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Top 10 Defensive Tackles in NFL 2024 Rankings

Justin Madubuike is the best Defensive Tackle in the NFL right now going into the 2024-2025 NFL season. Also where Chris Jones, and more rank

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By admin | June 12, 2024

Who Is The Best NFL Defensive Tackle?

The NFL is loaded with talented players at positions on both sides of the ball that continue to shine year in and year out. One of those positions that has an extensive list of top tier talent is the defensive tackle position that once featured future Hall of Famer Aaron Donald atop the list. As Donald moves on to retirement a new number one lands atop the list of the Top 10 NFL Defensive Tackles 2024 Rankings as Justin Madubuike of the Baltimore Ravens slides in just ahead of another potential Hall of Fame candidate Chris Jones.

The former Texas A&M Aggies defender put together his best season of his young career while leading all defensive tackles with 13 sacks while also posting two forced fumbles. Madubuike who is just 26 years old was just one key member of a Ravens defense that ranked atop the list of defensive units after allowing just 16.5 points per game during the 2023 NFL Season.

Joining Madubuike among the best defensive tackles in the NFL includes Jones of the Kansas City Chiefs, Christian Wilkins of the Las Vegas Raiders, Dexter Lawrence of the New York Giants, and Quinnen Williams of the New York Jets.

Here is a look at the Top 10 NFL Defensive Tackles 2024 Rankings:

Honorable Mention

Jonathan Allen

Team: Washington Commanders

Just missing the cut on the Top 10 NFL Defensive Tackles 2024 Rankings list is the Washington Commanders Jonathan Allen. Allen, who was a standout defensive star with the Alabama Crimson Tide has been an anchor on the Commanders roster since being drafted 17th overall during the 2017 NFL Draft.

The former Crimson Tide star is coming off a season that includes eight stuffs and 5.5 sacks while also posting at least 50 tackles (53) for the sixth straight season.

Despite posting just 5.5 sacks, Allen still put a ton of pressure on opposing quarterbacks including 49 total pressures across the season.

Jeffery Simmons

Team: Tennessee Titans

Entering his sixth NFL season with the Tennessee Titans, Jeffery Simmons is an underrated defensive tackle that is often overlooked at the position.

In each of the three previous seasons Simmons posted at least 5.5 sacks while also posting at least 44 tackles and at least nine stuffs. However, while those numbers look strong, it came over just 12 games after battling injuries across the season.

With an impressive performance in just 12 games, the Titans star defensive tackle will enter the 2024 NFL season looking to potentially reach double digit sack totals.

Top 10 NFL Defensive Tackles 2024 Rankings

10. Javon Hargrave

Team: San Francisco 49ers

Sliding in at number 10 on the Top 10 NFL Defensive Tackles 2024 Rankings list is the San Francisco 49ers Javon Hargrave. After three seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Hargrave found himself playing out west on a 49ers roster loaded with talent including Nick Bosa on the defensive side of the ball.

Hargrave continued his overall success posting his third straight season with at least seven sacks while also adding 44 tackles and 5.5 sacks over 16 games played.

After falling short in the Super Bowl, Hargrave and the 49ers enter the 2024 NFL season looking to make a run at the Super Bowl.

9. Jalen Carter

Team: Philadelphia Eagles 

After being selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft out of the Georgia Bulldogs, Jalen Carter rewarded his team a strong rookie season.

A season that included 33 tackles, six sacks, five stuffs, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Carter showcased his all-around athleticism and playmaking abilities including his ability to get to the quarterback.

The former Bulldogs star is just starting his career but after posting an 85.9 pass rushing grade expectations are high as he enters year two of his NFL career. 

8. Deforest Buckner

Team: Indianapolis Colts

Possibly the most athletic defensive tackle of the group is the Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Deforest Buckner. Buckner is used in a non-traditional tackle role sliding all around the line while delivering him an opportunity to make a play both against the run as well as against the pass.

After posting his second straight season with at least 50 pressures, the Colts are entering the 2024 NFL season expecting big time production from their star defensive tackle.

The 30-year-old star is coming off his fourth overall season posting at least eight sacks while also adding a strong presence in the running game including posting a career high 14 stuffs.

