News & Analysis

2021 Free Agency: Ranking the NFL's top 100 free agents

With the 2020 NFL regular season officially in the books, it's almost team-building season for most franchises around the league. So let's get our first look at the 2021 free agent class.

The PFF free agent list is based upon our player evaluations and positional value — and it's a fluid list, as the 2020 season is still unfolding. We will continue to update this list as we head toward the March free agency period. 

Know tomorrow, today. Western Southern Financial Group.

1. QB Dak Prescott

The prize of the free agent market, Prescott went down with an unfortunate injury after just four-plus games in 2020. With four full seasons under his belt, Prescott has finished in the top 10 of PFF grades twice while ranking closer to 20th in the other two seasons. However, Prescott’s 85.2 PFF grade this season would’ve been a career-best, and his 2019 and 2020 work is the most productive of his career.

From a macro view, Prescott’s play dipped as his supporting cast took a step back, but a revamped receiving corps has had Dallas’ offense moving the ball efficiently with Prescott at the helm. With solid accuracy, decision-making and mobility, he has proven capable of putting up high-end production, and he appeared on his way to establishing himself as an annual “top-eight” quarterback prior to his injury.

Contract Analysis: A second franchise tag would be valued at $37.7 million for Prescott, so the two sides finally agree to a long-term extension just above that on an annual basis.

Prediction: Cowboys sign Prescott for four years, $158 million ($39.5M APY): $115M total guaranteed, $75 million fully guaranteed at signing.

2. WR Chris Godwin

The 2019 season showed the ceiling that Chris Godwin can reach. He finished the year with a 90.7 overall PFF grade and was one of the very best receivers in football. Given his impressive grades over the first two seasons of his NFL career before that, it seemed like a natural breakout point. Injuries slowed him down in 2020, but Godwin finished with a strong 80.2 receiving grade and a passer rating of 131.9 when targeted.

Godwin is an exceptionally talented and versatile receiver who has great hands — dropping just four passes in his first three seasons— and he has excelled from both an outside and slot alignment. Godwin’s projection will likely depend on what the second half of the 2020 season holds for him. If he can get back to the form he showed in 2019, he may be one of the best receiver free agents to hit the open market in years.

Contract Analysis: Godwin was eligible for an extension after 2019, and Tampa Bay probably would’ve (should’ve) given him one if it didn’t land Tom Brady for a Super Bowl push. Godwin was also apparently on board with adding Antonio Brown, so he’s clearly a team-first player.

Prediction: Buccaneers franchise tag Godwin for 2021, and a deal is not reached before the season starts.

Otherwise: Buccaneers sign Godwin for five years, $110 million ($22 million APY): $65 million total guaranteed, $45 million fully guaranteed at signing.

3. WR Allen Robinson II

It’s impossible not to feel a little bit sorry for Allen Robinson II given the quarterback situations he has dealt with dating back to at least high school. He may have chosen his latest nightmare in Chicago, but the combination of Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles did not encourage much success, yet Robinson continually excels.

Robinson hasn’t had an overall PFF grade lower than 69.0 in his career or lower than 75.0 since the 2018 season, his first in Chicago. He consistently showcases excellent hands and contested-catch skills, dropping no more than three passes in a season since his time in Jacksonville. Robinson graded out at 88.4 during the 2020 regular season — fifth best in the league —  and he is still only 27 years old. His ceiling with a high-end quarterback could be special.

Contract Analysis: Robinson could close his eyes and throw a dart at a U.S. map, and he’ll end up with a better quarterback at his new destination. He’s another franchise-tag candidate, but Chicago’s current salary cap nightmare could make fitting $18 million (Robinson’s minimum tag) in 2021 borderline impossible.

Prediction: Dolphins sign Robinson for four years, $84 million ($21M APY): $52.5 million total guaranteed, $35 million fully guaranteed at signing.

4. WR Kenny Golladay

There may be no better endorsement of a top receiver than the difference it makes to his quarterback when he is on the field. Matthew Stafford is a different player when Golladay is on the field, and the wideout clearly has confidence in his ability to go up and get the football in tough spots. He battled injuries this season, but Golladay’s 628 yards on deep (20-plus yard) passes ranked second in the league in 2019.

Golladay has the size and athleticism required to be a big target on the outside, along with that contested-catch prowess, but he also possesses enough nuance in his route running to function well in any system. The NFC North has featured some great receivers in recent seasons, and Golladay is up there with the best of them.

Contract Analysis: Golladay is probably the most likely franchise tag recipient in the NFL at this point. We don’t think the rumors of him to the Giants through trade were by accident; Golladay’s representation was probably trying to help him land on a team more interested in giving him the long-term contract he deserves.

Prediction: Lions franchise tag Kenny Golladay for 2021, and a deal is not reached before the season starts.

Otherwise: Giants sign Golladay for four years, $85 million ($21.25M APY): $57.5 million total guaranteed, $37.5 million fully guaranteed.

Nov 29, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams (71) before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

5. T Trent Williams

After not playing a snap in 2019, Williams is back in his rightful place as one of the league’s best offensive tackles. He can play in any scheme, moving defenders at the point of attack or cutting them off on the backside of zone plays, while linebackers must keep their head on a swivel because he attacks the second level with a vengeance.

Williams has basically never had a bad season in the NFL, with his rookie year being by far the lowest overall PFF grade he has posted (63.4). He hit at least a 75.6 mark in every other season and 2020 is now the third time he’s led all offensive tackles in PFF grade (91.9). He has shown elite-level play in multiple schemes and now multiple cities, and he looks capable of being the next great left tackle to play well into their 30s at a high level.

