Pro Football Focus’ 2016 All-Pro Team

Senior Analyst Sam Monson reveals Pro Football Focus' All-Pro roster for the 2016 NFL season.

| 6 months ago
Ezekiel Elliott

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Pro Football Focus’ 2016 All-Pro Team


With the 2016 regular season now in the books, it’s time to reflect on the season that was before we dive into playoff football.

The Pro Football Focus All-Pro team recognizes the best players at each position, with some new wrinkles this season to reflect changes in the official AP All-Pro team.

The AP has come around to PFF’s way of doing things—eliminating the archaic positions of defensive tackle, defensive end, and outside linebacker that threw wildly different players together from different schemes—and instead grouped them as edge defenders, interior defenders, and off-the-ball linebackers.

They have also added a “flex” position on offense and defense, essentially to reflect the changing personnel tendencies in the NFL. That extra offensive player can be another running back, wideout, slot receiver, fullback, or tight end, depending on who was the most deserving player that particular year; the defensive back can be a perimeter corner, slot defender, or safety.

To select this team, our analysts have drawn on all of PFF’s data, including—but not exclusively limited to—the grades, before adding the subjective expertise of our analysis team to individual players. Certain players may have made the team with a lower overall grade than others, but were outstanding in one particular area which we felt warranted the move, or their scheme asked more of them than somebody else.

With those qualifiers in mind, it’s time to reveal Pro Football Focus’ 2016 All-Pro team.

PFF 2016 All-Pro Team

Quarterback

First team: Tom Brady, New England Patriots, 99.3 overall grade (No. 1 position rank)

Second team: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons, 93.1 (No. 2)

With Tom Brady suspended for the first four games of the season, everyone expected him to return with a point to prove. The veteran QB has done exactly that, posting the highest-graded season of the past decade at PFF, and showing simply a staggering display of efficient passing. He threw just two interceptions during the regular season, and despite missing those four games, posted 28 touchdowns. Brady didn’t record a bad game all season, and was the model for elite play. Falcons QB Matt Ryan can count himself unfortunate to slip to the second team, and in any other year, would likely be the first name here, but we couldn’t look past the grade that Brady earned once he got back on the field.

Honorable mention: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, 92.6 (No. 3)

Running back

First team: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys, 86.3 (No. 3)

Ezekiel Elliott PFF First-Team All-Pro

Second team: Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins, 86.8 (No. 1)

Even if we forget the fact that Ezekiel Elliott is a rookie, the season he has put together in Dallas has been spectacular. The Cowboys’ offensive line certainly helps, but Elliott gained almost 1,000 rushing yards after contact (57.7 percent of his total yardage), averaging 2.9 yards per carry after being hit. He was also used in the passing game, both as a receiver (32 catches for 363 yards and a score) and blocker (58 snaps in pass protection with no sacks or hits surrendered), which is rare for a rookie. Jay Ajayi makes the second team after transforming the Miami offense and leading all running backs (minimum of 100 carries) in yards per carry after contact (3.5) and broken tackles (58)—11 more than any other runner on the ground. Ajayi and Bell earned slightly higher PFF grades, but Elliott’s 2016 campaign was too exceptional to keep him out of the top spot.

Honorable mention: Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers, 86.6 (No. 2)

Fullback

First team: Kyle Juszczyk, Baltimore Ravens, 87.9 (No. 1)

Second team: James Develin, New England Patriots, 87.1 (No. 2)

Fullback may be a dying position in the NFL, but the league’s most heavily-used FB this season has also been the best—Baltimore’s Kyle Juszczyk. The Ravens use a fullback more than most teams in the league, and it’s because Juszczyk has been excellent in all facets of the game. He has good grades as a lead blocker, pass protector, ball carrier, and even made plays as a receiver for Baltimore this year.

Wide receivers

First team: Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 93.3 (No. 1); and Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons, 92.6 (No. 2)

Julio Jones PFF All-Pro

Second team: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers, 89.7 (No. 3); and Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants, 86.2 (No. 7)

The top two receivers in PFF’s grades both came out of the NFC South. While Julio Jones missed some time, he was still able to rack up 1,409 yards, with 415 of them coming after the catch, and featured several dominant displays for the league’s No. 1 offense. As Jameis Winston’s go-to weapon, Buccaneers WR Mike Evans ended the season with seven more targets than any other receiver and really emerged as an elite force, making some spectacular catches and plays throughout the season. Other receivers may have put up better numbers, but none could match the highlight-reel plays Evans managed over the year.

Honorable mention: T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts, 87.3 (No. 5)

Tight end

First team: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs, 88.5 (No. 1)

Second team: Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers, 87.5 (No. 3)

With no Rob Gronkowski for much of the season, the door was opened for somebody else to take the crown of the league’s best TE—for at least a season—and Travis Kelce stepped right through it. Kelce finished the season with 1,125 receiving yards, with 652 of them (58.0 percent) coming after the catch. Kelce became even more of a weapon in the passing game, but dramatically improved his blocking from a year ago—something also true for second-team TE Greg Olsen, who remained Carolina’s best weapon on offense.

Honorable mention: Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks, 85.0 (No. 5)

Flex

First team: David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals, 83.2 (No. 4 RB)

Second team: T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts, 87.3 (No. 5 WR)

The ultimate flex player, David Johnson was a machine for the Cardinals this season when it came to yards from scrimmage, falling short in his quest to top 100 yards from scrimmage in every game of the season only due to injury in the final week. Johnson recorded over 1,200 rushing yards and notched 16 scores on the ground, but added 80 receptions, 879 receiving yards, and four more trips to pay-dirt as a receiver. The running back debate was fierce, and Johnson was firmly in the mix there, too.

