The Best Defensive Positions Draft Prospects Per Statistic

Following the post on the Offensive Skills positions today I look at the top defensive players by position per statistics. These top players were chosen from a group that met a minimum threshold for high production. The high production did not have to be in this last season as all college years were considered.  The data is included at the end of the post.

Edge Rusher

The best players presented for edge rusher and defensive tackles are the top in the specified statistic among players that met a market share minimum of 6% solo tackles, 15% tackles for loss and 25% sacks.

Solo Tackle Market Share – Josh Allen had an 11.5% solo tackle market share with his 56 solo tackles. For an edge rusher that also had a 44.7% sack market share the solo tackle market share is fantastic.  The top five edge rushers in the NFL averaged only a 7% solo tackle market share in their last year of college.

Tackle for Loss Market Share – Oshane Ximines had a 27.7% tackle for loss market share. He averaged 1.54 TFL per game which was 11th in the FBS and sixth among defensive linemen.

Sacks Market Share – Oshane Ximines had a 52.3% sacks market share. He average 1 sack per game which was fifth in the FBS. He is second among active FBS players in career sacks with 33.

Defensive Tackle

Solo Tackle Market Share – Ed Oliver had an 8.4% solo tackle market share. Oliver has the second most career solo tackles among active defensive linemen with 123.

Tackle for Loss Market Share – Cortez Broughton had a 22.3% TFL market share. His 18.5 TFLs was fourth among defensive linemen draft prospects.

Sacks Market Share –Daniel Wise had a 25% sacks market share with five sacks. All five of Wise’s sacks were solo, which tied for tenth among all NCAA defensive tackles.


The top linebackers are chosen from a group that met a minimum criteria of 11.5% solo tackle market share. Edge Rushers such as Josh Allen are not included.

Solo Tackle Market Share – Joe Dineen had a 19.3% solo tackle market share. He led the nation with 109 solo tackles. Among active players he leads all divisions of NCAA football with 281 career solo tackles.

Tackle for Loss Market Share – E.J. Ejiya has a 26.3% TFL market share. His 25 TFLs and 1.92 TFL per game were tops among linebackers. his 40.5 career TFLs is fifth among active linebackers.

Sacks Market Share – A.J. Hotchkins has a 35% sacks market share. Hotchkins was fifth among linebacker draft prospects in sacks per game with 0.58.

Interceptions Market Share – Tre Watson has a 27.8% interception market share. His five interceptions was second among all linebackers.

Passes Defended Market Share – Bryton Barr has a 12.5% passes defended market share. Barr is finishing his seventh and final year of collegiate eligibility. He had missed the majority of 2013 and all of 2014 and 2015 due to injury. Barr He has made Phil Steele’s All-Independent First Team each of the last two seasons.


Defensive Backs were chosen from a group that met a minimum market share criteria of 6% solo tackles, 25% interceptions and 15% passes defended.

Solo Tackle Market Share – Nate Brooks has a 10.2% solo tackle market share. A physical player that hits hard. Nate also had a third of team interceptions (6) and a fifth of the passes defended (10).

Interception Market Share – Ryan Pulley has a 60% interception market share with his three interceptions. Pulley made the Pro Football Focus Week 8 Team of the Week  and was ranked highest among all cornerbacks that week. The quarterback had a 0.0 passer rating when Pulley was targeted.

Pass defended Market Share – Julian Love has a 38.5% passes broken up market share from his 2017 season. His 20 passes broken up was second in the nation that year.


Solo Tackle Market Share – Nasir Adderley has a 12.1% solo tackle market share and 48 solo tackles his senior year. Adderley is a four year starter and has excelled at tackling his entire collegiate career. As a freshman he started all 11 games and led all defensive backs and ranked third on the team with 51 tackles (37 solo). The next year he ranked third on the team in tackles with 49 and ranked first among defensive backs. His junior year ranked second on the team in total tackles with 78 and had the most solo tackles on the team (42).

Interception Market Share – Lukas Denis has a 38.9% interception market share on seven interceptions in his 2017 season. It was tie for second in the FBS.

Passes Defended Market Share – Juan Thornhill had a 31.6% passes broken up market share with 12 from his 2017 season. Look for Thornhill to do well in the combine vertical and broad jumps. At a practice session last year at Virginia he had a 40½-inch vertical leap and an 11-foot broad jump.

The data and groups can be downloaded here – prospects by production.

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