Contract Analysis: Williams quietly has regained his All-Pro form in San Francisco following a lengthy holdout with the Washington Football Team. He’s been as patient as an individual can be, and he’ll finally be cashing out as a reward.

Prediction: 49ers sign Williams for four years, $80 million ($20M APY): $62.5 million total guaranteed, $45 million fully guaranteed at signing.

6. S Justin Simmons

After a few solid seasons to begin his career, Justin Simmons has blossomed into one of the game’s best safeties. Simmons had a 90.7 overall PFF grade in 2019, with four picks and 11 pass breakups to his name. He was a rare free safety who was also extremely active against the run and in the box, notching 28 defensive stops over the season. So far this year, he hasn’t quite backed up that phenomenal performance but has a better grade than in any of his previous NFL campaigns, proving that last year wasn’t a complete outlier.

Simmons has not only the range to impact plays in coverage, but he also possesses the ability to read and diagnose plays quickly enough to support against the run or on shorter passes over the middle in a way a lot of free safeties simply don’t.

Contract Analysis: Vic Fangio coached Bears safety Eddie Jackson into the biggest safety contract in the NFL at the time of signing, and the same thing could happen with Simmons this offseason.

Prediction: Broncos sign Simmons for five years, $82.5 million ($16.5M APY): $45 million total guaranteed, $22.5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

7. S Anthony Harris

Anthony Harris has been one of the best safeties in football for the past few seasons, steadily earning himself increased playing time in Minnesota. He put together an All-Pro caliber season in 2019 before taking a step back this year along with the rest of the Vikings’ defense. Harris earned a 91.1 overall PFF grade a season ago, which came hot on the heels of the 89.0 mark he posted the year before that when he played 624 snaps and started half the season due to injury. He has been a perfect free safety within Mike Zimmer’s defense, which employs a lot of split-safety looks and has been particularly adept at making plays on the football, with coverage being by far his biggest asset.

Harris has shown the ability to read route concepts and quarterbacks at the same time, putting himself in position to make plays. He should be primed for a big deal.

Contract Analysis: Minnesota has a huge decision to make at safety with the anchor of their defense in Harrison Smith entering the final year of his deal in 2021, as well. Harris’ emergence opposite Smith has been a welcome development, and although he’s the younger player, it’s hard to imagine the Vikings letting Smith play a single snap outside of Minnesota before his potentially Hall of Fame career is over.

Prediction: Football Team signs Harris for four years, $56 million ($14M APY): $27.5 million total guaranteed, $16 million fully guaranteed at signing.

8. LB Lavonte David

One of the best linebackers of his generation, Lavonte David is still playing at an incredibly high level past the age of 30. In many ways, he has been the archetype for the modern linebacker that counters the league’s shift in offensive philosophy away from smash-mouth football and toward speed and efficiency. David has been able to counter that with speed and efficiency of his own, in addition to exceptional coverage skills. He has four seasons in his career with a PFF coverage grade above 83.0 and has never graded lower than 64.6 in that area.

Those coverage skills will be what teams covet most because even if he begins to lose half a step as he ages, his ability to read the game and be in the right place at the right time will stand the test of time.

Contract Analysis: David represents half of the NFL’s most formidable inside linebacker duo alongside 2019 No. 5 overall pick Devin White. Already 30 years old, David has shown no signs of slowing down, but Tampa Bay may have to lean on White going forward to spend at other positions.

Prediction: Buccaneers sign David for three years, $40 million ($13.33M APY): $23.5 million total guaranteed, $17.5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

9. G Brandon Scherff

One of the most dependable guards in the league, Scherff has never posted a PFF grade below 72.5 in his six-year NFL career.  Over the last three seasons, Scherff ranks among the league’s best guards in nearly every key metric, including a 97th percentile ranking on true pass sets and 90th percentile ranking in percentage of positively graded plays. Both numbers are among the most important when projecting interior offensive linemen from year to year.

In the run game, Scherff can do it all, showing the power at the point of attack and the quickness to make any block in space. He’s also one of the most polished pass protectors in the league, and he stands out as the best interior offensive lineman in this free agent class.

Contract Analysis: The NFC East currently has the NFL’s No. 1, 2, and 3 highest-paid right guards on an annual basis in Brandon Brooks (Eagles), Zack Martin (Cowboys), and Kevin Zeitler (Giants). Scherff’s 2020 franchise tag amount of just above $15M will likely serve as the floor for what he’s looking for on an annual basis in an extension, which would make him the highest-paid guard in the NFC East (and NFL).

Prediction: Washington signs Scherff for four years, $60M ($15M APY): $37.5M total guaranteed, $25M fully guaranteed at signing.

10. QB Philip Rivers

The home stretch of Rivers’ career has been a roller coaster ride as he ranked 15th in PFF grades in 2015, 20th in 2016, ninth in 2017, sixth in 2018 and 18th in 2019. The 2020 season has seen him land right at 18th once again, as he’s mixed high-end games with multiple poor outings. The poor ones tend to bring up the questions about Rivers losing it and declining physically, but he’s been playing well despite less-than-stellar arm strength for a few years now. The issue is the tighter margin of error that Rivers has now compared to earlier in his career, but he gets by with solid accuracy and anticipation. Going to the Colts and playing in an indoor environment is a good strategy for late-career Rivers, and if he’s back in 2021, that may be the type of situation that works best at this point in his career.

Contract Analysis: Rivers ended an impressive 16-year run with the San Diego (when he arrived) and now Los Angeles Chargers, signing a one-year deal to potentially make a final Super Bowl run in 2020. The wheels have not completely fallen off for Rivers, but Father Time is certainly making his presence felt. Nevertheless, Rivers at worst provides an exceptional bridge quarterback to a young player if/when Indianapolis brings in a franchise quarterback of the future.

