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.

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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