NFL All-Decade Top Ten at Each Position

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The year 2019 ended and with it came the end of the decade. The NFL saw a great chance in philosophies, most notably we entered the true era of a passing league. We also were witness to some incredible NFL players, some at the end of their career, some just at the beginning.

Typically, there are All-Decade Teams created, but they only highlight one player at each position. There are too many excellent players each decade, so I’ve compiled the top ten players at each position over the decade. Naturally, there are arguments to be made that certain players were left off this list, but this is simply my opinion of who had the best and most impactful set of years from 2010-2019.

Quarterback:

Tom Brady, New England Patriots, 2010-2019

This might be the easiest decision on this whole list. There is no denying Tom Brady’s excellence, but just this decade alone he has won three Super Bowls and two MVPs, visited the AFC Championship eight straight times, winning five of them, and has won more regular season games than any other QB of this decade. He might go down as the greatest of all-time, but he certainly makes the greatest of the decade. Just in this decade, Brady was named First-team All-Pro twice, Second-team All-Pro once, and voted to the Pro Bowl nine times.

Drew Brees, San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints, 2010-2019

Drew Brees currently holds NFL records for career passing touchdowns, career passing completions, career passing yards, career completion percentage, and career yards per game. Most of the volume on those records have come in this decade. On a technicality, his lone Super Bowl occurred in 2010, albeit it was the 2009 season. In 2011 he won the “Triple Crown”, leading the league in passing yards, passing touchdowns, and completion percentage. Brees is also broke the passing yards in a single season record at the time in 2011. He won AP Male Athlete of the Year in 2010 and NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2011. Brees was the passing leader for five seasons during this decade. He was named Second-team All-Pro twice and voted to the Pro Bowl nine times.

Eli Manning, New York Giants, 2010-2019

Eli Manning will be most remembered for defeating the previously undefeated New England Patriots in the Super Bowl in 2007. But Manning also beat them in the Super Bowl in 2011 in another underdog victory. He was named Super Bowl MVP in 2011. Manning holds the record for most passing yards in a single postseason (2011). He was selected to three Pro Bowls this decade.

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, 2010-2015

Peyton Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. Only playing in five seasons during this decade, Manning won one Super Bowl, made the Pro Bowl four times, named First-team All-Pro twice, won league MVP once, won AP Offensive Player of the Year once, and led the league in passing once and in passing touchdowns once. Manning holds records for most passing touchdowns in a season and most passing yards in a season, both in 2013. He recently held the record for most career passing touchdowns until Drew Brees broke it just a few weeks ago.

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, 2011-2019

In just his rookie season in 2011, Newton broke the record for most rushing touchdowns in a single season. He also won Rookie of the Year and broke rookie records for most passing yards and rushing yards. Newton won league MVP in 2015, as well as being named First-team All-Pro, and has been voted to the Pro Bowl three times. He led the Panthers to the Super Bowl in 2015.

Philip Rivers, San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, 2010-2019

In this decade, Rivers has been voted to the Pro Bowl six times, won NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2013, and was the passing yards leader in 2010. He has broken every major Chargers career record for a quarterback. Rivers has thrown for at least 30 passing touchdowns in five seasons, and at least 4,000 yards in nine seasons this decade.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, 2010-2019

Rodgers won the Super Bowl in 2010 while also securing Super Bowl MVP. He won league MVP twice this decade, in 2011 and 2014. Rodgers was named First-team All-Pro twice, Second-team once, and voted to seven Pro Bowls this decade. He holds records for the highest passer rating in a career, highest touchdown-interception ratio in a career, and the lowest interception percentage in a career.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers, 2010-2019

Roethlisberger led the Steelers to an AFC Championship and a Super Bowl appearance in 2010. He holds almost every passing record in Steelers history, most of which he accomplished this decade. He was named to six Pro Bowls and led the Steelers to the postseason six times this decade. Roethlisberger led the league in passing yards twice this decade in 2014 and 2018.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons, 2010-2019

