We don't like to think about what the NFL will look like without star defensive linemen DeMarcus Ware and Geno Atkins or even underrated stud Gerald McCoy, but it will happen. And it'll happen soon.
My generation didn't want to think about an NFL without Hall of Famers Bruce Smith or Reggie White, but along came the next wave of talent in the form of J.J. Watt, Robert Quinn, Chandler Jones and more. We didn't want the game without John Randle or Warren Sapp, but along came Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh. The game moves on, and legends walk away. Looking ahead to the next generation, who will be the best defensive lineman in the year 2020?
That's what this signature series aims to answer—our "20 for '20" covers who the top 20 linemen will be five seasons from now. And if you're looking for guys like Atkins or McCoy—who will be well over 30 years old in 2020—we have to project a few retirements and a few slowdowns.