Stephon Gilmore and Robby Anderson
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Michael Nania stacks up the top-30 defensive players that the New York Jets will face in 2020.

Nania's Numbers

All stats are regular season only unless otherwise noted.

30. Budda Baker, S, Arizona Cardinals

Key 2019 stats:

  • Most run stops among S (31)
  • Most total stops among S (47)
  • 4th among S in pressures (12)
  • 12th-lowest missed tackle rate among S (7.4%)

29. Dont’a Hightower, LB, New England Patriots

Key 2019 stats:

  • Most pressures among LB (32)
  • PFF’s 14th-ranked LB (69.4 grade)

28. Micah Hyde, S, Buffalo Bills

Key 2019 stats:

  • Zero penalties
  • PFF’s 10th-ranked S (79.5 grade)
  • 4th in PFF coverage grade in 2018 (88.6), 6th in 2017 (90.2)
  • 4th among S in passes defended since joining Buffalo in 2017 (13, tied with teammate Jordan Poyer)

27. Jordan Poyer, S, Buffalo Bills

Key 2019 stats:

  • 4th among S in run stops (20)
  • PFF’s 19th-ranked S (74.2 grade)
  • 4th among S in passes defended since joining Buffalo in 2017 (13, tied with teammate Micah Hyde)

26. Xavien Howard, CB, Miami Dolphins

Key 2019 stats:

  • Only 5 GP but struggled in 2019 (9.1 yards per target, 117.9 passer rating)
  • Elite in 2018 (12 GP): tied for NFL lead with 7 interceptions (tops with 0.58 per game), allowed 2nd-lowest passer rating (62.6), 8th in passes defended per game (1.0), earned 16th-best overall PFF grade among CB (77.3)
  • 13th-lowest passer rating allowed in 2017 (66.8)

25. Shaquill Griffin, CB, Seattle Seahawks

Key 2019 stats:

  • 4th among CB in run stops (9)
  • PFF’s 9th-ranked CB (77.0 grade)
  • 14th among CB in passes defended (13)
  • 16th-fewest yards allowed per cover snap among CB (0.94)

24. Justin Houston, EDGE, Indianapolis Colts

Key 2019 stats:

  • 13th-most sacks in NFL (11.0)
  • 18th among EDGE in pressures (60)

23. Byron Jones, CB, Miami Dolphins

Key 2019 stats:

  • 4th-lowest missed tackle rate among CB (4.3%)
  • 4th-fewest yards per cover snap allowed among CB (0.62)
  • 5th-most cover snaps per allowed reception among CB (17.9)
  • PFF’s 12th-ranked CB (76.1 grade)

22. Denzel Ward, CB, Cleveland Browns

Key 2019 stats:

  • Lowest completion rate allowed among CB (44.9%)
  • 6th-lowest passer rating allowed among CB (58.0)
  • PFF’s 19th-ranked CB in coverage (72.7 grade), ranked 6th in 2018 (83.6)

21. Tyrann Mathieu, S, Kansas City Chiefs

Key 2019 stats:

  • 70.0 passer rating and 5.0 yards per target allowed over position-leading 269 snaps in slot coverage
  • PFF’s 17th-ranked safety overall (75.3 grade) and 10th in coverage (81.6)

20. Devin McCourty, S, New England Patriots

Key 2019 stats:

  • 3rd-fewest yards per target allowed among S (4.3)
  • 4th-most interceptions in NFL (5)
  • 6th-lowest passer rating allowed among S (44.4)
  • 9th-fewest yards per cover snap allowed among S (0.23)

19. Patrick Peterson, CB, Arizona Cardinals

Key 2019 stats:

  • Suspended first 6 games – the only games he has missed in his entire career
  • Down year. PFF’s 32nd-ranked CB (68.6), 44th in coverage (64.3), 104.6 passer rating allowed (66th), but 10th-ranked vs. run (79.6)
  • Still elite as recent as 2018. That season: 2nd-fewest yards allowed per cover snap (0.63) and 5th-best coverage grade (83.7) among CB
  • Top-12 in fewest yards allowed per cover snap each season from 2015-18 (top-4 in 3 of those)

18. DeForest Buckner, IDL, Indianapolis Colts

Key 2019 stats:

  • 8th among IDL in pressures (55)
  • PFF’s 11th-ranked IDL (77.8 grade)
  • 13th among IDL in pressure rate (11.4%)

17. Arik Armstead, DE, San Francisco 49ers

Key 2019 stats:

  • PFF’s 3rd-ranked EDGE (89.8 grade)
  • 15th among EDGE in pressures (62)

16. Justin Simmons, S, Denver Broncos

Key 2019 stats:

  • PFF’s top-ranked S (90.8 grade)
  • Most passes defended among S (15)
  • 2nd-lowest passer rating allowed among S (32.1)
  • 4th-lowest missed tackle rate among S (4.1%)
  • 5th-fewest yards per target allowed among S (5.1)
  • 14th among S in run stops (14)

15. Darius Leonard, LB, Indianapolis Colts

Key 2019 stats:

