'14 Player Rankings, Defense: 50-41

ESPN.com is ranking NFL players and counting them down (follow on Twitter @ESPNNFL) from No. 100 to No. 1 on offense and on defense, 10 per day for 10 days. The top 10 on both sides of the ball will be revealed Friday, Aug. 29.

What is #NFLRank?

#NFLRank is the Twitter hashtag to use if you want to get involved in the discussion or just follow along. You can also follow along @ESPNNFL and on Facebook.

How did we rank the players?

We polled 85 experts to rate each player on a 0-to-10 scale, with 10 being the best regardless of position in the NFL. Ties, as denoted by an asterisk, were broken by determining which player had more ballots with the higher number (if players are tied, the player with three 10s is ranked higher than the player with two 10s; if the tied players had the same amount of highest numbers -- each with two 10s -- we moved to the next number: three 9s beats two 9s).

Here is the full list of voters from ESPN.com, ESPN TV, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Insider (including Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus), ESPN fantasy, ESPN locals and ESPN Stats & Information.

The Bears allowed 6.0 yards per play and a Total QBR of 50.3 with Peppers on the field last season. Without Peppers, the Bears allowed 7.1 yards per play and a Total QBR of 83.4.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Marcell Dareus | @marcelldareus
Buffalo Bills | DT | Age: 24 | NFL experience: 4th year
2013 #NFLRank: 100
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL28, overall 88

Last season, Dareus led all defensive tackles with a career-best 71 tackles. Dareus and Geno Atkins are the only defensive tackles with at least five sacks in each of the last three seasons.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Jason Pierre-Paul | @UDWJPP
New York Giants | DE | Age: 25 | NFL experience: 5th year
2013 #NFLRank: 13
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL13, overall 34

Over the last 25 years, Pierre-Paul's 29.5 sacks are the most by a Giant in his first four years in the NFL. Pierre-Paul is the only Giant to score a defensive touchdown in each of the last two seasons.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Devin McCourty | @McCourtyTwins
New England Patriots | FS | Age: 27 | NFL experience: 5th year
2013 #NFLRank: 88
ESPN Fantasy rank: NR; N.E. D9

Since 2010 (his rookie season), McCourty is one of three players with at least 300 tackles and 15 interceptions (DeAngelo Hall and Earl Thomas). The Patriots are 12-1 in games when McCourty records an interception.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Troy Polamalu | @tpolamalu
Pittsburgh Steelers | SS | Age: 33 | NFL experience: 12th year
2013 #NFLRank: 33
ESPN Fantasy rank: NR; PIT D16

Polamalu recorded multiple interceptions, sacks and forced fumbles for the first season in his career last year. Over the last 10 years, the only other player with at least 30 interceptions, 10 sacks and 10 forced fumbles is Charles Woodson.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Cameron Jordan | @camjordan94
New Orleans Saints | DE | Age: 25 | NFL experience: 4th year
2013 #NFLRank: NR
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL9, overall 26

Since 2011 (his rookie season), Jordan leads the Saints with 11 batted passes, more than twice as many as any other Saints player during that span. Jordan is also tied for the team leads with 21.5 sacks and five forced fumbles since 2011.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Kyle Williams | Team Twitter: @buffalobills
Buffalo Bills | DT | Age: 31 | NFL experience: 9th year
2013 #NFLRank: 82
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL35, overall 121

Williams finished with a career-high 10.5 sacks last season, tied for the second most in the league among defensive tackles. Williams also led all defensive tackles with 32 tackles for loss in 2013.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Brian Cushing | @briancushing56
Houston Texans | LB | Age: 27 | NFL experience: 6th year
2013 #NFLRank: 28
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB13; overall 19

Cushing has missed 20 games over the last two seasons, but the Texans defense has been among the league's best with him on the field. Since 2012, the Texans have allowed 4.7 yards per play with Cushing on the field, which would be the lowest average in the league during that span.

-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Justin Houston | @JHouston50
Kansas City Chiefs | LB | Age: 25 | NFL experience: 4th year
2013 #NFLRank: 87
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB42; overall 86

Prior to his Week 12 injury, Houston was tied for the AFC lead with 11 sacks. During that span, Houston was also third in the AFC with five batted passes. The Chiefs sack rate was nearly twice as high with Houston on the field (9.7 percent) compared with Houston on the sideline (5.0 percent).
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Bobby Wagner | @Bwagz54
Seattle Seahawks | LB | Age: 24 | NFL experience: 3rd year
2013 #NFLRank: 67
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB7; overall 10

Including the postseason, Wagner has 309 tackles in his first two seasons in the NFL. The only players with more during that span are Luke Kuechly (330) and Vontaze Burfict (311).
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)