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Top 10 NFL Defensive Tackles 2023 Rankings

Aaron Donald tops the list going into the 2023 - 2024 NFL Season for best defensive tackles in the NFL. Also ranking the best lineman which includes Cameron Hayward, Jonathan Allen, and more


By admin | April 27, 2023

The 2023 National Football League Season is slowly approaching as the NFL offseason continues to roll along. As the 2023 NFL Draft approaches and training camp sits just around the corner the time to look at the best players at each position has arrived.

One of those positions is the defensive tackle position that is crucial to the success of any NFL team while both stopping the run as well as the pass.

As you start to look around the NFL the top defensive tackle landing among the Top 10 NFL Defensive Tackles 2023 rankings list is the Los Angeles Rams All-Pro Aaron Donald. 

Donald who will be entering his 10th NFL season all with the Rams since being drafted by the organization when the team was the St. Louis Rams.

Despite missing six games last season. Donald put together a strong season racking up five sacks, forcing one fumble, and recovering one fumble. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year is just one of a handful of talented defensive tackles in the end.

Joining Donald among the Top 10 NFL Defensive Tackles includes the Kansas City Chiefs Chris Jones, Quinnen Williams of the New York Jets, Daron Payne of the Washington Commanders, and Javon Hargrave of the San Francisco 49ers. Here is a look at the Top 10 NFL Defensive Tackles 2023 rankings list:

Honorable Mention

Jeffery Simmons

Team: Tennessee Titans

2022 Stats: 25 Solo, 7.5 Sacks, 1 FF, 0 INT

Landing just outside of the Top 10 NFL Defensive Tackles 2023 rankings list is the Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons.

Simmons, who is entering his fifth season in the NFL during the upcoming 2023 NFL schedule posted his second straight season posting at least 7.5 sacks while also posting at least nine stuffs. 

The 25-year-old defensive tackle who played his college football for the Mississippi State Bulldogs is both strong and physical while slowly emerging as one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL.

Vita Vea

Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2022 Stats: 15 Solo, 6.5 Sacks, 1 FF, 0 INT

Another defensive tackle that often goes under the radar is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Vita Vea. Vea who is coming off a career year while continuing to showcase his growth at the NFL level.

Vea, after posting at least two sacks in each of his first four seasons including four during the 2021 NFL season, posted a career high 6.5 sacks last season while posting 3.5 stuffs, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

The Buccaneers tackle continues to develop while being a threat up front for even the best offensive lines in the NFL.

Top 10 Defensive Tackles

10. Fletcher Cox

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

2022 Stats: 23 Solo, 7 Sacks, 1 FF, 0 INT

Coming in at number 10 on the Top 10 NFL Defensive Tackles 2023 rankings list is the long time Philadelphia Eagles veteran Fletcher Cox.

Cox, who was drafted by the Eagles within the first round of the 2012 NFL draft has racked up 65 career sacks heading into the upcoming 2023 NFL Season.

Despite being one of the older names among the group, Cox continues to play at a high level after posting seven sacks, one forced fumble, and a fumble recovery during the 2022 NFL schedule. Cox continues to use his size and game sense to find his way to the quarterback while slowing down opposing running backs.

9. Dexter Lawrence

Team: New York Giants

2022 Stats: 35 Solo, 7.5 Sacks, 2 FF, 0 INT

The former Clemson Tigers star defensive standout Dexter Lawrence continues to emerge and develop into one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL.

After posting nine sacks over his first two seasons, Lawrence was difficult to block up front while allowing him opportunities to make plays on the ball carrier.

The New York Giants defensive tackle is coming off a career high 7.5 sacks to go along with two forced fumbles and 68 total tackles. Lawrence, who will not turn 26 till December, is one of the bright young defensive stars in the NFL. 

8. Jonathan Allen

Team: Washington Commanders

2022 Stats: 44 Solo, 7.5 Sacks, 2 FF, 1 INT

After a slow start to his NFL career after dealing with injuries Jonathan Allen has showcased his playmaking abilities up front on the defensive line.

In four of his first six seasons in the NFL, the former Alabama Crimson Tide star defender has posted at least six sacks including 7.5 sacks during the 2022 NFL schedule.

In addition to being a force against the pass, Allen has also showcased his ability to get to the running back while recording 17 stuffs at or behind the line of scrimmage.

