'14 Player Rankings, Defense: 70-61

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.

Johnson was tied for the league lead with eight batted passes the past season. That's as many as he totaled in his previous four seasons combined.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Thomas Davis | @TD58SDTM
Carolina Panthers | LB | Age: 31 | NFL experience: 10th year
2013 #NFLRank: NR
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB24; overall 56

Davis tied with Luke Kuechly for most snaps among Panthers defenders the past season. The Panthers allowed 15.1 points per game last year, which was second best in the NFL.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Darnell Dockett | @ddockett
Arizona Cardinals | DE | Age: 33 | NFL experience: 11th year
2013 #NFLRank: 79
ESPN Fantasy rank: NR, overall 5

Dockett has played 5,016 snaps since 2008, the fifth most among defensive linemen in the past six seasons. The Cardinals allowed 3.4 yards per rush with Dockett on the field the past season -- and 4.5 yards per rush without him.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

Editor's note: Despite being out for the season, Dockett remains on our list because the injury occurred after 2014 #NFLRank balloting was completed.



Ryan Kerrigan | @RyanKerrigan91
Washington Redskins | LB | Age: 26 | NFL experience: 4th year
2013 #NFLRank: 73
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB57, overall 146

Kerrigan has finished with at least 7.5 sacks in each of his first three seasons in the NFL. The only Redskins player with more sacks in his first three seasons than Kerrigan (24.5) is teammate Brian Orakpo (28.5).
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Charles Tillman | @peanuttillman
Chicago Bears | CB | Age: 33 | NFL experience: 12th year
2013 #NFLRank: 21
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL14, overall 58

Tillman has forced 42 fumbles, the most by a defensive back in NFL history. Tillman has forced at least three fumbles in seven consecutive seasons, which is tied for the longest such streak in NFL history.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Dashon Goldson | @thehawk38
Tampa Bay Buccaneers | FS | Age: 29 | NFL experience: 8th year
2013 #NFLRank: 41
ESPN Fantasy rank: NR, TB D11

In Goldson's first season with the Buccaneers, Tampa Bay allowed 3.7 yards per rush with Goldson on the field, which would have been third in the league the past season. With Goldson off the field, the Buccaneers allowed 5.0 yards per rush, which would have been 31st in the league.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Nick Fairley | @Nick_Fairley251
Detroit Lions | DT | Age: 26 | NFL experience: 4th year
2013 #NFLRank: 76
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL43, overall 135

Fairley has 11.5 sacks the past two seasons when he lines up as an interior defensive lineman. Only Geno Atkins and teammate Ndamukong Suh have more.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Star Lotulelei | Team Twitter: @Panthers
Carolina Panthers | DT | Age: 24 | NFL experience: 2nd year
2013 #NFLRank: NR
ESPN Fantasy rank: NR, CAR D2

The Panthers allowed an average of 3.7 yards on 240 rushes with Lotulelei on the field the past season. The Panthers allowed an average of 4.5 yards on 112 rushes with Lotulelei off the field.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Derrick Johnson | @superdj56
Kansas City Chiefs | LB | Age: 31 | NFL experience: 10th year
2013 #NFLRank: 48
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB6, overall 9

Johnson finished with 100+ tackles for his fourth consecutive season last year. With Johnson on the field, the Chiefs allowed 4.4 yards per rush. With Johnson off the field, the Chiefs allowed 5.4 yards per rush, which would have been worst in the league.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Jerod Mayo | Team Twitter: @Patriots
New England Patriots | LB | Age: 28 | NFL experience: 7th year
2013 #NFLRank: 37
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB8, overall 11

Prior to Mayo's season-ending torn pectoral injury in Week 6 of the past season, the Patriots were fourth in the NFL in points allowed per game (16.2). The rest of the season, the Patriots allowed 24.1 points per game, which tied for 18th in the league in that span.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)