1. Aubrayo Franklin, San Francisco 49ers
Age as of 1st September 2011: 31
2010 Grade: +15.5
Key Stat: 37 defensive stops. Third most of all defensive tackles.
Behind The Numbers: Let’s be honest, there are not enough quality nose tackles in the league right now, so good ones are all the more valuable. Franklin isn’t a one gap nose tackle that is all the rage, but a true prototypical, run stuffing, gobble up running backs two gapper. He’s not going to get after the passer, but when you can anchor a line like Franklin you really don’t need to.
8. Shaun Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Age as of 1st September 2011: 29
2010 Grade: +9.3
Key Stat: Had as many touchdowns as sacks in 2010.
Behind The Numbers: If player reports are to be believed, he’s more of a threat to an offensive lineman’s genitals than he is the quarterback. But the Chief defensive end was a big part of their success in winning the AFC West, showing a particular knack for stopping ball carriers before they could get past the markers. His 28 defensive stops are a big indicator of how disruptive he can be.
I dug this up recently and thought it was an interesting look. Our deep freeze Shaun is actually putting up some big numbers, and fondling other numbers according to PFF.