Chattanooga, TN – October 22: Chattanooga DL Devonnsha Maxwell (Photo by Zach McKinnell, The Bluebloods)

Chattanooga, TN – October 22: Chattanooga DL Devonnsha Maxwell (Photo by Zach McKinnell, The Bluebloods)

FCS Football: Highest Graded Defensive Players In 2022

We utilized the Pro Football Focus database and grading system to take a look at some of the top defensive performers across FCS football for the 2022 season. 

Each player’s PFF Grade represents their overall defensive grade for the entire 2022 season. Only players who played 20% of the minimum number of snaps at each position were considered for the rankings below.

Defensive Tackle:

1. Thor Griffith (Harvard; 90.6 PFF Grade)

2. Brandon Roberts (Merrimack; 90.3 PFF Grade)

3. Devonnsha Maxwell (Chattanooga; 90.0 PFF Grade)

4. Jude Okolo (Illinois State; 89.9 PFF Grade)

5. EJ Ane (Portland State; 89.7 PFF Grade)

6. Caleb Sanders (South Dakota State; 89.4 PFF Grade)

7. Oliver Charles-Pierre (Incarnate Word; 88.7 PFF Grade)

T-8. Khristian Boyd (Northern Iowa; 88.2 PFF Grade)

T-8. Bryce Lauer (Towson; 88.2 PFF Grade)

10. Segun Ijiyera (Tarleton State; 87.4 PFF Grade)

LATEST: Highest Graded FCS Offensive Players In 2022

Defensive End/EDGE:

1. David Walker (Central Arkansas; 93.1 PFF Grade)

2. Finn Claypool (Drake; 92.3 PFF Grade)

3. Zeke Vandenburgh (Illinois State; 90.4 PFF Grade)

4. Malik Hamm (Lafayette; 90.3 PFF Grade)

5. Brendan Whitehead (Sacred Heart; 90.2 PFF Grade)

T-6. Aaron Acosta (Marist; 89.9 PFF Grade)

T-6. Jordan Lewis (Southern; 89.9 PFF Grade)

T-8. Elijah Williams (Morgan State; 89.0 PFF Grade)

T-8. Keshaun Moore (Hampton; 89.0 PFF Grade)

10. Todd Hill (Duquesne; 88.9 PFF Grade)


1. Liam Johnson (Princeton; 92.8 PFF Grade)

2. Ben Schmiesing (Dayton; 92.6 PFF Grade)

3. Bryce McCormick (Furman; 91.2 PFF Grade)

4. Ryan Saddler (Bryant; 90.3 PFF Grade)

5. Winston Reid (Weber State; 90.1 PFF Grade)

6. Noah Martin (Samford; 90.0 PFF Grade)

7. Ethan Hull (Stetson; 88.4 PFF Grade)

8. Bryce Norman (Southeast Missouri; 86.6 PFF Grade)

T-9. Adam Bock (South Dakota State; 86.5 PFF Grade)

T-9. Nathan East (Samford; 86.5 PFF Grade)

LATEST: Top FCS Football Recruits In The 2023 Class


1. Franky West (Illinois State; 89.7 PFF Grade)

T-2. Demetries Ford (Austin Peay; 89.2 PFF Grade)

T-2. Eric Haney (San Diego; 89.2 PFF Grade)

4. Carlvainsky Decius (Morgan State; 88.8 PFF Grade)

5. Quinn Warweg (Butler; 88.7 PFF Grade)

6. Robert Javier (Towson; 88.3 PFF Grade)

7. D’Ante Smith (Texas A&M-Commerce; 87.0 PFF Grade)

8. Marcus Harris (Idaho; 86.7 PFF Grade)

9. DyShawn Gales (South Dakota State; 86.5 PFF Grade)

T-10. Alijah Huzzie (East Tennessee State; 85.0 PFF Grade)

T-10. Jack Henderson (Southeastern Louisiana; 85.0 PFF Grade)

T-10. Cally Chizik (Furman; 85.0 PFF Grade)


1. Clayborne Fields III (Marist; 91.6 PFF Grade)

2. Javeon Ensley (Stetson; 91.1 PFF Grade)

3. Brent Jackson (Bucknell; 90.4 PFF Grade)

4. Omar Rogers (Elon; 90.3 PFF Grade)

5. Gregory Reddick (Saint Francis; 89.8 PFF Grade)

6. Desmond Williams (Weber State; 89.4 PFF Grade)

7. Kohlton Sherman (Valparaiso; 88.2 PFF Grade)

8. Brandon Benn (Yale; 87.6 PFF Grade)

9. John Huggins (Jackson State; 87.2 PFF Grade)

10. Lance Wise (Mercer; 85.5 PFF Grade)

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