The NFC West is quietly becoming one of the NFL's tougher divisions, thanks to a host of underrated defensive talent. Here are the top five defensive players, currently dominating in the NFC West:
5. Adrian Wilson, S, Arizona Cardinals
For a long time Adrian Wilson has been the best blitzing safety in the NFL. The rugged veteran can still pressure the passer, but he has become savvy and disciplined in coverage.
Since Ray Horton took over the Arizona Cardinals' defense and installed a multiple zone blitz scheme, Wilson has become more versatile. The 32-year-old remains the leader of a rapidly improving unit.
4. Chris Long, DE, St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams may be mired at the bottom of the NFC West, but that's nothing to do with defensive end Chris Long. In the past two seasons, Long has finally lived up to his billing as the second overall pick in 2008.
The 6'3", 270-pounder has amassed 21.5 sacks in two years, including 13 in 2011. Long has a natural power that makes him a threat on the bull-rush.