I am willing to bet that more than a few of you saw “PFF” in the headline and thought, “Ugh!” or “What now?” or “Well this should be fun” ...
And then clicked on the article anyway.
My point, of course, is that feelings among the 12s seem to be, shall we say, “mixed” in regard to Pro Football Focus (aka PFF).
A lot of times, we respond to them (or the mere mention of them) like this:
And sometimes we respond to them like this:
But today ...
I think we’ll (mostly all) be like THIS:
Alright, enough fan shots ... let’s get to the article!
As the title of this article implies (i.e. outright states), PFF recently posted an article that identified three players for each NFL team to build around. And then, of course, they used their own proprietary (and sometimes fiercely debated) grading system to explain their selections.
Surprisingly, It’s all a little less “in your face” than usual.
Which is, to be honest, one of the main reasons I decided to write about it. I mean, that and I actually agreed with most of their picks (and ALL of their picks for us).
So, now, without any further ado ...
I give you their methodology.
Production, age and positional value were all considered to put together a three-player core to build around for all 32 NFL teams. Contracts weren’t considered for the purpose of this exercise.
Pretty straight-forward, right?
Your Seattle Seahawks !!!
I feel comfortable saying that there are zero surprises with who PFF selected for the Seahawks. And since you all know them oh so well (and because I’m having fun with pictures today), I’m not even going to write their names ...
Anyone surprised? (didn’t think so)
Wanna hear (read) PFF’s thoughts about the selections?
Wilson’s play tailed off toward the back half of the 2020 season, but he still stands out as a top-five quarterback in the NFL as he enters a year in which he will turn 33 years old. The only quarterback to finish higher than Wilson in PFF’s Wins Above Replacement metric since 2018 is Patrick Mahomes. Both Wilson and Metcalf, who has put up over 2,200 yards and 17 touchdowns in his first two NFL seasons, were easy inclusions on the list.
Adams has caught some flack for his struggles in coverage last season in Seattle, but he’s just one campaign removed from a two-year stretch in New York where his 91.0 PFF grade ranked second among all qualifying safeties.
Our division rivals
Here are the players that PFF picked for the other NFC West teams ... along with my thoughts on a couple of them.
#1: QB Kyler Murray | #2: WR DeAndre Hopkins | #3: S Budda Baker
No surprises here. I can’t even make an argument for including Chandler Jones because whose spot would he take?
#1: DT Aaron Donald | #2: CB Jalen Ramsey | #3: QB Matthew Stafford
I was initially a bit surprised that Stafford made the cut given the fact that he has been in the league since the merger. I’m kidding, of course. Stafford has been in the league three years longer than Russell Wilson though (2009 vs. 2012) and I had always assumed that he was older than dirt. But then I looked at his birthdate; and at Wilson’s birthdate; and ...
I am genuinely bemused.
How on earth is it possible that John Matthew Stafford is only 9-1/2 months older than Russell Carrington Wilson?
Seriously! Stafford’s DOB is February 7th, 1988 and Wilson’s DOB is November 29th, 1988.
On a related note, I am suddenly a little more worried about the Rams than I was a couple days ago.
#1: TE George Kittle | #2: QB Trey Lance | #3 EDGE Nick Bosa
Um ... okay. I think I would have started the list with Fred Warner, but ... I guess that’s just me. PFF did say that it came down to Warner or Bosa and they chose Bosa but ... ??
A quick look around the rest of the league
Overall, given their criteria, I think most fans will agree with most of the picks. Which is ... an odd sentence to type.
Some random thoughts:
Detroit’s list does not include any players that play a “skill” position nor does it include anyone from the defense. What’s left? You guessed it: offensive linemen - both of their Tackles and the Center landed in the Lions’ top-3.
Neither Aaron Rodgers (age) nor Jordan Love (inexperience) are on the list for Green Bay. Davante Adams, Jaire Alexander, and David Bakhtiari get the nods for the Packers.
The Chiefs have a unique “quantity of quality” issue with 5 players that arguably “deserve” to be on the list. PFF went with Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Chris Jones and left Travis Kelce and Tyrann Mathieu on the sideline.
Tight End Darren Waller is the first name on the list for the Raiders. I’ve mentioned him in a couple of articles recently and it’s nice to see him getting some “love” as a potential franchise-caliber player.
PFF chose to leave Julio Jones (age) and Derrick Henry (mileage) off of Tennessee’s list - which makes a certain amount of sense ... but having the list not include Ryan Tannehill ... ??
And speaking of quarterbacks ...
In fact, a QB failed to make the list for nearly half the teams (15 of 32) ... a combination of “production, age, and positional value”, I’m sure.
Last, but not least, and still QB-related ...
All 5 of the first-round rookies made their team’s list. I already mentioned Trey Lance (#2 for the 49ers). Mac Jones came in at #3 in New England while the other 3 (Lawrence, Wilson, and Fields) were all slotted atop the list for their respective teams.
If you have a subscription for PFF, it’s worth reading (or at least skimming) the entire piece to see how much of it you agree with.
If not, well that’s why I shared as much as I did (without sharing too much); gotta give us something to talk about since the start of training camp is still over a week away.