Honorable mention: Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks, 85.6 (No. 9 WR)

Left tackle

First team: Trent Williams, Washington Redskins, 92.8 (No. 1 OT)

Trent Williams PFF All-Pro

Second team: David Bakhtiari, Green Bay Packers, 90.8 (No. 3 OT)

Despite missing time due to suspension, Trent Williams still posted the best overall grade of any tackle in the game, and allowed a total of just 16 QB pressures across 12 starts. He was a dominant force both pass protecting and run blocking, and even moonlighted at guard when injuries forced a reshuffle along the Washington line during a game. This was the best play of Williams’ career, and the first time we have seen him fulfill his potential since he was the league’s best tackle back in the 2013 season. David Bakhtiari gets the second-team nod thanks to an outstanding season of pass blocking, taking a huge step forward in his play.

Honorable mention: Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati Bengals, 91.3 (No. 2 OT)

Left guard

First team: Marshal Yanda, Baltimore Ravens, 92.0 (No. 1 G)

Marshal Yanda PFF All-Pro

Second team: Kelechi Osemele, Oakland Raiders, 88.1 (No. 3 G)

Marshal Yanda ended the season with seven starts at left guard and six on the right side, with little discernible difference in his play on either side, executing a midseason switch seamlessly. He didn’t surrender a single sack or hit on the QB all season, and in 899 snaps of action, surrendered just six hurries. Yanda remains the standard by which all NFL guards are measured, and despite missing time due to injury, he narrowly edges Oakland’s Kelechi Osemele, his former teammate, for the No. 1 spot at left guard. Osemele, for his part, was also excellent, surrendering no sacks and 11 total pressures in his debut season for the Raiders.

Honorable mention: Josh Sitton, Chicago Bears, 86.2 (No. 8 G)

Center

First team: Travis Frederick, Dallas Cowboys, 90.0 (No. 3)

Second team: Alex Mack, Atlanta Falcons, 90.5 (No. 2)

Center was a three-way battle that was razor-thin between Travis Frederick, Alex Mack, and Matt Paradis, any of whom would have been deserving selections. In the end, we went with Frederick, whose diversity in skill set in the middle for Dallas trumped a very close decision. Frederick didn’t surrender a sack all season and surrendered only nine total QB pressures while doing a number on some excellent nose tackles over the year in the run game. Alex Mack helped transform the Falcons’ O-line, especially in the run game, getting back to his best form in his first year in Atlanta.

Honorable mention: Matt Paradis, Denver Broncos, 90.7 (No. 1)

Right guard

First team: Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys, 88.0 (No. 4 G)

Second team: Kevin Zeitler, Cincinnati Bengals, 87.1 (No. 7 G)

Zack Martin was the best-graded right guard in the game this season—at least among those that played on the right side all year. He posted positive grades in every facet PFF measures, even in discipline, where he was flagged just twice across 16 games, and was a big part of the Cowboys’ rushing success on the ground. Martin allowed a total of 16 QB pressures over the season. Kevin Zeitler makes the second team for the Bengals thanks to a solid season of well-balanced play.

Honorable mention: Brandon Brooks, Philadelphia Eagles, 88.2 (No. 2 G)

Right tackle

First team: Jack Conklin, Tennessee Titans, 88.9 (No. 5 OT)

Second team: Marcus Cannon, New England Patriots, 87.6 (No. 10 OT)

The second rookie to make the PFF All-Pro team this season, the performance of Jack Conklin has been remarkable at a position where rookies traditionally struggle. Conklin (and teammate Taylor Lewan on the other side) do get more help than most tackles in Tennessee’s scheme, but in the end, the difference in production between Conklin and the next right tackle was too large to ignore. He surrendered only two sacks all season and was flagged only twice, while showing some powerful run blocking. He was the highest-ranked right tackle in PFF grades this season. Marcus Cannon came on huge during the season, and just jumps a close group of tackles for the second spot thanks to some dominant run blocking.

Honorable mention: Zach Strief, New Orleans Saints, 86.8 (No. 13 OT); Ryan Schraeder, Atlanta Falcons, 87.2 (No. 12); and Bryan Bulaga, Green Bay Packers, 85.6 (No. 17)

Edge defenders

First team: Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders, 93.9 (No. 1); Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles, 93.3 (No. 2)

Khalil Mack PFF All-Pro

Second team: Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints, 92.1 (No. 3); and Von Miller, Denver Broncos, 91.1 (No. 4)

After a slow start to the year, Khalil Mack quickly reestablished himself as the dominant force he’s proven he can be. Mack ended the season with double-digit sacks and a league-leading 96 total QB pressures. Only Denver’s Von Miller notched more defensive stops than the 48 managed by Mack among edge defenders. Brandon Graham once again came up short on the sack total, but the sheer volume of pressure he consistently generated for the Eagles was too great to ignore. Graham notched 82 total QB pressures and 40 defensive stops. In a strong season for edge rushers, Cameron Jordan and Von Miller take the second-team spots with outstanding displays of their own.

