PFF All-Decade Team: The Best of 2006–2015

After 10 seasons of grading NFL games, PFF founder Neil Hornsby assembles our first All-Decade Team.

| 2 months ago
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

PFF All-Decade Team: The Best of 2006–2015


Ten years of grading. That’s the breadth of data now amassed in the Pro Football Focus system, and it’s a milestone worth commemorating. When we started the site, it was all about player evaluation: Who had played well, but went unnoticed? Who had unfairly received hype without the associated production?

Therefore, what better way to mark a decade of grading than with a PFF All-Decade team (2006 to 2015 seasons)?

Selection criteria was always going to be the trickiest thing. When you have as much data as we do (more than anyone else by an order of magnitude), you should be able to compare players pretty accurately. But how do you balance longevity with production? In the end, beauty was in the eye of the beholder, and that (for my sins) turned out to be me. I did ask a couple of the longer-tenured PFF analysts (Ben Stockwell and Khaled Elsayed) for their opinions, but a democracy this was not. What you see is ultimately my view of our first 10 years, and for that, I accept all the criticisms (and maybe a few scattered plaudits).

[Editor’s note: The team(s) listed in parentheses after a player denotes the franchise for which his performance merited the award—not necessarily all teams he played for during his NFL career. This article was originally published Aug. 16, 2016.]

PFF All-Decade Team

Offense

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers (Packers)

Quarterback was by far the most difficult position to call. There was Peyton Manning, who has been magnificent for large portions of the last 10 years, but was also injured for all of 2011, and was a shadow of his former self for nearly the past two seasons. Drew Brees has racked up the numbers, never grading lower than 87.4, and pulled in a Super Bowl ring with, in my opinion, very little support. In the end, though, Rodgers’ claim was hard to resist, despite a sub-optimal 2015. He owns six of the top 31 season grades we’ve given quarterbacks—including our best ever of 98.6 in 2011—and his career average of 92.6 is also our best.

For anyone calling for Tom Brady here, the Patriots QB has been less consistent than Rodgers and Brees over the past decade. While he produced stellar 2007 and 2015 seasons, he’s also had lesser times, and his average overall grade is third behind Rodgers and Brees, respectively.

Second team: Drew Brees (Saints)

Running back: Marshawn Lynch (Seahawks)

Conventional wisdom would have Adrian Peterson here instead of Marshawn Lynch, but maybe that’s more a function of the media’s dislike of Lynch than anything tangible. Whichever way you cut it (except with base numbers that derive as much from the quality of the blocking as they do from the actual RB), Lynch edges Peterson out in every category.

Consider this: Peterson, the bell-cow power-back, broke 423 tackles as a runner on 2,496 attempts, while fumbling 34 times. On 2,337 attempts Lynch broke over 100 more (530) tackles and fumbled only 20 times.

Additionally—although neither has done much as a receiver, admittedly—Lynch has been a superior pass blocker throughout the last 10 years.

Second team: Adrian Peterson (Vikings)

Fullback: Ovie Mughelli (Ravens and Falcons)

How I wanted to let my personal bias take hold and shoehorn long-time PFF favorite blocker Jimmy Kleinsasser into this position. In the end, logic (and Khaled Elsayed) took hold and persuaded me that someone who played about 5 percent of his snaps as a fullback was not warranted a spot on the All-Decade team, despite his greatness. Luckily there was no shortage of decent alternatives, with Mughelli having the best mix of tenure and average grade (82.9).

Second team: Greg Jones II (Jaguars)

Wide receivers: Calvin Johnson (Lions) and Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals)

While Calvin Johnson was more of a physical phenomenon early in his career, he did soon become the player everyone thought he should be. When defenses were forced to adjust for his greatness, it was almost as if he upped his game to compensate and performed even better. In five of the last six years, Johnson was one of our top six receivers, and ranked No. 1 in 2011 with a 93.6 grade.

Larry Fitzgerald went through a metamorphosis, too, but it wasn’t from good to great—more outside to slot receiver. Just as you thought his play was declining, Fitzgerald went inside more frequently (57 percent of routes last year) and became one of the best slot receivers in the game. His top season-ranking among NFL WRs is second, a feat he has achieved three times since 2006.