7. DeForest Buckner

Team: Indianapolis Colts

2022 Stats: 44 Solo, 8 Sacks, 2 FF, 0 INT

Entering his eighth NFL season the former Oregon Ducks standout defensive star has put together a solid NFL career while recording 53 career sacks, seven forced fumbles, and 43 stuffs. 

Since being acquired by the Indianapolis Colts during the 2020 NFL Season, DeForest Buckner has not looked back, recording 9.5, seven, and eight sacks in each of the three seasons.

To go along with eight sacks last season Buckner posted two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and a career high 12 stuffs at or behind the line of scrimmage.

6. Cameron Heyward

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

2022 Stats: 39 Solo, 10.5 Sacks, 1 FF, 0 INT

Over the years the Pittsburgh Steelers continue to find studs on the defensive side of the football through the NFL Draft. One of those successful draft picks was Cameron Heyward who the team selected with the second to last pick of the 2011 NFL Draft first round from the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Heyward has not disappointed either, earning three first team All-Pro selections and six selections to the NFL Pro Bowl game.

The Steelers star is coming off his second straight double digit sack total and third of his career after posting 10 sacks last season. Look for Heyward to continue his success alongside a strong Steelers defense during the 2023 NFL season.

5. Daron Payne

Team: Washington Commanders

2022 Stats: 32 Solo, 11.5 Sacks, 0 FF, 0 INT

Rounding out the top five on the Top 10 NFL Defensive Tackles 2023 rankings list is another Washington Commanders defensive tackle. That tackle is the former Alabama Crimson Tide star and former 2018 NFL First Round Draft Pick Daron Payne.

After a solid start to his career, the fifth-year defensive tackle broke out last year posting career highs in sacks with 11.5, tackles with 64, and stuffs with eight. Payne enters the 2023 NFL season and his sixth overall ranked among the best defensive tackles in the NFL.

4. Javon Hargrave

Team: San Francisco 49ers

2022 Stats: 37 Solo, 11 Sacks, 1 FF, 0 INT

One defensive tackle coming off a career year last season while helping the Philadelphia Eagles reach the Super Bowl is Javon Hargrave.

Hargrave, who is 30 years old, posted his first double digit sack performance last season while being as aggressive and talented as any defensive tackle in the NFL.

After his strong performance, Hargrave landed a new deal for the upcoming season with the San Francisco 49ers while delivering the team another force in slowing down opposing offenses and giving the team a dynamic tandem alongside T.J. Watt.

3. Quinnen Williams

Team: New York Jets

2022 Stats: 35 Solo, 12 Sacks, 2 FF, 0 INT

When it comes to the top three defensive tackles in the NFL right now, each are well deserving of the top spot. Unfortunately, only one player can slot in there with Quinnen Williams of the New York Jets sliding in at number three.

The former Alabama Crimson Tide defensive star finished the 2022 NFL Season ranked 11th in the NFL in sacks (11) and second among all defensive tackles. Williams is a strong defender against both the run and pass while grading out at number three among data collected by PFF. 

2. Chris Jones

Team: Kansas City Chiefs

2022 Stats: 30 Solo, 15.5 Sacks, 2 FF, 0 INT

The standout defensive tackle of the Kansas City Chiefs continues to play at a high level while ultimately helping the team to take home the Super Bowl Trophy last season.

Jones is coming off a strong season while tying his career high in sacks with 15.5 during the 2022 NFL season. In addition to the sacks, Jones racked up 44 tackles, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, four passes defended and 5.5 stuffs.

1. Aaron Donald

Team: Los Angeles Rams

2022 Stats: 27 Solo, 5 Sacks, 1 FF, 0 INT

Despite a down year due to injuries, the Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle continues to rank among the best defenders in the NFL and one of the top overall defensive lineman.

Prior to the 2022 NFL season Donald had posted at least 11 sacks in five straight seasons and six times total all coming with the Rams.

Expected to return healthy during the 2023 NFL season, expect to see Donald return to his greatness status while helping to solidify the Rams defense. Donald in just 11 games last season finished with five sacks to go along with one forced fumble and 11.5 sacks for the Rams.

How would you rank these NFL Defensive Tackles going into the 2023-2024 NFL Season? Rank below to be added in the NFL Power Rankings.

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