Interior defenders

First team: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams, 95.6 (No. 1); and Calais Campbell, Arizona Cardinals, 90.4 (No. 2)

Second team: Ndamukong Suh, Miami Dolphins, 88.4 (No. 3); and Damon Harrison, New York Giants, 86.0 (No. 7)

Aaron Donald’s season was somehow quietly dominant. He posted 82 total QB pressures, a figure bettered by only three players in the entire league, despite playing inside and not on the edge, where pressure comes easier. He was a constant disruptive force against the run, as well, with his quickness and ability to penetrate into the backfield. Arizona’s Calais Campbell put together the best season of his career, despite the Cardinals failing to live up to their standards of a year ago. Ndamukong Suh was again excellent for Miami on the second team, while Damon Harrison’s performance in the run game is the stuff of legend. He posted 10 more run stops than any other defensive tackle; only six of his peers came within half of his total of 49.

Honorable mention: Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia Eagles, 87.1 (No. 5); and Kawann Short, Carolina Panthers, 87.7 (No. 4)

Linebackers

First team: Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks, 91.6 (No. 3); Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers, 92.9 (No. 2); and Sean Lee, Dallas Cowboys, 88.6 (No. 4)

Bobby Wagner PFF All-Pro

Second team: K.J. Wright, Seattle Seahawks, 86.9 (No. 8); Paul Posluszny, Jacksonville Jaguars, 88.4 (No. 5); and Dont’a Hightower, New England Patriots, 85.1 (No. 13)

With just one midseason hiccup against Buffalo, Bobby Wagner’s year was an exercise in consistent excellence, as he earned solid grades every week, performing well in all facets of the game, but particularly in run defense. Unlike the two players ranked ahead of him in PFF grades (Chicago’s Jerrell Freeman and Carolina’s Luke Kuechly), he was able to stay healthy and on the field all season. makes the team despite missing significant time with a concussion—such was his dominance when he did play—and Sean Lee made it through another season uninjured, taking his place on the All-Pro first team, proving the quality he displays when healthy. The second team features a couple of consistent performers and a huge comeback story from Jacksonville’s Paul Posluszny, who improved his overall grade from an average of 48.6 over the past four seasons to 88.4 in 2016.

Honorable mention: C.J. Mosley, Baltimore Ravens, 85.8 (No. 11); Vontaze Burfict, Cincinnati Bengals, 87.6 (No. 7); and Jordan Hicks, Philadelphia Eagles, 88.0 (No. 6)

Cornerback

First team: Aqib Talib, Denver Broncos, 91.3 (tied No. 2); and Malcolm Butler, New England Patriots, 90.8 (tied No. 5)

Malcolm Butler 2016 All-Pro

Second team: Casey Hayward, San Diego Chargers, 88.9 (No. 7); and Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants, 88.3 (No. 8)

Aqib Talib didn’t allow a touchdown all season for Denver, surrendering just 351 receiving yards and giving up a passer rating of only 49.5 when targeted. He also played the run well and was a true shutdown force for much of the season, and no corner who played primarily on the outside (as opposed to playing in the slot) earned a higher PFF grade this season. New England’s Malcolm Butler gave up more than Talib did, but also broke up a dozen passes and had four picks to his name while maintaining close coverage all year. On the second team, Casey Hayward stepped into a bigger role that became even bigger when the Chargers lost their No. 1 CB (Jason Verrett) to injury, and responded by leading the league in interceptions. Janoris Jenkins put together the best season of his career in New York after a big-money move in free agency.

Honorable mention: Brent Grimes, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 90.8 (tied No. 5); and A.J. Bouye, Houston Texans, 90.9 (No. 4)

Safety

First team: Landon Collins, New York Giants 92.1 (No. 3); and Eric Weddle, Baltimore Ravens, 92.4 (No. 2)

Landon Collins PFF All-Pro

Second team: Devin McCourty, New England Patriots, 89.2 (No. 4); and Kam Chancellor, Seattle Seahawks, 92.6 (No. 1)

What a transformation for Landon Collins in year two. The move to strong safety closer to the line transformed him from a rookie second-round bust to a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Collins was all over the field for the Giants this season, leading all safeties in defensive stops, with 46 (eight more than the next player), and recording five interceptions and five pass breakups. His all-around excellent and impact on an outstanding Giants’ defense was too good to keep him from the top spot. Baltimore’s Eric Weddle was again at the sharp end of the league’s best safeties with his new team, while Devin McCourty and Kam Chancellor form a well-balanced and formidable second team.

Honorable mention: Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs, 87.8 (tied No. 7)

Defensive back

First team: Chris Harris Jr., Denver Broncos, 92.9 (No. 1 CB)

Chris Harris Jr. PFF All-Pro

Second team: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants, 91.3 (tied No. 2 CB)

The All-Pro’s new “defensive back” designation allows us to recognize an extra defensive back to better reflect the changing nature of personnel throughout the league. That said, cornerback Chris Harris Jr. has once again been as good as anybody for the Broncos. Harris led all corners in defensive stops, with 28, and was beaten for just 8.9 yards per reception all season. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie saw time in the slot this season for the Giants, and ended the year with six interceptions, including three over the final two games against division opponents.

Honorable mention: William Gay, Pittsburgh Steelers, 85.4 (No. 10 CB)

Kicker

First team: Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens

Second team: Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons

Justin Tucker was the best kicker in the game this season, and the gap between him and the rest of the field is significant. He made 38 of 39 attempts, with the one black mark on his season being a blocked kick against the Patriots where Shea McClellin hurdled the line to get in the way. Tucker had, in effect, the perfect season from an individual standpoint.

