Dec 12, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) during the second quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Top Five NFL Pass Rusher Projections For 2014

Nothing gets an NFL crowd pumped up more than sacks.  With that in mind who will be the top pass rushers of 2014?

#5 – Jared Allen – Chicago Bears

“The Mullet” has been one of the most consistent quarterback killers for a decade.  Jared Allen is now with his third team in the Chicago Bears and at age 32 is hoping to continue defying age by posting double digit sacks again.  He’ll have some help to do so.  Chicago also added former Raider Lamarr Houston and also brought back four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff.  If they generate push like they can, it is bound to funnel quarterbacks into the waiting arms of Allen as he defiantly continues his climb up the sack total chart.

#4 – Justin Houston – Kansas City Chiefs

The truly disgusting part about the 2013 season for Justin Houston wasn’t just his 11 sacks, it was the fact he got those sacks in just 11 games.  He has matured into a premier pass rush threat and with the presence of Tamba Hali, Dontari Poe and now Dee Ford up front as well, Houston is going to see even more single blocks than he did last season.  If he stays healthy then there is no reason to think he won’t dominate at the age of 25.

#3 – J.J. Watt – Houston Texans

The stage is set.  J.J. Watt has lived with double teams his entire career but that hasn’t stopped him from getting quarterbacks on the ground.  To think he might actually not have to deal with as many blockers in 2014 is ludicrous.  Yet that is the reality besetting the Houston Texans following the addition of 1st overall pick Jadeveon Clowney.  His pass rush presence should draw attention right away, and the more experienced Watt is virtually guaranteed to take advantage.

#2 – Von Miller – Denver Broncos

Another top pass rusher who couldn’t stay healthy last NFL season.  Von Miller only played in nine games due to a suspension and then a torn ACL.  He never really got a chance to find his groove but the flashes of skill were always there.  As a fresh start approaches, the Denver Broncos defense is getting healthy.  On top of that they’re getting better.  T.J. Ward and Aqib Talib will improve the secondary while the surprise acquisition of former All-Pro Demarcus Ware puts another rusher on the field to take heat off Miller.  The last time that was true?  Miller posted 18 sacks.

#1 – Robert Quinn – St. Louis Rams

He was a half sack shy of the league lead in 2013 and he’s still only 24-years old.  Robert Quinn is the cream of the crop among pass rushers and the St. Louis Rams have made sure to do everything possible to make him dominant.  That includes improving their secondary and also adding a presence on the interior in Aaron Donald.  The rookie is a gifted pass rushing defensive tackle, which is bound to create more chances for Quinn, as if he needs them.  The Rams are poised to have the best pass rush this NFL season, and Black Lightning will lead the way.

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Tags: Chicago Bears Denver Broncos Houston Texans Kansas City Chiefs NFL St. Louis Rams

  • Reggie Flenory

    The difficult thing for houston and miller is that denver and kansas city play nearly identical 1st place type schedules this yr so staying healthy while takimg the pounding they both will endure is gonna be key but other than that they are both explosive young pass rushers and denver has added some nice pieces on defense to take some of the attention off of miller so hes definatley gonna have a good yr

    • Erik Lambert

      Both of them will.

  • boldness

    Geno”oooh s@#$)Atkins come on son

    • Erik Lambert

      Coming off a knee injury? I don’t have that same confidence.

  • Don Andrew Halvorson

    Allen is over the hill, but he could be a good threat for the Bears if he gets some time.

    • Erik Lambert

      Being over the hill is not the same as being productive.

    • scott steven

      critics said that at the start of last season that Manning is over the hill. Then he proved them all wrong by setting all offensive unit records.

  • trinity

    We’ll see what Jared still has in the tank. I think JJ will be fucking ridiculous this season thanks to clowney :)! I would put him number 1. And Miller is a great addition, because teams will have to account for demarcus ware. Forget 100% , demarcus ware at 90% health is scarier than most guys in the league haha. And he’s supposed to be healthy this season. Look out AFC west.

    • Erik Lambert

      Yeah, quarterbacks are not going to have fun playing that division this year. And nobody will have fun playing the Texans.

      • trinity

        Yeah, given how inconsistent the colts are, I would be picking houston to win the division if they had a quarterback.

        • Erik Lambert

          Hey, if Watt and Clowney take out Luck then Houston WILL win that division.

  • Alex Rodman

    What about Hali and ford?

    • Erik Lambert

      Houston is in the sweet spot of his prime. Hali is getting too old and Ford is too young.

      • Dustin McLaughlin

        How is Tamba too old for the list, when Jared Allen is two years older and made it?

        • Erik Lambert

          Too old in the context of his team. As far as the Chiefs are concerned, Houston has the higher ceiling in terms of 2014. We also can’t forget that Hali has been playing hurt a lot the past couple seasons. As to your Allen connection, he hasn’t missed a game since 2007 and has a higher sack average than Hali does.

          • Dustin McLaughlin

            I do agree, Houston will be the most prolific of the three, but I believe that Dee Ford has the potential to be on this list in a few years. And no offense meant to Allen. As a Chiefs fan, I miss seeing the mullet line up for my boys.

          • Erik Lambert

            It’s easy to forget he was with the Chiefs early in his career. Still can’t believe they let him walk out the door.

          • Michael Stockton

            I can. They got Branden Albert and some guy named Jamaal Charles for him.

          • mnelson52

            Worked well for both teams

  • Dustin McLaughlin

    I predict 30+ sacks from Houston, Hali and Ford combined if all can stay healthy.

    • Erik Lambert

      That will depend on the Chiefs secondary.

  • tru

    That Rams D LINE is gonna be ridiculous. No QB in the league is safe

    • Erik Lambert

      Particularly in the NFC West.

  • mnelson52

    With all the pass rushers in the NFC & AFC West, teams may be forced to run the ball a lot more this year.

    • Erik Lambert

      After what Seattle did, they were probably going to run the ball anyway.

  • scott steven

    Broncos will have close to 40 if miller, ware, pot roast and wolfe stay healthy they will lead the nfl if they stay healthy