Demarcus Lawrence heads strong list of top defensive free agents

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Demarcus Lawrence

The 2019 NFL free agency period is just around the corner. Teams will be making deals and signing players as early as March 11, while the official start of the year for the NFL is on March 13.  With numerous top quality free agents available, we take a look at the top defensive free agents that will be sought after. Note that only the top player at each position is listed

Jadeveon Clowney: Outside linebacker

Listed as outside linebacker, Clowney also lines up at defensive end. The five-year veteran had 47 tackles and nine sacks, including a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries for the Houston Texas this past season.  Over the past two seasons, Clowney has recorded 106 tackles and 18.5 sacks.  Known for his pass-rushing abilities, Clowney is also an excellent run defender. At 26-years old, it may be wise for the Texas to sign Clowney to a long-term deal.

DeMarcus Lawrence: Defensive end

Lawrence dominated in 2017, recording 58 tackles,  14.5 sacks and four forced fumbles for the Dallas Cowboys.  Although he had a tougher time this past year, he still was among the best in the game at applying pressure on the quarterback. Lawrence had 10.5 sacks, 64 tackles, an interception and two forced fumbles. At 25-years old, it's difficult to see the Cowboys wanting to lose Lawrence and could be given the franchise tag.

Earl Thomas: Safety

Just a season removed from his sixth Pro Bowl appearance, the 29-yard old Thomas was still a solid force in the secondary for the Seahawks in 2019 before being lost for the season with a broken leg. He appeared in only four games, but made the most of it, recording 22 tackles and three interceptions. With 28 career interceptions and 684 tackles, Thomas will make an excellent field general and defensive secondary leader for some team.

Jordan Hicks: Inside linebacker

Hicks is undoubtedly one of the most talented linebackers in the league, however he has had issues staying on the field, playing in only 19 of 32 regular season games the past two seasons. However, he had 91 tackles for the Eagles in 12 games last season and five interceptions and 86 tackles in 16 games in 2016. The 26-year old is fierce against the run and is an effective pass rusher on occasion. Whether the Eagles try to resign Hicks remains to be seen.

Ndamukong Suh: Defensive tackle

Suh was solid in his one-year with the LA Rams, recording 59 tackles and 4.5 sacks, while clogging the middle on the run. The five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro is several years removed from his prime with the Lions, but at age 32, stil has some solid football left in him. It's unlikely the Rams will resign Suh, making him an attractive option for many teams.

Pierre Desir: Cornerback

The five-year veteran has played for the Browns, LA Chargers and Colts. He played 16 games for the first time in 2018 and became one of the better cover men for the Colts. Desir recorded a career-high in tackles with 79 and passes defensed with eight. Whether or not the Colts have interest in retaining the 28-year old Desir remains to be seen.

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