The best non-QB on every NFL team

The quarterback is the most important player on the football field, but it takes a team of great talent to make a champion. These are the best non-QBs on each of the 32 NFL teams entering 2022.

 

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With apologies to future Hall of Famer J.J. Watt, Baker is the best and most consistent player on the Cardinals’ defense. The safety is a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro in five seasons as one of the elite safeties in the NFL.

 

Atlanta Falcons: A.J. Terrell, CB

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The Falcons are in a rebuild, and they seemed to hit on their 2020 first-round pick Terrell. He was a second-team All-Pro last season, already establishing himself as an elite cover corner.

 

Baltimore Ravens: Marlon Humphrey, CB

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Humphrey was one of many notable Ravens who missed time to injury in 2021, but he’s hoping to get back on track this season. The star corner was a Pro Bowler in 2019 and 2020, and has nine picks over his five NFL seasons.

 

Buffalo Bills: Stefon Diggs, WR

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Buffalo has a star-laden roster, though Diggs has a strong case as their best player not named Josh Allen. He’s made the Pro Bowl in both of his seasons with the team, with over 2,700 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns since joining the team. The Bills also have stars on defense that rival Diggs, including Ed Oliver, Von Miller, Tremaine Edmunds, Jordan Poyer, and Tre’Davious White.

 

Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey, RB

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McCaffrey would have an easy case as the Panthers’ best player if he could stay healthy. It’s still easy to remember his history, All-Pro 2019 season in which he had nearly 2,400 yards from scrimmage and 19 touchdowns, though McCaffrey has played a total of 10 games over the last two seasons.

 

Chicago Bears: Roquan Smith, LB

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With Khalil Mack gone, Smith is the new leader of the Bears’ defense. He was a second-team All-Pro in each of the last two seasons, with a staggering 163 tackles last year. His status as the top player could be short-lived, however, after demanding a trade during training camp.

 

Cincinnati Bengals: Ja'Marr Chase, WR

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Chase had a historic rookie season, winning Offensive Rookie of the Year in the process. The former LSU star finished with 81 catches for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns during the regular season and helped lead the Bengals to the Super Bowl.

 

Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE

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Garrett is arguably the best defensive player in football and a back-to-back All-Pro. He recorded a career-high 16 sacks last season and has double-digit sacks in four consecutive years.

 

Dallas Cowboys: Micah Parsons, LB

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Parsons edges out elite offensive players like CeeDee Lamb, Tyron Smith, and Zack Martin, along with All-Pro cornerback Trevon Diggs, after a historic rookie campaign. He’s set to be the core player of the Cowboys’ defense after recording 84 tackles and 13 sacks last season.

 

Denver Broncos: Justin Simmons, S

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The Broncos have a strong roster despite their lack of recent success, with Simmons leading the way on defense. He was a Pro Bowler in 2020 and second-team All-Pro in two of the last three seasons, recording 14 interceptions over that time.

 

Detroit Lions: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR

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The Lions remain in a clear rebuild, but they got a nice boost from St. Brown in his rookie season. The fourth-round pick recorded 90 catches for 912 yards and five touchdowns.

 

Green Bay Packers: Jaire Alexander, CB

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Alexander played only four games last season due to injury, and his return will be a massive boost for the Packers’ defense. He was a Pro Bowler in 2020 as an elite cover corner.

 

Houston Texans: Brandin Cooks, WR

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Cooks has the most impressive track record of any player on the Texans roster. Despite never making a Pro Bowl, he has six 1,000-yard seasons over his eight years in the NFL.

 

Indianapolis Colts: Quenton Nelson, OG

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Nelson is arguably the top guard in the NFL, making the Pro Bowl in all four of his seasons and garnering the honor of first-team All-Pro three teams. He’s done a great job opening holes for the Colts elite running game led by Jonathan Taylor.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars: Brandon Scherff, OG

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The struggling Jaguars showed Scherff the money in the offseason after seven seasons in Washington. He’s had trouble staying on the field, but has made five Pro Bowls in his seven NFL seasons.

 

Kansas City Chiefs: Travis Kelce, TE

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The Chiefs roster remains loaded with talent, but it’s hard to top Kelce’s production. He’s on a historic run with six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, and has made the Pro Bowl seven straight years. Somehow, Kelce is close to stealing the honor from Tony Gonzalez as the top tight end in Chiefs franchise history.

