After quarterback, edge rushers are arguably the most important position on the field. We certainly saw it with the 2019 draft class. And while this year's class wasn't quite as deep at the position, No. 2 overall pick Chase Young has a chance to be special.
But the ability to get after the quarterback isn't just the job of players lining up on the end of the formation; interior defensive linemen -- especially those who excel against the run and the pass -- are also valuable, and two-time defensive player of the year Aaron Donald is evidence of just that.
Our CBS Sports colleagues have already covered quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, offensive linemen, defensive backs and linebackers. And below are our rankings for both EDGE rushers and interior defensive linemen based on their ability to rush the passer, starting with those players who just missed the cut.
10. Nick Bosa
Bosa was the No. 2 overall pick in 2019, three years after his brother Joey was the third-overall pick. Both are among the best pass rushers in the NFL; Nick had nine sacks as a rookie and there's every reason to expect he'll only get better in 2020 where he'll play on one of the most dominant D-lines in the league.
9. Khalil Mack
Year 2 in Chicago wasn't as successful as the 2018 campaign, where Mack had 12.5 sacks for the NFL's No. 1 defense and played a large role in taking Chicago to the top of the NFC North. Last season, Mack managed just eight sacks but he remains one of the most explosive defensive players in the league. At 29, his best days remain in front of him.
8. Za'Darius Smith
The Packers made a point last offseason to bolster their defense and signing Smith was an integral part of the plan. After four years in Baltimore where he never had more than 8.5 sacks, Smith started 16 games for Green Bay in 2019 and finished with career bests in sacks (13.5), tackles for loss (17) and quarterback hits (37).
The Vikings signed Hunter to a five-year, $72 million deal after the 2017 season and it was money well spent. He logged a career-best 14.5 sacks in '18, a total he equaled last season. Just 25 years old, Hunter has yet to hit his prime.
Undrafted out of Colorado State in 2014, Barrett showed glimpses of potential during his first five years in the league. But it wasn't until he landed in Tampa Bay last season that he emerged as one of the best pass rushers in the league. In 16 starts he totaled 19.5 sacks, nine of which game in the first four games. The 27-year-old played on a one-year, $4 million deal in '19 and while he's on another one-year deal, this time it's the franchise tag, which is worth $15.8 million.
5. Joey Bosa
Bosa was the No. 3 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and when he's healthy he's just about unblockable. He had 10.5 sacks as a rookie, 12.5 in Year 2, but only had 5.5 sacks in 2018 because he missed nine games with an injury. Bosa started all 16 games last season and totaled 11.5 sacks, with a career-best 18 tackles for loss and 31 quarterback hits.
4. Cam Jordan
Jordan, who turns 31 on July 10, was the 24th pick in a 2011 draft class that was stocked with defensive linemen and pass rushers. That group began with Von Miller at No. 2 and included Aldon Smith (No. 7), J.J. Watt (No. 11), Ryan Kerrigan (No. 16), Adrian Clayborn (No. 20), Jordan, Muhammad Wilkerson (30) and Cam Heyward (31). In nine NFL seasons, Jordan has started 143 of 144 games and in 2019 he registered a career-best 15.5 sacks -- the fifth time he logged double-digit sack totals.
Jones turned 30 this offseason but he's more dominant now than ever. Since arriving in Arizona in 2016, he has has 60 sacks, including a career-best 19 last season, to go along with eight forced fumbles. All eyes will be on Kyler Murray and the Cardinals offense in 2020 but the defense could be the difference between winning six or seven games or making a playoff run.
The first-overall pick in the 2017 draft class, Garrett had seven sacks in 11 games as a rookie, exploded for 13.5 sacks in 2018, and was averaging a sack a game last season until he swung a helmet at the head of Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and was suspended for the final six games. Garrett has been cleared to play in 2020 and he'll be a focal point in a young, fast and physical Browns defense.
1. TJ Watt
TJ Watt may have surpassed brother J.J. as the best NFL player in the family. The 30th overall pick in 2017, Watt has gotten better each season, improving his sack totals from 7.0 to 13.0 to 14.5 last season, when he also forced a career-best eight fumbles. Just 25 years old, Watt is arguably the Steelers' top defender on a unit that also includes Minkah Fitzpatrick and Cam Heyward.
10. Javon Hargrave
Hargrave flew under the radar coming out of South Carolina State, and he did the same during his four seasons with the Steelers, mostly because he was playing alongside the likes of Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt and T.J. Watt. But there's a reason the Eagles gave Hargrave a three-year, $39 million deal this offseason. His low center of gravity coupled with an explosive first step makes him incredibly difficult to block and he has 10.5 sacks the last two seasons. Those numbers could improve playing alongside Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson in Philly.
9. J.J. Watt
Watt, another member of the 2011 class, has battled injuries in recent years. His 2016, 2017 and 2019 seasons were cut short as a result, though his '18 campaign was vintage Watt: 16 sacks in 16 games and looked like his old self. Now 31 and healthy, Watt, who had just four sacks in eight games a season ago, is looking to recapture the form that made him one of the most formidable defensive players in the league.
Campbell, 33, is entering his 13th NFL season. He spent the first nine years in Arizona and anchored the defensive line in Jacksonville from 2017-19. In those three years, he had 31.5 sacks, though only 6.5 came in 2019. Now in Baltimore, Campbell -- like just about every other player that joins Wink Martindale's defense -- is primed for a breakout season.
7. Cam Heyward
Heyward was part of that stacked 2011 draft class and he's consistently been one of the best 3-4 defensive ends during his eight seasons. He's logged 29 sacks the last three seasons, including nine in '19.
The 49ers have used a first-round pick on a defensive linemen in five of the last six drafts. Javon Kinlaw was the most recent example but in 2016, the team selected Buckner seventh overall and it proved to be a smart decision. Buckner had 19.5 sacks the last two seasons, including 7.5 in '19, and he anchored a D-line that made it to the Super Bowl in February. The team traded him in the spring to the Colts for the 13th overall pick and the expectation is that Buckner will be just as unstoppable in Indy.
5. Fletcher Cox
Cox's best season came in 2018 when he had a career-high 10.5 sacks. The 29-year-old had just 3.5 sacks last season but he was still the No. 5-ranked pass-rushing interior lineman, according to PFF.
Jarrett signed a four-year, $68 million deal before the 2019 season and there's no doubt he was worth it. He ranked fourth (up one spot from a year ago) among all interior defensive linemen, according to PFF's grades.
3. Kenny Clark
The 2016 first-round pick has lived up to the billing; he's had six sacks in each of the last two seasons and was the third-best pass rusher among all defensive interior linemen, via PFF's grades.
2. Chris Jones
Jones, who turns 26 on July 3, had nine last season and 15.5 the season before that. For the second straight year he was the NFL's No. 2 interior pass rusher, according to PFF. He's currently playing on the $16.1 million franchise tag but a lucrative long-term deal is in his future.
1. Aaron Donald
This might be the least-shocking thing you read all week. Not only is Donald the best defensive lineman on the planet, he's one of the best football players too. The advanced metrics agree and the conventional stats confirm as much; Donald managed just 12.5 sacks in 2019, a year after he had 20.5 (!!). In six seasons, he has 72.0 sacks ... as a defensive tackle.