Second team: Andre Johnson (Texans) and Antonio Brown (Steelers)

Tight end: Rob Gronkowski (Patriots)

The difference in average season grade between Rob Gronkowski’s 92.4 and the second-ranked player at his position is 6.3. That’s a monstrous amount, but perhaps not really surprising, given just how dominant Gronk has been as both a receiver and blocker. Four times in six years he’s been our top-ranked TE, and even with injury, he’s never fallen below fifth.

Second team: Jason Witten (Cowboys)

Left tackle: Joe Thomas (Browns)

A model of consistency, Joe Thomas has never been ranked outside the top eight tackles in the league, and has been ranked first and second twice apiece. While pass protection has always been his forte (an average grade of 90.3 in that facet of play), his run blocking isn’t bad, either, with an average grade of 84.8 in that regard over the last three seasons.

Second Team: Andrew Whitworth (Bengals)

Left guard: Logan Mankins (Patriots)

Although not at his dominant best the last three years, Logan Mankins has still been well above average, and that in no way obscures 2006–2010, when he was never outside our top four guards, averaging exactly a 90.0 grade. Across his entire career, he’s been a brilliant run blocker, and averaged an 87.9 grade in that facet of play.

Second team: Evan Mathis (Bengals, Eagles, and Broncos)

Center: Nick Mangold (Jets)

If we had the Dwight Stephenson Award (given to the best player in football over the course of one season, regardless of position) from PFF’s inception, I maintain Nick Mangold would have won it on more than one occasion. Mangold was our top-ranked center in five of the 10 years he bestrode the position like a colossus, playing nearly 11,000 snaps over that period.

Second team: Jeff Saturday (Colts)

Right guard: Marshal Yanda (Ravens)

Here’s how ridiculously good Marshal Yanda is: if he’d stayed at tackle, Yanda would probably have made this team at that position, too. Early on with Baltimore, he was in fact a right tackle. In 2007, he was our third-ranked tackle with a 90.3 grade, and he was still moved inside—such are the vagaries of the NFL. It didn’t matter, though, because in the last five years, he’s averaged a 90.7 grade and been our top-graded guard the last two seasons.

Second team: Josh Sitton (Packers)

Right tackle: Damien Woody (Jets)

Perhaps the first surprise of my squad—and also the first to test my longevity-versus-production dilemma—is Damien Woody. Only 3,843 snaps in the PFF era may not be enough for some, but for me, he was a class above at the position, particularly given that it happened in the later years of his career. In 2008, he became the only right tackle ever to be ranked as PFF’s top offensive tackle (LTs and RTs included), with a 92.3 grade that season.

Second team: David Stewart (Titans)

Defense

Edge rushers: Von Miller (Broncos) and James Harrison (Steelers)

As the quality of offensive-line play has declined, we have entered a prosperous age for pass rushers. Even in such times, however, there is usually an “alpha,” and in the PFF era, that has been Von Miller. His average grade of 93.9 leads all others—regardless of tenure—and his value was made obvious to everyone on the biggest stage of all, Super Bowl 50.

James Harrison is a different type of player who, at his peak, was dropping into coverage on about 40 percent of opposing QB dropbacks. He’s the epitome of the old style, stand-up edge player who covered, played the run, rushed the passer, and did them all well. However, don’t think this is a nod to flexibility at the expense of production. Even last year—in his supposed twilight—he ranked 13th among NFL edge rushers with a grade of 86.1.

Second team: DeMarcus Ware (Cowboys/Broncos) and Cameron Wake (Dolphins)

Defensive interior: J.J. Watt (Texan) and Justin Smith (49ers)

As the man currently in the process of redefining PFF’s grading scale—as well as his position (I could easily have included him as an edge rusher)—it’s perhaps not surprising that no one has a higher average grade than J.J. Watt’s 95.2, or an individual season grade better than his 98.8 (2013 season).

From 2009 to 2011, Justin Smith was setting the standard that Watt was about to overtake, ranking first twice and second once among interior defenders, while averaging a 91.0 grade during that time. Like Watt, he was outstanding against both the run and pass, tallying 522 QB disruptions.