 

Las Vegas Raiders: Davante Adams, WR

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The addition of Adams is welcome in Vegas, as he reunites with college teammate Derek Carr. The former Packers star has made five consecutive Pro Bowls, and was an All-Pro in each of the last two seasons. He had arguably his best season in 2021, with 123 catches for 1,553 yards and 11 touchdowns.

 

Los Angeles Chargers: Joey Bosa, DE

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Bosa has been an incredibly productive pass rusher since the Chargers drafted him in 2016. He’s made four Pro Bowls with 58 career sacks, including 10.5 sacks last season. Bosa will be helped this season by adding Khalil Mack on the opposite side of the defensive line.

 

Los Angeles Rams: Aaron Donald, DT

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Donald is an argument as the best defensive player in the history of the league, and he keeps adding to his resume. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year has an impressive 98 sacks in eight seasons with the Rams, and he’s been a first-team All-Pro in seven straight years.

 

Miami Dolphins: Tyreek Hill, WR

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Hill has shown other-worldly speed during his time in Kansas City, and he’s taken his talents to South Beach following an offseason trade. A Pro Bowler in all six of his NFL seasons, Hill had a career-high 111 catches last year and has contributed over 1,100 yards receiving in four of the last five years.

 

Minnesota Vikings: Justin Jefferson, WR

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Jefferson’s first two NFL seasons are like nothing the league has ever seen. He has over 3,000 receiving yards already, along with 17 touchdowns. Not surprisingly, Jefferson has made the Pro Bowl in both of his NFL campaigns.

 

New England Patriots: Matt Judon, OLB

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Judon made a considerable contribution in his first season as a Patriot after coming over from Baltimore. He was able to make his third consecutive Pro Bowl after recording 12.5 sacks and 60 tackles.

 

New Orleans Saints: Marshon Lattimore, CB

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Lattimore is arguably the top player on the Saints terrific defense, with four Pro Bowls in his five NFL seasons. He’s coming off a great 2021 season in which he recorded three sacks and 68 tackles.

 

New York Giants: Leonard Williams, DE

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Williams has shown head-scratching inconsistency during his career, though he’s had back-to-back strong seasons with the Giants. He recorded 11.5 sacks in 2020, followed by 6.5 sacks last season.

 

New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT

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The Jets defense is one of the worst in the league, but Williams is a clear keeper. The former first-round pick has 13 sacks over the last two seasons as a top interior pass rusher.

 

Philadelphia Eagles: Jason Kelce, OC

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Kelce continues to play at an elite level in his mid-30s. One of the leaders of a loaded Eagles roster, he’s been an All-Pro in four of the last five seasons as one of the elite offensive linemen of his generation.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers: T.J. Watt, OLB

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The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Watt is clearly out of brother J.J.’s shadow. He’s led the league in sacks in back-to-back seasons, recording 22.5 sacks in 2021. Watt was also an All-Pro in three consecutive seasons.

 

San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, DE

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Bosa successfully rebounded from a serious injury in 2020, contributing 15.5 sacks and making his second Pro Bowl in three years last season. He continues to lead an excellent defense in San Francisco.

 

Seattle Seahawks: D.K. Metcalf, WR

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The Seahawks have shed significant talent recently, but Metcalf remains on the roster. He’s tallied over 900 yards in each of his three NFL seasons, and made the Pro Bowl in 2020 with 83 catches for 1,303 yards and 10 touchdowns.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans, WR

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Evans deserves a lot of credit for playing at an elite level, no matter the quarterback in Tampa Bay. He’s recorded over 1,000 yards in all eight of his NFL seasons and made his fourth Pro Bowl last year. Since Tom Brady joined the Bucs, Evans has also scored 27 touchdowns.

 

Tennessee Titans: Derrick Henry, RB

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Henry showed the first sign that he was human last season, missing about half the year to a foot injury. He still averaged well over 100 yards rushing per game when he did play, nearly reaching 1,000 yards in eight games. Henry is looking to get back on track after rushing for over 2,000 yards in 2020.

 

Washington Commanders: Terry McLaurin, WR

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McLaurin has been highly productive in three NFL seasons despite major inconsistency at quarterback. He’s recorded over 1,000 yards receiving in consecutive years, and is hoping for more significant numbers with Carson Wentz under center this year.



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