Prediction: Colts sign Rivers to another one-year, fully guaranteed $25 million contract.

11. TE Hunter Henry

At the beginning of his career, it looked as though Hunter Henry was set to become the league’s next great tight end. His first two seasons in the league featured overall PFF grades of 83.0 and then 87.2, but then injuries really began to bite. He missed almost the entirety of 2018, and though he has returned to be a productive player, has never quite recaptured that initial form.

There is still plenty of time for that to happen, however, even if his ceiling has been reset — Henry has ranked 14th and 18th over the last two years. He is a productive and capable tight end with plenty of tools to be an excellent receiver in any offense. Henry has the size to box defenders out underneath, the savvy to find holes in a defense and enough route-running skills to separate over the middle.

Contract Analysis: Henry battled back from a torn ACL suffered in 2018 to regain most of his form before hitting free agency. The optics coming off a $10.6M 2020 franchise tag should boost his value as well.

Prediction: Chargers sign Henry for four years, $48 million ($12M APY): $23.5M total guaranteed, $16.5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

Nov 26, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (15) turns after a catch during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

12. WR Will Fuller V

Will Fuller has the all-important “speed you can’t teach,” which will always elevate him beyond where his production would otherwise rank him. It was clear even when the Texans had DeAndre Hopkins as their No. 1 receiver that Fuller made a material difference to the offense just by being on the field. Defenses needed to respect that deep threat on every single snap. He has yet to top 1,000 receiving yards in a season and has missed a lot of time with injuries throughout his career, but he will still be in his mid-20s when free agency rolls around. And his speed threat is transformative for an offense that doesn’t have it.

For a player who struggled badly with drops in college, Fuller has largely kept those under control at the NFL level, with just 19 total in his career — 14 of which came in two separate seasons.

Contract Analysis: Houston seemingly put itself in a precarious position by not trading Fuller to the Packers at the deadline. Fuller was having a career year and seemed destined to command top dollar in a crowded wide receiver free agent class, but a six-game suspension for PEDs cut his 2020 season short. In situations like this, the range for the next contract is very wide.

Prediction: Packers sign Fuller for five years, $87.5 million ($17.5M APY): $25 million signing bonus (generally all the Packers guarantee).

13. T Taylor Moton

Moton has been the model of consistency over the last three years, grading “in the green” every year as a starter. He performs well in the parts of offensive line play that translate well moving forward, including ranking in the 90th percentile in PFF pass-blocking grade on true pass sets since 2018. As a run-blocker, Moton is scheme diverse. He can move defenders at the point of attack as well as making the necessary backside cutoffs in a zone-heavy scheme. He ranks well above average at avoiding negatively graded plays in the run game, another one of the more stable measures of offensive tackle play. Dependability is the name of the game for Moton, who has quietly been one of the most valuable tackles in the league since 2018.

Contract Analysis: Carolina traded their former right guard Trai Turner this past offseason to the Los Angeles Chargers for left tackle Russell Okung, yet Taylor Moton’s play has improved from 2019 after losing a high-quality player next to him on the offensive line. That trade ultimately should clear the way for a nice extension in Carolina for Moton.

Prediction: Panthers sign Moton for five years, $82.5 million ($16.5M APY): $45M total guaranteed at signing, $30M fully guaranteed at signing.

14. G Joe Thuney

A starter from Day 1 as a rookie, Thuney has yet to miss a game in his five-year career while showing continual improvement. He transitioned smoothly from college offensive tackle to left guard, showing well in New England’s versatile run scheme. In pass protection, Thuney struggled with power players early in his career, but he’s improved every season and his 88.0 pass-blocking grade ranked third among guards in 2019. Thuney ranks in the 83rd percentile in overall pass-blocking grade since entering the league, though that drops to the 70th percentile when isolated to true pass sets, showing that there has been some protection for him in the New England scheme. Regardless, Thuney has developed into one of the best guards in the game and should fit in well in any system.

Contract Analysis: With the gift of hindsight, the Patriots probably trade Thuney before the 2020 season, as Patriots sixth-round draft pick Michigan G/T Michael Onwenu finished the season with an 84.3 PFF grade that tied for eighth among qualifying players at his position.

Prediction: Cardinals sign Thuney for four years, $57 million ($14.25M APY): $35M total guaranteed, $20M fully guaranteed at signing.

15. EDGE Shaquil Barrett

One of the more efficient pass-rushers in the league over the past few years, Barrett has put up solid production whether in a part-time or full-time role. He’s graded “in the green” as both a run defender and as a pass-rusher in all five years of his career, as he sets a hard edge in the run game and wins with good hands and a variety of moves when attacking the pocket.

Barrett had a 20-sack season in 2019, but don’t be fooled by the gaudy total — he was only slightly more effective that year than previous seasons. He’s spent most of his career playing in more of a classic 3-4 outside linebacker role, dropping into coverage at least 50 times a year and playing mostly from a standup role. Barrett’s best bet is in a similar system, as that’s what he’s been most familiar with in his six years in the league.

Contract Analysis: What a remarkable ascension for Barrett, who turned a one-year, $4 million deal with the Buccaneers into a one-year franchise tag worth four times that amount ($15.8M). With another strong campaign in 2020, next up is a multi-year deal good for over $16 million on an annual basis.

Prediction: Bucs sign Barrett for four years, $68 million ($17M APY): $40 million total guaranteed, $20 million fully guaranteed at signing.

16. S Marcus Williams

Since entering the league in 2017, Williams has ranked near the top of the league in every significant category for safeties. He has a coverage grade that ranks in the 90th percentile to go with the highest rate of forced incompletions. Williams is also a solid run defender and with the skills to fit as a free safety in any scheme.

