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J.J. Watt is only No. 3 on our rankings of the NFL's best interior defenders. 

June 22, 2016

Wait ... Why on earth is Watt only third on this list, you may ask? Actually, I flirted with pushing him lower, for one simple reason: He’s obviously the best inside pass rusher in the league, but he doesn’t spend a lot of time there. According to Pro Football Focus charting, Watt lined up as an end on 63.2% of his snaps last season. Now, some of those snaps were as a 3–4 end, but Watt has a unique ability to dominate from any gap. It’s what makes him special, but as impactful as he is on the 36.8% of his snaps that come on the inside, there’s simply more to his game. When he is inside, though, Watt is an absolute terror. No man his size (6’ 6", 290 pounds) should be as fast and athletic as he is, and nobody with his height should be able to win leverage battles like he does. Watt does it with spectacular technique, an implicit understanding of blocking concepts and pure effort. He may very well be the best defensive player in the league, but his versatility will ding him on this list and place him high on another one that's dropping in the coming days. 

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