Second team: Kevin Williams (Vikings) and Geno Atkins (Bengals)

Nose tackle: Vince Wilfork (Patriots)

One of the benefits of going back and grading earlier seasons is getting to see great players at their best, instead of at their current levels—such was the case with Vince Wilfork. While he still does a reasonable job in run defense, venture back to 2006–2007 for a taste of why offensive line coaches are still praising him. His “career” run-defense grade of 84.6 is inflated by those years, and it will be interesting to see where he finishes when we get around to grading 2004 and 2005.

Second team: Pat Williams (Vikings)

Linebackers: Patrick Willis (49ers), Luke Kuechly (Panthers)

Patrick Willis’ level of consistency before his final, injury-ravaged 2014 season is mind-boggling. Setting that season aside, he averaged a 92.5 grade, ranking No. 1 overall three times while never dropping below fourth. He was brilliant in all facets of play, but his work in coverage was at another level beyond that.

Is four years enough to select Luke Kuechly? Well it’s on the borderline, but when you are as great as he is, maybe you’ll forgive me. Our top-ranked LB the last two years, the Panther also owns the record for the best-ever coverage grade (98.6) by a linebacker, which he set during the 2015 season.

Second team: Derrick Johnson (Chiefs) and Darryl Smith (Jaguars)

Cornerbacks: Darrelle Revis (Jets/Buccaneers/Patriots), Richard Sherman (Seahawks)

When legendary seasons are discussed in PFF internal chats, perhaps the most revered is Darrelle Revis’ 2009 season. It graded out at a magnificent 97.4, and set standards for all those to come. Playing almost exclusively man coverage, Revis was thrown at a stupidly-high 127 times, but allowed a QB rating of only 29.1. While this is the benchmark year in over 5,000 coverage snaps, the career passer rating against him is still only a paltry 60.4.

One of the corners trying to better Revis’ grade is Richard Sherman, and while he hasn’t done it yet, he’s come close, with a fantastic 94.9 in 2012. Even more impressive is the fact that Sherman’s career passer rating against is actually better than Revis’ mark, at 46.5.

Second team: Champ Bailey (Broncos) and Charles Tillman (Bears)

Slot cornerback: Antoine Winfield (Vikings)

We’ve been arguing for some time now that lumping all corners together for ranking purposes isn’t a good idea. The position of slot cornerback is so different from an outside corner that it’s like trying to compare guards and tackles. For that reason, we are going to start grouping them differently, and this is a good place to begin. For a small guy, Winfield was one of the best run defenders we’ve ever seen, and running a screen pass to his side when he was in the slot was tantamount to giving up on the play. Teams would put guards on him, and he’d knife past and make the tackle for a loss with the consistency of a metronome. This wasn’t his whole game, though; he was excellent in coverage, too, as a career average grade of 84.7 in that facet of play will testify.

Second team: Chris Harris, Jr. (Broncos)

Safeties: SS Troy Polamalu (Steelers), FS Ed Reed (Ravens)

Troy Polamalu was a little inconsistent throughout his career, but when he was at his best, such as in 2008 (No. 2 ranked safety) and 2011 (No. 1 ranked safety, with a 91.4 grade), he was magnificent. While Polamalu had the ability to play deep, he was best known for his work in the box, where at times he seemed to know the snap count on his blitzes better than the offense.

Reed was a player who seemed to keep his best for when it mattered most; of his 22 highest-graded games, five came in the postseason, including his best of 99.0 against the Texans in the 2011 divisional playoff. Although we got to see him playing the run very well early in his career, he became that deep-coverage specialist towards the end with his range, boosted by his uncanny anticipation off the throw.

Second team: Eric Weddle (Chargers) and Devin McCourty (Patriots)

| 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.

  • Jake Teesdale

    Polamalu and Reed are studs, no doubt, but no Brian Dawkins? He’s gotta be over Weddle and McCourty.

    • KWS13

      Discounting the first 2/3 of his career they don’t have graded, which were his best years, its hard to justify his inclusion. This is 2006-2015 “decade” team.