Matt Ryan won league MVP in 2016, along with Offensive Player of the Year and being named First-team All-Pro. Also in 2016, he led the Falcons to an NFC Championship and a Super Bowl appearance. Ryan was voted to the Pro Bowl four times this decade. He led the league in passer rating in 2016 and completion percentage in 2012. Ryan currently holds the record for yards per attempt in a single season (2016). He holds almost every passing record in Falcons history.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks, 2012-2019

In just his second season, Wilson led Seattle to a Super Bowl win. The following year, Wilson and the Seahawks won the NFC Championship and appeared in the Super Bowl for the second straight season. He won Rookie of the Year in 2012 and was named Second-team All-Pro once and voted to the Pro Bowl seven times this decade. Wilson led the league in passer rating in 2015 and passing touchdowns in 2017. He holds records for the most regular season wins by a quarterback in his first two (24), three (36), four (46), five (56), six (65), and seven (75) seasons. Wilson holds many other single game and single season records.

Running Back:

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars, 2010-2018

Charles holds the record for most yards per carry (5.4) for a running back over a career. He was named First-team All-Pro twice and the Second-team All-Pro once. Charles was also voted to the Pro Bowl four times this decade. He led the league in rushing touchdowns in 2013. In 2010, Charles averaged the second most payers per carry (6.38) for a running in a single season in NFL history. Charles accomplished these feats in this decade despite losing several seasons to knee injuries.

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys, 2016-2019

In just his rookie season, Elliott led the league in rushing yards, was named First-team All-Pro, and was voted to the Pro Bowl. Since then, he led the league in rushing another season, was named to the Second-team All-Pro, and was voted to the Pro Bowl two more times. Elliott broke many of the Cowboys rookie rushing records and has broken several single season records.

Matt Forte, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, 2010-2017

Forte is regarded as one of the best receiving running backs in NFL history. He currently sits at 11th in career receptions for a running back. Forte set the record for most receptions by a running back in a single season, before Panthers’ RB Christian McCaffrey broke it last season. He was voted to the Pro Bowl twice during this decade. Forte consistently ranked top five in scrimmage yards in a single season.

Arian Foster, Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins, 2010-2016

Foster was named First-team All-Pro twice, Second-team All-Pro once, and voted to the Pro Bowl four times this decade. He led the league in rushing touchdowns twice and rushing yards once. Foster holds almost every rushing record in the Texans’ history. He was often injured during his career, which ultimately led to an early retirement, making Foster’s accomplishments even more impressive.

Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, 2010-2019

Gore is one of the most accomplished, and long-lasting, running backs in NFL history. He is currently third in career rushing yards in league history. Gore was voted to the Pro Bowl three times this decade. He holds the record for most seasons with over 1,200 yards from scrimmage (12).

Todd Gurley, Saint Louis/Los Angeles Rams, 2015-2019

Gurley was named First-team All-Pro twice and Second-team All-Pro once. He won Rookie of the Year in 2015 and Offensive Player of the Year in 2017. Gurley was named to the Pro Bowl three times. He led the league in rushing touchdowns twice in consecutive seasons in 2017 and 2018. Gurley’s first four seasons in the NFL rank among the best in NFL history.

Marshawn Lynch, Buffalo Bills, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders, 2010-2015, 2017-2019

We just can’t get rid of him. Lynch is one of the most physically dominant running backs in NFL history (see: Beast Quake). He was named First-team All-Pro and Second-team All-Pro once each and voted to the Pro Bowl four times this decade. Lynch led the league in rushing touchdowns twice in consecutive seasons in 2013 and 2014. “Beats Mode” will be remembered for more than just his play, with off-field moments of greatness like “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” and his stunningly understated initial retirement.

Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers, 2017-2019

McCaffrey has only been in the league for three seasons, but he’s already one of the best receiving running backs in NFL history. He broke the record for most receptions by a running back in a single season in just his second season, and then broke that record in 2019. McCaffrey was named First-team All-Pro once, Second-team All-Pro once and voted to the Pro Bowl once.

LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, 2010-2019

McCoy was named First-team All-Pro twice and voted to the Pro Bowl six times this decade. He led the league in rushing yards once and rushing touchdowns once. In just five seasons in Philadelphia, McCoy became the all-time leading rusher in Eagles history. McCoy is currently 22nd in career rushing yards in NFL history.

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins, 2010-2019

Adrian Peterson is not just one of the best of this decade, but one of the best running backs in NFL history. He won league MVP in 2012 as well as Offensive Player of the Year that season. In just this decade, Peterson has led the league in rushing yards twice, rushing touchdowns once, been named First-team All-Pro twice, Second-team All-Pro twice, and voted to the Pro Bowl four times. He is currently fifth in career rushing yards and fourth in career rushing touchdowns in NFL history.

Wide Receiver:

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, 2010-2019

Forget the Antonio Brown saga this last summer, he is easily one of the best receivers of this decade. Brown was named First-team All-Pro four times, Second-team All-Pro once, and voted to the Pro Bowl seven times. He led the league in receptions twice, receiving yards twice, and receiving touchdowns once. Brown is currently 35th all time in career receiving yards, and second just this decade.

Julian Edelman, New England Patriots 2010-2019

Edelman’s career stats don’t blow you away, but he didn’t consistently find the field until 2013, having sat behind star WR Wes Welker (he also missed the entire 2017 season to a torn ACL). Edelman is considered one of the best postseason receivers in NFL history. He ranks second in league history in postseason receiving yards and receptions.

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals, 2010-2019

Larry Fitzgerald is unarguably one of the greatest receivers of all time. He currently ranks second in career receptions, second in career receiving yards, and sixth in career receiving touchdowns. In this decade, Fitzgerald was named Second-team All-Pro once, voted to the Pro Bowl 7 times, and led the league in receptions once. Fitzgerald holds numerous receiving records in a variety of categories.

A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals, 2011-2019

Green missed all of 2019 and half of the 2016 and 2018 seasons, and his stats are still ridiculous. He was named Second-team All-Pro three times and voted to the Pro Bowl seven times, each of his fully healthy seasons. From 2011-2018, Green ranked fourth in receiving yards, fifth in receptions, and sixth in receiving touchdowns.

DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans, 2013-2019

Hopkins has been a top-5 receiver in the NFL the past few seasons. He had extremely inconsistent quarterback play before last season, yet his stats are among the best of the decade. Hopkins was named First-team All-Pro three times, Second-team All-Pro once, and voted to the Pro Bowl four times in his first seven seasons. He led the league in receiving touchdowns in 2017.

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions, 2010-2015

Despite retiring at the early age of 30 after just 9 seasons in the league. Johnson or “Megatron” holds the record for most receiving yards in a single season with 1,964 yards in 2012. He was named First-team All-Pro in three consecutive seasons, Second-team All-Pro once, and voted to the Pro Bowl in each of his six seasons this decade. Johnson led the league in receiving yards twice and receptions once.

Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons, 2011-2019

Jones holds many NFL records, including fastest player to reach 7,000, 9,000, 10,000, 11,000, and 12,00 career yards. He also holds the record for most seasons (5) averaging 100+ yards per game. Jones was named First-team All-Pro twice, Second-team All-Pro three times, and voted to the Pro Bowl seven times. He led the league in receiving yards twice and tied for first in receptions once.

Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, New York Giants, 2010-2018

Marshall has put his mark on many NFL franchises while breaking several records. He holds records for most receptions (21) in a single game, and most seasons (6) with 100+ receptions. Marshall was named First-team All-Pro once, Second-team All-Pro once, and voted to the Pro Bowl four times this decade. He was tied for first in the league in receiving touchdowns in 2015.

Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, New York Jets, 2010-2019

Thomas is one of the top receivers of the decade in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. He was named Second-team All-Pro twice in consecutive seasons and voted to the Pro Bowl five times, all consecutively.

Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints, 2016-2019

I know it’s very early, but Thomas is at least on track to be one of the greatest receivers of all time. He just broke the record for most receptions in a single season, by a wide margin. Thomas also holds the record for most receptions in the first three seasons of a career. If he keeps it up, he will break the record for most receptions in a career, a record that was thought to never be broken. If Thomas continues his current pace, he can break that record in 10 years. At only 26 years old now, that’s entirely possible. Thomas led the league in receptions in 2018 and 2019, was named First-team All-Pro in 2018 and 2019, and was voted to the Pro Bowl in three consecutive seasons after his rookie season.

