3. Justin Madubuike, DT
Justin Madubuike is making everything happen for the Baltimore Ravens this year. Madubuike entered the year with 8.5 sacks combined in three seasons. The discussion around his contract was that he was a solid run defender who was improving as a pass rusher every year. However, there was a question of whether he could take this step. He has.
Madubuike has ten sacks this year. Some are clean-up, and some are easier matchups. Some, he is just flat-out dominating and rushing the passer better this year than ever before. Last year, Madubuike had a win rate of 7.7%, and this year, that is up to 13.3%.
What has to feel good is seeing him improve in that area but also keep his roots as the run defender. His run-stop rate is up from 7.9 to 9.8. He is showing that he can do both and that he is one of the best interior linemen in the NFL because he brings both.
He is the force in the middle, the leader in the sacks, and one of the best run defenders. Justin Madubuike gets respect as a top-three defensive player this year.