      • Jake Teesdale

        Valid, and while I knew Eric Weddle was accomplished I didn’t realize just how good he’s been. I agree that Dawk was not in his prime, but he still made 4 Pro Bowls and was a 2x All-Pro from 2006-2015. McCourty, conversely, has only made 1 Pro Bowl and is also a 2x All-Pro. Dawkins is a future HOFer and while McCourty is trending in that direction, he’s not there yet. It’s not egregious by any means, but in my (biased Eagles fan) opinion, Dawk would’ve fit the bill better.

  • Daniel Varnadore

    Wow…I think that Roddy White should grt the nod on 2nd team over Antonio Brown. He had 7 straight 1, 000 yard seasons and was a key member of Atlantas successful run alongside Matty Ice and Michael Turner. I also believe a strong case can be made for John Abraham over Wake.

    • Throw Marino13

      Yeah, you’re definitely not a Falcons fan

      • logicco

        Doesn’t matter, he brings up valid points. And no, I’m not a falcons fan. Antonio Brown wasn’t even in the league. for half of the 10 years in question, let alone a relevant player. When you look beyond relevance to stardom, he’s been at it for 3 years, or 30% of the time in question.

        • Throw Marino13

          Cool

          • Daniel Varnadore

            Yes I am a falcons fan but my latger point was grasped by logicco…I’m sure fans of other teams/players could point out more deserving atheletes than ones posted above…Kuechly is an awesome player and will continue to be for years to come but better than Urlacher in the years stipulated?

          • Shane Kelley

            Yes he was and will always be urlacher had no coverage skills hence peanut tillman

        • Joe Doe

          Antonio Brown is five years pro.

          • logicco

            And this is a 10 year time frame. Hence my comment “wasn’t even in the league for half the 10 years). 10/2 = 5.

        • Pierre NyGaard

          Antonio Brown had almost as many yards in those five seasons as Roddy White did in his past seven. When you’re that transcendent, I’m not sure longevity matters quite as much.

          Especially if they’re going by average quality of play within the span, not cumulative value.

    • Mat

      I believe that AB’s dominance swayed him (to the performance over longevity side), and Witten is very well known for being a great blocker.
      Although I do agree that (until Gronk) the greatest TE of all time needs at least an honorable mention.

  • JudoPrince

    What a nasty lineup

  • Jordan

    Imagine watching this first team offense against the first team d? Wheew

    • sinisterclown

      The game will always end in a tie.

  • Angry eagles fan

    BRIAN DAWKINS???? not even on second team…..c’mon man

    • KWS13

      To be fair their grades go back to 2006, so 2/3 of his career doesn’t count for them… so….

    • ChiTownMike

      I’d take Nick Collins over Dawkins any day and he isn’t even mentioned on this list or in the comments.

  • Cam

    No Earl Thomas, even in the 2nd team….sorry but that’s a fail. Streets ahead of either Weddle or McCourty.

    • Jacob Dunham

      lol Weddle is a much better player than ET3 and there’s numbers to prove it

    • ThinkerT

      Meh. You could argue that Earl Thomas wasn’t even the best safety in the NFC West over that period (Adrian Wilson).

  • Bob

    Not having Brady as your QB immediately discredits this entire list. He’s the greatest of all time and it is not even close.

    • Donte

      The fact that he’s not even at the very least 2nd team is insulting. Since 2006 He’s been a 2x league MVP (2007 and 2010), 3 Super Bowl appearances, a Super Bowl win, a Super Bowl MVP (against one of the greatest defenses of all time), and since 2011 he’s won no less than 12 games a year and has at least made it to the AFCCG in each of those seasons.

      • T. Kothe

        No, it’s not. As the author said, he just got edged out. And if you were judging solely by the sort of stats you’re quoting, which PFF isn’t, Brady still wouldn’t make it because Peyton Manning would edge him out even with the missed time & decline. Not that I’m saying Manning should be on the list- I agree with their logic in keeping him off. But it goes to prove that the list is not unreasonable. You simply didn’t get your bias confirmed.

        Manning since 2006: 3x League MVP (2008, 2009, 2013), 3 Super Bowl appearances, 2 Super Bowl titles (Feb 2007, Feb 2016), a Super Bowl MVP (2007), and only 2 seasons with less than 12 wins since 2006… one of which he didn’t play a single snap. On top of all of that, in 2013 he smashed the single season record for TD passes and broke the single season passing yards record, both of which he still holds.

