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Ranking the NFL's top defensive play-callers

We're almost a week away from NFL free agency. So while teams do not currently have the power to acquire new talent on the field, they have just finished constructing the coaching staffs that will eventually take the incoming and assembled talent and turn it into value.

PFF grades every player on every play of each game, and we can use these grades to find out how much surplus value a coach is adding by taking the difference in expected points that are actually gained or allowed from what is expected. Clustering methods are used to downweigh or throw out “noisy” plays before we arrive at our final play-caller metric, which is used in our fantasy and gambling models.

In this article, we look at the best defensive play-callers from 2019. As we talked about last week, the best defenses mitigate the damage that their lower-tier players allow, and coaching is likely a huge reason for this, as we'll discuss with the top four play-callers below.

[Editor's note: Available to all of PFF's EDGE and ELITE subscribers, PFF's Free Agent Rankings Page consists of three-year grades, PFF WAR and in-depth analysis for all of the top NFL free agents. Contract information from our friends at Over The Cap is also available.]

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