Punter

First team: Pat McAfee, Indianapolis Colts

Second team: Johnny Hekker, Los Angeles Rams

There are few punters that can rival Pat McAfee’s control of the ball when punting. His ability to maximize hang time, distance, and still control the direction of the punt puts him at the top of our grades—and that’s without factoring in his work as a kickoff specialist for the Colts.

Honorable mention: Thomas Morstead, New Orleans Saints

Kick returner

First team: Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks

Second team: Alex Erickson, Cincinnati Bengals

The two best return men in the game this season both return kicks and punts, and Seattle’s Tyler Lockett makes the team at kick returner. Though he didn’t find his way into the end zone this season, he was consistently making moves to maximize return yardage and helping the Seahawks’ field position. Cincinnati’s Alex Erickson just edges his way onto the second team, averaging 27.9 yards per return.

Honorable mention: Andre Roberts, Detroit Lions

Punt returner

First team: Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

Tyreek Hill PFF All-Pro

Second team: Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins

Tyreek Hill has been an exceptional weapon for the Chiefs this season in all areas where he has been deployed, but he makes the All-Pro team at punt returner, where he has two touchdowns to his name, including a 95-yard return to the house. Only Will Blackmon, on one return, has a higher punt-return average than Hill’s 15.6 yards.

Honorable mention: Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders

Special teamer

First team: Eric Murray, Kansas City Chiefs

Second team: Cody Davis, Los Angeles Rams

The term “special teams ace” gets thrown around a lot, but we’re looking to grade more than simply a tally of special teams tackles. Eric Murray was a key part of the Chiefs’ kickoff, kick return, punt coverage, and punt return units. He routinely made impressive blocks in the return game, and was often found beating blockers to force returners to change direction. It’s a similar story for Davis, who may have made only four tackles, but played a key role in blocking and beating blocks on special teams.

Honorable mention: Michael Thomas, Miami Dolphins

| Senior Analyst

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

  • JJ Watt eat dirt

    Ajayi had the highest grade; how is he not 1st??

    • Derrick

      Zeke had the highest grade for most of the season, and likely would have kept it if the Cowboys didn’t sit him in Week 17.

      • JJ Watt eat dirt

        Screw that, Ajayi is better than Zeke, Ajayi has more missed and broken tackles than him and lead the NFL in yards after contact and didn’t start until week 5

        • Rare_Ndividual

          Jordan Howard also is better. He had damn near the same yards as Zeke(1,313 rush yards) to Zeke’s 1631 rush yards, not to mention Howard had 70 less carries. Howard also has the far inferior offensive line.

          • PFFSamMonson

            300 yards over a season is damn near the same?

          • Rare_Ndividual

            Is it when you have 70 less rush attempts.

          • Pyrex

            damn near the same except 300 less.

          • Rare_Ndividual

            Yeah that, and the fact that Zeke had 70 more carries.

          • “I CANT SAY SHIT CAN I?”

            And zeke didn’t play for a game and a half

          • “I CANT SAY SHIT CAN I?”

            Shit 2 games

        • Nolan

          I think the fact that he didn’t start the season is why he isn’t 1st. It’s the same situation as Lev Bell and Tom Brady in the MVP discussion.

        • Pyrex

          you have got to be kidding me right now. Yes, he sat for an entire season and a half because he’s better.

  • Erik Sandelin

    Vic Beasley?!

    • rodrigo pedro

      Good one.Im dying here.

  • Steven

    Osemele and AB should both be first team and Fletcher Cox should be on the team..

  • JudoPrince

    Brady’s opponents after serving 4 game suspension: Browns, Bengals, Steelers (no Big Ben), Bills, Seahawks (loss), 49ers, Jets, Rams, Ravens, Broncos, Jets, Dolphins.

    The competition was pretty dreadful. After considering the Steelers were without their starting QB at the time, the only competitive opponents are the Seahwaks and Denver’s defense. Maybe you add Baltimore in the mix as an above average team? The Dolphins ended the season as a playoff team, but who is taking them seriously with their back up QB?

    Brady played 12 games this year. 5 of them came against the leagues worst: Browns, 49ers, Rams, Jets (twice). They all ranked from 28-32 in DVOA rankings according to Football Outsiders. It’s one thing to play a weak schedule; but to play a weak schedule after missing a quarter of the season is suspect. Not All-Pro material.

    • BigDickAaron

      What position on defense does Big Ben play?

      • shaunhan murray

        Team leader?

      • rodrigo pedro

        Tell me you are kidding.
        A team being bad on offense does make it a lot easier for the other team to succeed on offense.
        More playing time,can dictate the pace of the game and no pressure.
        Brady was able to minimize mistakes against Denver and still had a below average grade.
        Do you think he wouldve done that well if he had to chase the score ?

    • Nicardo Neil

      Brady/The Patriots didn’t make the schedule, the NFL did. The Rams may be dreadful but their Defense is not. The Ravens, Dolphins, Broncos, Seahawks and Steelers all have good defenses (Brady played well against the Seahawks despite the loss). And besides all that, whether you play against good teams or bad PFF is evaluating the performance and efficiency of the quarterback play. Period. Matt Ryan lost to the Bucs, Chargers and Eagles. None of them playoff teams. Aaron Rodgers lost to the Vikings, Colts, Titans and Redskins. Again, none of them playoff teams. Rodgers also beat the Bears (twice), Texans, Jaguars and Eagles. All cupcakes (even though he almost lost to the Bears). Yet no one seems to think wins against those puny teams diminishes his greatness. PFF is grading based on how they played not who they played. You play whoever the schedule puts in front of you. And Brady just had one of the greatest seasons for a QB ever. Don’t hate.