Tight End:

Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins, 2010-2019

Davis was arguably the best tight end in the NFL from 2010-2013 seasons (also include 2009, outside of this decade). He had one of the greatest postseasons for a tight end in history in 2011. Davis was named Second-team All-Pro once and votes to the Pro Bowl once this decade.

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles, 2013-2019

Ertz has been a top-3 tight end in the league since 2017 and he’s still getting better. Since 2017, Ertz is second in the league in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns for tight ends. He set the NFL record for most receptions by a tight end in a single season in NFL history (116). Ertz was voted to the Pro Bowl three straight times since 2017.

Antonio Gates, Los Angeles Chargers, 2010-2018

This decade is on the latter half of Gates’ career, but he was still one of the better tight ends and he set many NFL tight records in this decade. He ranks sixth in career receiving touchdowns, and leads all tight ends in NFL history (116). Gates was named Second-team All-Pro once and voted to the Pro Bowl twice this decade.

Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons, 2010-2013

Tony Gonzalez did most of his damage in the 2000s, but he was still at the top in his four seasons this decade. He was voted to the Pro Bowl all four times and named First-team All-Pro once this decade. Gonzalez holds almost every record in the book for a tight end, making him arguably the greatest tight end of all time.

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, 2010-2019

Graham was easily the best tight end in the league in the early part of the decade. He was named First-team All-Pro once, Second-team All-Pro once, and voted to the Pro Bowl six times. Graham led the league in receiving touchdowns in 2013.

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots, 2010-2018

Gronk quickly became a dominant force in the NFL and one of the greatest tight ends of all time in just 9 seasons. His career stats aren’t nearly as large as the impactful plays he made on the field. Gronk was named First-team All-Pro four times and voted to the Pro Bowl five times. He led the league in receiving touchdowns in 2011.

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs, 2013-2019

Kelce missed most of his rookie season with an injury, but since 2014 he ranks first among tight ends in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Kelce was named First-team All-Pro twice, Second-team All-Pro twice, and voted to the Pro Bowl five times.

Greg Olsen, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, 2010-2019

Olsen broke out in the early part of this decade. He became the first, and only, tight end in NFL history to have three consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards. Olsen was named Second-team All-Pro twice and voted to the Pro Bowl three times.

Delanie Walker, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans, 2010-2019

Walker didn’t really break through until he got to Tennessee, and he was one of the best tight ends in the league before getting hurt and missing most of 2018 and half of 2019. From 2013-2017, Walker led all tight ends in receptions, was third in receiving yards, and fifth in receiving touchdowns. He was voted to the Pro Bowl three consecutive times from 2015-2017.

Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys, 2010-2017, 2019

Witten ranks second all-time in career receptions and receiving yards among NFL tight ends. He holds the record for the fastest tight end to make 600 receptions (125 games). Witten was named First-team All-Pro once, Second-team All-Pro once, and votes to the Pro Bowl five times this decade.

Offensive Line:

Mike Iupati, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, 2010-2019

Iupati instantly became one of the best offensive lineman in the league his rookie season. He solidified the 49ers offensive line until signing with the Cardinals in 2015, greatly improving that offensive line. Iupati was named First-team All-Pro once, Second-team All-Pro once, and voted to the Pro Bowl four times.

Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles, 2011-2019

The Eagles offensive lines was one of the best over the entirety of this decade, and Kelce locked down the interior for the majority of the decade. He was named First-team All-Pro three times and voted to the Pro Bowl three times.

Nick Mangold, New York Jets, 2010-2016

Mangold initially took over at center for the Jets in 2006 replacing Hall of Famer Kevin Mawae. He lived up to the billing for a decade, establishing himself as the best center in the league over that span. Mangold was named First-team All-Pro once, Second-team All-Pro once, and voted to the Pro Bowl five times in six full, or nearly full, seasons this decade.

