- Myles Garrett takes the top spot: The Cleveland Browns defender leads all EDGE and DI in PFF's pass-rushing grade with a dominant 93.7 mark.
- Baron Browning earns spot despite position change: The Denver Broncos defender has thrived after transitioning from an off-ball LB role to playing on the edge, notching an impressive 81.8 pass-rushing grade.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
The ability to rush the passer is an important aspect of neutralizing passing offenses in the NFL. When a defense possesses a ferocious front four, it’s usually led by a dominant defensive lineman who is wreaking havoc against opposing offensive lines.
Below are the top-15 pass-rushing grades among edge defenders and interior defensive linemen through Week 8.
Editor's note: Even though the Philadelphia Eagles have already played their Week 9 game, only their data from the first eight weeks will be counted for this article.
1. EDGE Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns
93.7 pass-rushing grade
On 224 pass-rushing snaps, Garrett has wreaked havoc against opposing offensive lines, posting top-two marks in total pressures (42) and first in hurries (31) while possessing the highest pass-rushing win rate in football (26.8%).
2. DI Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs
92.3 pass-rushing grade
Jones has played a league-high 284 pass-rushing snaps and is producing elite numbers as an interior pressure lineman. The seven-year veteran has batted down three passes, is tied for eighth in total pressures (32) and is tied for second among all interior defensive linemen in sacks (six) through seven games.
3. EDGE Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys
91.7 pass-rushing grade
The NFL's reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year has kicked it up to another level during his sophomore campaign. He leads the league in total pressures (43), is tied for fourth in total hurries (25) and possesses the fourth-highest pass-rushing productivity rating (11.0).
4. DI Jeffery Simmons, Tennessee Titans
90.7 pass-rushing grade
Simmons continues to be the linchpin in the Titans' frontline. His 33 pressures are top-three at the position, and he holds a 17.6% pass-rushing win rate. Simmons' 12.8% pressure rate also ranks fourth among interior defensive linemen (min. 100 pass-rush snaps).
T-5. DI Dexter Lawrence, New York Giants
90.5 pass-rushing grade
Lawrence is amidst a five-sack campaign and currently has more total pressures than Aaron Donald (29). The former first-round selection has a 16.9% pressure win rate through eight games and is closing in on a career season.
T-5. DI Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams
90.5 pass-rushing grade
While Donald only has 27 total pressures on the year, his interior impact is still felt on a weekly basis, as his 18.6% pass-rushing win rate ranks second among interior defensive linemen. Donald's 12.5% pressure rate and 7.2 pass-rush productivity rating are both impressive marks, as well.
7. EDGE Trey Hendrickson, Cincinnati Bengals
90.1 pass-rushing grade
Hendrickson is ninth in QB hits (nine), has 31 total pressures and features a 19.8% pass-rushing win rate, which are all impressive totals through eight weeks of action. Hendrickson has also been a beacon of consistency, generating at least two pressures in every game except one this season.
8. DI Quinnen Williams, New York Jets
88.0 pass-rushing grade
Williams leads the league in total pressures among defensive tackles (34). Additionally, he’s first at the position in sacks (six) and is helping lead the charge for a versatile Jets’ defensive front. His 14.9% pressure rate also leads the position.
9. EDGE Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers
86.4 pass-rushing grade
Bosa's dominance continues to grow during his fourth NFL season. He’s tied for third in total pressures (40), tied for second in sacks (eight) and is in sole first place with quarterback hits (14).
10. EDGE Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles
86.3 pass-rushing grade
Graham has a top-two pass-rush win rate (25.0%) despite only accumulating 21 total pressures on 124 pass-rushing snaps. He’s beaten his blocker without registering a pressure 12 times and has registered nine quarterback hits.
T-11. EDGE Haason Reddick, Philadelphia Eagles
84.5 pass-rushing grade
Reddick has been the engine of the Eagles’ dominant pass-rush with a team-high 26 total pressures. His 18.3% pass-rush win rate is highlighted by his 16 hurries and 5.5 sacks.
T-11. EDGE Za'Darius Smith, Minnesota Vikings
84.5 pass-rushing grade
Smith holds the second-highest hurry total in the league (27) while possessing a three-way tie for total pressures on the year at 40. His 20.6% pass-rushing win rate is even a higher mark than edge-rushing contemporary Von Miller.
13. EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Buffalo Bills
83.6 pass-rushing grade
Rousseau's second-year campaign has been excellent for the former first-round selection. He has the sixth-highest pass-rushing win rate (22.7%), and he’s second on the Bills in total pressures (26).
14. DI Kenny Clark, Green Bay Packers
83.2 pass-rushing grade
Clark holds an 18.0% pass-rushing win rate that's third-best amongst interior defensive linemen. His 29 total pressures are tied for sixth among defensive linemen.
15. EDGE Baron Browning, Denver Broncos
81.8 pass-rushing grade
Browning's 21.6% pass-rush win rate ranks top 10 among edge defenders, and he's managed to beat his blocker 10 times that didn't result in a pressure. He'll be tasked with taking over the reins from Bradley Chubb since his trade departure to Miami.