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The Top 100 NFL Free Agents of 2019

The impact players set to hit the market, from defensive stalwarts, to a couple of foundational running backs, to a Super Bowl MVP…

Note: Ages as of May 1, 2019.

1. DeMarcus Lawrence (27), EDGE, Dallas (UPDATE: Cowboys have franchise-tagged Lawrence)
A productive pass rusher who is even better in run defense, all thanks to his ability to play low and move laterally. (His incessant motor also helps.)

2. Jadeveon Clowney (26), EDGE, Houston (UPDATE: Texans have franchise-tagged Clowney)
He doesn’t have the pliability to bend the edge, which is why he’s never recorded a double-digit sack season. But his sheer explosiveness is off the charts, which is why his run-defending numbers are, too.

ORR:Clowney Set to Benefit From Defense-Friendly Free-Agent Market

3. Grady Jarrett (26), INTERIOR DL, Atlanta (UPDATE: Falcons have franchise-tagged Jarrett)
He’s quick off the snap, mechanically savvy and tenacious in how he finishes plays. He doesn’t deserve Aaron Donald or Fletcher Cox money, but becoming football’s third-highest paid defensive tackle makes sense.

4. Earl Thomas (29), S, Seattle
Plenty of safeties have flourished in their 30s, but most were box players (John Lynch, Brian Dawkins, Charles Woodson, etc.). Thomas is a rangy centerfielder hoping for a Rod Woodson-type second act. Even coming off the leg injury, he’s worth the gamble. He’ll be an alpha in your secondary who can give a defensive play-caller invaluable peace of mind.

5. Landon Collins (25), S, N.Y. Giants
He has corrected the man-to-man deficiencies that plagued him early in his career and has become a formidable cover artist against tight ends. In zone coverage, blitzing and run support, he checks every box. When he’s unblocked (which is often for a strong safety), he’s as dangerous a playmaker as anyone in football.

ORR:Why the Giants Should Franchise-Tag Pending Free Agent Landon Collins

6. Tevin Coleman (26), RB, Atlanta
He’s a less patient but more explosive Le’Veon Bell. Coleman must play in an outside zone running scheme that encourages him to attack the perimeter—which, thanks to deceptive, long-striding speed, Coleman does better than anyone. He is also a superior passing game weapon than some teams’ No. 3 receiver, with the flexibility to align out wide or in the slot.

7. Frank Clark (25), DE, Seattle (UPDATE: Seahawks have franchise-tagged Clark)
He might be football’s quickest off-the-snap mover, and his ability to change directions so fluidly makes him lethal in most schemed pressure designs.

8. Trey Flowers (25), DL, New England
He’s arguably football’s most mechanically sound defensive lineman, which buttresses his versatility.

9. Le’Veon Bell (27), RB, Pittsburgh
His unique running style and multidimensional skill set still make him elite, but mild off-field concerns and average top-end speed are legitimate marks against giving him the type of deal he sought during his 2018 holdout.

ORR:Le’Veon Bell Is Ready to Return, But Where?

10. Dee Ford (28), EDGE, Kansas City (UPDATE: Chiefs have franchise-tagged Ford)
His compelling combination of burst, speed and leverage make him the type of force you must assume will wreck two or three plays a game.

11. C.J. Mosley (26), STACK LB, Baltimore
He’s outstanding in coverage and—most of the time—decisive against the run. Sign him and the middle of your defense instantly stabilizes.

FRANCHISE TAG PREVIEW:Candidates to Be Tagged From All 32 Teams

12. Brandon Graham (31), EDGE, Philadelphia (UPDATE: Graham re-signed with Philadelphia)
He’s an explosive and sound low-to-the-ground player who is as effective rushing from inside as he is from outside.

13. K.J. Wright (29), LB, Seattle
He does everything exactly how you want a 4-3 linebacker to do it. His only questions are durability and age, neither of which looked like an issue down the stretch last season.

14. Mitch Morse (27), C, Kansas City
Few things bring dimension to an offense like injecting mobility at center. A guy like Morse can expand your running game and backfield screen game.

15. Nick Foles (30), QB, Philadelphia
He’s the most difficult guy to rank because you must decide how the value of an average QB compares to the value of a great defensive playmaker. And you also must decide whether he is an average QB. There are arguments for him being much more and much less than that.

BENOIT:Ranking the NFL’s Neediest Teams Ahead of Free Agency and the NFL Draft

16. Anthony Barr (27), STACK LB, Minnesota
His struggles in coverage early last season were not his norm. He can take on run-blocks (including from O-linemen), chase down ballcarriers, blitz effectively and close most passing lanes.

17. Tyrell Williams (27), WR, L.A. Chargers
His long frame lends to a large catch radius and rangy downfield speed. He’s not always the most reliable route runner, though he’s certainly better now than he was early in his career.

18. Sheldon Richardson (28), DT, Minnesota
His off-field concerns seem to have forever tied him to one-year “prove it” deals. Will this be the year that his combination of suppleness and strength pushes a team into a multi-year risk?

19. Malcom Brown (25), INTERIOR DL, New England
Without a powerful defensive line, the Patriots would not have won Super Bowl LIII. Meet the steadiest anchor along that D-line.

NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD:The Pre-Combine Top 50

20. Rodger Saffold (30), G, L.A. Rams
Like the Rams’ entire offensive line, he was better in the first three quarters of last season than he was down the stretch. That will concern some teams given that he turns 31 in June. Smart teams will still pursue Saffold—with more high-level defensive tackles than ever, strong guard play has become critical.

21. Kwon Alexander (24), LB, Tampa Bay
Assuming he bounces back from last October’s ACL tear, he can be one of football’s top run-and-chase linebackers. He’s probably better in a predominantly zone-based scheme than man-based scheme.

22. Ronald Darby (25), CB, Philadelphia
He’s far from flawless, but he has shown he can make important individual plays in difficult coverage assignments. He’s at his best when the action is in front of him and he can rely on transitional movement to attack the ball.

23. Za’Darius Smith (26), DL, Baltimore
He dominates at times with inside moves, thanks to deceptively loose hips and quick, violent hands.

24. Pierre Desir (28), CB, Indianapolis
He’s a sturdily built veteran corner who traveled for much of last season with the opponent’s most physical wideout. The strength of his game is jamming receivers at the snap.

25. Bryce Callahan (27), SLOT, Chicago
He has a phenomenal sense of zone spacing and matchup principles in coverage, and has blossomed into one of football’s best slot blitzers. He’s likely better in a matchup zone scheme than straight man coverage scheme.

26. Trent Brown (26), OT, New England
The NFL’s largest man moves better than most left tackles, in both the run game and pass game.

27. Darqueze Dennard (27), CB, Cincinnati
We always hear about a “10-year left tackle” who you plug in and cease to worry about on your O-line’s blind side. Meet the “5-year slot corner” who you can plug in at what’s maybe football’s most difficult position and never worry about, be it man or zone coverage.