Ranking the NFL's Defensive Leaders

Ron Clements@Ron_ClementsCorrespondent ISeptember 23, 2009

Ranking the NFL's Defensive Leaders

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    TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals gets tackled by Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by A

30. Who replaces Vrabel and Bruschi in New England?

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    FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 13: Gary Guyton #59 of the New England Patriots reacts against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on November 13, 2008 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

29. Detroit overhauls its roster with a slew of defensive veterans

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    GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 28: Ernie Sims #50 of the Detroit Lions brings down James Jones #89 of the Green Bay Packers on December 28, 2008 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Lions 31-21. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Imag

28. Peppers wants out, so it's up to Davis to lead Panthers

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 26:  Jerheme Urban #85 of the Arizona Cardinals tries to run away from Thomas Davis #58 of the Carolina Panthers during their game  on October 26, 2008 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Le

27. "The Hawk" is no longer with the Eagles, so who takes over?

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    PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 15:  Asante Samuel #22 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates with Quintin Mikell #27 and Trent Cole #58 after an interception for a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns on December 15, 2008 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelp

26. Bills led by quartet, but which one is most valuable?

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 23:  Keith Ellison #56 of the Buffalo Bills moves on the field during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on November 23, 2008 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

25. Mr. Jackson, the Browns await you

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    CLEVELAND - NOVEMBER 2:  Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball as he is hit by D'Qwell Jackson #52 of the Cleveland Browns during the second quarter of their NFL game at Cleveland Browns Stadium November 2, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by

24. Denver's Champ

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    DENVER - SEPTEMBER 20:  Cornerback Champ Bailey #24 of the Denver Broncos defends against the Cleveland Browns during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 20, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Browns 27-6.  (Photo by Doug

23. St. Jonathan in New Orleans

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

22. Justin's Jaguars

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    DENVER - OCTOBER 12:  Linebacker Justin Durant #56 of the Jacksonville Jaguars defends against the Denver Broncos during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 12, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Jaguars defeated the Broncos 24-17.  (Photo by D

21. Tennessee in Finnegan's Wake

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    NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 21:  Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is hit hard by Cortland Finnegan #31 of the Tennessee Titans as he scores a touchdown during their game on December 21, 2008 at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Streeter L

20. Chief Mike Brown

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19. Barber's Buccaneers

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    NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 15: Ronde Barber #20 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stands at attention during the national anthem against the Tennessee Titans during a preseason NFL game at LP Field on August 15, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans beat the Buc

18. Houston's Super Mario

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    HOUSTON - AUGUST 31:  Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnestoa Vikings releases the ball as he is pressured by defensive end Mario Williams #90 of the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on August 31, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Im

17. Immediate impact for Peterson in Atlanta

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    ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 13:  Mike Peterson #53 of the Atlanta Falcons against the Miami Dolphins at Georgia Dome on September 13, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

16. The Bell tolls in Miami

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    MIAMI - NOVEMBER 09:  Running back Maurice Morris #20 of the Seattle Seahawks is brought down by safety Yeremiah Bell #37 of the Miami Dolphins at Dolphin Stadium on November 9, 2008 in Miami, Florida. The Dolphins defeated the Seahawks 21-19.  (Photo by

15. Chargers fly the 'Coop'-er

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    SAN DIEGO - SEPTEMBER 04:  Linebacker Stephen Cooper #54 of the San Diego Chargers warms up for the game with the San Francisco 49ers on September 4, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.   The Chrgers won 26-7.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty

14. Revis is the man for the Jets

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 20: Dwight Lowery #21 of the New York Jets celebrates with teammate Darrelle Revis #24 after a turnover against the New England Patriots at Giants Stadium on September 20, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nic

13. London in Washington

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    DETROIT - OCTOBER 26:  London Fletcher #59 of the Washington Redskins rushes during the game against the Detroit Lions on October 26, 2008 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Domenic Centofanti/Getty Images)

12. Seattle's Lofa Tatupu

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    SEATTLE , WA - SEPTEMBER 13:  Lofa Tatupu #51 of the Seattle Seahawks sacks Marc Bugler #10 of the St. Louis Rams at Qwest Field on September 13, 2009 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

11. Osi - the ultimate G-Man

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 13:  Osi Umenyiora #72 of the New York Giants looks on against the Washington Redskins on September 13, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

10. The Silver Ware that wears the Silver Star

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    IRVING, TX - DECEMBER 20:  DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on during their NFL game against the Baltimore Ravens at Texas Stadium on December 20, 2008 in Irving, Texas. The Ravens defeated the Cowboys 33-24. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty I

9. Asomugha is 'corner' piece for Raiders

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    OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 29:  Nnamdi Asomugha #21 of the Oakland Raiders is introduced against the New Orleans Saints during an NFL preseason game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 29, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Ima

8. Atogwe the leader for the Rams

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    SEATTLE - OCTOBER 21:  Wide receiver Nate Burleson #81 of the Seattle Seahawks leaps for a pass that fell incomplete against Ron Bartell #24 and Oshiomogho Atogwe #21 of the St. Louis Rams at Qwest Field October 21, 2007 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahaw

7. Williams, Incorporated: the Vikings Wall of Defense

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    DETROIT - DECEMBER 07:  (L-R) Kevin Williams #93 and Pat Williams #94 of the Minnesoa Vikings in action during the NFL game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 7, 2008 in Detroit, Michigan.  The Vikings defeated the Lions 20-16.  (Photo by

6A and 6B. Arizona's dynamic duo

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 10:  Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie #29 of the Carolina Panthers reacts during the game against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game on January 10, 2009 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

5. The lesser-known Jenkins brother

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    GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 09: Cullen Jenkins #77 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates a tackle for a loss against the Oakland Raiders on December 9, 2007 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Raiders 38-7.  (Photo by Jonathan Da

4. Cincinnati's Odom becoming a star

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    GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 20: Quarterback Aaron Rogers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is sacked by defensive end Antwan Odem #98 of the Cincinnati Bengals at Lambeau Field on September 20, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Bengals defeated the Packers 31-24

3. What you talking 'bout Willis?

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 21: Patrick Willis #52 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates a victory against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on December 21, 2008 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The 49ers beat the Rams 17-16.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Get

2. 52 is still No. 1 in Baltimore

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    PITTSBURGH - JANUARY 18:  Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens kneels over Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers as Roethlisberger grimaces after he was hit by Lewis during the AFC Championship game on January 18, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsb

1. What about Bob?

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    INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 02:  Bob Sanders #21 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates after he intercepted  a pass in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 2, 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/