Zach Martin, Dallas Cowboys, 2014-2019

Martin has been considered a top-three guard since entering the NFL in 2014. It’s very impressive for an interior lineman who didn’t play his rookie season until 2014 to be even considered a top 10 offensive lineman in this decade. Martin has been named an All-Pro and voted to the Pro Bowl every single season he’s been in the NFL. He was named a First-team All-Pro four times, Second-team All-Pro twice, and voted to the Pro Bowl six times.

Jason Peters, Philadelphia Eagles, 2010-2019

Peters became an All-Pro and Pro Bowl player in Buffalo before being traded to Philadelphia in 2009, where he anchored their offensive line at left tackle for the entire decade. Peters was named First-team All-Pro twice, Second-team All-Pro twice, and voted to the Pro Bowl six times this decade.

Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys, 2011-2019

From 2014-2018, the Cowboys were regarded as the best offensive line in the NFL, with Smith leading them from the left tackle position. He was named First-team All-Pro twice, Second-team All-Pro twice, and voted to the Pro Bowl seven times.

Joe Staley, San Francisco 49ers, 2010-2019

Staley led the 49ers offensive line through their Super Bowl competing years in the early part of the decade. He remains the left tackle this year for a 49ers team that finds themselves back at the top of the conference. Staley was named Second-team All-Pro three consecutive seasons from 2011-2013, and voted to the Pro Bowl Sox times this decade.

Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns, 2010-2017

Joe Thomas is widely regarded as one of the best offensive linemen of all time. He didn’t miss a single game from his rookie season in 2007 until 2017, playing 10,363 consecutive snaps, the record for most consecutive snaps in NFL history. Thomas was named First-team All-Pro six times, Second-team All-Pro once, and voted to the Pro Bowl seven times in his seven full seasons played this decade.

Trent Williams, Washington Redskins, 2010-2018

Williams sat all of 2019 due to a rift with Washington, but he was one of the best left tackles of the past decade. He was named Second-team All-Pro once and votes to the Pro Bowl seven consecutive times before missing all of the 2019 season.

Marshal Yanda, Baltimore Ravens, 2010-2019

Yanda isn’t just considered one of the best guards of this decade, he’s considered one of the best guards in NFL history. In this decade, Yanda was named First-team All-Pro twice, Second-team All-Pro five times, and voted to the Pro Bowl 8 times (he missed most of 2017 due to injury).

Defensive Line:

Jared Allen, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, 2010-2015

Jared Allen is one of the best defensive ends in NFL history, ranking 12th all time in career sacks. He is tied for the second most sacks in a season in NFL history with 22 in 2011. In this decade, Allen was named First-team All-Pro once, voted to the Pro Bowl twice, and led the league in sacks in 2011.

Geno Atkins, Cincinnati Bengals, 2010-2019

Atkins was one of the best interior pass rushers in this decade. He recorded at least 9 sacks in a season five times this decade. Atkins was named First-team All-Pro twice, Second-team All-Pro once, and voted to the Pro Bowl eight times.

Calais Campbell, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, 2010-2019

Campbell was one of the most dominant and consistent defensive ends of the last decade. He ranks ninth in sacks since 2010. Campbell was named First-team All-Pro once, Second-team All-Pro twice, and voted to the Pro Bowl five times this decade.

Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia Eagles, 2012-2019

Cox is on his way to being one of the best interior defensive linemen we’ve ever seen. He can rush the passer, but it’s the work he does against the run is really special. Cox was named First-team All-Pro once, Second-team All-Pro three times, and voted to the Pro Bowl five times.

Aaron Donald, Saint Louis/Los Angeles Rams, 2014-2019

Aaron Donald’s resume for this list is as long as his arm. He is well on his way to becoming the best interior defensive linemen in NFL history. He was named First-team All-Pro five times, voted to the Pro Bowl six times, won NFL Defensive Player of the Year twice (consecutively), won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2014, and leg the league in sacks in 2018.

