Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett is no slacker when it comes to trash talk. Even when we’re still 50+ days away from the start of the regular season
In fact, just today he claimed to be a top five defensive end in the game.
The 30-year old Bennett recorded 10.0 sacks with Seattle last season. He was a key piece to that Seattle defense, no doubt. But just off the top of my head I can easily name five defensive ends in the game right now who are better than Bennett. And that’s just what I’ve set out to do today:
5. Carlos Dunlap, Bengals
The massive Dunlap (6’6″/290) put up career numbers in his sixth NFL season last year, recording 55 combined tackles and 13.5 sacks (fourth in the league). He was a key piece to a Cincinnati pass-rush, and helped Cincy’s defense limit opposing teams to just 17.4 points/game.
4. Muhammad Wilkerson, Jets
Wilkerson got his deal and is poised to build on his impressive 2015 campaign in New York. He started 15 games at D-end, registering 12.0 sacks and making his first Pro Bowl trip. And he’s several years younger than Bennett (26).
3. Ziggy Ansah, Lions
The 27-year old is entering his fourth season in the league, coming off a 14.5-sack campaign in ’15, and finally showing us why he was selected No. 5 overall by Detroit in 2013.
2. Khalil Mack, Raiders
While I still primarily refer to Mack as an outside linebacker, last season he became the first player to be named an All-Pro at two different positions (DE, OLB). He’s a top-tier 4-3 DE.
1. J.J. Watt, Texans
Obviously. Watt once again led the league in sacks last year (17.5), and we’re bound to see him hit the 20.0-sack mark again real soon. He’s already accomplished that feat twice in his five-year career.
– – – – –
Sure, Bennett may have a point that he deserves a new contract from his employer. But, at 30 years old, I can’t really say I’d put Bennett ahead of any of the aforementioned guys. Not to mention he’s a member of a great defense that could probably replace him with the next guy up.
Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images