clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NFC West Defenses: PFF Rankings By Position

New, comments
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As we know, the Cardinals’ defense last year had its fair share of struggles. Here are the 2018 defensive and special teams rankings per PFF:

Total Defense:

LA---3rd

SE---20th

AZ---28th

SF---32nd

Front 7:

LA---3rd

SE---16th

SF---21st

AZ---29th

Secondary:

LA---6th

SE---18th

AZ---20th

SF---32nd

Rush Defense:

SE---15th

LA---16th

SF---26th

AZ---29th

Tackling:

LA---3rd

AZ---10th

SE---15th

SF---31st

Pass Rush:

LA---3rd

AZ---21st

SE---23rd

SF---28th

Coverage:

LA---4th

SE---14th

AZ---24th

SF---32nd

Special Teams:

LA---6th

AZ---12th

SE---17th

SF---26th

Here are the position rankings of 2019 players based on the 2018 PFF grades:

Edge: 1---Dee Ford* (KC---88.6---SF); 2---Arik Armstead (SF---74.8); 3---Ziggy Ansah* (DET---74.5---SEA); 4---Chandler Jones (AZ---73.4); 5---Terrell Suggs* (BAL---71.6---AZ); 6---Dante Fowler (LA---71.5): 7---Samson Ebukam (LA---64.0); 8---Barkevious Mingo (SEA---56.0)

DTs: 1---Aaron Donald (LA---95.6); 2---DeForest Buckner (SF---81.4); 3---Rodney Gunter (AZ---70.5); 4---Darius Philon* (LAC---68.7---AZ); 5---Jarran Reed (SEA---67.9); 6---Michael brockers (LA---67.2); 7---Solomon Thomas (SF---64.0); 8---Nazair Jones (SEA---56.8)

NTs: 1---Poona Ford (SEA---90.3); 2---Corey Peters (AZ---69.5); 3---Tanzel Smart (LA---66.3); 4---D.J. Jones (SF---61.4)

LBs: 1---Bobby Wagner (SEA---91.9); 2---Jordan Hicks* (PHI---76.1---AZ); 3---K.J. Wright (SEA---70.2); 4---Cory Littleton (LA---66.6); 5---Clay Matthews* (GB---65.3---LA); 6---Fred Warner (SF---63.9); 7---Haason Reddick (AZ---61.3); 8---Kwon Alexander* (TB---59.1---SF)

CBs: 1---Nickell Roby-Coleman (LA---82.6); 2---Richard Sherman (SF---68.9); 3---Tre Flowers (SEA---64.1); 4---Marcus Peters (LA---62.1); 5---Tramaine Brock* (DEN---59.5---AZ); 6---Robert Alford* (ATL---56.6---AZ); 7---Ahkello Weatherspoon (SF---44.9); 8---Shaquil Griffin (SEA---35.9)

Ss: 1---John Johnson (LA---84.3); 2---Eric Weddle* (BAL---80.7---LA); 3---D.J. Swearinger (AZ---79.8); 4---Brad McDougald (SEA---76.6); 5---Jacquiz Tartt (SF---66.1); 6---Budda Baker (AZ---65.9); 7---Tedric Thompson (SEA---65.7); 8---Adrian Colbert (SF---31.7)

Potential Impact Players as Rookies (Top 65 picks in 2019 NFL Draft):

Edge: Nick Bosa (SF---1st Round); L.J. Collier (SEA---1st Round)

DE/DT: Zach Allen (AZ---3rd Round)

CB: Byron Murphy (AZ---2nd Round)

S: Taylor Rapp (LA---2nd Round)

In comparing the defensive personnel in the NFC West, it’s quite possible that the Cardinals could have:

* Top Edge rushing tandem in the NFC West in Chandler Jones and Terrell Suggs

* 2nd Best ILB in Jordan Hicks (Bobby Wagner---1st)

* 2nd Best CB trio in Robert Alford, Tramaine Brock and Byron Murphy (Nickel Roby-Coleman, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib---1st)

* 2nd Best S tandem in Budda Baker and D.J. Swearinger (John Johnson and Eric Weddle---1st)

The key for the Cardinals is performing and grading better on the interior defensive line. The switch back to the 34 should be a plus. A breakout year from Haason Reddick playing in tandem with Jordan Hicks would be huge. Plus, the Cardinals have to hope to get good bounce back years from CBs Robert Alford and Tramaine Brock, plus a rejuvenated S Budda Baker alongside alpha leader S D.J. Swearinger.