6. Jabaal Sheard
In the wake of Chandler Jones’ departure and Rob Ninkovich’s suspension, Jabaal Sheard was tasked with playing like the No. 1 defensive end. The former Cleveland Browns pass rusher has been up and down, but it was his strong “up” day in Week 3 that boosts him onto this list.
Sheard sacked Brock Osweiler twice on Thursday Night Football, displaying the mix of power and athleticism on the edge that the Patriots like so much in the sixth-year player.
Evidently, Sheard likes to play the Texans.
Remember, Sheard is one year removed from a re-emergence on the NFL season in which he recorded eight sacks and four forced fumbles (tied for second-most in the league) despite missing three games. This is a guy who is certainly tracking upward in the ranks of the league’s quarterback hungers.
Going forward, Sheard should aim to break double digits in sacks this season. The return of Ninkovich should only help Sheard reach that mark thanks to the attention No. 50 will demand on the other side.
Next: 5. Logan Ryan