PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (2024)

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (1)

Paul Bretl

July 9, 2024 9:07 am ET

When it comes to PFF’s highest-graded pass rushers from the defensive tackle position, not surprisingly, the Colts’ DeForest Buckner is near the top of that list.

Since joining the Colts in 2020, Buckner has been a disruptive force from the interior, averaging nearly 54 pressures per season with 9-plus sacks, according to PFF. Last season specifically, Buckner’s 52 pressures ranked 14th among his position group and he’d also tie for seventh in pass-rush win rate as well.

Buckner would sign a two-year, $46 million extension earlier this offseason that will keep him in Indianapolis through the 2026 season.

“DeForest has been the epitome of what it means to be a Coltthe last four years,” GM Chris Ballard said in a statement released by the team following the extension. “As one of the premier defensive tackles in the league, he is a destructive force on our defensive line. DeForest is one of the pillars of our locker room. His hard work, consistency, and approach to the game are vital to the success of our team.

“We are fortunate to have DeForest and the caliber of man he is representing our organization. I’m excited for him and his family on this much deserved contract extension.”

Along with Buckner, the Colts have Grover Stewart inside. Stewart has established himself as one of the league’s better run defenders but wants to take his game to the next level this season and show he can get after the quarterback. The Colts would also add Raekwon Davis in free agency, who they believe can be a productive pass-rush in Gus Bradley’s defensive scheme.

When it comes to PFF’s grading system, it is far from the be-all-end-all in terms of player evaluation. It is just one tool within the tool belt. However, generally speaking, when a player is performing really well, PFF’s grades reflect that, and the same can be said for when a player is performing not so well.

Below, you will find Buckner’s PFF pass-rush grade from the 2023 season, along with the 31 other highest-graded members of this position group in this category. To be eligible for this list, defensive tackles had to have at least 127 pass-rushing snaps.

Here is a look at PFF’s grading system to provide some context behind the numbers:

90.0+: Elite
80-89.9: High quality
70-79.9: Good
60-69.9: Above average
50-59.9: Average
40-49.9: Below average
39.9 or less: Poor

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32. Quinton Jefferson

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (2)

Oct 29, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson (70) stops New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) in the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 73.2

31. Sheldon Rankins

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (3)

Houston Texans defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (98) celebrates his touchdown off a ball fumbled by Tennessee Titans quarterback Will Levis during the second quarter at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas., Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023.

PFF grade: 74.7

30. Chauncey Golston

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (4)

Dec 17, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Chauncey Golston (99) tackles Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) in the first half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 75.0

T28. Andrew Billings

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (5)

Dec 10, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Detroit Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs (26) picks up yardage before being tackled by Chicago Bears defensive lineman Montez Sweat (98) and defensive lineman Andrew Billings (97) in the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 75.2

T28. Jeffery Simmons

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (6)

Oct 1, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans linebacker Arden Key (49) and defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons (98) call for crowd noise during the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 75.2

27. Shelby Harris

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (7)

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 75.3

26. Maurice Hurst

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (8)

Dec 10, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Maurice Hurst II (90) celebrates after sacking Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (not pictured) during the second half at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 75.9

25. Kenny Clark

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (9)

Sep 15, 2019; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) rushes with the football as Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark (97) chases from behind during the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 76.0

24. Leonard Williams

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (10)

Nov 12, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Devon Witherspoon (21), cornerback Riq Woolen (27) and defensive end Leonard Williams (99) celebrate following a play against the Washington Commanders during the second quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 76.2

23. Devonte Wyatt

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (11)

Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt (95) rushes Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) during the fourth quarter of their wild card playoff game Sunday, January 14, 2024 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Green Bay defeated Dallas 48-32.

PFF grade: 76.7

22. Ed Oliver

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (12)

Jan 21, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver (91) against the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2024 AFC divisional round game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 77.3

21. Nathan Shepherd

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (13)

Dec 3, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd (93) against the Detroit Lions during the first half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 77.4

20. Jonathan Allen

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (14)

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – OCTOBER 30: Jonathan Allen #93 and Kamren Curl #31 of the Washington Commanders tackle Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts in the second quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

PFF grade: 77.6

19. Derrick Brown

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (15)

Jan 7, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Derrick Brown (95) reacts in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 78.1

18. Vita Vea

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (16)

Oct 3, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Vita Vea (50) reacts during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 78.2

17. Mario Edwards

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (17)

Oct 29, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback PJ Walker (10) passes the ball while chased by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. (97) at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 78.4

16. Alim McNeill

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (18)

Jan 7, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions defensive tackle Alim McNeill (54) runs through the smoke during player introductions before their game against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 78.6

15. Osa Odighizuwa

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (19)

Oct 16, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) runs away from Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa (97) during the third quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 78.7

14. DJ Reader

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (20)

Syndication: The Enquirer

PFF grade: 79.1

13. Justin Madubuike

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (21)

DENVER, CO – OCTOBER 3: Justin Madubuike #92 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates a defensive play against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on October 3, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

PFF grade: 79.6

12. DaQuan Jones

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (22)

(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

PFF grade: 80.9

11. Kobie Turner

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (23)

Dec 21, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr (4) is sacked by Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Kobie Turner (91) in the first half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 81.2

10. Keeanu Benton

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (24)

Sep 18, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Jerome Ford (34) carries the ball against Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Keeanu Benton (95) during the fourth quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Pittsburgh won 26-22. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 82.6

9. Quinnen Williams

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (25)

Dec 17, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (95) attempts to tackle Miami Dolphins running back De’Von Achane (28) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 84.5

8. Jalen Carter

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (26)

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – AUGUST 17: Jalen Carter #98 of the Philadelphia Eagles rushes the passer against Michael Dunn #68 of the Cleveland Browns in the first half of the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 17, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

PFF grade: 84.6

7. Christian Barmore

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (27)

Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 84.9

T5. Arik Armstead

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (28)

Nov 25, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead (91) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 86.5

T5. Javon Hargrave

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (29)

Dec 3, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Javon Hargrave (98) during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 86.5

4. DeForest Buckner

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (30)

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 87.1

3. Chris Jones

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (31)

Jan 20, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones (95) reacts during the first half of the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 90.4

2. Aaron Donald

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (32)

Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) celebrates after a pressure in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 91.5

1. Dexter Lawrence

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (33)

Dec 11, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence II (97) looks on before the game against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

PFF grade: 92.6

Read all the best Colts coverage at The Indy Star and Colts Wire.

PFF's 32 highest-graded pass-rushing DTs, including Colts' DeForest Buckner (2024)
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