Neil’s NFL Daily: Special Kick-off Week Edition

Neil checks in with an update as the season readies for launch.

| 4 years ago

Neil’s NFL Daily: Special Kick-off Week Edition

NFL-Daily-FeatureDuring the offseason one of the most popular features we ran was my grading of each team’s prospective starting line-up. I looked at those most likely to be first on the field for both offense and defense and graded each and every player.

Well what better time to update those charts than now? Our knowledge has the benefit not only of training camp but our grading of every preseason game and therefore we have a better handle on the rookies and how they might fare too.

All suspensions and injuries have been taken into account in so far as I know them, so the following should be very close indeed to what you can expect on Thursday, Sunday and Monday.

A few final points before we dig in:

1)  For veteran players the grading is mostly based on last season with some consideration to preseason for either those players on the cusp of two grades or returning from injury

2)  For rookies they are entirely based on the preseason. Their college career and particularly where they were drafted is history and now irrelevant to the discussion.

3)  I have tried to focus on Week 1 as much as humanly possible. Where it is unlikely a player will start in the first game (even if they are pretty sure to start in the second or third) they have been omitted. Where conventional wisdom says they will be back from injury and start (Patrick Willis for example) they are included.

4)  I will almost certainly have made a few factual errors. As always I appreciate your feedback on either Twitter (@PFF_Neil or @PFF) or in the comments section below. Having said that, while I appreciate loads of people telling me I’ve must have pulled this grade or that rating out of my nether regions (who doesn’t enjoy a good debate), I’m much more interested in the most up to date view of who is actually starting. For example who will be at OLB for the Saints is really no more than just a guess. If you have better information (not just your alternate guess) I’d love to hear it.

5)  Package percentages used are based on the preseason.


Enjoy these and, whoever your team may be, I hope you have a fantastic season.

You can find the updated charts for each team here:

AFC East: BUF | MIA | NE | NYJ
AFC South: 
AFC West: 

NFC North: CHI | DET | GB | MIN
NFC South: ATL | CAR | NO | TB
NFC West: ARZ | SEA |  SF | STL


Other editions of Neil’s NFL Daily can be found HERE


Follow Neil on Twitter: @PFF_Neil


| PFF Founder

Neil founded PFF in 2006 and is currently responsible for the service to the company's 22 NFL team customers. He is constantly developing new insights into the game and player performance.

  • Ode

    Kyle Williams is the starting 49ers WR opposite Boldin. Team released depth chart today. After that it’s Marlon Moore/Jon Baldwin.

  • Texans

    Texans: Myers is now “Above Average”, Brandon Brooks will be “Average”, Whitney Mercilus “Below Average” will start over Willie Jefferson who now wears #54, Earl Mitchell will get into the “green” this year while Danieal Manning will drop to “Average”.

  • bz2

    Why have you gone with Barnes (left) and Pashos (right) as the starting tackles for the Raiders? All the news I’ve read out of the Raiders camp has been that your compatriot Watson will start on the left with Barnes on the right, possibly even bumping Barnes out of the lineup if/when Veldheer returns.

    • bz2

      Also while we’re picking nits, you’ve mislabeled a few position: the Cowboys seem to have three inside linebackers, and the Niners have three defensive ends.

      • Colin William Weaver

        PFF looks at where defensive players line up relative to the offense, not each other, when determining position. A NT is defined as lining up over the center; if you’re between the outside shoulders of the tackles but not over the center you’re a DE. Or something like that.

        • Tyler

          They have 3 inside linebackers labelled, 2 of which are Bruce Carter. I’m sure one is supposed to be Justin Durant (the “Average” one).

  • JMay


    I second that Whitney Mercilus will be starting
    DeAndre Hopkins cleared his final stage of concussion protocol and will start:
    Ed Reed even looks like the best bet over Keo as he returned to full pads:

  • pbskids4000

    Maurkice Pouncey is above average. No matter how overrated he is, he is still easily above average.

  • Dave

    Vilma is on the DL & Hawthorne is starting at ILB

    • Neer

      Vilma is on IR, I think you meant?

  • Ron

    I’m surprised that you think Russell Okung is an elite player and Trent Williams is not.

    • brett987654321

      I’m surprised you can manipulate a keyboard. Good for you!

  • Joe

    These are great charts. I’d be interested in seeing updated versions as the season progresses.

  • Devon

    can you update these?