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'13 Player Rankings, Defense: 90-81

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 on Friday, Aug. 30.

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.

Jennings defended or intercepted 21 passes last year. Jennings was one of three players over the past three seasons to have at least 20 passes defended or intercepted in a season.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

82

6.50*

Kyle Williams | Team Twitter: @buffalobills
Buffalo Bills | DT | Age: 30 | NFL experience: 8th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: NR; BUF D27

Since the start of 2008, Williams has averaged 3.7 tackles per game -- second most among defensive tackles with at least five games played during that span.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

83

6.50*

Ike Taylor | @Ike_SwagginU
Pittsburgh Steelers | CB | Age: 33 | NFL experience: 11th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: NR; PIT D8

Taylor was part of a Steelers defense that held opposing quarterbacks to a 29.9 QBR on throws more than 15 yards downfield, best in the league and 60.9 rating points better than league average.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

Taylor at No. 84? That's low for the Steelers' most versatile defensive back.
-- Football OutsidersInsider

84

6.50*

Leon Hall | Team Twitter: @Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals | CB | Age: 28 | NFL experience: 7th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: NR; CIN D6

Hall broke up more passes last season (eight) than he did in the previous four seasons combined (seven).
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

85

6.48*

Chris Clemons | @chrisclemons91
Seattle Seahawks | DE | Age: 31 | NFL experience: 11th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL37; overall 121

During the past five seasons, Clemons has posted 22 sacks when the offense has at least six pass-blockers, fifth most during that span.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

86

6.48*

Sean Weatherspoon | @SeanWSpoon56
Atlanta Falcons | LB | Age: 25 | NFL experience: 4th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB13; overall 18

Since he took over as the full-time starter in 2011, Weatherspoon has defended 10 passes less than 15 yards downfield, second most among linebackers during that span..
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

87

6.47*

Justin Houston | @JHouston50
Kansas City Chiefs | LB | Age: 24 | NFL experience: 3rd year
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB58; overall 137

Houston has recorded all 15.5 of his career sacks since Week 12 of the 2011 season, tops on the Chiefs and tying him for ninth in the NFL during that span.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

88

6.47*

Devin McCourty | @McCourtyTwins
New England Patriots | DB | Age: 25 | NFL experience: 4th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DB20; overall 79

McCourty is one of five players who has broken up or intercepted at least 40 passes in the past three seasons. McCourty has broken up or intercepted 28 passes at least 15 yards downfield during that time, seven more than the next-closest player (Tramon Williams).
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

89

6.47*

Carlos Dunlap | @Carlos_Dunlap
Cincinnati Bengals | DE | Age: 24 | NFL experience: 4th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL22; overall 71

Since the start of 2010, Dunlap has averaged a sack every 61.4 snaps played, the sixth-highest rate among players with at least 1,000 snaps played during that time.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

90

6.47*

Dwight Freeney | @dwightfreeney
San Diego Chargers | LB | Age: 33 | NFL experience: 12th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: NR; SD 20D

Freeney's 107.5 sacks since he entered the league in 2002 ranks fourth in the league. He recorded a sack every 132.8 snaps played last season, his lowest rate in the past five seasons.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)

Freeney can rush the passer, but can he play every down?
-- Football OutsidersInsider