Chandler Jones, New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals, 2012-2019

Chandler Jones is one of the most underrated players currently in the NFL. He has been a dominant force setting the edge and rushing the passer since he entered the league. In fact, Jones leads the NFL in sacks since then in 2012. He was named First-team All-Pro twice, voted to the Pro Bowl three times, and led the league in sacks in 2017.

Haloti Ngata, Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, 2010-2018

Ngata was a dominant force on the middle of the defensive line throughout his thirteen year career. Essentially an unmovable object, Ngata was named First-team All-Pro twice, Second-team All-Pro once, and voted to the Pro Bowl four times this decade.

Julius Peppers, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, 2010-2018

Peppers is one of the more accomplished sack artists in league history. Just his playing years in this decade, Peppers ranked fifth in total sacks. In total career sacks, he ranks fourth all time. Peppers was named First-team All-Pro once, Second-team All-Pro once, and voted to the Pro Bowl four times in this decade.

Cameron Wake, Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans, 2010-2019

Cameron Wake absolutely terrified QBs in the early part of the decade when he was with the Dolphins. He was big, strong, and deceptively quick. In Miami between 2010-2018, Wake ranked second in total sacks. He was named First-team All-Pro once, Second-team All-Pro three times, and voted to the Pro Bowl five times.

J.J. Watt, Houston Texans, 2011-2019

There is no denying that Watt is one of the greatest defensive ends of all time, and he’s only 30 years old. He’s been plagued with injuries in recent years so it feels like he gets overlooked. But let me remind you just how dominant he can be. Watt was named First-team All-Pro five (5!) times, mind you he’s only played six full seasons. Watt was voted to the Pro Bowl five times, named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times, and led the NFL in sacks in two seasons. Watt is averaging 15 sacks per full season, or to put his stats in a crazier light, he’s averaging .85 sacks per game in his career. Both of those stats include his rookie year in which he started 16 games.

Linebacker:

NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, 2010-2017

Bowman was on track to be have an incredible career until he suffered too many injuries too early into his career. He really only played six complete seasons (one as a rookie not starting). During that time, Bowman was named First-team All-Pro four times and voted to the Pro Bowl three times.

Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2012-2019

David was one of the best linebackers this decade, yet he was also one of the most underrated players in general. David generates nearly 9 tackles per game since entering the league in 2012. He was named First-team All-Pro once, Second-team All-Pro once, yet was only voted to one Pro Bowl, and that was in a different season than his two All-Pro nods.

Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, 2011-2019

Houston burst into the scene in Kansas City his first season and didn’t look back. In 2014, he had one of the best seasons for an outside linebacker in NFL history, finishing with 22 sacks. Houston was named First-team All-Pro once, voted to the Pro Bowl four times, and led the league in sacks once (2014).

Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers, 2012-2019

Kuechly is on the fast track to become one of the greatest inside linebackers in NFL history. He led the league in tackles his rookie season while winning Defensive Rookie of the Year, and then won Defensive Player of the Year in his second season. Kuechly was named First-team All-Pro five times, Second-team All-Pro twice, and voted to the Pro Bowl seven times.

Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears, 2014-2019

Mack is widely viewed as one of the most dominate defensive players in the league currently. He won Defensive Player of the Year in just his third season in the NFL. In 2015, Mack became the first player in NFL history to be named First-team All-Pro at two different positions in the same year (outside linebacker and defensive end). Mack was named First-team All-Pro three times and voted to the Pro Bowl five times, in just six seasons in the NFL.

Von Miller, Denver Broncos, 2011-2019

Miller became one of the best outside linebackers in the league right off the bat in his rookie season. He had 11.5 sacks, was named Second-team All-Pro, was voted to the Pro Bowl, and won Defensive Rookie of the Year. In total this decade, Miller was named First-team All-Pro three times, Second-team All-Pro four times, and voted to the Pro Bowl eight times.

Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals, 2010-2019

Suggs was a very consistent tackler and sack collector throughout the decade. He ranks eighth all time in career sacks. His best season of his career came in 2011 where he recorded 14 sacks in route to winning Defensive Player of the Year honors. In this decade, Suggs was named First-team All-Pro once and voted to the Pro Bowl four times.

Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks, 2012-2019

Wagner is a tackling machine, leading the league in tackles since he entered the league while averaging nearly 10 tackles per game. He was named First-team All-Pro five times, Second-team All-Pro once, and voted to the Pro Bowl six times.

DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, 2010-2016

Ware is one of the best sack artists in NFL history, ranking ninth all time in career sacks. He had one of the best stretches of sacks recorded in league history from 2007-2011, where he registered 1.0 sacks per game. In this decade, Ware was named First-team All-Pro once, Second-team All-Pro twice, voted to the Pro Bowl six times, and led the league in sacks once (2010).

Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers, 2010-2014

Patrick Willis has one of the greatest rookie seasons for any player regardless of position in NFL history (although it was in 2007). His record-setting rookie season set the tone for his career, even though it was cut short due to nagging injuries. Willis ranked second in tackles in the NFL during his career from 2007-2013 (not including 2014 as he only played six games due to injury). In this decade, Willis was named First-team All-Pro three times and voted to the Pro Bowl four times.

Cornerback:

Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, 2012-2019

Peters has a claim at being the best cornerback currently in the NFL, as well as one of the best of the decade. He tied for the lead in interceptions in the 2019 season. Gilmore was named First-team All-Pro twice and votes to the Pro Bowl three times.

Joe Haden, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, 2010-2019

Quarterbacks didn’t often throw Haden’s way throughout his career, but he still has the fourth most interceptions of the decade. In his rookie season in 2010, Haden recorded six interceptions to rank among the best that season. He was named Second-team All-Pro once and voted to the Pro Bowl twice.

Chris Harris Jr., Denver Broncos, 2011-2019

Harris was one of the most underrated cornerbacks if the decade, as he played with a slew of great cornerbacks like Champ Bailey, Aqib Talib, and a rookie/young Bradley Roby. Harris Jr. was named First-team All-Pro once, Second-team All-Pro twice, and voted to the Pro Bowl four times.

Marcus Peters, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Baltimore Ravens, 2015-2019

Don’t let Peters’ many teams in a short amount of time fool you. He is one of the biggest playmakers on the defensive side of the ball in the NFL. He ranks fourth in the decade in interceptions, and he’s only been playing for half of it. Peters was named First-team All-Pro twice, Second-team All-Pro once, voted to the Pro Bowl four times, and won Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2015.

Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals, 2011-2019

Peterson is another ballhawk at cornerback and immediately became one of the best cornerbacks in the league. His rookie season he was named First-team All-Pro and voted to the Pro Bowl. Peterson ranks second in the league in interceptions since his rookie season in 2011. Overall, he was named First-team All-Pro three times and voted to the Pro Bowl eight times.

Darrelle Revis, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, 2010-2017

“Revis Island” shut down opposing top receivers throughout his career, earning him a spot in the conversation for the best cornerback in NFL history. He didn’t have gaudy stats, simply because opposing quarterbacks didn’t throw his way very often. Revis was named First-team All-Pro three times and voted to the Pro Bowl five times in his seven seasons this decade.

Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, 2011-2019

Since Richard Sherman entered the league in 2011, he leads the NFL in interceptions and defended passes. His size at 6’3” makes him one of the more unique cornerbacks in NFL history. Sherman was named First-team All-Pro three times, Second-team All-Pro twice, voted to the Pro Bowl five times, and led the league in interceptions in 2013.

Aqib Talib, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams, 2010-2019

Talib was one of the more consistent cornerbacks in the league during this decade. He was always good for a couple of interceptions and a high volume of passes defensed every year. Talib was named First-team All-Pro once, Second-team All-Pro once, and voted to the Pro Bowl five times.

Charles Tillman, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, 2010-2015

Charles “Peanut” Tillman redefined the cornerback position with the “Peanut Punch” (the moniker given to his elite ability of forcing fumbles). He played the position like no other cornerback in the history of the game. While being a shut down cornerback, he always went for the ball if a receiver made the catch, resulting in the most forced fumbles in a career by a defensive back in NFL history. Tillman was named First-team All-Pro once and voted to the Pro Bowl twice.