        • AJ

          That was mic drop worthy

        • naw

          But can’t he throw multiples Ds in SBs? Never did. More ints than tds.

          • naw

            TDs

          • T. Kothe

            That argument makes absolutely zero sense. You’re trying to nitpick two stats out of many for three games out of the 150+ games Peyton played over that timespan. It’s a worse argument than Donte’s.

            It seems you don’t quite understand what the concept of an All-Decade team entails. If stats from Super Bowls had any special significance, then every player on that list who has never been to a Super Bowl wouldn’t qualify to be on it. You’d be leaving off guys like JJ Watt, Joe Thomas, and Calvin Johnson. That’d be ridiculous. Try again.

        • Pierre NyGaard

          Four Super Bowl appearances, wasn’t it?

    • Paulvr

      It’s Brady. All day long.

    • Lance Hulstein

      I can’t stand Brady…. But I’d take him as my no.1 qb every day.

  • calling all toasters

    There’s a player who isn’t on this team who I think is better than a guy you have on this team.

    My player is from my favorite team OR has really gaudy stats OR is really famous OR has ringzzz.

    Therefore PFF is utterly incompetent OR a joke OR prejudiced.

    I am not a crank.

    • Cam

      I happen to think it’s generally a decent list. Can argue the toss with numerous players, but the only glaring omission for me is the lack of Earl Thomas as the 2nd team FS, as McCourty simply isn’t remotely in Thomas’ class.

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      u win the internet

      • crosseyedlemon

        That’s very genORous. I think he would have settled fOR a pop tart OR a keybORrd that doesn’t have a sticky “cap lock” key.

  • Kyle Rudesill

    Adrian Peterson loses to Marshawn Lynch? What a joke. So he’s broken more tackles, fewer people can even get a hand on AP in the open field. Where is the objective credibility with this? Stats weren’t used because blocking can sway those… As if AP has had an amazing oline and offense to work with every season of his tenure? And the fact that he will be vaulting himself ahead of HOF RBs statistically every game this year while already holding the second best rushing yard season in history and the record for most yards in a single game at 296… Have some class and give respect where it’s due, which is to Adrian Peterson as by far the best RB over the past 10 years.

    • KWS13

      Lynch has played for BUF, where the QBs were Trent Edwards, JP Losman and bad version of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Then he went to SEA where he exchanged better QB play for a… less than stellar o-line. AP has been phenomenal, I was mildly surprised he wasn’t the guy here, but has generally had better o-line and QB play until the last few years, when he now has MUCH better o-line and worse QB play (sorry Teddy B fans). The objective credibility in this generally favors Lynch, despite the single game and single season greatness of Peterson.

      • Darnell

        And if you consider performance in playoffs/big games/big situations, it favors Lynch even more hevaily.

        Lynch is one of the all-time great playoff RBs.

        • Lance Hulstein

          Lynch has better playoff stats because they actually make the playoffs. The vikes only make the playoffs off of Adrian petersons back with a mutilated ACL. AD is a freak of nature and he’s the best back the NFL has ever seen. He’s gonna be truckin mfer’s at 40.

          • bobrulz

            No, he’s not lol. No RB EVER has been “trucking mfer’s” at 40. Even the greatest ones declined rapidly around the 29-32 age range, and AP is going to do the same.

      • logicco

        You consider Tarvaris Jackson and Christian Ponder to be better QB play than Russel Wilson?

        • SeattleSteve

          First two years Wilson hid behind Lynch and that running game, it wasn’t until 2015 when Wilson started to ascend to being a playmaking QB instead of a game managing guy.

          • logicco

            Ok… Christian Ponder?

        • KWS13

          Did you not actually read what I wrote? Maybe I wrote it odd but I meant he had better QBs in SEA relative to those in MIN than he had in BUF while having a worse o-line

          • logicco

            The way you wrote it stated that Tarvaris Jackson and Christian Ponder were much better QBs than Russel Wilson.