Contract Analysis: Williams is infamous for the Minneapolis Miracle, which is a shame because he’s been a great player for the Saints on the back end. New Orleans brought their 2009 first-round pick, Malcolm Jenkins, back to the bayou this offseason, which could be a sign that they are preparing for the departure of Williams.

Prediction: Jaguars sign Williams for four years, $57M ($14.25M APY): $30M total guaranteed, $18.5M fully guaranteed at signing.

17. CB William Jackson III

Jackson was the Bengals’ first-round pick in 2016 and is playing in 2020 on a $9.6 million fifth-year option. After tearing his pectoral and being lost for the year before his rookie campaign even kicked off, Jackson responded with a 90.2 defensive grade in his (redshirt) sophomore season — the sixth-best defensive grade for a cornerback in a second season since 2011. The players ahead of him feature a slate of all-pros. We expected Jackson to become one of the game’s best corners after that season and it never happened. He hasn’t had a season within 15 grading points of that year since, and while he allowed a passer rating of 36.1 when targeted in that great year, he has allowed one of at least 86 in each subsequent season. The situation in Cincinnati has been ugly, but the prospect that Jackson will become the great player he threatened to be is getting less and less likely.

Contract Analysis: The Bengals invested big money in former Vikings CB Trae Waynes this past offseason, signing him to a three-year, $42 million deal ($14M APY). He, unfortunately, suffered a similar fate to Jackson, with a pectoral injury keeping him out for the entire 2020 season.

Prediction:  Bengals sign Jackson for three years, $40 million ($13.33M APY): $22.5 million total guaranteed, $18 million fully guaranteed at signing.

Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

18. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

After one of the most volatile careers in recent history, Fitzpatrick has played the best football of his career since 2018 as he’s posted three of his four best PFF grades. His aggressiveness allows playmakers to create chunk plays down the field, but it also allows the defense to make just as many plays on the ball. Still, that style works well with the right supporting cast, and Fitzpatrick has actually done a fine job of maximizing his group of playmakers and subpar offensive line in Miami.

Contract Analysis: The Fitzmagic rolls on for another season, as the journeyman QB seems to age like a rich Bordeaux. Miami made it clear this past offseason that retaining Fitzpatrick was a priority, even with clear plans to draft Tua Tagovailoa. The 38-year-old had an $8 million base salary for 2020 with no other compensation left on his deal, and teams were reportedly sending trade offers. Miami’s decision to keep one of the great “bridge” quarterbacks around has been a win-win for both parties, and there will be several suitors for Fitzpatrick’s services again in 2021.

Prediction: Patriots sign Ryan Fitzpatrick for one-year, $10 million ($10 million APY): $10M total guaranteed/fully guaranteed at signing.

19. CB Richard Sherman

One of the best cornerbacks of his generation, Richard Sherman is still playing the game at a high level, but his age and relative lack of scheme diversity will scare a lot of potential suitors off.

In 2019, once fully recovered from an Achilles injury, Sherman had one of the best seasons of his entire career, allowing just 227 receiving yards all season long. He surrendered a passer rating of just 46.8 before things came unglued a little in the Super Bowl loss to Kansas City. In 2020, Sherman produced a 67.2 coverage grade on just 332 snaps, the lowest grade of his career.

Sherman’s intelligence and tape study gives him a mental edge over most offenses he faces, and that more than makes up for less than stellar straight-line speed. In the kind of defense he plays in San Francisco, he can remain a valuable player even at his age and could be an attractive short-term option for a number of teams in need of a quick fix.

Contract Analysis: Sherman is at the “mercenary” stage of his career where he can sign short-term deals with contenders until he decides to hang up his cleats, much like Darrelle Revis in 2014 when he signed a one-year, $12M deal with the Patriots that included a $20M option for 2015 (the option was declined and Revis returned to the Jets). Sherman has already discussed how the 49ers have too many priority free agents, so he appears to be preparing for a change of scenery.

Prediction: Bills sign Sherman for two years, $28 million ($14M APY): $18M total guaranteed, $14M fully guaranteed at signing.

20. DI Leonard Williams

One of the surest bets in the class, Williams has graded between 70.0 and 82.0 in all six years of his career. Run defense is his calling card, as he ranks in the 86th percentile in PFF run-defense grade since entering the league and with his best work coming as a B and C gap defender. Williams is an average pass-rusher and even with a career-high 13 sacks this season, he’s yet to break a 72.0 pass-rush grade for his career. Still, Williams has been one of the most valuable interior defensive linemen in the league since 2015, and his level of consistency is a plus for potential suitors.

Contract Analysis: Williams was traded from the New York Jets to the New York Giants in 2019 and had to move his locker across Metlife Stadium. He may be moving much further than that after the 2020 season unless he can agree to a long-term extension with the Giants coming off the franchise tag. A second franchise tag for Williams would cost the Giants $19,351,200 (120% of his current tag) and isn’t out of the question. That number also provides a solid floor for Williams in negotiations in terms of an average per year amount.

Prediction: Panthers sign Williams for four years, $80 million ($20M APY): $47.5M total guaranteed, $32.5M fully guaranteed at signing.

21. CB Desmond King II

The jury is still out on exactly how good Desmond King is and can be going forward. Since coming into the NFL, King is still — just about — the best-graded slot defender in football, but that is all built on his play over the first two seasons of play for the Chargers. He posted back to back overall PFF grades of 85.7 and then 88.6 before coming off the boil and failing to find that same production since.

He was ultimately shipped out of Los Angeles for close to nothing, suggesting that the team either didn’t believe in him or had bigger concerns about his presence in the locker room. He graded at just 50.5 in coverage during the regular season in Tennessee. King is still young and has shown the ability to be good at every part of defending the slot in today’s NFL, but his elite tape is getting further in the rear-view mirror.