      • Anonymous

        “PFF is grading based on how they played not who they played”

        So how you play isn’t affected by who you play? Is that what you’re saying? So a great performance against the Seahawks D counts the same as a great performance against the Browns D? Got it.

        • IG: @Showoff747

          No it’s not. Plenty of QBs still shit the bed when playing a trash team. Happens all the time. Every top Playoff seed had to play cup cake teams this year. Because there are literally on 6-7 ACTUAL good teams in the league. Show me a top contender that didn’t play a lot of cup cake teams on their schedule….I’ll wait…

      • Jay Caira

        I would take Rodgers over any other qb in the league right now. No one is playing better than him. And to say the steelers have a good defense is like saying the browns will win the super bowl next year. It’s possible but then again it’s really fucking not.

      • corners

        ” The Ravens, Dolphins, Broncos, Seahawks and Steelers all have good defenses”

        Dolphins only had 4 starters when brady played them, the rest were all back ups becuse of injuries

    • David A Cole

      Damn, can’t argue that. That was as soft a schedule as they come. Looking forward to this weekend, going to be some fireworks!

    • Bruinman86

      Bear in mind, Brady doesn’t play directly against the other teams QB’s, he faces only the Defenses. Many of those teams had top 10 pass defenses: Seahawks, Ravens, Bills (Twice) and believe it or not Rams. in fact, only 1 of the teams TB12 faced in the regular season was in the bottom 10 in Pass D (Browns). Just saying. That said, I Agree that there’s little doubt the Pats had a soft Schedule.

    • Jarodcore

      GIve me a f**king break. The entire NFL was mostly dreadful this season. Brady is still a surgeon. Playing better than ANY other QB in the league. Get your BS excuses out of here. Any person with any kind of football intelligence would tell you Brady was the best.

      • corners

        but he didnt even have 3500 yards or even 30 tds. Great he was efficient. But people dont fear this offense like they did the 2007 offense brady lead.

        • Bofa

          Brady did have over 3500 yards? And his touchdowns weren’t nearly as high due to having Blount have a monster of a season with 18 tds. Anyone who knows belichick knows he will do what it takes to win. If that means give Blount the ball 70% of the time in the RZ then so be it.

    • corners

      “Brady played 12 games this year. 5 of them came against the leagues worst”

      Yup, and all of the media is trying to crown him as fast as they can. He migth ahve been effecient, but Matt Ryan was the better qb this year. Tds are what matter.

      I just dont see how they can call this bradys best season when he didnt even crack 3600 yards or 29 tds. They going to pro rate a players stats now? After all these years?

    • http://libertycry.us Christopher Hapner

      JudoPrince, since you are using Football Outsiders metrics: the Patriots were #1 in DVOA by a healthy margin (4.3% better than the #2 team) at least in part, because of Brady’s 12 games started.

      I am fairly certain PFF can calculate a player grade better than you can with your hodgepodge of information gathered from a cursory web search and a poorly formulated opinion.

      Yes, Tom Brady is All-Pro material.

  • shaunhan murray

    No Steelers starting anywhere, feelsbadman. Not arguing, o problems here, most of Steelers defense is 2 3 years away, and Ben and the offense have been “wobbly”.

    • Bruinman86

      There’s little doubt their offense is a 3 headed monster with Ben, Brown and Bell. Both Bell and Brown are worthy of making the list. Just other guys had better years. Rothlesburger’s injury likely cost them.

  • B

    Pretty solid list, but Hekker had arguably the best punting season in NFL history…he is #1 by a landslide.

    • PFFSamMonson

      Punting’s an area where our system looks at things very hard to measure by stats. We’ve developed it with a few NFL punters and combine a mix of distance, hang time and direction on every punt to give grades depending on where o the field they’re kicking from (distance obviously not an issue in terms of max when you’re kicking from the opponent’s 40-yard line. Hekker had a great year, and one that showed up statistically because the Rams offense was so inept and often had him kicking from deep within his own half – effectively green-lighting him to unleash the BOOM.

      McAfee though had an excellent combination of all of the factors of control we look for and an excellent grade too.

  • ed

    No honorable mention for Edge Defenders?

    • PFFSamMonson

      HM only where a guy was genuinely close to the team. EDGE the 4 guys separated themselves

  • etyb

    I’m just happy someone from the ‘Skins got in. Silverback’s a beast.

  • Ron

    Nobody cares about these D ass MTF’s..This site is owned my that Asshole MTF Chris “I take in my poop hole” collinsworth..Useless POS…

    • Nolan

      I actually quite like Cris Collinsworth and his site.

  • Throw Marino13

    One, Ajayi should be first team since he is the first ranked half back (not sure how that works, as in how he is number one and gets second team) plus Ajayi is clearly better aside from pass pro., and two, Michael Thomas was No. 1 in ST tackles and gets an honorable mention… ok then

    • PFFSamMonson

      Maybe there’s more to playing ST than simply tackles? Beating your block and forcing a redirect from the return man for example. Eliminating your man on a block. Destroying the gunner as a vice. Etc etc. We’re going far deeper than ST tackles.

      • Throw Marino13

        That’s all fine and dandy, but you cannot try to tell me ST tackles isn’t the majority of the grade because if you aren’t getting tackles you aren’t doing your job… you can redirect, eliminate your man, etc. but if you also don’t get the tackles then how valuable are you plus Miami had one of if not the best special teams per YOUR site AND Michael Thomas should have made the pro bowl over YOUR choice of #1 ST player… I’m just trying to figure out how you claim MT is better than Slater for the whole year then give him a disrespectful HM for All-Pro status

        • PFFSamMonson

          Saying a guy was the third best special teams player in the entire league is disrespect? Odd.

