By its nature, nose tackle is one of the most unheralded and selfless positions in the NFL. In recent seasons the position has taken on greater significance thanks to the proliferation of 3-4 fronts.
The most common requirement of a nose tackle is to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of the rest of the defense.
Occupying multiple blockers and creating lanes of pursuit for fellow defenders is the weekly requirement of a nose tackle, regardless of system.
For many defenses the nose tackle's performance is the most critical element of the scheme. This list includes some nose tackles who operate in versions of a 4-3 front that rely on a powerful presence over the center.
But the majority of the players on the list operate as the focal point in a base 3-4 defense. This is due mainly to the fact that most of the standout nose tackles in the league play for 3-4 teams.
Here is a ranking of the 10 best nose tackles in the game today.