Contract Analysis: Following a deadline trade from the Los Angeles Chargers for a 2021 sixth-round pick, King will now look to cash in with the Tennessee Titans after a likely playoff run. In King’s first game with his new team, he returned a fumble 63 yards for a touchdown en route to a 24-17 win over Chicago.

Prediction: Titans sign King for three years, $17.5M ($5.83M APY): $10M total guaranteed, $7.5M fully guaranteed at signing.

Dec 13, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; New York Jets free safety Marcus Maye (20) intercepts a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) during the first quarter at Lumen Field. Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

22. S Marcus Maye

Maye has played multiple roles for the New York Jets defense since entering the league in 2017, including lining up for at least 400 snaps at free safety, 200 snaps in the box and 125 snaps at slot corner in each of the last two seasons.

Maye played a more traditional free safety role when the Jets had Jamal Adams on the roster, but he’s even stepped into an Adams-caliber versatile role this season. He can make plays at the catch point, ranking among the league’s best at breaking up passes when targeted, and he’s been solid against the run. Maye does his best work as a traditional free safety, capable of playing both single- and two-high looks, though he is versatile enough to line up all over the defense, making him one of the most coveted safeties on the market.He finished the regular season with the No. 4 overall grade among safeties at 82.8.

Contract Analysis: The Jets shipped Adams off to the Seattle Seahawks for multiple first-round picks, and the play of Marcus Maye was a big reason why they felt comfortable doing so. Maye doesn’t have the ceiling Adams has, but he’s a similarly versatile and talented player, logging snaps all over the defense.

Prediction: Jets sign Maye for four years, $60M ($15M APY): $28.5M total guaranteed, $20M fully guaranteed at signing.

23. S John Johnson III

Johnson has fallen off the free-agent radar a bit after an injury-plagued 2019 season, but make no mistake, he’s an elite safety when healthy. His greatest contribution is also the most important one, as he’s a truly dominant cover safety when called upon. His 85.6 coverage grade ranked fourth among safeties during the regular season, marking the third time in four seasons he was at or above 84.9.

Now that new Rams DC Brandon Staley has gotten his defensive identity established, Johnson is on a tear to close his contract year. Johnson is PFF’s third-highest-graded safety, with an 85.6 grade on the season.

Contract Analysis: The Rams have signaled rather strongly that although Johnson is a special player, they know they can’t afford to keep him around long-term. L.A. drafted two safeties in last year’s draft, both capable of playing free or strong safety, just like Johnson. Third-round pick Terrell Burgess primarily played strong safety at Utah opposite Indianapolis Colts rookie standout Julian Blackmon, but he has experience at both spots. And the Rams’ sixth-round pick out of Ohio State, safety Jordan Fuller, has also spent time at both spots. These picks are in addition to 2019 second-round pick Taylor Rapp — yet another versatile safety who can play down in the box or covering the deep-third if necessary. Long story short, the writing may be on the wall for a cap-strapped Rams team.

Prediction: Rams sign Johnson for four years, $52M ($13M APY): $25M total guaranteed, $16.5M fully guaranteed at signing.

24. WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

JuJu Smith-Schuster is going to hit free agency having just turned 24 years old because of how young he was when he entered the NFL before the 2017 season. His exact role and ceiling is still something of an open question. His best season — an 81.8 overall grade in 2018 — came working predominantly inside and when Antonio Brown was the primary threat for the Steelers. Injury robbed us of the chance to see if he could step into Brown’s role and replace that production before the team decided — aided by the emergence of Diontae Johnson, among others — to move him back to the slot for most of his snaps.

There is a lot to like about his game. He is clearly smart, understands coverages and can exploit both man and zone defenses from the slot, as well as having good size, but his projection as a full-time perimeter receiver involved more guesswork, and that’s his biggest battle heading to the negotiating table.

Contract Analysis: Even before the 2020 season began, pundits predicted that Smith-Schuster would be playing his final season in Pittsburgh. With the emergence of Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, that’s now even more of a safe bet.

Prediction: Jets sign Smith-Schuster for four years, $68 million ($17M APY): $35M total guaranteed, $22M fully guaranteed at signing.

25. WR Corey Davis

While Davis may never live up to his No. 5 overall draft status, he has become a reliable No. 2 receiver. His four-year body of work puts him slightly above average when measured by PFF receiving grade, receiving grade against single coverage and yards per route run.

Davis pairs one of the lowest drop rates in the league with one of the lowest catchable-target rates — his 2020 breakout may be more than a mirage. Davis looked the part of a high-volume possession receiver coming out of college, but he works best on the outside running the vertical route tree, and he’s been better than expected at winning in contested situations at the catch point.

Davis may never develop into an all-around route-runner or a dynamic threat after the catch, but if expectations are properly set, he fills the role of a dependable complementary receiver on the outside. Davis' 86.9 regular season grade was by far the best of his career and ranked eighth among all receivers.

Contract Analysis: Davis was supposed to be the high draft pick breakout wide receiver in Tennessee, but A.J. Brown burst onto the scene in 2019 and isn’t looking back. Tennessee will have a hard time retaining Davis, who has earned a solid contract and whose status as the No. 5 overall pick will artificially inflate the value of that contract even further.

Prediction: Football Team signs Davis for four years, $65M ($16.25M APY): $32M total guaranteed, $20M fully guaranteed at signing.

26. C Corey Linsley

Linsley is the best center on the market. He’s been one of the most dependable pivot men in the league since 2014, and he’s been at his best in 2020.