7. Derrick Brown

Team: Carolina Panthers

When it comes to run stuffing, defensive tackle looks no farther than the Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Derrick Brown. The former Auburn Tigers stand out defensive star enters his fifth season in the NFL coming off a dynamic 2023 NFL season.

Over 17 games played last season Brown registered a career high 103 tackles to go along with 16 stuffs, two sacks and one interception.

While his sack totals do not live up to the other top tackles on the defensive side of the ball, Brown’s play against the run including earning just one of two grades above 90 against the run from PFF makes him a standout at the position.

6. Cameron Heyward

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

After battling injuries during the 2023 NFL season expectations are high for Cameron Heyward as the 2024 NFL season approaches.

Despite posting just two sacks over 11 games while dealing with injuries, Hayward’s proven track record and his ability to get to the quarterback should help him return to double digit sack totals, something the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle posted in both 2021 (10) and in 2022 (10.5).

In addition to his sack performances prior to his injury riddled 2023 NFL season, Heyward had posted at least an overall grade of 90 among the position in four straight seasons.

5. Christian Wilkins

Team: Las Vegas Raiders 

Rounding out the Top 5 on the Top 10 NFL Defensive Tackles 2024 Rankings list is the former Miami Dolphins standout defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. Wilkins put together his best overall season in the NFL last season posting a career high nine sacks over 17 games played.

The strong season secured Wilkins a new $110 million dollar deal with the Las Vegas Raiders during the NFL off-season while landing him among the top free agents entering the off-season.

As Wilkins will look to help the Raiders get back in contention in a loaded AFC West, expectations are high for Wilkins to build alongside fellow standout defensive star Maxx Crosby.

4. Quinnen Williams

Team: New York Jets

Over the years the New York Jets have had a history of producing top tier defensive talent including on the defensive line. The latest of those defensive stars is Quinnen Williams who is coming off another strong season while leading all defensive tackles with a 90.4 grade against the run.

Even more impressive was the Jets star defensive tackles 15 tackles for a loss while ranking among the best in the league.

Despite failing to secure his second First-Team All-Pro selection last season, high hopes are set for Williams and the Jets entering the 2024 NFL season with a Super Bowl Championship atop their wish list.

3. Dexter Lawrence II

Team: New York Giants

Another dominant force at the defensive tackle position is Dexter Lawrence of the New York Giants. While the sack totals do not live up to some of the other top defensive lineman, it is still hard to look past his ability to slow down opposing runners in the running game while also ranking among the top defensive tackles in quarterback pressures each season.

Lawrence, who is entering his sixth NFL season, is coming off a season earning a strong 89.5 grade against the run and 92.6 grade against the pass according to PFF.

Since the 2022 NFL season no other nose tackle in the NFL has pressured opposing quarterbacks more, racking up 81 total over 32 games played.

2. Chris Jones

Team: Kansas City Chiefs

While there is not a 1A and 1B on the rankings list, Chris Jones is as deserving of any defensive tackle to compete for the overall top spot.

Jones continues to be a havoc up front for the Kansas City Chiefs while helping the team to back-to-back Super Bowl Champions including leading the league in each of the previous two seasons in pressure rate against opposing quarterbacks.

After missing the first game of the season, Jones got things rolling posting sacks in five straight games to start his season while also finishing the season with three straight sacks to finish off the season with 10.5 total sacks.

His third double digit sack performance helped earn Jones an overall 84.1 grade from PFF while ranking among the best in the NFL. 

1. Justin Madubuike

Team: Baltimore Ravens 

In at number one on the Top 10 NFL Defensive Tackles 2024 Rankings list is the Baltimore Ravens Justin Madubuike. Madubuike, who the Ravens landed in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, continues to develop into one of the best overall defensive players in the league.

The Ravens Second Team All-Pro is coming off a breakout 2023 NFL season earning himself his first All-Pro selection as well as his first Pro Bowl selection. The former Texas A&M Aggies defender enters the 2024 NFL season looking to build on a career high 13 sacks which led all defensive tackles.

With Madubuike up front the Ravens defensive unit finished the season leading the league in points allowed, sacks, and tied for the lead in defensive takeaways.

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