Charles Woodson, Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders, 2010-2015

Woodson was drafted in 1998, and he still makes this list. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest defensive players of all time. Back to just this decade, Woodson ranks fifth in interceptions from 2010 until he retired in 2015. Woodson was named First-team All-Pro once, Second-team All-Pro twice, and voted to the Pro Bowl three times this decade.

Safety:

Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs, 2010-2018

Berry has had a shorter career than most, sewing with far too many injuries. In his five mainly full seasons, Berry was among the best safeties in the game. Berry was named the AP Comeback Player of the Year in 2015 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014 and undergoing chemotherapy in the offseason and being declared cancer free. He was named First-team All-Pro three times and voted to the Pro Bowl three times.

Kam Chancellor, Seattle Seahawks, 2010-2017

Chancellor was widely regarded as the best strong safety in the league during Seattle’s Super Bowl run from 2013-2016. He retired early due to a neck injury that could’ve caused paralysis if further damaged. Chancellor’s dominance at the position didn’t garner a lot of awards, but he was named Second-team All-Pro twice and voted to the Pro Bowl four times.

Malcolm Jenkins, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, 2010-2019

Jenkins was one of the more underrated players this past decade, but he was consistently one of the best safeties in the league. He came into the league as a slow cornerback, and his transition to safety created a physical and dominant player over the top of defenses. Jenkins was named Second-team All-Pro once and voted to the Pro Bowl three times.

Tyrann Mathieu, Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, 2013-2019

In college at LSU in 2011, he was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy before being dismissed from the program due to a violation of team rules. He sat out of football for all of 2012 before being selected in the third round of the NFL Draft in 2012. Since then, Mathieu has returned to a high quality of play reminiscent of his 2011 season. He was one of the best safeties of the decade, but another player without too many awards to show for it. Mathieu was named First-team All-Pro twice, Second-team All-Pro once and voted to the Pro Bowl once.

Devin McCourty, New England Patriots, 2010-2019

McCourty started his career as a cornerback before moving to safety in the middle of the 2012 season. He was a good cornerback, but he really shined as a safety. McCourty was named Second-team All-Pro three times and voted to the Pro Bowl twice.

Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers, 2010-2014

Polamalu is one of the best safeties in the history of the game with an extremely physical playing style while being one of the most intelligent players in the league. He won Defensive Player of the Year in 2010, an award that has only been given to a safety five times in its 49 year old history. Polamalu was named First-team All-Pro twice and voted to the Pro Bowl three times during this decade.

Ed Reed, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, New York Jets, 2010-2013

Reed barely played in this decade, but he still earned his way onto this list. He has a stake to be claimed the greatest safety in the history of the NFL. Reed was an extremely smart player who could cover the entire field with a nose for the ball. Just in this decade, Reed ranks thirteenth in interceptions, while only playing a total of four seasons at the end of his career. Reed holds records for most interception return yards and most interceptions in postseason. In this decade, Reed was named First-team All-Pro once, Second-team All-Pro once, voted to the Pro Bowl three times, and led the league in interceptions in 2010.

Harrison Smith, Minnesota Vikings, 2012-2019

Smith became one of the most feared defenders across the league since his rookie season. He’s a unique blend of physical and athletic that allowed him to play both safety positions over the decade. Smith was named First-team All-Pro once, Second-team All-Pro once, and votes to the Pro Bowl five times.

Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, 2010-2019

Thomas covered the top of the Legion of Boom from sideline-to-sideline for the majority of the decade. He jumped out to a quick start his rookie season with five interceptions. One of the most decorated defensive players during the whole decade, Thomas was named First-team All-Pro three times, Second-team All-Pro twice, and voted to the Pro Bowl seven times.

Eric Weddle, San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams, 2010-2019

Weddle was one of the most consistent safeties in the league since his rookie season in 2007 and continuing through the this past decade. He intercepted many passes, but he recorded the second most tackles by a safety over the course of the decade. Weddle was named First-team All-Pro twice, Second-team All-Pro three times, and voted to the Pro Bowl six times.

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