Linsley has been outstanding in pass protection this season, allowing just four pressures on 437 pass-blocking attempts in 2020. He is also a strong run-blocker, ranking in the 84th percentile in the percentage of positively graded blocks and the 85th percentile when it comes to avoiding negatives.

Contract Analysis: The Packers made left tackle David Bakhtiari the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history in the middle of the 2020 season, and that probably closed the book on any Linsley extension in Green Bay. However, PFF’s top-ranked center could be a highly sought-after free agent for teams who want a veteran player to step in and take some of the pressure off a young, developing quarterback.

Prediction: Chargers sign Linsley for three years, $33M ($11M APY): $16.5M total guaranteed, $10M fully guaranteed at signing.

27. CB Mike Hilton

Hilton epitomizes the do-it-all slot corner who can cover in both man and zone, play the run and blitz effectively. The Steelers' scheme allows him to show off all of those skills, and he’s quietly been one of the most valuable corners in the league since 2017. The one concern is his 26 missed tackles over the last two seasons.

Hilton has only played a handful of snaps on the outside since entering the league, so expect him to play in the slot no matter where he lands. However, given the difficult nature of that position, he should be coveted on the open market. Even at just 184 pounds, Hilton is annually among the top corners in defensive stops, highlighting his willingness to stick his nose in against the run as well as his proficiency as a blitzer.

Contract Analysis: Hilton scrapped his way into significant playing time with the Steelers after starting his career by bouncing around practice squads. He’s become a quality cover corner in the slot with the ability to affect the passer on the occasional pass-rush snap. As evidenced by the predictions for all slot cornerbacks, the market didn’t materialize in 2020, and it’s hard to imagine it will in 2021.

Prediction: Steelers sign Hilton for three years, $12M ($4M APY): $4M total guaranteed/fully guaranteed at signing (signing bonus, Steelers don’t guarantee otherwise).

28. EDGE Carl Lawson

Lawson looked like a fourth-round steal in his rookie season after putting up a ridiculous 59 pressures on just 389 rushes. He’s yet to get back to those benchmarks, but he is still a good situational pass-rusher with a limited skill set in the run game.

Contract analysis: Lawson has put together a solid season in the fourth and final year of his rookie contract, already surpassing his previous season-high in snaps with 483 through 12 games. His playing time was up even before the Bengals traded Carlos Dunlap to the Seattle Seahawks, and he’s proven to be consistent against the run and in generating a few pressures a game with his increase in snaps. Cincinnati did initially claim former Falcons edge defender Takkarist McKinley, so they are looking to add pass-rush help. Still, that may not mean they don’t also have plans to keep Lawson around going forward.

Prediction: Bengals sign Lawson for four years, $55 million ($13.75M APY): $30 million total guaranteed, $17.5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

Nov 15, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) throws during warm-ups prior to kickoff against the San Francisco 49ers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

29. QB Jameis Winston

While Winston has been a backup this season, he still has starter potential. He’s graded between 67.0 and 74.0 in every year as a starter, but it’s a roller coaster of emotions that leads to that false sense of consistency. Winston’s volatility is legendary, but that’s the exact type of style that leads to high-end seasons if a team is willing to buy in. At worst, he’s one of the league’s best backups a year from now, but Winston’s aggressive playing style is worth another look to see if that top-end year is in there.

Contract Analysis: Winston was another free agent quarterback who lasted all the way through the 2020 offseason, even coming off a season in which he led the NFL in passing yards with 5,109. Volume stats are, of course, not everything, and Winston had 30 interceptions to go along with his 30 touchdowns, but the former No. 1 overall pick signed a deal with the New Orleans Saints for a base value of just $1.1 million. The 2019 passing leader is now sitting behind Taysom Hill, who had 78 passing yards against the Broncos this past Sunday.

Prediction: Colts sign Winston for one-year, $5 million.

30. Edge Jadeveon Clowney

Just like any free agent signing, the key is understanding what a player is bringing to the table. Clowney has elite tools, but he’s never been an elite pass-rusher, as he has posted a pass-rushing grade in the 70s in each of the last three years and a 69.6 mark in 2020. The sack totals will fluctuate from year to year, so don’t let that change the narrative: Clowney is a good, not great, pass-rusher. He does his best work in the run game, using those elite tools and heavy hands to win at the point of attack. Since entering the league, Clowney is a 95th percentile run defender and a 77th percentile pass-rusher, so his future team should expect similar snap-to-snap production at this point.

Contract Analysis: Clowney’s offseason rollercoaster was a lot more interesting than anything he’s done during the season so far, and it looks like we may once again be in for a prolonged saga awaiting his team for 2021. There’s probably a decent chance that a wide chasm again exists between what Clowney thinks he’s worth and what NFL teams are willing to pay, but he did have at least four suitors we know of the last time around, so there’s always a market for the former No. 1 overall pick.

Prediction: Titans sign Clowney for one-year, $13 million, fully guaranteed at signing.

31. TE Jonnu Smith

Smith’s calling card in the NFL has been his work after the catch, where he has averaged 6.8 yards after the catch per reception over his career.

In 2019, he broke 14 tackles on just 41 receptions to average 7.5 yards after the catch per reception as part of the vastly improved Titans offense with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. His threat is less of a secret to NFL teams in 2020, and he has found it a little more difficult to escape for big plays, but he still finished with a career-high 75.2 PFF grade.

Smith has yet to be a high-volume target in the offense — his career-high in targets over a season is still just 63. A more prominent role that taps into Smith’s receiving skills could lead to a big increase from Smith’s career-highs of 41 catches and 448 receiving yards.

Smith will be an enticing prospect for a team with a major need at tight end that will look to scale up his opportunity and see a corresponding jump in his impact on the offense. Smith’s blocking is the weaker area of his game, but that has become less of an issue for the position as the years have gone by.

