Top 10 Hitters in the NFL
Lewis is 32 and not as intimidating as he once was. But ballcarriers and blockers still keep an eye out for him at all times. He's relentless and drives opponents to the ground. Fellow Ravens linebacker Bart Scott deserves mention here, but Lewis gets the nod because of all the hard hits he's delivered in his career.<br><br>Send comments to email@example.com.
One of the top young safeties in the league, Wilson is an equal-opportunity tackler, punishing both ballcarriers and receivers
Peppers has the speed to chase down receivers and backs and the strength to overpower linemen. Quarterbacks suffer his wrath, too. "He bodyslammed me last year in the preseason," said Patriots QB Tom Brady in 2005. "It was like I was 150 pounds."
When Harrison signed with the Patriots in 2003, he became an integral part of the team's dynasty-driving defense. His reputation shifted from a player known for racking up fines and dirty plays to one known for crushing hits and dominating play. He's 34 and coming off an injury, but his incredible instinct should make up for his declining physical skills.
Thomas weighs 270 pounds but has the speed to cover top-flight NFL receivers. He generates a lot of speed when he's after a ballcarrier and delivers many big blows.
"A lot of receivers know that when Bob is coming down, he's going to try to knock himself out or you out. That's what it comes down to," says Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney. Despite his size (5-foot-8), Sanders is one of the hardest hitters in the league.
Merriman was nicknamed "Lights Out" during his sophomore year of high school after he knocked out four players in the first half of a game. His tackles were so fierce that his high school coaches didn't allow him to participate in contact. The nickname has stuck, and for good reason. He's a constant menace to the opposition.
Dawkins is a human missile and has made several game-altering hits for the Eagles. His stunning blow to Michael Vick in the 2002 playoffs helped seal a win over the Falcons.
When NFL owners voted to ban the "horse collar" tackle in 2005, journalists referred to it as the "Roy Williams Rule." Williams' use of the tactic in 2004 led to three significant injuries for his foes. Though the horse collar tackle is no longer in his arsenal, he still delivers vicious hits.
Taylor has the speed of a cornerback, but the strength of a linebacker. That combination and his tendency to be near the ball make him one of the hardest hitters in the league and a constant defensive threat. His teammates have nicknamed him "Meast," saying he is half-man, half-beast.<br><br>Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.