PFF Top 101 of 2011: The Top 10

| 4 years ago

PFF Top 101 of 2011: The Top 10

Dissatisfied with the NFL Network’s Top 100 as voted on by the players?

Pro Football Focus made our own list, compiled after watching every player on every snap in every game of the 2011 season.

Earlier we brought you 20-11 and you can catch up on all of the previous installments here:
101-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51 | 50-41 | 30-21.  For the full list click here

Each player in the Top 10 will have a full article to click through to as well as a few of their most impressive stats listed here.

As a reminder, the list was decided using a few specific criteria:

• It was based solely on 2011.
• It was based on an ethos of all positions created equal. This isn’t about the most valuable players, otherwise there would be a lot more quarterbacks. This is about looking what is expected from a position and who most exceeded that.

Let’s meet our Top 10:  


No. 1: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

●  Set all-time single season QB rating record of 122.5

●  Led NFL in yards per attempt at 9.3;  next best mark was 8.6 from Tom Brady

●  7.5:1 TD:INT ratio, throwing 45 touchdowns and 6 interceptions on the season

●  Completed 68.5% of his passes

●  Facing Goal-to-go had a TD:INT ratio of 19:1

Full article for No. 1 Aaron Rodgers »



No. 2: Justin Smith, DE, San Francisco 49ers

●  69 Total QB disruptions were more than any other interior pass rusher

●  Recorded pressure in every game of the season; multiple pressures in all bar one game

●  Missed just a single tackle all season

●  Recorded 10 total pressures more than any other player via bullrush

●  Recorded more total pressure than any other player in the fourth quarter

Full article for No. 2 Justin Smith »



No. 3: Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

●  Set all-time single-season passing yardage mark, breaking Marino’s 1984 record with 5,490 yards

●  Set all-time single-season completion percentage record of 71.2%

●  Led NFL with 46 touchdown passes (good for fourth all-time)

●  44.9% of his pass attempts against the blitz were converted for a first down or touchdown

●  Converted league-high 57.6% of third down pass attempts

Full article for No. 3 Drew Brees »



No. 4: Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions

●  Caught 63.6% of the 151 balls that were thrown his way

●  Forced 14 missed tackles from defenders and gained 540 yards after the catch

●  Led NFL with 1,685 receiving yards and led all WRs with 16 receiving touchdowns

●  Matthew Stafford had a QB rating of 125.8 when throwing at Calvin Johnson

●  Gained 2.43 yards for every route run last season, good enough for sixth in NFL

Full article for No. 4 Calvin Johnson »



No. 5: Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets

●  Allowed just 41.2% of all targets to be complete

●  Led NFL with a QB rating of 45.6 on passes into his coverage (among qualifying corners)

●  Allowed just 26.1% of targets in fourth quarter to be caught for a QB rating of 1.3

●  Recorded 20 total pass breakups (interceptions + passes defensed)

●  Allowed just one touchdown all season despite 85 targets

Full article for No. 5 Darrelle Revis »



No. 6: Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

●  Set all-time single-season receiving touchdowns record for TEs with 17

●  Set all-time single-season receiving record for TEs with 1,327

●  Caught 74.4% of all passes thrown his way

●  Led NFL with 641 yards after the catch; 7.1 per reception

●  His +29.5 grade was 12.2 better than the next best TE, New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham

Full article for No. 6 Rob Gronkowski »



No. 7: Terrell Suggs, DE/OLB, Baltimore Ravens

●  Led NFL vs. the run with a +20.4 PFF grade for 4-3 DEs

●  Played nearly the same number of snaps as a 4-3 DE and 3-4 OLB in Baltimore’s changing fronts

●  Trailed only Jared Allen with 44 defensive stops amongst 4-3 DEs

●  Recorded nine games with a grade of 2.0+, seven of 3.0+ and five of 4.0+

●  Played a massive 1,137 total snaps on defense; over 71 per game

Full article for No. 7 Terrell Suggs »



No. 8: Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants

●  His O-line allowed 15 more total pressures than any other in the NFL

●  Led NFL with 69.4% accuracy percentage on snaps under pressure

●  Led NFL in percentage of total pressure that turns into sacks with just 11.5%

●  Best-graded game was the Super Bowl (+8.2)

●  Led NFL in deep attempts (109), completions (43), yards (1,490) on passes that traveled 20+ yards in the air

Full article for No. 8 Eli Manning »


No. 9: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

●  Dropped only 3 passes from 151 targets, good enough for sixth-best drop rate amongst WRs

●  Trailed only Calvin Johnson with 1,039 total snaps played on offense

●  Trailed only Calvin Johnson with PFF grade of +23.2; fourth-highest grade we have ever given

●  Recorded 1,411 yards at 17.6 yards per carry without a quarterback breaking 2,000 passing yards

●  Had more than double the yardage of any other Cardinals WR

Full article for No. 9 Larry Fitzgerald »



No. 10: Jared Allen, DE, Minnesota Vikings

●  Led NFL with 22 official sacks (sacking QB 24 times ignoring half-sacks)

●  Knocked the QB down more than any other pass rusher (32 times)

●  Led NFL with 46 defensive stops among 4-3 DEs

●  Led NFL with 1,044 defensive snaps among 4-3 DEs; 71 more than any other DE

●  Had seven games with 5+ total pressures

Full article for No. 10 Jared Allen »



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| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN.


    Even when the NFL network gets it right, they still get it wrong. Like last night when describing Revis, no one mentioned QB’a abysmal rating when throwing at him, or terrible completion percentage, or that he only allowed 1 TD all season, or that he defensed nearly 1 quarter of all balls thrown at him. It’s simply “uh yeah no one throws at him that’s why his INT total is so low. Because INTs are the only stat that matters for cornerbacks”.

  • George McDowell

    Revis is a liability against the run. So quite obviously, he is not a top 10 player. Champ Bailey – even at his age – is better overall CB, and even Revis knows that.

    • jmn

      I assume that the only reason nobody has replied to your statement is because everybody thinks you must be joking, or at the very least have some sort of football learning disability.

    • KDemster

      I agree….Champ Bailey doesn’t seem to get much love even though he plays the Corner position perfectly. As for George McDowell he’s obviously jealous that Champ is still shutting receivers down while Revis is living in the Training Facility.

      • KDemster

        Last part was in fact intended for *jmn* not George my bad.