          • Throw Marino13

            It is when he should be number one and be recognized for all the hard work he puts in… no one wants to be an honorable mention thats like losing the super bowl and being happy about it…

      • corners

        ” Beating your block and forcing a redirect from the return man for example.”

        Redirect? Thomas just blows them up because he already shed his blockers

  • Rare_Ndividual

    Zachary Orr should replace Cj Mosley. Orr led the Ravens in tackle by almost 40, also team high 2 fumble recoveries and 2nd on the team with 3 Ints.

    • Nolan

      Because tackles and turnovers are the best way to determine a players abilites.

      • corners

        “Because tackles and turnovers are the best way to determine a players abilites.”

        For LBs? Yeah.

      • Rare_Ndividual

        1.Because I watched every Ravens game an clearly saw Orr performing better this season.

        2. Because tackles tell how much your and the ball and hustle you to make plays, so yeah.

        • DeMarcus Sands

          I’ve been a hardcore Ravens fan for over 10 years. Orr didn’t come remotely close to matching Mosley tape-wise.

  • Chris

    Where is the Honorable Mentions for Edge Defenders?

    • PFFSamMonson

      There is only an HM if a player was legitimately close to the team or in a tight discussion. Those 4 edge rushers were some way clear of the pack, we weren’t seriously considering anyone else

      • corners

        im surprised cameron wake wasnt in that lot.

  • AKjester

    How do players end up with ratings in the 90’s when they rarely achieve that in the single game score? Is there something cumulative so that a bunch of games in the low 80’s create a season score in the 90’s? I have watched the score of the Seahawks most of the season and I think Kam Chancelor was only above 90 maybe 2-4 times, yet his season score is 92.6. What happened for the increase?

    • AKjester

      I just re-looked at his ratings per game going back 8 weeks: 89.1, 84.7, 85, 81.9, 82.9, 81.7, 81.8, 82.7. Does anyone understand how this works? I don’t doubt that he was a top safety this year, but the methodology doesn’t make sense.

      • Nolan

        I find this puzzling as well. No idea.

      • SRS1993

        Your answer is correct. I don’t know if this exact because it is different for each position, but that 89.1is = 1.91 grade for PFF, 84.7(+1.47), 85 (+1.5), etc…. Those numbers add up overall to about +20Ish. Which for how ever many games would = an 90 overall grade. They rate there players on a -2 to +2 grading scale per game which they translate it to the player rating based on there historical total players grade at the position. JJ Watt had 100+ points for there grading scale on multiple years. So now to get an 99.9 rating you need to reach that bench mark. While the best QB season I can recall got just above 60+ points. So with Tom Brady he is a little over 60 points total to have a 99.1 rating.

      • PFFSamMonson

        If you find @PFF_Nathan on Twitter you’ll get a better explanation, but yes it compounds essentially. The logic being it’s easier to achieve a 90 rating over 60 snaps than 600. If you do it over 600 you deserve a better grade than the guy that did it over 60. Kam is a good example of it in action.

        • AKjester

          Thank you for the explanation.

  • Nolan

    After reading all kinds of amazing comments on PFF’s articles I now know that Eli Manning should certainly be on this list.

  • Bartolo

    Where are Jordy and Adams?
    And Rodgers not being the first or second QB this is just bad

    • Bruinman86

      It can be argued that Matt Ryan is the likely MVP after having a career year. Ryan (117.1), Brady (112.2), Prescott (104.9) and Rogers (104.2) all could have made the list as the top 4 in passer rating. QBR – Ryan (83.1), Brady (82.8), Prescott (82.6) and Rogers (78.2). Ryan (9.26) and Brady (8.23) were tops in yards per pass. Although missing 4 games, Brady set the all time NFL record for the best TD to INT ratio with 28 TD to 2 INT. But no matter how you spin the stats, Ryan and Brady should start. Although I’m a Pats fan, statistically, I would have chosen Ryan as the starter and Brady as the backup given the stats. Rogers would have been 3rd on my list given his 40 TD’s over Dax’s 23. I also thing Dax’s numbers are greatly helped by a stellar running game and that monster of an offensive line..

      • Scott West

        Raw stats are a terrible way to judge MVP. According to PFF, Brady only threw four interception-worthy passes all season; Ryan threw 3 picks at the end of games with the lead, losing those games. Brady was, significantly, better than Ryan, and every other QB.

        • Roger Henslee Jr.

          You are significantly more stupid than any other commenter!

        • Bruinman86

          I just used the same stats that voters likely will use to determine the MVP, right or wrong. You are right that Ryan did throw picks late that cost his team wins. If I recall, he threw 2 picks in one of those games they lost. But, he did win 11.

        • corners

          “Raw stats are a terrible way to judge MVP.”

          Lol. Thats the only argument you could have to put brady over ryan who threw more tds and had a lot more yards.

          If you want to nit pick, pats had a weak schedule compared tot he falcons.

  • kalinecountry

    Lions Sam Martin had a net punt average a full 2 yards more than Pat McAfee of Indianapolis. Martin’s overall stats are better than 2 of the three you have instead of him. Of 63 total punts, he landed 37% inside of the 20, compared to McAfee’s 35%.
    if you don’t release your calculations, I will print this article out and float in the toilet bowl and take dumps on it.
    I bet you wouldn’t have the original “Hang Time Punter” Yale Lary in your all-time Top Ten Punters.

