Written by Ben the Pen
Here is a list of the NFL's Top Free Agents on the defensive side, who signed with other teams as of May 19. This was a big year for defensive free agents, as a few decided to either re-sign (Devin McCourty) or some were franchised (Yannick Ngakoue, Shaquil Barrett, Chris Jones). Some are still available as of early Wednesday (Jadeveon Clowney, Everson Griffen).
1)CB Byron Jones, Miami. Former team: Dallas
Jones is considered one of the top cover corners in the NFC. He graded out a pretty strong 76.1 from Pro Football Focus. This is a pretty big loss for Dallas as Jones gives the Fins good size at 6-0, 205.
2)CB Chris Harris, Chargers. Former team: Denver.
Harris was the top corner in Denver, but was helped by a strong pass rush. He graded at 69.9 from PFF last season. He signs with another good defense and will see the Chiefs, Broncos and Raiders twice a season.
3)LB Cory Littleton, Las Vegas Raiders. Former team: LA Rams.
Another big defensive loss for the Rams. Littleton (78.9 PFF) had two picks, two forced fumbles, and. 125 tackles. He's just 26 and signed a three-year, $35.25 million.
4)OLB Kyle Van Noy, Miami. Former team: New England.
The Dolphins pick up another strong defensive player, one who can rush the passer (7 sacks) and make plays (three forced fumbles). Van Noy (83.5 PFF) signed a four-year, $51 million contract. That's a lot but he should be worth it.
5)Edge Dante Fowler, Atlanta. Former team: LA Rams.
Fowler signed a $48M deal with the Falcons, who were desperate for a pass rusher. Buyer beware that Fowler (72.1 PFF) had a career season (11.5 sacks) in a contract year.
6)OLB Jame Collins, Detroit. Former team: New England.
Another big loss for the Patriots and Matt Patricia grabs another former player. Collins (75.8 PFF) is a solid player, who can rush the passer (8 sacks) and defend the run (66 tackles, three forced fumbles).
7)DT Javon Hargrave, Philadelphia. Former team: Pittsburgh
Hargrave is a tough run plugger who had 69 tackles and four sacks for the Steelers last season. He had a very good grade last season from Pro Football Focus (83.4).
8)DT D.J. Reader, Cincinnati. Former team: Houston.
Reader (86.7 PFF) is a massive run-stuffer at 6-3, 347 and is what the doctor ordered for the Bengals. He's one of the best nose guards in the game.
9)CB James Bradberry, NY Giants. Former team: Carolina
Bradberry struggled (61.7 PFF) with the Panthers last season, but it might have just been the entire defense. He's a big corner at 6-1, 212 who is a strong tackler (63) and can make plays (3 INTs) for the Giants.
10)DT Jordan Phillips, Arizona. Former team: Buffalo.
Arizona continues their strong offseason. Phillips is huge at 6-6, 341 for a 3-4 defensive end. He takes up space, but he can also rush the passer (9.5 sacks).
11)DE Robert Quinn, Chicago. Former team: Dallas
Big loss for the Cowboys because Quinn (68.5 PFF) had a big season with 11.5 sacks. At 30, he's basically just a pass rusher and is not going to help during running situations.
12)S Karl Joseph, Cleveland. Former team: Oakland.
Joseph (69.9 PFF) was another solid pickup for the Browns. He's just 26 and a sturdy tackler at 5-10, 205.
13)DT Maliek Collins, Las Vegas Raiders. Former team: Dallas.
Collins is just 25 and has talent. But struggled against the run. He does have some ability to rush the passer and had 14.5 sacks in 61 games.
14)LB Blake Martinez, NY Giants. Former team: Green Bay.
Martinez (58.9 PFF) was a tackling machine with Green Bay (114 solo), but also missed a ton of tackles. He's just 26, so not a bad pickup for a bad team.
15)LB Joe Schobert, Jacksonville. Former team: Cleveland.
Schobert had a strong year statistically with 127 tackles and four interceptions. But he graded out to a poor 59.1 from Pro Football Focus.
16)CB Trae Waynes, Cincinnati. Former team: Minnesota.
The entire secondary struggled for the Vikings last season. But Waynes is a guy who is very talented (65.1 PFF) and fast (4.31 40). He'll be tested in Cincinnati, but this is a solid pickup.
17)DT Quinton Jefferson, Buffalo. Former team: Seattle.
Jefferson is a pretty good run-stuffer (72.5 PFF), who heads to a very strong defense. He also can pressure the quarterback from the interior (3.5 sacks).
18)Michael Pierce, Minnesota. Former team: Baltimore
Pierce is a gigantic (6-0, 350) run stuffer who has to watch his weight during the offseason. Pierce (69.2 PFF) is not going to get many sacks from the interior.
19)S Malcolm Jenkins, New Orleans. Former team: Philadelphia
Jenkins is just 32 and it seems like he's been around forever. He can still play some (67.2 PFF), though he doesn't play at a high level anymore. He returns to the Saints more as a leader.
20)CB Xavier Rhodes, Indianapolis. Former team: Minnesota.
Rhodes had an awful season (46.4 PFF) for the Vikings, so this is a gamble for the Colts. He did have 63 solo tackles and 6-1, 218, he can take on bigger receivers. He's also 30 and you wonder if a move to safety might be the best thing to save his career.