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The most important non-QB on every NFL team

The quarterback is the most important position in the NFL, but it takes additional great players to win. Approaching the 2020 season, these are the most important players other than the quarterback on each of the 32 NFL teams.

 
1 of 32

Arizona Cardinals: DeAndre Hopkins, WR

Arizona Cardinals: DeAndre Hopkins, WR
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Hopkins has yet to play a down for Arizona yet, but the star wideout could be the biggest difference maker on the team's offense in 2020. He was an All-Pro over the last three seasons in Houston, averaging 1,372 yards and 10 touchdowns per season. With Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of his career, Hopkins will be relied up just as heavily in his new home.

 
2 of 32

Atlanta Falcons: Julio Jones, WR

Atlanta Falcons: Julio Jones, WR
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Jones has shown incredible production and consistency for what has been one of the NFL's most consistent offenses over the last decade. He's now made six consecutive Pro Bowls as Matt Ryan's go-to receiver, most recently finishing 2019 with 99 catches for 1,394 yard and six touchdowns. The loss of Austin Hooper puts even more pressure on Jones.

 
3 of 32

Baltimore Ravens: Marlon Humphrey, CB

Baltimore Ravens: Marlon Humphrey, CB
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Baltimore's defense is loaded with talent, and Humphrey is perhaps their most effective player. He's become a shutdown cornerback in three seasons, becoming an All-Pro and Pro Bowler last season. Humphrey held receivers to only five yards per target and also had three picks and two touchdowns.

 
4 of 32

Buffalo Bills: Tre'Davious White, CB

Buffalo Bills: Tre'Davious White, CB
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The Bills defense has quickly made them competitive again, and White has been their best player. He was an All-Pro and Pro Bowler in his third NFL season with a league-leading six interceptions, also holding quarterbacks to a 50 percent competition rate.

 
5 of 32

Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey, RB

Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey, RB
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There isn't a running back in football who is a bigger part of their offense than McCaffrey. He led the NFL with 403 touches for 2,392 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2019, and has more than 100 receptions in back-to-back seasons.

 
6 of 32

Chicago Bears: Khalil Mack, OLB

Chicago Bears: Khalil Mack, OLB
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The Bears paid the Raiders a hefty price to acquire Mack in 2018. He's been the face of an elite Chicago defense over the last two seasons with a total of 21 sacks, extending his streak to five consecutive Pro Bowls.

 
7 of 32

Cincinnati Bengals: Geno Atkins, DT

Cincinnati Bengals: Geno Atkins, DT
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The defensive line is the strength of Cincinnati's defense, and Atkins remains its anchor. He's made six consecutive Pro Bowls as an elite interior pass rusher, despite seeing his numbers decline in 2019.

 
8 of 32

Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE

Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE
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Garrett was the first overall pick in the 2017 draft, and has quickly become an elite pass rusher. He had 13.5 sacks over a full 2018 season and 10 sacks in 10 games last year before missing the final six contests due to suspension. Cleveland expects a bounce back from Garrett this year, recently giving him a lucrative contract extension.

 
9 of 32

Dallas Cowboys: Demarcus Lawrence, DE

Dallas Cowboys: Demarcus Lawrence, DE
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Lawrence's play is key to the Cowboys defense, so it should come as no surprise that the unit declined last year while he had a down year. After making the Pro Bowl in 2017 and 2018 with a combined 25 sacks, Lawrence had only five sacks last year. The Cowboys expect a rebound this season from Lawrence, their top pass rusher.

 
10 of 32

Denver Broncos: Von Miller, OLB

Denver Broncos: Von Miller, OLB
Rich Barnes / USA Today Sports Images

Miller has been the face of the Broncos franchise for the last several seasons, and the former Super Bowl MVP has made the Pro Bowl in eight of his nine NFL seasons. Denver's defense continues to play at a high level with Miller its top pass rusher, recording 106 sacks in nine seasons.

 
11 of 32

Detroit Lions: Kenny Golladay, WR

Detroit Lions: Kenny Golladay, WR
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Golladay is quickly becoming a superstar for the Lions, making the Pro Bowl last year with 65 catches for 1,190 yards and a league-leading 11 receiving touchdowns. The Detroit offense took a big step forward early last season when Matthew Stafford was healthy, with Golladay his clear No. 1 weapon.