    • PFFSamMonson

      Punts more than most positions are badly represented by stats. If you kick from your opponent’s 45 you’re not looking for distance. You can have a great kick wind up in a touchback if the coverage team makes a mess of it and cost you 20 net yards.

      On the other hand you can have a terrible kick catch a lucky bounce and gain 20 more yards.

      PFF’s punter grading has been developed with the help of multiple NFL punters to reward a combination of distance, direction and hangtime to varying degrees depending on where the kick is taken from. So I’d put our grading up against any means of measuring punting performance out there.

      • Nowhere Man

        How close is Hekker to McAfee? Wondering because there are no scores for special teamers on there. General consensus seems to be that Hekker is among the greatest punters ever, but as you said, none of their metrics are as rigorous as yours.

  • Greg

    There are (at least) two things about this list that are just plainly, absolutely ridiculous: Richard Sherman not making the cornerback 1st (or even 2nd) team, and Earl Thomas not making the list at safety. I know Thomas missed some games due to injury, but Luke Kuechly missed even more games, and yet you still have him on the linebacker 1st team list.

    Look, I know you have several other Seahawks on the list, and I can only guess you left Sherman and Thomas off because you didn’t want to have too many Seahawks on there, but come on. Leaving those two off is just silly.

    • Bill Doerr

      Sherman sucked badly season. At one time this year Sherman was ranked in the mid-late 40s among CBs Via PFF and finished ranked in the mid-late 30s of of over 100+ CBs ranked. Sherman was burned a lot by top WRs giving up a lot of big plays this season!!!! Elite CB Patrick Peterson who again ranked in the top 5 among CBs despite following elite #1WRs every single game/week ( Sherman was getting absolutely destroyed trying to follow WR so they moved him back to just the one side of the field, where he covers #2/#3 WRs a lot due to teams opting to just move their #1WR to the other side) And absolutely shutting them down easily w/ Peterson shutting WRs down like Brandon Marshall, Julion Jones (Who both badly burned Sherman), Mike Evans, S. Diggs, D. Baldwin on and on and on !!!!!!!

      Peterson has made the Pro-Bowl EVERY YEAR OF HIS NFL Career making his 6th Pro-Bowl n 5th 1st Team-All Pro appearance, Peterson set a NEW NFL RECORD last year becoming just 1 OF 3 NFL PLAYERS IN THE HISTORY of the NFL along with RBs Jim Brown n Barry Sanders to make 4 different Pro-Bowls before turning 25 years old, a very rare n highly impressive feat!!!!

      Elite CB Patrick Peterson is on the top of his game and has been for 3 years now ever since slimming down from 218 to 203pds ( Making an Elite athlete even faster no running a 4.29 40) he has been an absolute terror in coverage & is a nightmare matchup for both WRs n QBs. QBs wont even throw his way any longer as they are scared to due to just how good/tight his pass coverage is and just how dangerous his ball skills are. Peterson was 2nd least targeted CB in the NFL Last Season allowing just 41 receptions thrown at 73 times allowing just 529YDs all season long or on AVG 32.9YDs per game not allowing more than 78YDs to any one CB all last season allowing just 2TDs with 3INTs (despite rarely being thrown at) 9 Passes-Defensed allowing just a 69.1 QB Passer Rating!!!!

      Elite CB Patrick Peterson is a far, far better CB than Sherman and the more the two play the more blindingly obvious it become.

  • Bill Doerr

    To list elite Pro-Bowl/All-Pro RB David Johnson at the Flex Position instead of listing him as the #1RB ( I see why u did it, whoever made the list wanted Both Elliot n Johnson on the list and Elliot is nowhere near goodenough or versatile enough to be listed as the top Flex position) makes employee’s at PFF look like absolute morons , it makes the site look 2nd rate!!!! Even an Ohio State Buckeye in Eddie George along w/ Adrian Peterson were both asked who was the better RB between Johnson/Elliot and who is the NFLs best RB going forward and both said David Johnson.

    Elliot had the best O-Line in the NFL … Behind the Cowboys O-Line Johnson would of rushed for over 2,000+YDs. Elite 6″2/225pd RB David Johnson played behind an injury riddled offensive line this season w/ 4 of Arizona’s starting linemen going down and then 2 of the backups were injured n AZ had to resort 3rd string linemen.

    Despite playing behind an injured riddled Offensive Line Elite RB David Johnson still had an MVP Caliber double season doubling as both an Elite RB & Elite Receiver & setting an NFL RECORD WITH 15 Games w/ 100+YDs from scrimmgae, he would of had 16 if not for a fluky injury in week 16 where Johnson n AZ got extremely Lucky as he will be fine. As a runner the things Johnson can do in the open field making guys miss and even making multiple guys miss in traffic & making guys miss with single n even double cuts in the open field stopping n restarting on a dime, all those things are not only unbelievable but outright special, you cant teach those things guys are born that way they have it or dont, Johnson is a 225pd RB who runs like he has 185pds with the feet of a 185pd back. Johnson has the best feet of all RBs in the NFL Hands down.

