Ranking NFL Run Defenses by Tiers

Run Defense Tiers

NFL Offseason - Football Outsiders' founder Aaron Schatz (@FO_ASchatz) and Senior Analyst Mike Tanier (@MikeTanier) are joined by FO staff writer Derrik Klassen (@QBKlass) on Thursday to put each of the NFL run defenses into tiers. The guys also talk through some recent news since the last episode.

The results of the run defense tiers are as follows:

Tier List

Watch the full stream below on YouTube and subscribe to our channel or listen to the audio on your favorite podcast platform and let us know what you think! 

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5 comments, Last at 10 Jun 2022, 1:09pm

1 Fail

Aaron stated the DL was swapped out completely, and failed to mention that Crosby is still there.

4 I think FO by now considers…

I think FO by now considers all 4-3DE/3-4OLB "EDGEs" and all 3-4 DE/NT/DT and 4-3 NT/DT "DL"

So now, there's the DE position that is considered EDGE and not DL.


I really think that DE/OLB have an important role in run support. For example: I remember Myles Garrett particularly being very poor in run support early on in his career.

5 Not sure how the Jets are in…

Not sure how the Jets are in the C level and not last.  They were last in run defense last year, and have not added any help at interior defensive line or linebacker.