Even though the
Malik Jackson in free agency, they still have the best defensive front in my opinion. There are three guys who
must be double teamed --
DeMarcus Ware and
Derek Wolfe. If you single block any of them, that man will wreak havoc. Denver signed Wolfe to
a contract extension in January, and he's the critical piece of the interior defensive line; his success allows the players on the edge -- Miller and Ware -- to play at such a high level.
That said, I think Miami has the
potential to have the best front seven, with
Mario Williams and
Ndamukong Suh -- but all of that depends on Suh's effort.
I think the
New York Jets' front seven is one of the toughest groups to block.
Sheldon Richardson is a stud, as he can play nose guard, 3-technique or anything else he's asked to do.
Leonard Williams showed some unbelievable promise as a rookie and grasped a defensive system that's not easy to learn.
Muhammad Wilkerson is a nightmare if he's matched up against a tight end in pass rush, but he can also do a lot of other things well. The
Jets' front seven is just as stout and physical against the run as it is ferocious in the pass rush.
J.J. Watt is
one of the best pass rushers of all time and a premier player when it comes to tackles for loss. The
fifth in sacks last season, and they still haven't seen the best of
Jadeveon Clowney. With a healthy and more motivated season by Clowney, paired with Watt's leadership and the committee of players in Houston's front seven, the
Texans have the potential to be the best in 2016.
I'm going to say Carolina.
Luke Kuechly is the quarterback of the defense and makes that team so much better. Kuechly, along with
Thomas Davis and
Shaq Thompson, are all solid pass rushers. You also have
Charles Johnson and
Star Lotulelei on the D-line. This is a tough defensive front that has been improving in each of the last several years.
There are so many weapons in the
Raiders' front seven that I'm not sure which player you double team. If opponents decide to go one-on-one with any of these guys, especially
Bruce Irvin and
Khalil Mack, they are in big trouble. We saw last year what Mack is capable of, and there are a lot of other young players on this team that opponents have to watch out for. I'll be interested to see if anyone can stop these guys.
I'm going to say the
Pittsburgh Steelers. Even with a slow start, they
ranked third in sacks (48) in 2015 -- behind just New England and Denver. They have a tough D-line, with
Cameron Heyward and
Stephon Tuitt on the outside and Daniel McCullers at nose tackle.
James Harrison is returning,
Bud Dupree and
Ryan Shazier continue to improve, while
Jarvis Jones is in a contract year. This group is motivated and adjusting quickly to Butler's system.