The most notable pass rusher in the division, Jared Allen, switched teams as a free agent this season, but remains in the division with an improved Bears’ defensive line. Allen and the other projected starting defensive end, Lamarr Houston, are new to the Bears organization.
While adding Allen and Houston, the Bears released Julius Peppers. Peppers also stays in the division with a new team. He is tasked with giving the Packers a pass rusher opposite Clay Matthews.
The Vikings are replacing Allen with Everson Griffen, their fourth round draft choice in the 2010 draft. He and veteran Brian Robison form a solid combination.
The Lions have a similar set up to the Vikings. Second-year fifth overall draft pick Ezekiel Ansah is still raw, but is big and highly athletic. He is joined by Jason Jones, a big and stout versatile defensive end, on the Lions’ defensive line.
Here is a ranking of the top five pass rushers in the NFC North.