EDGE RUSHERS (4-3 DE, 3-4 OLB)
DEMARCUS LAWRENCE (DE) – DALLAS
Demarcus Lawrence tallied 15.5 sacks and 39 quarterback hits the last two seasons. After a down year in 2019 and now paired with better line talent, he’s headed back to double digit sacks in 2020.
RYAN KERRIGAN (DE) – WASHINGTON
Before 2019, Ryan Kerrigan recorded at least 11 sacks in four of five seasons (2014-18). He made the Pro Bowl in three of those seasons. Last year the relentless rusher dealt with a concussion and calf injury. A bounce back 2020 campaign seems likely.
TRUE LINEBACKERS (4-3 LB, 3-4 ILB)
LEIGHTON VANDER ESCH (MLB) – DALLAS
After a stellar, Pro Bowl rookie season, Leighton Vander Esch was plagued by a neck injury in 2019. Offseason surgery was deemed successful and he claims to be 100%. If 2018 Vander Esch returns on the scene, it’s big trouble for the division.
BLAKE MARTINEZ (ILB) – NEW YORK
Three straight seasons with at least 144 combined tackles allowed Blake Martinez to cash in on a 3-year, $30 million contract with the Giants. Three interceptions, 17 pass deflections, and 10 sacks are also solid numbers in four NFL seasons.
CHASE YOUNG (OLB) – WASHINGTON
Chase Young is the rare rookie deserving of a list this elite. The freak specimen won numerous college awards and was drafted 2nd overall in the 2020 draft. Size, speed, and athleticism of this caliber is rarely seen. Young will be an NFL force from day one.