If the old saying “defense wins championships” holds true, then the players on this list should be invaluable to their respective teams.
When it comes to evaluating which player is most important to his team’s defense, one must consider a variety of factors. Does his skill set fit a need? Does his style fit the system? Where does he rank in the locker room? Is he a leader? Is he a one-year wonder, or is he established?
Don’t forget that each team’s strengths and weaknesses are unique, and that all evaluations are skewed to fit team needs with regard to its current situation.