'14 Player Rankings, Defense: 20-11

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 Friday, Aug. 29.

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 @ESPNNFL and on Facebook.

How did we rank the players?

We polled 85 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 The Magazine, ESPN Insider (including Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus), ESPN fantasy, ESPN locals and ESPN Stats & Information.

Since entering the league in 2009, Byrd leads all safeties with 22 interceptions. Last season, the Bills held opposing quarterbacks to a Total QBR of 29.9 with Byrd on the field. Only the Seahawks (29.0) allowed a lower Total QBR to opposing quarterbacks last season.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Gerald McCoy | @Geraldini93
Tampa Bay Buccaneers | DT | Age: 26 | NFL experience: 5th year
2013 #NFLRank: No. 51
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL23, overall 68

Last season, the Buccaneers allowed 3.9 yards per carry with McCoy on the field. Without McCoy on the field, the Buccaneers allowed 4.8 yards per carry, which would have been 31st in the league last season.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Greg Hardy | Team Twitter: @Panthers
Carolina Panthers | DE | Age: 26 | NFL experience: 5th year
2013 #NFLRank: NR
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL6, overall 18

Hardy tied the Panthers' franchise sack record with 15 last season, joining Kevin Greene atop the list. Hardy's total was boosted by his four sacks in Week 17, the most in a game by a Panther.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Robert Mathis | @RobertMathis98
Indianapolis Colts | LB | Age: 33 | NFL experience: 12th year
2013 #NFLRank: No. 77
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB57, overall 128

Mathis led the league in both sacks (19.5) and forced fumbles (eight) last season. Mathis' 48 forced fumbles are the most in NFL history.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Kam Chancellor | @Kam_Chancellor
Seattle Seahawks | S | Age: 26 | NFL experience: 5th year
2013 #NFLRank: No. 49
ESPN Fantasy rank: DB17, overall 80

Chancellor finished with 34 tackles in the 2013 postseason, tied for the most on the Seahawks (Bobby Wagner). Chancellor's 34 tackles were the most by a defensive back in a postseason since 2001.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Aldon Smith | @AldonSmith
San Francisco 49ers | LB | Age: 24 | NFL experience: 4th year
2013 #NFLRank: No. 10
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB 54, overall 119

Despite missing nearly half of last season, Smith recorded 42 sacks in his first three seasons. The only players with more sacks in their first three seasons were Reggie White (52) and Derrick Thomas (43.5).
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Clay Matthews | @ClayMatthews52
Green Bay Packers | LB | Age: 28 | NFL experience: 6th year
2013 #NFLRank: No. 6
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB40, overall 82

While Matthews has recorded 20.5 sacks over the past two seasons, he has also missed 11 games. When Matthews was on the field during that span, the Packers had a sack percentage of 8.9 percent, which would be tied for second best in the league.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Joe Haden | @joehaden23
Cleveland Browns | CB | Age: 25 | NFL experience: 5th year
2013 #NFLRank: No. 34
ESPN Fantasy rank: DB36, overall 131

Since 2010 (his rookie season), Haden has defended or intercepted 65 pass attempts, the most in the league during that span. The Browns allowed 5.6 yards per attempt outside the painted numbers last season, third best in the league.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



NaVorro Bowman | @NBowman53
San Francisco 49ers | LB | Age: 26 | NFL experience: 5th year
2013 #NFLRank: No. 18
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB50, overall 107

Over the past three seasons, Bowman leads the NFL in postseason tackles (78). During that span, Bowman's 317 solo tackles are the most in the league.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Von Miller | @Millerlite40
Denver Broncos | LB | Age: 25 | NFL experience: 4th year
2013 #NFLRank: No. 2
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB15, overall 24

Since 2011 (his rookie season), Miller is the only defensive player in the NFL to rank in the top 10 in sacks (6th), forced fumbles (tied 5th) and tackles for loss (3rd).
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)