173 tackles and 7 bloody noses in only 43 career games.