  • 1st among LB and 4th among all players in interceptions (5)
  • 2nd-lowest passer rating allowed among LB (79.0)
  • PFF’s 6th-ranked LB (79.2 grade)
  • 7th among LB in pressures (19)
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14. Derwin James, S, Los Angeles Chargers

Key 2019 stats (only 5 GP):

  • 2nd-highest run stop rate among S (8.3%)
  • 2nd-fewest yards per target allowed among S (4.0)
  • PFF’s 8th-ranked S (82.4 grade)

Key 2018 stats (16 GP):

  • Tied for most pressures among S (18, tied with Jamal Adams, setting new record for safeties at the time which was broken against by Adams in 2019 with 23)
  • 5th-fewest yards per target allowed among S (5.0)
  • PFF’s 4th-ranked S (88.3 grade)
  • 9th among S in run stops (17)

13. Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland Browns

Key 2019 stats:

  • Led EDGE in pressures per game (6.1)
  • 3rd-most sacks per game in NFL (1.0)
  • 5th among EDGE in pressure rate (16.3%)

12. Jalen Ramsey, CB, Los Angeles Rams

Key 2019 stats:

  • PFF’s 20th-ranked CB (71.5 grade)
  • 42nd-fewest yards per cover snap allowed among CB (1.15)
  • 48th-lowest passer rating allowed among CB (96.4)
  • 10th-lowest passer rating allowed among CB in 2018 (73.8) and 11th in 2017 (63.9)

11. Casey Hayward, CB, Los Angeles Chargers

Key 2019 stats:

  • Led CB in most cover snaps per allowed reception (19.7)
  • 2nd-fewest yards after catch allowed per reception among CB (2.2)
  • 5th-fewest yards allowed per cover snap among CB (0.64)

10. Chandler Jones, EDGE, Arizona Cardinals

Key 2019 stats:

  • Tied for most forced fumbles in NFL (8)
  • 2nd-most sacks in NFL (19.0)
  • 8th among EDGE in pressures (75)

9. Chris Jones, IDL, Kansas City Chiefs

Key 2019 stats:

  • 2nd among IDL in pressures per game (4.5)
  • 2nd among IDL in pressure rate (14.7%)
  • 2nd among IDL in PFF pass rush grade (89.4)

8. Tre’Davious White, CB, Buffalo Bills

Key 2019 stats:

  • Tied for most interceptions in NFL (6)
  • Best TD/INT ratio allowed among CB (0 TD, 6 INT)
  • 2nd-lowest passer rating allowed among CB (46.3)
  • 4th-most passes defended in NFL (17)

7. Nick Bosa, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers

Key 2019 stats:

  • 5th-most tackles for loss in NFL (16)
  • 5th among EDGE in pressure rate (17.3%)
  • 6th among EDGE in pressures (80)
  • 8th-most quarterback hits in NFL (25)
  • 22 pressures in 3 playoff games (7.3 per game versus 5.0 per game in regular season)

6. Joey Bosa, EDGE, Los Angeles Chargers

Key 2019 stats:

  • Led EDGE in run stops (34)
  • 2nd among EDGE in run stop rate (10.3%)
  • 3rd-most tackles for loss in NFL (18)
  • 5th-most quarterback hits in NFL (31)
  • 9th among EDGE in pressures (72)
  • 10th among EDGE in pressure rate (15.7%)

5. Richard Sherman, CB, San Francisco 49ers

Key 2019 stats:

  • Fewest yards per cover snap allowed among CB (0.44)
  • Fewest yards per target allowed among CB (4.5)
  • 2nd-most cover snaps per allowed reception (19.1)
  • 3rd-lowest passer rating allowed among CB (46.8)
  • 10th-lowest missed tackle rate among CB (6.0%)

4. Bobby Wagner, LB, Seattle Seahawks

Key 2019 stats:

  • 3rd among LB in run stops (45)
  • 7th-lowest missed tackle rate among LB (5.2%)
  • PFF’s 9th-ranked LB (76.1 grade) – ranked 1st in 2017 and 2018

3. Stephon Gilmore, CB, New England Patriots

Key 2019 stats:

  • Led NFL in passes defended (20)
  • Tied for most interceptions in NFL (6)
  • 4th-lowest passer rating allowed among CB (47.4)
  • In 2 games against Gilmore, Robby Anderson caught 2-of-6 targets for 11 yards and zero first downs against Gilmore’s coverage

2. Von Miller, EDGE, Denver Broncos

Key 2019 stats:

  • 2nd-highest pressure rate among EDGE (17.6%)
  • 4th among EDGE in pressures per game (5.1)
  • PFF’s top-ranked EDGE against the run (90.0 grade)

1. Aaron Donald, IDL, Los Angeles Rams

Key 2019 stats:

  • Led NFL in tackles for loss (20)
  • Led IDL in sacks (12.5), total pressures (80), and pressure rate (14.8%)
  • PFF’s top-ranked IDL (93.7 grade) – 5th consecutive season

Honorable mentions: CB Jason McCourty (NE), CB Desmond King (LAC), EDGE Frank Clark (KC), EDGE Dee Ford (SF)

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