Welcome to the Pro Football Focus ‘Page of Fame’ for 4-3 Defensive Ends, where only the best overall regular season performances during our time grading (2008 to Present) are mentioned.https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2 ... sive-ends/
The rules are pretty simple: the highest grades from the regular season make the list, and at the end of every year we update.
Anything over a +25.0 grade for this position will get the recognition it deserves!
1. Cameron Wake, 2012, MIA: +53.8
Pass Rushing: +37.7, Run Defense: +10.4, Penalties: +4.2
The switch from 3-4 to 4-3 in Miami was overstated with Wake always seeing a lot of action from defensive end in years gone by. But fresh after getting paid Wake stepped up his game another level to lead the league in 2012 with 86 combined sacks, hits and hurries.
2. Trent Cole, 2010, PHI: +39.7
Pass Rushing: +28.5, Run Defense: +18.0, Penalties: -5.3
One of the most complete performances you’re likely to see from a defensive end. Not only did Cole finish third overall in our Pass Rushing Productivity rating for the year, but he took the third spot with 28 defensive stops in the run game.
3. Charles Johnson, 2010, CAR: +37.6
Pass Rushing: +28.2, Run Defense: +11.9, Penalties: -3.0
With Julius Peppers departing Carolina there was a big question as to who would step up in his place. Consider that answered as Johnson finished second overall in our 2010 rankings, leading the league in our PRP stat as well as our Run Stop Percentage. Just incredible production.
4. Trent Cole, 2011, PHI: +35.9
Pass Rushing: +31.9, Run Defense: +7.7, Penalties: -4.2
Strange as it was, this was something of a down year for Cole who missed two games injured, while the effects lingered for a number of others. So it’s testament to how good he was the rest of the year that he led the 2011 rankings, producing the best Pass Rushing Productivity score and seventh-best Run Stop Percentage.
5. Julius Peppers, 2010, CHI: +33.4
Pass Rushing: +15.1, Run Defense: +16.0, Penalties: +0.3
There were plenty of questions about Peppers when Chicago spent big on a player many perceived as not always putting 100% effort out on the field. Well he didn’t immediately repay them with huge sacks but his all-around work — featuring some tremendous play in the run game — would get him our third-highest grade of all 4-3 defensive ends in 2010.
6. Terrell Suggs, 2011, BAL: +31.7
Pass Rushing: +6.1, Run Defense: +16.8, Penalties: +0.3
The Ravens’ hybrid scheme would see many classify the 2011 version of Suggs as an outside linebacker, but with more snaps with his hand on the ground he worked his way into our defensive end rankings. It was quite the year, featuring a lot of good plays in coverage and Suggs picked up the highest run defense score of all 4-3 defensive ends.
7. Brandon Graham, 2012, PHI: +31.6
Pass Rushing: +26.8, Run Defense: +4.6, Penalties: -0.3
The only thing that held Graham back from getting more attention was the number of snaps he played — just 436 with only 205 pass rushes. Still he made the most of them to post a league-leading (and stunning) 17.3 Pass Rushing Productivity score.
8. John Abraham, 2011, ATL: +30.6
Pass Rushing: +27.3, Run Defense: +4.5, Penalties: -4.2
You always know what to expect from Abraham and in that respect 2011 didn’t disappoint. There was a lot of positive pass rushing with 54 quarterback disruptions on 343 pass rushes, with some plays in the run game thrown in as more of an afterthought.
9t. John Abraham, 2008, ATL: +29.4
Pass Rushing: +33.6, Run Defense: -6.5, Penalties: +0.8
In the first year of grading no pass rusher impressed as consistently as John Abraham who excelled as a new regime truly made the most out of him. The run defense wasn’t up to much but he led the league with a Pass Rushing Productivity score of 14.7.
9t. Dwight Freeney, 2009, IND: +29.4
Pass Rushing: +28.9, Run Defense: +0.3, Penalties: -1.3
An unstoppable force rushing the passer, Freeney led 4-3 defensive ends in our pass rushing signature stat after picking up 66 quarterback disruptions on 376 pass rushes.