          • KWS13

            “Then he went to SEA where he got better QB play with a… less than stellar o-line.”

            I guess this is what you refer to? In Buffalo Lynch’s QBs were no good, when he went to SEA halfway through 2010 from then on his QB play has been better generally. I guess the more confusing part was likely when describing AP I said

            “better o-line and QB play until the last few years”

            Somehow I viewed since halfway through 2010 as the last few years, but I was generalizing since those 2 years were fuzzy since Matt Hasselbeck, Charlie Whithurst and Tarvaris Jackson (on SEA) were not good, but those were the bad Brett Favre and early Christian Ponder years so SEA still better, and since 2012 with Russell Wilson no doubt SEA has been better. Jackson starting with Minnesota never overlapped Russell Wilson starts so not sure when exactly you’re referring to with

            “You consider Tarvaris Jackson and Christian Ponder to be better QB play than Russel Wilson?”

      • Clark G.

        How the hell is Christain Ponder, Josh Freeman, Tavaris Jackson, Joe Webb good quarterback play?, Lynch was never as good never had as many yards had less TDs never won a major award and isn’t a first ballot Hall of Famer

      • Stan L.

        Haha a much better o line have u ever actually seen a Vikes game out o line has been awful for years

  • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

    12 players on defense, again. how convenient, again.

  • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

    2005 champ bailey is pissed he can’t count towards this list, lol. still would like to know if 2009 revis was better than ’05/’06 bailey

  • DirtyPete_5

    You cannot tell me that Eric Weddle and Devin McCourty are better than Brian Dawkins. Just bc McCourty has more rings doesn’t make him a better player

    • SeattleSteve

      Dawkins was a good hitter and nothing more, once the rules allowed Wideouts to cross over the middle – it was game over, the guy sucked in coverage.

      • Patrick

        This simply isn’t true. Dawkins was an all around great player in run defense and coverage and had a knack for forcing turnovers. He was declining in 2007-2008 though and his best seasons were all before PFF started grading. This is only the last 10 years which included a couple years of Dawkins’ career.

    • Samuel Charles

      They’re only using players since PFF started grading in 2006, this all-decade team is only over the last ten years.

      Most of Dawkins best seasons came before they started grading.

  • crosseyedlemon

    It comes with the utmost shame, that I must confess, that my plaudit scattering skills have never earned a positive grade.

  • Immanuel

    Yes. Brees and fitzgerald are super underated, i’m glad you recognize them. How come you guys would pick charles tilman and champ bailey over nnamdi asomugha? Are you assuming a zone scheme, or do u think they’re better?

    • Immanuel

      I’d probably pick charles woodson over them too.

    • Joe Doe

      37 forced fumbles and 29 picks over the relevant timeframe for Tillman. I’m not saying you’re wrong without being able to see more data, but as a Packers fan I would’ve preferred a lot of ball carriers to fall down right in front of him rather than risk getting it stripped.

      • Immanuel

        Nnamdi’s more of a shutdown corner than a play making corner so its hard to compare him to tillman; but revis and sherman are shutdown corners, but not to the same extent as nnamdi. Like from 2007-2010 (4 seasons) he allowed a total of 41 receptions and 1 touchdown. Compare that to richard sherman who let up 41 receptions and 2 touchdowns just in 2012. Plus sherman gets way more saftey help and has a better pass rush and doesn’t shadow the no. 1 receiver. In revis’s best 3 seasons (2008, 2009, and 2011) he let up a total of 125 receptions and 5 touchdowns, and revis has a way better pass rush than nnamdi. Like i’ve seen revis get burnt plenty of times, but not give up a touchdown because the qb didn’t get a chance to get a throw off, but i’ve never seen that happen with nnamdi (when playing man coverage).

        • Mat

          One of the misconceptions of Sherman is that he gets safety help. His talent means he is assigned ~2/5th of the field. ET3 rotates away and takes ~2/5th. RCB takes ~1/5th.
          And while I do agree that Asomugha deserves consideration, his bad seasons take him down, (and I don’t know his grades,) while Sherman gets more credit for tricking QBs.

  • Lance Hulstein

    Lynch over Adrian Peterson. What a joke. It’s absolutely insulting to suggest he’s even on AD’s level. Let alone say he’s better in every category. Give me a break.

