10 players who just missed the 2022 PFF Top 101

Glendale, Arizona, US; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) is unable to make a catch against Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L'Jarius Sneed (38) during the second quarter of Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The PFF Top 101 for the 2022 NFL season is already published, but the list inevitably leaves many excellent players that had outstanding seasons on the outside looking in.

Here are 10 players that just missed the 101 this year.

OT Kaleb McGary, Atlanta Falcons

2022 PFF grade: 86.6

McGary heads to free agency on the back of a career year, as only Trent Williams registered a better PFF run-blocking grade than McGary’s 91.6 this season. In the most run-heavy offense in the league, that run-blocking prowess was more important for Atlanta than it would have been for most teams. The thing keeping him off the list was a comparatively average performance in pass protection. Despite being asked to do that less than most tackles, McGary still surrendered six sacks, five of which came in true pass sets.

WR DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles

2022 PFF grade: 80.4

Smith perhaps suffers from the impact that A.J. Brown made on the Eagles offense, at least in terms of perception, even if it can be argued that he benefited from it on the field. Smith racked up almost 1,400 yards, including the playoff run to the Super Bowl, while scoring eight touchdowns and generating 2.00 yards per route run for the year. Smith was particularly effective after the catch, breaking 15 tackles with the ball in his hands. He accumulated six drops from 154 targets in total.

EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, Detroit Lions

2022 PFF grade: 80.7

Hutchinson had a very good rookie season, and as the year progressed, he had a very good year for any player. From Week 11 onward, only Micah Parsons and Myles Garrett registered a higher overall PFF grade than Hutchinson, who finished his debut season with 53 total pressures and added the bonus of three interceptions. Hutchinson was better than average in all facets of play, and if the season had gone on longer, he may have catapulted himself onto the list.

C Frank Ragnow, Detroit Lions

2022 PFF grade: 77.9

At his best, Ragnow is as good as any center in the league. Even battling through injury, as was the case for most of 2022, he was still among the better players at the position. Ragnow allowed just 13 total pressures across 16 games and over 600 snaps of pass protection. Only one of those pressures was a sack or a knockdown of his quarterback, and he did this with a revolving door of guards alongside him on the interior for Detroit.

OT Terron Armstead, Miami Dolphins

2022 PFF grade: 77.6

By the end of the year, Armstead appeared on Miami's injury report with seemingly every body part listed as a problem area. He ended up playing in 14 games and 753 snaps in total, and when he was out there, he was a huge upgrade for the Dolphins line. He allowed just one sack and 16 total pressures all season despite battling through a list of injuries for much of the time. Fully healthy, Armstead is still one of the best linemen in the game, but even banged up and missing time, he’s very good.

WR Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

2022 PFF grade: 78.4

Higgins has been talked about for a while as a No. 1 receiver in any other offense, but there remained doubt over how much of that was just a product of Ja’Marr Chase‘s impact on opposing defenses. This season, Higgins got the opportunity to step up and be the team's lead option without Chase in the lineup for a period of time, and he justified the hype. In the stretch without Chase, Higgins averaged nine targets, 6.5 catches, and 93 yards, scoring a couple of touchdowns along the way.

DI Jonathan Allen, Washington Commanders

2022 PFF grade: 80.1 

Washington’s defensive line still caused major problems for teams this season and even if Allen didn’t have his best year, he was still extremely good. He posted 47 total pressures and two forced fumbles, earning an 81.1 PFF pass-rushing grade for the season across almost 500 rushes. This was also his best season against the run since at least 2018, and he accumulated 43 defensive stops on the year, a new career high.

LB Germaine Pratt, Cincinnati Bengals

2022 PFF grade: 78.4

Pratt had a career year this season, setting a new benchmark in PFF grade in every facet of play as well as overall. He was particularly effective in coverage, where his 87.2 grade trailed only Tremaine Edmunds and Lavonte David. Pratt allowed a 76.2 passer rating into his coverage, the second-best mark in the league and some 30 points lower than the average linebacker.

QB Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

2022 PFF grade: 77.9

Herbert didn’t have the kind of year that many expected him to have, but he was still very good. He, once again, recorded the league’s lowest turnover-worthy play rate (1.7%), just ahead of Jalen Hurts, and was one of only two quarterbacks less than 2.0% over the year. Herbert had the second-best adjusted completion rate (78.8%) in the game, but the team will now be hoping that new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore can unlock a greater volume of explosive plays from him going forward.

RB Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

2022 PFF grade: 80.0

Herbert’s backfield mate also had a fine year, particularly if you had him on your fantasy team. Ekeler recorded 15 rushing touchdowns from only 217 attempts and accumulated 109 receptions, adding five receiving touchdowns to his ledger as well. Ekeler was a big part of the Chargers offense and extremely efficient when given the ball however it came his way.


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