<
>

'13 Player Rankings, Defense: 60-51

ESPN.com is ranking NFL players and counting them down (follow on Twitter -- @ESPNNFL) from No. 100 to No. 1 on offense and on defense, 10 per day for 10 days. The top 10 on both sides of the ball will be revealed on Friday, Aug. 30.

What is #NFLRank?

#NFLrank is the Twitter hashtag to use if you want to get involved in the discussion or just follow along.

You can also follow along here: @ESPNNFL (NFL on ESPN) and on Facebook.

How did we rank the players?

We polled 63 experts to rate each player on a 0-to-10 scale, with 10 being the best regardless of position in the NFL. Ties, as denoted by an asterisk, were broken by determining which player had more ballots with the highest number. (If players were tied, the player with three 10s was ranked higher than the player with two 10s. If the tied players had the same amount of the highest number -- each with two 10s -- we moved to the next number; three 9s beat two 9s).

Here is the full list of voters from ESPN.com, ESPN TV, ESPN Radio, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Insider (including Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus), ESPN Fantasy, ESPN Boston, ESPN Chicago, ESPN Dallas, ESPN New York and ESPN Stats & Information.

Since drafting McCoy in 2010, the Buccaneers defense has allowed 4 yards per rush with him on the field and 5 yards per rush when he is off the field.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

52

6.95*

Justin Tuck | @JustinTuckNYG91
New York Giants | DE | Age: 30 | NFL experience: 9th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL20; overall 64

The Giants defense has averaged a sack on 7.2 percent of opponent drop-backs with Tuck on the field during the past five seasons compared to 5.5 percent of opponent drop-backs with Tuck off the field.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

Tuck was once a big force on defense. Those days appear to be over.
-- Football OutsidersInsider

53

6.89*

Henry Melton | @HenMel
Chicago Bears | DT | Age: 26 | NFL experience: 5th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: NR; CHI D4

Melton has 13 sacks over the past two seasons when lined up at one of the defensive tackle positions. Only the Bengals' Geno Atkins (17.0) has more.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

54

6.89*

Ryan Clark | Team Twitter: @steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers | S | Age: 33 | NFL experience: 12th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DB30; overall 98

Over the past five seasons, the Steelers have led the NFL in pass yards allowed, rank second in pass TD allowed and are third in Total QBR allowed. Clark has started 75 of a possible 80 games during that span.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

55

6.87

Charles Johnson | Team Twitter: @Panthers
Carolina Panthers | DE | Age: 27 | NFL experience: 7th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL6; overall 23

Johnson led all defensive linemen in the league with seven forced fumbles last season. He also had 12.5 sacks, third among defensive linemen behind J.J. Watt (20.5) and Cameron Wake (15.0).
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

56

6.85*

Ahmad Brooks | @AhmadBrooks55
San Francisco 49ers | LB | Age: 29 | NFL experience: 8th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: NR; SF D2

Brooks disrupted 15.5 drop-backs (sacks plus interceptions plus passes defensed plus batted passes) last season (including playoffs), only five fewer than teammate Aldon Smith. Brooks contributed six batted passes, twice as many as the rest of the 49ers defense combined.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

57

6.85*

James Laurinaitis | Team Twitter: @STLouisRams
St. Louis Rams | LB | Age: 26 | NFL experience: 5th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB2; overall 3

Laurinaitis has 222 solo tackles over the past two seasons, most of any player in the league. Only 15 players even had 222 total tackles (including assists).
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

58

6.84

Anthony Spencer | Team Twitter: @dallascowboys
Dallas Cowboys | DE | Age: 29 | NFL experience: 7th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL13; overall 45

Spencer was the only player in the league last season to have at least 90 tackles and double-digit sacks. Spencer's 11 sacks were as many as he had in 2011 and 2010 combined.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

59

6.82*

Daryl Washington | @DWashington58
Arizona Cardinals | LB | Age: 26 | NFL experience: 4th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB41; overall 101

Washington led the Cardinals in defensive tackles (134) last season after posting a team-high 106 in 2011.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

60

6.82*

Brandon Carr | @BCarr39
Dallas Cowboys | CB | Age: 27 | NFL experience: 6th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: NR; DAL D12

Carr has broken up 31 passes thrown at or beyond the first-down marker, most in the league, since 2008.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)