Contract Analysis: Smith will be a valuable commodity this offseason, as the 2020 campaign illustrated just how hard it is to find a dynamic athlete at tight end. Tennessee will want to retain him, but they’re going to have a very difficult time doing so.

Prediction: Jaguars sign Smith for four years, $38 million ($9.5M APY): $20.5M total guaranteed, $15M fully guaranteed at signing.

32. T Russell Okung

The former No. 6 overall pick of the Seattle Seahawks has more than lived up to the billing. Now in his 11th season and on his fourth team, Okung hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down when healthy. Over the last three years, Okung ranks as a slightly above-average pass-blocker and an above-average run-blocker, and he remains a valuable player at an important position.

Okung was traded from the Los Angeles Chargers to the Carolina Panthers before the 2020 season and has filled in seamlessly when he’s been available.

The veteran has earned a pass-blocking grade above 70.0 — with five grades above 75.0 — in five of the six games he started in 2020. Coincidentally, he’s also recorded a pass-blocking grade of 71.0 or higher — with five grades above 75.0 — over his last six seasons.

Contract Analysis: Okung is now 33 but appears to be one of the many recent stalwart pass-protecting tackles who age very well and play long into their 30s. He was one of the original players in recent years to negotiate his own contract (with help from advisors), so perhaps an unorthodox structure wouldn’t be surprising as his career winds down.

Prediction: Panthers sign Okung for three years, $50 million. ($16.67M APY): $32.5M total guaranteed, $22.5M fully guaranteed at signing.

33. T Alejandro Villanueva

There’s immense value in solid, mid-tier offensive linemen, and that’s exactly what Villanueva has been throughout his career. He’s graded between 74.0 and 82.0 in each of his last five seasons; he ranks in the 54th percentile in PFF pass-blocking grade and the 46th percentile in pass-blocking grade on true pass sets during that time.

There’s a similar level of dependability to Villanueva’s game as a run-blocker. He ranks in the 74th percentile at avoiding negatively graded plays but just the 23rd percentile in positively graded plays. NFL teams must avoid having disastrous options at offensive tackle, and Villanueva’s profile makes him a valuable asset.

Contract Analysis: Villanueva has had a remarkable NFL career after serving in the U.S. military, going undrafted and then working his way to becoming one of the league’s best left tackles. Nevertheless, the Steelers will have a very tough time retaining Villanueva after pushing all their chips in on 2020. We wouldn’t be surprised if Villanueva, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Bud Dupree are all playing elsewhere in 2021, purely for salary cap reasons.

Prediction: Chargers sign Villanueva for three years, $45 million ($15M APY): $30M total guaranteed, $20M fully guaranteed at signing.

34. QB Cam Newton

Outside of Newton’s 2015 MVP season in which he graded at 86.5 overall, he’s been a mid-level passer with the added upside of what he brings to the run game. Newton is a monster in short yardage, and an effective offense can be built around that skillset. However, the 2015 season is far more of an outlier than the norm at this point, and Newton’s accuracy and decision making limit his potential in the passing game. He has two top-10 finishes in PFF quarterback rankings in his 10 years in the league.

Contract Analysis: Newton was available for the entirety of the 2020 offseason until the Patriots swooped in at the last moment to offer him a one-year deal with a base value of just $1.75 million. Newton’s injuries were the primary obstacle keeping teams at bay, and although his 2020 campaign has been far from perfect, he’s third among all quarterbacks with 94 rushing attempts through Week 12 (trailing only Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray).

He may not be the MVP-caliber quarterback he once was, but he’s made it clear he still deserves to play in this league. There have been some rough outings, but given his circumstances (new team, truncated offseason, worst WR/TE group in the NFL, contracting COVID-19) he has also performed admirably for stretches of games.

Prediction: Bengals sign Newton to a fully guaranteed one-year, $5 million contract.

35. QB Andy Dalton

Dalton finished 24th in PFF grade among quarterbacks with at least 150 dropbacks in 2020, and that’s about where he stands in today’s landscape of NFL signal-callers. He is one of the league’s best backups and can start if needed, but he disappointed with three PFF game grades under 55.0 for the Cowboys this season. Over the course of his career, Dalton has been a mid-tier starter who can produce with an excellent supporting cast, and that general premise still applies to him, albeit in a backup role.

Contract Analysis: Dalton signed a one-year, $3 million deal to return to the Dallas area and serve as the backup to Dak Prescott, but he was thrust into a starting role in the middle of Week 5. To make matters more interesting, future Hall of Fame left tackle Tyron Smith and starting right tackle La’el Collins were not available for a single snap with Dalton. He did his best to keep the ship afloat and certainly proved he could make a great backup for a team going forward, but odds are his days of starting in the NFL are very much over.

Prediction: Broncos sign Dalton for two years, $10 million: $8 million total guaranteed, $6 million fully guaranteed at signing.

36. CB Shaquill Griffin

A former third-round pick from the 2017 NFL Draft, Shaquill Griffin has been a starter for the Seahawks pretty much from Day 1, but it wasn’t until 2019 that the team really started to see plus play from him. That year, he posted a PFF grade of 78.0, and though he didn’t have any interceptions, he did record 13 pass breakups. He hasn’t managed to replicate that level of play this season, but he has been dealing with injuries and has still flashed high-end play, like against Miami where he didn’t allow a single reception all game long.

Griffin is one of two Seattle cornerbacks set to hit free agency (Quinton Dunbar), and both have dealt with injury issues for most of the year. After a 2019 season in which Griffin registered a 77.0 defensive grade and 76.0 coverage grade, he slid to 64.1 and 63.6, respectively, in 2020.

