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RealSport NFL Top 100: Michael Bennett edges in at #18

With the NFL’s top 100 well under way, we here at Real Sport thought we would give you our own version; Th


With the NFL’s top 100 well under way, we here at Real Sport thought we would give you our own version; The RS 100. Every writer here had the chance to vote for the 100 best players from the 2015 season. This ranking was done regardless of position value or salary cap cost. It was simply based on who had the best 2015 season. As a result you won’t see quality players like Jordy Nelson anywhere on our ranking as he didn’t play a single snap in the 2015 season. Voting panel: Toby Durant, Remy Cabache, Cameron Tennyson, Rebecca Rennie, Daniel Hernandez, David Pruett, Ryan Tolster  

Michael Bennett, Defensive End, Seattle Seahawks

(TD: #20, RC: #29, CT: #20, RR: #28, DH: #34, DP: #21, RT: #23) On the face of it, Michael Bennett doesn’t seem to fit as a top-20 player. Since arriving as an almost unwanted free agent in Seattle in 2013 on a one year “prove it” deal Bennett has gone about proving that he is truly brilliant as an all round player – just in a way not many defensive ends do. In 2015 he let the team in QB hits (30), tackles for loss (18) and sacks (10), he is the foundation of the Seattle defensive front and while some will argue that he benefits from brilliant coverage behind him he can more than hold his own when it isn’t there. 2015 was the first time he reached double digit sacks in a season and that tends to be all people care about when it comes to defensive ends. Instead what Bennett specialises in is consistent pressure on down after down and run defense that borders on genius.  Here he is from week 3 against Chicago lining up on the outside shoulder of the left tackle only to work his way across and make a tackle to the other side of the center. Bennett run D In a league where passing has become king, the ability of your defensive ends to play run defense has become more and more undervalued, but Bennett has turned it into an art form.   That doesn’t mean he is any slouch against the pass though. Here he is over right tackle in the playoffs against Minnesota. First he beats the right guard on the outside and then slices off the right tackles inside shoulder to make Teddy Bridgewater bring his eyes down and panic.

He really can do it all, and if 5 of those QB hits had turned into sacks he would be considered as a defensive player of the year candidate. Bennett has stated that is his goal and this time next year he could well be there.  

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RealSport NFL Top 100: Michael Bennett edges in at #18

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