PFF All-Star Team: First Quarter
After careful consideration, Khaled Elsayed unveils the PFF All-Star team for the first quarter of the 2014 season.
PFF All-Star Team: First Quarter
Are we already four weeks through the NFL season? I had to double take but there’s no denying it, nearly a quarter of the season done. Just like that.
It’s been, as it always is, a fantastic start to the year filled with some eye-catching performances that make us wonder just how we coped before the big kickoff. And it’s those performances that I want to focus on right now as we look at the best of the first quarter of the season.
Quarterback: Philip Rivers, SD
The top-ranked pure passer in our grading system, Rivers has had to fight off fierce competition from Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck. Still, the way he’s handled a line that has allowed too much pressure speaks volumes for where he’s at right now.
Honorable Mention: Aaron Rodgers (GB) and Andrew Luck (IND)
Running Back: DeMarco Murray, DAL
No running back has a higher pure rushing grade, and it isn’t even close right now. His 28 forced missed tackles are 11 more than any other back and it’s only two fumbles that keep the chasing backs in sight.
Honorable Mention: Marshawn Lynch (SEA) and Le’Veon Bell (PIT)
Fullback: Kyle Juszczyk, BAL
No one player has really stood out, so the versatile Raven gets the nod with a big nod to being featured more prominently than his peers.
Tight End: Larry Donnell, NYG
The feel good story of the year. Donnell has come from nowhere with some slick route running, excellent ball skills and some underrated blocking to lead our tight end ranks. A real find.
Honorable Mention: Delanie Walker (TEN) and Martellus Bennett (CHI)
Wide Receivers: Jordy Nelson, GB and Antonio Brown, PIT with Andrew Hawkins, CLE in slot
Two guys who no matter how productive they are seem perpetually underrated. Why are people reluctant to view Nelson as a Top-5 receiver in this league? Brown hasn’t let his play slip a beat this year. Playing inside, Hawkins was something of an interesting free agent pickup for Cleveland and he’s immediately paying dividends.
Honorable Mention: Calvin Johnson (DET) and Steve Smith (BAL) with Emmanuel Sanders, DEN in slot
Tackles: William Beatty, NYG and Joe Barksdale, SL
A slow start combined with a hardly inspiring preseason. That was Beatty who hadn’t lived up to his contract extension at the end of the 2012 season. Since Week 2 he’s upped his game and then some, earning the highest grade of all tackles. It’s crazy to think that Barksdale was surplus to requirements in Oakland. The Rams have found themselves a tackle on the up.
Honorable Mention: Branden Albert (MIA) and Ricky Wagner (BAL)
Guards: Kelechi Osemele, BAL and Marshal Yanda, BAL
It never hurts when you have two guards that are playing as well as Osemele and Yanda. Both are generating the kind of movement that means their running backs are getting to the second level and that should never be overlooked.
Honorable Mention: Josh Sitton (GB) and Chris Chester (WAS)
Center: Nick Mangold, NYJ
Mangold has spent a couple of years looking like a player whose best may be behind him. Well, four games into 2013 that notion seems premature. He’s back to being the best center in the league.
Honorable Mention: Brian De La Puente (CHI)