3 Up-and-Coming Defenses in 2021

You know what they say, defense wins championships. We saw how the Buccaneers’ defense won Brady yet another Super Bowl. We saw how the Rams’ defense carried Jarred Goff to a playoff victory. We saw how the Monsters of the Midway made Mitchell Trubisky look like a winning quarterback. The point is, defense is becoming more and more important with the talent level of offenses rising. In order to have a good defense you must have five things, smart players, good tackling, good turnover production, elite coverage ability, and most importantly a good pass rush. Now let’s take a look at three teams who could burst onto the scene with stellar defensive play.

New England Patriots

LDE Christian Barmore

NT Davon Godchaux

RDE Lawrence Guy

LOLB Matthew Judon

LILB D’Onta Hightower

RILB Raekwon McMillan

ROLB Kyle Van Noy

LCB Stephon Gillmore

RCB J.C. Jackson

SCB Jonathan Jones

SS Kyle Dugger

FS Devin McCourty

Bill Belichick has always had a stout defense but last year was a down year for the team as a whole. After a massive free agency haul and with key players returning, the Patriots are looking like a well oiled machine. With the new addition of Davon Godchaux and the return of D’Onta Hightower, the run defense is looking stout. The additions of Christian Barmore, Matthew Judon, and the return of Kyle Van Noy makes this Patriots pass rush more than respectable. Stephon Gillmore, J.C. Jackson, and Jonathan Jones is arguably the best cornerback room in the league and the veteran ballhawk Devin McCourty’s life is easier because of it. Former second round pick Kyle Dugger’s development will prove crucial to the true potential of the defense but all in all this is looking like a scary defense.

New York Giants

LDE Dexter Lawrence

NT Danny Shelton

RDE Leonard Williams

LOLB Azeez Ojulari

LILB Blake Martinez

RILB Reggie Ragland

ROLB Ifeadi Ogenigbo

LCB James Bradberry

RCB Adoree Jackson

SCB Aaron Robinson

SS Jabrill Peppers

FS Xavier McKinney

The Giants have arguably the most complete secondary in the NFL. It all starts up front for the Giants. The trio if Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Williams, and Danny Shelton is probably the best front three in the league. All three of those guys are elite run defenders and can rush the passer. As for the rush linebackers, they committed highway robbery by taking Azeez Ojulari and Ifeadi Odenigbo brings a veteran presence with high pass rush upside. The leader of the ILB room is Blake Martinez who is consistently top five in tackles and Reggie Ragland who has never been given a chance to succeed but has a high ceiling. James Bradberry and Adoree Jackson are two of the best outside cover men in the league and the young Aaron Robinson is a polished slot corner from UCF. The Giants have the best safety rotation in the league with Jabrill Peppers, Xavier McKinney, and Logan Ryan. They have a complete defense with exceptional coaching under Joe Judge and Patrick Graham.

Carolina Panthers

LDE Brian Burns

LDT Derrick Brown

RDT DaQuon Jones

RDE Haason Reddick

WLB Jermaine Carter

MLB Shaq Thompson

SLB Denzel Perryman

LCB Jaycee Horn

RCB Donte Jackson

SCB A.J. Bouye

SS Jeremy Chinn

FS Juston Burris

The Carolina Panthers are building a young defense designed around tormenting opposing passing games. Up front the Panthers have Haason Reddick and Brian Burns coming off the edges with Yetur Gross-Matos in a rotational role. Derrick Brown and DaQuon Jones are two big time run stuffers while Brown carries massive pass rush upside. The addition of Dayvion Nixon brings another young body with huge pass rush dividends to the room. The linebacker core is designed to be a nose to the ground, downhill, shoot the gap group of athletes thats sole purpose is to stop the run. These linebackers are tough, physical, and very strong. Shaq Thompson is the leader of the core who acts as the brain of the defense. Denzel Perryman is a hit stick type of player who lays the boom on the edges. Jermaine Carter is an undersized sideline to sideline guy who’s meant to stop jet sweeps and pitches in their tracks. As for the cornerback room, 2021 eighth overall pick Jaycee Horn provides a physical and aggressive element to the cover core that they lacked before. Donte Jackson is going to be much better suited as a CB2 who specializes in matching speed. AJ Bouye has slot and outside capabilities who will lock up the slot once back from suspension. This is a cover room that can match the talents of Michael Thomas, Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Calvin Ridley, and Julio Jones. Jeremy Chinn is one of the best and most versatile strong safeties in the league. Chinn can cover, he can tackle, he can track the ball, he can rush the passer, he can play at the LOS, in the box, or in the deep middle. Chinn is the ideal strong safety in today’s NFL. Juston Burris may be the only blemish on the defense but anyone can play behind Jeremy Chinn and this CB core. This is a young aggressive defense with potential to be the best in the league.

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