Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL's Top 5 Free Agent Defensive Linemen

NFL.com compiled a list of the 101-best free agents expected to hit the market on March 10. Below are the top five defensive linemen, according to their list.

Photos of NFL.com's 101 best free agents expected to hit the market on March 10. (Note: this list includes players that were franchise tagged on Monday, March 2)

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BUCS FREE AGENT DL REVIEW](/news/article-smith/Buccaneers-Free-Agency-Review-D-Line/31ea9ab3-5158-4283-af65-3ab616bd111a)
5. Nick Fairley, Lions – DT (No. 18 overall)
Fairley has been inconsistent throughout his four-year career with the Lions but has shown flashes of the dominant player that was selected in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. In 2013, he had the best season of his career, starting 15 games and picking up six sacks. He has had difficulties staying on the field, though; 2013 was the only season where he started more than eight games.

4. Pernell McPhee, Ravens – DE/ OLB (No. 16 overall)
McPhee has proven to be an impact player with his hand in the dirt and as a stand-up outside linebacker in his time with the Ravens. He began his career as a defensive end and played on the interior occasionally, but was moved to linebacker in 2013. Despite never being a full-time starter, he has been consistent throughout his four-year career. He has earned between 21 and 27 tackles in each of his seasons and had a breakout 2014 campaign where he got to the quarterback seven and a half times.

3. Greg Hardy, Panthers – DE (No. 12 overall)

On the field, Hardy is a devastating pass-rusher and former All-Pro. In 2013, he recorded 15 sacks in just 13 starts. He earned 11 sacks the year before in 10 starts. The concerns, though, are off the field. He missed 15 games in 2014 for violating the NFL's domestic violence policy.

2. Jerry Hughes, Bills – DE (No. 10 overall)
Jerry Hughes' best days are still ahead of him. He was a first-round pick in 2010 but didn't become a full-time starter until 2014. Over the course of the past two season, he has recorded 20 sacks and forced five fumbles. Hughes can play with his hand in the dirt or off the line.

1. Ndamukong Suh, Lions – DT (No. 1 overall)
Suh is the most coveted free agent in this year's free agent class, regardless of position. Over the course of his five-year career, he has been named to the Pro Bowl four times and has been selected as a first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press three times. In 2014, he recorded 8.5 sacks, the second-most of his career. He comes with a hefty price tag, though. Whoever signs Suh may need to pay out one of the biggest contracts for a defensive player in NFL history. [

TOP 5 FREE AGENT QUARTERBACKS](http://www.buccaneers.com/news/article-1/NFLs-Top-5-Free-Agent-Quarterbacks/3e7ead2a-cc7a-4444-9666-bfa5081058e5)

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