 
12 of 32

Green Bay Packers: Davante Adams, WR

Green Bay Packers: Davante Adams, WR
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Aaron Rodgers had few reliable weapons last year, with Adams being a clear exception. Adams made his third consecutive Pro Bowl with 83 catches for 997 yards and five touchdowns in only 12 regular season games. After Green Bay failed to add more receiver help again this offseason, Adams' importance could become even greater.

 
13 of 32

Houston Texans: J.J. Watt, DE

Houston Texans: J.J. Watt, DE
Troy Taormina / USA Today Sports Images

The Houston defense failed to generate much pass rush when Watt was injured last year, but he remains a difference maker when healthy. Watt was an All-Pro in 2018 with 16 sacks and also recorded four sacks in eight regular season games last year. Unfortunately, Watt has missed at least half of the regular season in three of the last four years.

 
14 of 32

Indianapolis Colts: Darius Leonard, LB

Indianapolis Colts: Darius Leonard, LB
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Leonard has given the Colts quite a return on their 2018 second-round draft choice, becoming an All-Pro in his rookie season with a league-best 163 tackles and following up that performance with 121 tackles in 13 games last season. He's also record 12 sacks and seven interceptions already, showing himself to be a complete playmaker.

 
15 of 32

Jacksonville Jaguars: Josh Allen, DE

Jacksonville Jaguars: Josh Allen, DE
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Jacksonville trade Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue's future with the organization is in doubt, so Allen looks like the clear future of the defense. The 2019 first-round pick made the Pro Bowl in his rookie season after recording 10.5 sacks, and the organization desperately needs his development to continue.

 
16 of 32

Kansas City Chiefs: Tyreek Hill, WR

Kansas City Chiefs: Tyreek Hill, WR
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Hill has once in a generation speed that completely changes the way defenses play the Chiefs.  He's made the Pro Bowl in all four of his seasons, averaging 70 receiving yards per game and also being used frequently on running plays. Hill's absence was felt early last season when he missed four games due to a chest injury.

 
17 of 32

Las Vegas Raiders: Clelin Ferrell, DE

Las Vegas Raiders: Clelin Ferrell, DE
Darren Yamashita / USA Today Sports Images

The rebuilding Raiders can't afford to whiff on a top five draft choice, so while Ferrell's contribution thus far hasn't made a difference, the team desperately needs that to change going forward. They shocked the football world when they selected Ferrell fourth overall last season, and he had only 4.5 sacks in 15 games during his rookie season. If Ferrell doesn't improve quickly, the Raiders defense could continue to be in the cellar of NFL defensive units.

 
18 of 32

Los Angeles Chargers: Joey Bosa, DE

Los Angeles Chargers: Joey Bosa, DE
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The Chargers recently made Bosa the highest paid defensive player in the league and for good reason. He's made two Pro Bowls and has 40 sacks over four NFL seasons. There could be even more pressure on Bosa this year after signing his new contract.

 
19 of 32

Los Angeles Rams: Aaron Donald, DT

Los Angeles Rams: Aaron Donald, DT
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There might not be a more dominant defensive player in football than Donald, who has won two Defensive Player of the Year Awards and been an All-Pro in five of his six NFL seasons. He's led the league in tackles for loss in consecutive years and had 12.5 sacks last year.

 
20 of 32

Miami Dolphins: DeVante Parker, WR

Miami Dolphins: DeVante Parker, WR
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Prior to 2019, Parker was Miami's most frustrating player. Suddenly, he's become one of their most important after a breakout campaign, with 72 catches for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns. As the Dolphins look to develop Tua Tagovailoa, Parker's continue progress will be key.

 
21 of 32

Minnesota Vikings: Danielle Hunter, DE

Minnesota Vikings: Danielle Hunter, DE
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Minnesota has several cornerstone players on defense, but Hunter's importance has never been greater after the team lost Everson Griffen in the offseason. Hunter has recorded 14.5 sacks in back-to-back seasons, and will be relied upon to continue his ferocious pass rush.

 
22 of 32

New England Patriots: Stephon Gilmore, CB

New England Patriots: Stephon Gilmore, CB
Tommy Gilligan / USA Today Sports Images

The Patriots were the best defense in football during 2019, and Gilmore was their best player, winning Defensive Player of the Year. The shutdown cornerback has been an All-Pro in consecutive years and will need to continue his elite play with the team losing several players in their front seven.