    • burjur

      Lynch was a guy who could squeeze yards that weren’t there. But to me in terms of running the ball, AP is probably the greatest player I have ever seen. Problem is is that he isn’t much else. Horrible as a receiver and pass protector, his ball security wasn’t something to write home about either. Those things probably negatively affected his grade. Personally, I would also choose Lynch not just for his more balanced game but for the fact that he shows up in the playoffs too. His iconic beastquake run is forever seared in NFL lore

      • Mat

        PFF does tend to penalize fumbles more than average people, and I don’t know the algorithm for their elusive rating, but it might help Lynch for his Yco than AP for his FMTs

    • Michael James

      AP is a fantastic player to watch, but if I had to chose a RB to actually win important games or thrive in difficult situations, give me Lynch all day (pun intended)

  • Brayden

    How does Charles Woodson not make this list at least as a second team

  • Me

    How many wins Brees have? I prefer Brady, no doubt, his stats means nothing if he can’t win games and take this team every year for playoffs. lol

  • Me

    Brees can’t carry any team. He needs a defense to carry him or no playoff.

    • Immanuel

      Is that why the saints won the super bowl with the the 25th ranked defense in the league.

  • kenhowes

    Linebackers–you didn’t even mention Brian Urlacher, Ray Lewis or Tedy Bruschi? At strong safety you didn’t even mention Rodney Harrison?

  • J A

    Champ Bailey CAN NOT be second team, if anything this kind of ranking done with play by play grades like PFF would be the place he’d be a lock to be noticed, since many analysts failed to recognize him during his career simply because he was never seen, sort of the definition of a great CB. In 2006, Bailey was targeted 35 times by opposing quarterbacks. He intercepted 10 of those passes, defended 21 of them and allowed four catches. He also had 98 tackles that year. No cornerback has ever matched that kind of season. And while his INT numbers weren’t always that gaudy, his target %’s and completed on numbers were, period.

  • Carter Mckinney

    antonio gates for starters… gronk hasnt been in the league 10 years..gates is 36 and still effective and 7 tds off the TE record and whoops wittens ass in just about all stats including tds

    • Mat

      Witten’s blocking more than makes up their difference, and Gronk owns the 4 greatest TE seasons of all time. Difference is so big he’s unanimously considered better than Gonzalez, the pervious all-time best

      • Carter Mckinney

        if he can stay healthy his whole career.. which is highly doubtful with his track record

  • Dan

    Terrell Suggs should be on this as an alternate over Cameron Wake, minimum. Insane that he isn’t.

  • Keyser Soze

    relatively solid list… just inconsistent… stats win out in some cases don’t matter in others.. Brees has the most yards touchdowns 5k yard seasons and highest completion percentage of the last decade not to mention the most productive 10 Year stretch in NFL history and loses out to Rogers over some faux ranking?

  • Abraham Youhana

    I’m ok with everything on this list except for QB and RB. I guess it’s really a tossup between Manning, Brees, Brady, and Rodgers. Personally I take Brady, Manning Rodgers, Brees. But that’s 1A to one 1ABBB or whatever delination you want to use. It’s so close between the tops QBs that nobody should be mad that ARod is no.1, you can make arguemnts for all of them. Marshawn isn’t nearly as productive as Adrian Peterson. No idea how that happened. That by far blows me away.

  • Bill

    Are you kidding me PFF? Has Lynch even won a rushing title let alone an MVP like Peterson? Most people don’t even think Lynch is a HOFer while Peterson could have retired 2 years ago and still would be a lock in the HOF! This is total bull****!

  • Shane Kelley

    You forgot Steve Smith Sr. The best to suit up for the panthers and maybe forever. 5’9″ of monster. Played like a demon possessed on the field. Ask any panther fan or anyone who played against him

  • Patrick

    I’m really surprised to not see some pass rushers make 1st team or even 2nd team. Suggs not making the list at all is surprising. DeMarcus Ware not making 1st team is absurd and I’m an Eagles fan.

    Seeing some guys that have only be in the league 4-5 seasons already making 1st team definitely makes me question the grading.