The Alliance of American Football has arrived. The inaugural week was filled with big hits, innovative rules and even some new names to look out for. As with any other sports league, the AAF will surely have some stars emerge. After just one week of play, here are the top-ten candidates for the AAF Player of the Year so far.
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If you felt like Jamar Summers jumped off the screen as you were watching the Birmingham Iron’s defense, it’s because he basically did. Summers made plays left and right, and he earned the highest coverage grade (90.7) out of 26 qualifying cornerbacks in the first week of play. On three targets into his coverage, Summers allowed only one catch for a loss of two yards and also had one interception, good for the second-best passer rating allowed (2.8) among cornerbacks. Summers’ performance isn’t exactly surprising, as he once had the second-best coverage grade (90.8) in the nation as a sophomore at UConn back in 2015. Summers’ island has a nice ring to it.
Joey Mbu was disruptive as a pass rusher in the interior of San Antonio’s defense, earning a pass-rush grade of 79.7 which ranks first out of 31 qualifying interior defenders in the AAF so far. On 30 pass-rush snaps, Mbu recorded three total pressures (two hurries, one sack), and also managed to get one run stop on nine run-defense snaps.
Rashad Ross is one of only three wide receivers to catch a touchdown in the history of the AAF, and he’s the only receiver with more than one. On seven targets, Ross tallied five receptions for 103 yards, five first downs and two touchdowns, good for the second-best passer rating when targeted (153.3) among wide receivers after the first week. Ross’ most recent NFL action took place with the Redskins in 2016, when he played 21 total regular season snaps. For now, he’ll look to continue to light it up with the Hotshots.