 
23 of 32

New Orleans Saints: Michael Thomas, WR

New Orleans Saints: Michael Thomas, WR
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There has never been a busier wide receiver than Thomas, who set the NFL record with 149 receptions last season, also leading the league with 1,725 receiving yards. It's an understatement to say that he's the key piece of the Saints offense, and he produced his incredible numbers last season despite Drew Brees missing time.

 
24 of 32

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley, RB

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley, RB
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As Daniel Jones develops at quarterback, he will continue to lean on his running back. Barkley led the NFL in yards from scrimmage in his rookie season before falling back to 1,441 yards last year due to an ankle injury. Even with new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, the offense should continue to run through Barkley in 2020.

 
25 of 32

New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DE

New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DE
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Williams had a disappointing rookie season after going third overall, recording only 2.5 sacks in 13 games. The Jets still love his raw ability, and without many star players on the defensive side, need Williams to fulfill expectations soon.

 
26 of 32

Philadelphia Eagles: Jason Kelce, OC

Philadelphia Eagles: Jason Kelce, OC
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Philadelphia his risen to prominence due in large part to their elite offensive line, but there's a major risk the line could slip this year after losing Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Brooks due to injury. The trio of Kelce, Lane Johnson, and Jason Peters are still terrific but need to maintain their recent level of play. For his purposes, Kelce is putting together a Hall of Fame resume, being named an All-Pro for the third straight season in 2019.

 
27 of 32

Pittsburgh Steelers: T.J. Watt, OLB

Pittsburgh Steelers: T.J. Watt, OLB
Karl Roser / USA Today Sports Images

Watt is one of many stars in the Steelers defense but has played a huge role in returning the unit to elite recently. He made his second straight Pro Bowl and was an All-Pro in 2019, recording 14.5 sacks and also leading the NFL with eight forced fumbles.

 
28 of 32

San Francisco 49ers: Richard Sherman, CB

San Francisco 49ers: Richard Sherman, CB
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Sherman's smarts and elite coverage ability were key to the great Seahawks defenses of the mid-2010's, and he's become just as important for the 49ers. He returned to the Pro Bowl in 2019 after a two year hiatus, holding quarterbacks to only 5.6 yards per target and a 64.1 Passer Rating. While the 49ers defensive line improved immensely, Sherman's improvement had the biggest single impact for San Francisco's great 2019 defense.

 
29 of 32

Seattle Seahawks: Bobby Wagner, MLB

Seattle Seahawks: Bobby Wagner, MLB
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Since being drafted in 2012, Wagner has basically seen two generations of Seahawks defensive personnel and helped the defense stay afloat more recently. He has an incredible streak of six consecutive Pro Bowls and All-Pro designations in five of those six years. Even as he enters his 30's, Wagner is as effective as ever, leading the NFL with 159 tackles in 2019.

 
30 of 32

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lavonte David, ILB

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lavonte David, ILB
Robert Hanashiro / USA Today Sports Images

David has only one Pro Bowl in his eight-year career and has regularly been overshadowed by flashier players on the Bucs defense. Still, there's a lot that can be said for his consistency and effectiveness, recording over 100 tackles in seven of eight seasons. He also plays well in coverage and has 22.5 career sacks. His play has helped the Bucs defense improve quickly under a new coaching staff.

 
31 of 32

Tennessee Titans: Derrick Henry, RB

Tennessee Titans: Derrick Henry, RB
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Henry finally got a full season as a bell cow back in 2019 and made a huge difference for the Titans. He led the NFL in carries, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns while averaging a terrific 5.1 yards per carry. Tennessee's offensive line does block the run well, but Henry also helped himself with great speed and elite ability to break tackles.

 
32 of 32

Washington Football Team: Terry McLaurin, WR

Washington Football Team: Terry McLaurin, WR
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Washington has a lot of defensive talent, but the offense is still building. There are limited weapons on the unit currently, though McLaurin is an exception. He had a tremendous rookie season with 58 catches for 919 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games. As Dwayne Haskins continues to develop, McLaurin's development will also be important.

Seth Trachtman is a fantasy sports expert and diehard Kansas City Chiefs fan still hoping for a Super Bowl win during his lifetime. He doesn't often Tweet, but when he does, you can find him on Twitter @sethroto.

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