'13 Player Rankings, Defense: 10-1

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.

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 here: @ESPNNFL (NFL on ESPN) and on Facebook.

How did we rank the players?

We polled 63 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 Radio, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Insider (including Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus), ESPN Fantasy, ESPN Boston, ESPN Chicago, ESPN Dallas, ESPN New York and ESPN Stats & Information.

Watt batted down 16 passes at the line of scrimmage last season, most in the NFL. Watt had as many batted passes as the next two players combined.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Von Miller | Team Twitter: @DenverBroncos
Denver Broncos | LB | Age: 24 | NFL Experience: 3rd year
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB64; overall 142

Miller has 30.0 sacks in two seasons with the Broncos. The only players with more sacks in their first two NFL seasons since the stat became official in 1982 are Aldon Smith (33.5) and Hall of Famer Reggie White (31.0).
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Patrick Willis | @PatrickWillis52
San Francisco 49ers | LB | Age: 28 | NFL Experience: 7th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB6; overall 8

Willis has been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his six seasons. The only other players to earn Pro Bowl trips in each of their first six seasons since the merger are Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Franco Harris, Lawrence Taylor, Derrick Thomas, Richmond Webb, Joe Thomas and Ray Guy.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Darrelle Revis | @Revis24
Tampa Bay Buccaneers | CB | Age: 28 | NFL Experience: 7th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: NR; TB D14

Revis is joining a team that allowed 297.4 passing yards per game last season, the second-highest total in NFL history. The Buccaneers also have allowed a league-high 21 touchdowns of at least 30 yards over the past two seasons.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



DeMarcus Ware | @DeMarcusWare
Dallas Cowboys | DE | Age: 31 | NFL Experience: 9th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL2; overall 5

Ware leads all players with 111.0 sacks since his NFL debut in 2005. His current streak of seven straight seasons with at least 11 sacks is the second longest in the NFL since sacks became official in 1982.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Clay Matthews | @ClayMatthews52
Green Bay Packers | LB | Age: 27 | NFL Experience: 5th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB27; overall 63

Since he entered the league in 2009, Matthews has disrupted 25.5 drop-backs (sacks + interceptions + passes defended + batted balls) when the defense sent at least five pass-rushers, more than any other pass-rusher. Only DeMarcus Ware (20) has more sacks as part of extra pressure than Matthews (19.5).
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Geno Atkins | @GenoSacks
Cincinnati Bengals | DT | Age: 25 | NFL Experience: 4th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL9; overall 35

Atkins led all defensive tackles with 12.5 sacks last season. He helped the Bengals set a team record for sacks in a season (51).
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Richard Sherman | @RSherman_25
Seattle Seahawks | CB | Age: 25 | NFL Experience: 3rd year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DB36; overall 120

Sherman disrupted 23 opponent drop-backs in 2012 (sacks + interceptions + passes defended + batted balls). That figure was second in the league behind J.J. Watt (36.5).
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Haloti Ngata | @Haloti_Ngata92
Baltimore Ravens | DT | Age: 29 | NFL Experience: 8th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL25; overall 80

Ngata is one of two defensive linemen playing in a 3-4 base defense system to have at least five sacks in each of the past three seasons (Calais Campbell is the other).
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Aldon Smith | @AldonSmith
San Francisco 49ers | LB | Age: 23 | NFL experience: 3rd year
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB23; overall 44

Smith had 19.5 sacks last season, giving him 33.5 for his first two NFL seasons. No player has had more in his first two seasons since sacks became official in 1982.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)