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Aaron Donald headlines NFL's top 10 defensive tackles for 2018

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NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2018" airs every Monday at 8 p.m. ET, unveiling a new set of 10 players each week. Four of the league's top defensive tackles were revealed between Nos. 61 and 70, including Ndamukong Suh (No. 61), Geno Atkins (63), Jurrell Casey (66) and Fletcher Cox (69). NFL Network analyst and former Pro Bowl center Shaun O'Hara lists his own rankings of the top 10 defensive tackles heading into the 2018 campaign.

1
Aaron Donald
DT
Rams

No surprise here. Donald is the most disruptive defensive tackle in the game, having led the position in sacks (11), QB hits (27) and forced fumbles (5) in 2017. His quickness and explosive get-off -- combined with great hands -- make Donald almost impossible for interior O-linemen to contain.

2
Gerald McCoy
DT
Buccaneers

Having racked up 24 QB hits and a sixth straight Pro Bowl nod in 2017, McCoy is the Bucs' best defensive player right now. His ability to clear the hip as a 3-technique is rare for a DT his size (6-foot-4, 300 pounds). Like Donald, McCoy's hands make him special at the position.

3
Fletcher Cox
DT
Eagles

Cox has been an instrumental part of the Eagles' D since he was drafted in 2012. Consistently one of the NFL's best DTs since then, in part because of his sneaky athleticism, the 6-4, 310-pounder has been a Pro Bowler in each of the past three seasons.

4
Geno Atkins
DT
Bengals

He's been around for quite some time and is still producing at a high level (see: nine sacks and 20 QB hits as a 29-year-old in 2017). Because of his great get-off -- one of the best in the league -- Atkins disrupts offensive fronts at a prolific rate. We should see more of the same from the former fourth-round pick in Year 9.

5
Kawann Short
DT
Panthers

He continues to be one of the anchors of Carolina's stout front seven. The exit of Star Lotulelei in free agency will put more attention on Short in 2018, the first season in which the pair won't play in the same unit. Competing in a tough division, the Panthers will look for Short to be a playmaker against some of the league's best offenses.

6
DeForest Buckner
DT
49ers

A top-10 draft pick in 2016, Buckner has done a nice job applying pressure from the inside (including nine sacks in two seasons and 24 QB hits in 2017 alone), despite not being flanked by the best defensive talent in San Francisco. With John Lynch improving the supporting cast, we could be in for a real breakout season from Buckner in 2018.

7
Ndamukong Suh
DT
Rams

Suh has been a disruptive defender in Detroit and Miami, but he'll be at another level in Los Angeles, playing alongside Aaron Donald. I'm not quite sure how teams plan to contain both players. Suh is set up to have one of his best seasons in 2018.

8
Damon Harrison
DT
Giants

"Snacks" is one of the best run defenders in the league. In a brutal 2017 campaign for the Giants, Harrison was a bright spot, with 76 combined tackles (51 solo) and his first career interception.

9
Linval Joseph
DT
Vikings

Joseph led all Vikings defensive linemen in tackles (68) a year ago and was a key cog in Minnesota's second-ranked run defense, which allowed just 83.6 yards per game. He also chipped in 3.5 sacks. Joseph should only improve with Sheldon Richardson added to the mix. This unit could be scary-good.

10
Malik Jackson
DT
Jaguars

Jackson was one of the defensive cornerstones for Denver in its Super Bowl run in 2015. Two seasons later, he helped the Jags become one of the best defenses in the league, notching a career-high eight sacks in 2017. With so many studs on Jacksonville's defense, it's easy to overlook Jackson, but this guy's a force.

JUST MISSED: Grady Jarrett, Falcons; Jurrell Casey, Titans; Star Lotulelei, Bills; Mike Daniels, Packers.

Follow Shaun O'Hara on Twitter @ShaunOHara60.

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