    Elite RB David Johnson had a MVP Caliber season this year overall massively out producing Ezekiel Elliot with Johnson rushing for 1,240yds AVG 4.4 YPC with 16TDs & is an Elite receiver as well (out producing top elite WRs like Dez Bryant/B. Marshall/A. Jeffrey among others) with 80 receptions for 880YDs AVG 11.9 Y/A pass with 4TDs for an insanely high total of 2,120YDs & 20TDs. David Johnson is flatout hands down the best RB in the NFL and coming off just his 2nd season in the NFL, is only going to get much, much better going forward especially considering Johnson will have his O-Line back healthy in 2017 n healthy AZ has an Elite top 10 O-Line that excels as a RB, I would bet money Johnson has a considerably better season w/ 2,500+ total yards n 20+TDs w/ the line back healthy.

    • Bofa

      I agreed with everything you said until your fanboyism spewed out a bit too strongly and said “hands down the best running back in the league” you realize Bell had MORE rushing yards than DJ despite playing in 4 less games? He was the only player this year to avg 100 rush yards per game and 50 rec yards per game. DJ has him beat in tds. All in all they’re both great, but neither can be the “hands down best running back” due to the other being not far behind, if at all.

  • Jason Horton

    So Kam Chancellor was your No. 1 ranked player at his position, but was second team? I’m confused.

    • Bill Doerr

      SS Kam Chancellor sucked this year compared to usual years, you can tell his many injuries are really starting to slow him down n affecting his play on the field, he is still good versus the run but he sucks in pass coverage now.
      Elite Arizona SS 6ft/220pd Tony Jefferson ranked in the top 5 this season grading out Elite both in pass pro and versus the run , he was PFFs for the longest time & missing week 16 due to an sprained ankle didn’t help him but he should of made it , Jefferson was one of the best Safetys on planet earth this year.

      • Manny Chen

        Ward and Neal played pretty good this season as well.

      • bailamos

        “Sucked”? He’s made game-winning plays his entire career including this season. He successfully defended against the greatest tight end in the history of the game to help the Seahawks beat the Patriots. I’ll take PFF’s #1 ranking over some disgruntled, no-name, choking Cardinals analysis.

  • Piter Devries

    David Johnson lead all running backs in total TDs, yards from scrimmage and receptions. But Jay Ajayi get recognized over him? You gotta be kidding.

    • Bill Doerr

      They listed him as the best #1 ranked “Flex” Player in the NFL LoL penalizing the best RB in the NFL who is a once in a generation type talent because he is the most versatile RB in the NFL doubling as both an Elite receiver n RB

    • corners

      dj is on a bad team.

  • Jackson Pawkay

    So let me get this straight , despite leading the three players picked 1-3 ahead of him in ” edge stops ” , sacks , being second in QB pressures , and all while being asked to drop into coverage at times ( also leads this group in passes defensed ) Von Miller is considered the FOURTH best ” Edge stopper ” in the league ? Khalil Mack maybe but as far as I’m concerned those two are 1 and 1A and you can flip them however you choose . But the other two ? PLEASE !!!

    • corners

      Cameron Wake wasnt even mentioned.

  • Rob

    No Lorenzo alexander or Zach brown? I’m also surprised richie incognito wasn’t here

    • Bill Doerr

      OLB Lorenzo Alexander absolutely collapsed over the 2nd half of the season!!! From week 8 on forward, Alexander had just 3.0 Sacks over the last 8 games of the season, From their Bye Week in week 10 on forward Alexander had JUST 2 Sacks over the LAST

    • Manny Chen

      surprised neither of the Buccaneers’ LBs got any consideration.

  • David Garcia

    Same, if New England was in the afc west or north they would not have all the success like they do now. That’s why the afc east is a weak division every year. They would not have all division titles more wins of 10 every year. They would have to split it with Pittsburgh or Denver.

    • corners

      i think its why the nfl shipped the colts off and made the afc south. To split up manning and brady for the playoffs.

  • Bill Doerr

    AZ has two of the best top elite outside pass rushers in the NFL in Elite 6″3/260pd OLB/DE Markus Golden who the former late 2nd round pick has turned out to be an absolute STEAL of a draft pick putting up 51 tackles/ 12.5 sacks/51 QB Pressures/17QB hits/4 Forced Fumbles & on the other side is former 1st round pick 3X Pro-Bowler 6″5/265pd Elite OLB/DE Chandler Jones who posted 49 Tackles/ 11.5 Sacks./49QB Pressures/15 QB Hits/4 Forced Fumbles , Golden & Jones make up for one of the most lethal pass rushing duo’s in the NFL & were A BIG reason why AZ was the top pass rushing defense in the NFL Leading the NFL in Sacks with 49.0 !!!!!
    Both Chandler Jones & Markus Golden are two of the top pass rushers in the NFL & ARE VASTLY Better than the Eagles Brandon freaking Graham who did make it. Atleast one of the two between Jones/Golden should of made it.

    • Manny Chen

      those boys on the Minnesota line are pretty good too. i can see what you mean with Graham.

      • Bill Doerr

        MIN has multiple absolute game wreckers along their Defensive Line !!!!

    • corners

      Wake had a better season than Jones did. And he tore his achilles the year before.

  • Rolo Tomassi

    No Clay Mathews?

  • Names Unimportant

    “Cody Davis” of the Broncos for the second-team special teamer? I’m betting you mean Cody Latimer, the reserve WR, not Todd Davis, the reserve linebacker? It certainly looked to me like it was Latimer who blossomed as a special-teams player this past season.

  • FIRESTARYA

    No Marquette King? Not even as an honorable mention? Wow

  • b sailor

    This list is suspect, no Tyron Smith the best lineman on a team with the best line. Trent Williams is good but not better than Smith not by a long shot.