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Seattle Seahawks boast NFL's best defensive nucleus

Every Thursday, Chris Wesseling rolls out the power rankings for one specific NFL position.

With the end of the season approaching, we are beginning to look forward to next season. Last week, we asked which organization has the best nucleus of offensive talent. This week, we turn our attention to the other side of the ball.

The premise is this: If I am the best coaching candidate on the market, which defensive personnel would I most want to take over?

1. Seattle Seahawks

2. San Francisco 49ers

3. Kansas City Chiefs

4. Carolina Panthers

5. St. Louis Rams

6. Arizona Cardinals

7. New York Jets

As far as 3-4 defensive lines go, the Jets' trio of Muhammad Wilkerson, Damon Harrison and Sheldon Richardson is peerless. Wilkerson will be in the market for a mega-contract, but Harrison and Richardson are cheaply under team control for the foreseeable future. This defense needs major help at the back end, where first-round cornerbacks Dee Milliner and Kyle Wilson have fallen well short of expectations.

8. Cleveland Browns

One of the early-season's stingiest defenses has fallen on hard times of late with Desmond Bryant out of the lineup. As long as Bryant returns to full health and Barkevious Mingo develops into a difference-making pass rusher, this front seven can be among the NFL's most imposing. The secondary leans heavily on cornerback Joe Haden and strong safety T.J. Ward. The latter has expressed an interest in returning to Cleveland rather than testing free agency.

9. Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens' greatest asset is that there is no glaring weakness on defense. This defense is solid at all three levels, with Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil as the backbone. There's also room to grow, with young talents such as cornerback Jimmy Smith and safety Matt Elam emerging as key contributors. Impending free agents include inside linebacker Daryl Smith, defensive end Arthur Jones and strong safety James Ihedigbo.

10. Detroit Lions

The front seven boasts Pro Bowl-caliber talents in Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and DeAndre Levy. That trio is bolstered by Stephen Tulloch as a solid starter and Ziggy Ansah as an intriguing developmental project. As has always been the case under Jim Schwartz and Gunther Cunningham, this defense's Achilles' heel remains coverage at the back end. An infusion of talent is needed at cornerback.

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