For the first time in years, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can tout a solid group of defensive ends. How do they match up against their neighbors in the NFC South?
Before the addition of Jason Pierre-Paul, the result of this particular ranking would be obvious to Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans. Just like every season since Simeon Rice, the Buccaneers would finish last. But thankfully for everyone, that isn’t the case.
The former USF Bull and New York Giant has provided the Bucs with a potential spark for one of their longest-running positional woes. At last, it looks like the defensive end position may be on the rise for the Buccaneers.
Even with JPP in tow, the Bucs face some stiff competition around the NFC South. The Falcons are one season removed from having a 15 sack player, while the Saints can boast possession of one of the best all-around defensive ends in the league.
If this were a division like the AFC North I would be sure to note that not all defensive ends are tasked with the same job. A base 3-4 end plays a different game than a base 4-3 end. But in the South, all four teams operate mostly out of a traditional 4-3 with four down linemen (Atlanta gets creative).
With that said, working downward in our established order of last season’s records, we’ll break down the prominent defensive ends from each team, then rank them from best to worst on the final slide. Let’s get started!