A Spotlight on the NFL's Most Underrated Defensive Players

Ethan RyanContributor IJuly 21, 2009

A Spotlight on the NFL's Most Underrated Defensive Players

0 of 11

    PITTSBURGH - JANUARY 11:  Aaron Smith #91 of the Pittsburgh Steelers lines up on defense against the San Diego Chargers during their AFC Divisional Playoff Game on January 11, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Steelers won 35-24. (Photo by

4-3 Defensive End: Trent Cole

1 of 11

    SEATTLE - NOVEMBER 02:  Trent Cole #58 of the Philadelphia Eagles walks on the field during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on November 2, 2008 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

3-4 Defensive End: Aaron Smith

2 of 11

    DETROIT - FEBRUARY 05:  Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck #8 of the Seattle Seahawks throws a pass as his lineman triple-team defensive end Aaron Smith #91 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter in Super Bowl XL at Ford Field on February 5, 2006 in

4-3 Defensive Tackle: Brodrick Bunkley

3 of 11

    PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 26:  Brodrick Bunkley #97 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the NFL preseason game on August 26, 2007 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Eagles 27 - 13. (Pho

3-4 Nose Tackle: Haloti Ngata

4 of 11

    NASHVILLE, TN - JANUARY 10:  Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata #92 of the Baltimore Ravens reatcs against the Tennessee Titans during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game on January 10, 2009 at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

4-3 Outside Linebacker: Keith Bulluck

5 of 11

    NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 28:  Linebacker Keith Bulluck #53 of the Tennessee Titans celebrates after stopping the Minnesota Vikings at LP Field on September 28, 2008 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Vikings 30-17.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Gett

3-4 Outside Linbacker: Parys Haralson

6 of 11

    SANTA CLARA, CA -  AUGUST 2: Rookie defensive end Parys Haralson #98 practices at the San Francisco 49ers training camp on, August 2, 2006 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by David Paul Morris/ Getty Images)

4-3 Middle Linebacker: Jonathan Vilma

7 of 11

    TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 30: Linebacker Jonathan Vilma #51 of the New Orleans Saints sets for play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on November 30, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

3-4 Inside Linebacker: Stephen Cooper

8 of 11

    TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 21: Wide receiver Ike Hilliard #19 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sets for a tackle after linebacker Stephen Cooper #54 of the San Diego Chargers intercepts a fourth-quarter pass at Raymond James Stadium on December 21, 2008 in Tampa, Fl

Cornerback: Brandon McDonald

9 of 11

    LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 19: Defensive back Brandon McDonald #22 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates a missed field goal by the Washington Redskins at the end of the first half on October 19, 2008 at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Drew Hallowel

Free Safety: Eric Weddle

10 of 11

    SAN DIEGO - SEPTEMBER 22:  Eric Weddle #32 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates with teammates after an interception by Weddle in the second quarter against the New York Jets on September 22, 2008 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.  (Photo by S

Strong Safety: Quintin Mikell

11 of 11

    PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 27:  Quintin Mikell #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles moves on the field during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by: Nick Laham/Getty Images)