'13 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 on 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.

Smith's presence has allowed teammate Aldon Smith to flourish. Aldon Smith got all 19.5 of his sacks last season while Justin was on the field.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Vince Wilfork | @wilfork75
New England Patriots | DL | Age: 31 | NFL experience: 10th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: NR; NE D6

Since 2008, the Patriots defense has allowed 4.1 yards per rush with Wilfork on the field and 4.85 yards per rush without Wilfork. With Wilfork, the Patriots would have ranked 10th best in the league over that span and last without him.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Jason Pierre-Paul | @UDWJPP
New York Giants | DE | Age: 24 | NFL experience: 4th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL16; overall 54

Pierre-Paul disrupted 36.5 drop-backs (sacks + interceptions + passes defended + batted balls) as part of a rush with four or less. Only Jared Allen (48) had more such disruptions.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Jared Allen | @JaredAllen69
Minnesota Vikings | DE | Age: 31 | NFL experience: 10th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL4; overall 16

Allen has had at least 10 sacks in each of the past six seasons, tied with DeMarcus Ware for the longest active streak in the league. Allen hasn't missed a game since 2007.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Julius Peppers | Team Twitter: @ChicagoBears
Chicago Bears | DE | Age: 33 | NFL experience: 12th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL11; overall 39

Since the start of 2008, Peppers has 27 sacks on third down, tied with Jared Allen and DeMarcus Ware for most during that span.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Ndamukong Suh | @NdamukongSuh
Detroit Lions | DT | Age: 26 | NFL experience: 4th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL32; overall 110

Since his rookie season in 2010, Suh has 19.0 sacks when lined up as an interior defensive lineman. Only Geno Atkins has more (21.0).
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Earl Thomas | @Earl_Thomas
Seattle Seahawks | S | Age: 24 | NFL experience: 4th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DB32; overall 105

Thomas has 10 interceptions since he entered in the league in 2010, tied for third among free safeties. He has not missed a game and is one of 10 defenders to play more than 3,000 snaps in the past three seasons.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



NaVorro Bowman | @NBowman53
San Francisco 49ers | LB | Age: 25 | NFL experience: 4th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: LB3; overall 4

Bowman ranked fifth in the NFL with 143 tackles last season. He's been named to the AP All-Pro first team the past two seasons.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Patrick Peterson | @RealPeterson21
Arizona Cardinals | CB | Age: 23 | NFL experience: 3rd year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DB24; overall 87

Peterson's seven interceptions ranked fourth in the NFL in 2012 and were the most by a Cardinal since 2001.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)



Cameron Wake | @Kold91
Miami Dolphins | DE | Age: 31 | NFL experience: 5th year
ESPN Fantasy rank: DL3; overall 14

Wake had 8.5 sacks when the Dolphins sent at least five rushers last season. Wake had more sacks with added pressure than any player in the league.
-- ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)