Contract Analysis: Healthy once again and with playoff football on the horizon, perhaps Shaquill Griffin can turn things around before free agency. He got off to a good start in that regard with a solid performance against the Eagles in Week 12; more of the same could change the narrative in a hurry before the season is over.

Prediction: Seahawks sign Griffin for three years, $28.5 million ($9.5M APY): $15.5M total guaranteed, $8M fully guaranteed at signing.

37. LB Matt Milano

Milano has developed into a modern-day linebacker. He has the 11th-best coverage grade among linebackers since 2018, he’s been excellent matching up with running backs in single coverage and he’s held his own when asked to line up over the slot.

Milano’s tackling has been an issue, as he missed 36 over 2018 and 2019, and that adds up to a below-average run defender since entering the league. However, the coverage value makes Milano an intriguing option given the importance of being able to match up with opposing offensive weapons.

Contract Analysis: Milano showed he can be one of the better coverage linebackers in the NFL in 2018 and 2019, and his skill set fits well alongside 2018 first-round LB Tremaine Edmunds — a rangier, sideline-to-sideline linebacker with pass-rush ability. Injuries have limited Milano in 2020 so far, but his absence has also perhaps exposed a leaky Bills defense when he’s not available.

Prediction: Bills sign Milano for four years, $45 million ($11.25M APY): $20M total guaranteed, $15M fully guaranteed at signing.

Sep 20, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) runs with the ball in the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lucas Oil Stadium. Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

38. WR T.Y. Hilton

Hilton is not the same big-play threat he once was, but he’s settled in as more of an efficient chain-mover over the past two years. Forty-two of his 56 receptions went for either a first down or a touchdown in 2020, and he has just six drops on his past 101 catchable passes. Hilton had the No. 13 grade on intermediate (10-19 yard) passes last season, and that’s where he provides the most value going forward as a complementary threat. 

Contract Analysis: Hilton finished out the regular season of his contract year with a bang, scoring four touchdowns and posting five straight games with at least 60 receiving yards from Week 12 to Week 16. He had no touchdowns and only one outing with 60 receiving yards over the first 11 weeks, so generating some flashy generic stats was important for him down the stretch.

Prediction: Colts sign Hilton for three years, $28.5 million ($9.5M APY): $18 million total guaranteed, $10 million fully guaranteed at signing.

39. DI Dalvin Tomlinson

Tomlinson has a distinct profile as an above-average run defender and a below-average pass-rusher. He ranks in the 82nd percentile in PFF run-defense grade since 2017, and he knows how to finish plays — generating one of the best run-stop percentages in the league. As a pass-rusher, Tomlinson has only graded above 62.3 once — 74.7 this past season. He can play all over the defensive interior and represents one of the best run-stopping nose tackles in this class.

Contract Analysis: The Green Bay Packers were reportedly sending offers for Tomlinson at the trade deadline, but the Giants didn’t want to part ways with a player they envision as an important part of their future. Tomlinson and 2019 first-round pick Dexter Lawrence could form a formidable tandem on the defensive interior for years to come.

Prediction: Giants sign Tomlinson for four years, $52.5 million ($13.125M APY): $26.5 million total guaranteed, $16.5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

40. T Daryl Williams

Daryl Williams is having a career-reviving season in Buffalo after signing a one-year, $2.25 million deal this offseason following a disappointing 2019 campaign with the Carolina Panthers. Williams was recovering from a torn right MCL and dislocated patella that knocked him out of the 2018 season, and perhaps that helps in part to explain his struggles. The issue for potential suitors is that he has just two high-end seasons under his belt as a pass protector through six years in the league. It took him three seasons to show the talent the Panthers were convinced was there before injuries derailed his career until his 2020 rebound season. His peak is very high, but it’s a gamble for any team to chase it. 

Contract Analysis: Bills general manager Brandon Beane was the assistant general manager in Carolina in 2015 when the Panthers made Williams their fourth-round selection, and the reunion has been a huge success for both parties. One could make a case that Daryl Williams is on one of the best value contracts in the NFL this season. He was originally drafted to block for Cam Newton, and with Josh Allen having a similar playing style, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see Beane lock up Williams for a few more years. 

Prediction: Bills sign Williams for three years, $31.5 million ($10.5M APY): $18.75 million total guaranteed, $15 million fully guaranteed at signing.

41. CB Troy Hill

A player who has earned impressive PFF grades dating back to his college career, Troy Hill displayed versatility in 2020 by moving inside to cover the slot after previously playing primarily on the outside. Hill has high-end play under his belt at the NFL level, but he plays at his best when protected from the most physically imposing receivers in the league — something the Rams have been equipped to do since acquiring Jalen Ramsey. A move to the slot also better facilitates that. Hill can be a solid No. 2 or 3 cornerback.

Hill’s 546 snaps in the slot in 2020 are more than he played in five seasons from 2015-19 combined. Hill has produced coverage grades of 73.0 or better in three of his last four seasons, and his versatility could be appealing to a handful of teams looking for a solid veteran piece in the secondary.

Prediction: Rams sign Hill for two years, $10.5 million ($5.25M APY): $7.25 million total guaranteed, $5.25 million fully guaranteed at signing.

42. CB Chidobe Awuzie

After earning a coverage grade that ranks right in the middle of the league’s corners since 2017, Awuzie epitomizes the league-average cornerback. He’s done his best work in zone coverage, ranking in the 61st percentile in PFF grade, but he’s in just the 35th percentile in single coverage. That matches our scouting report of Awuzie coming out of college, where he looked like an excellent fit in a zone scheme, and that’s likely his best bet once again as he hits free agency.

Contract Analysis: The Cowboys prioritized Dontari Poe, Everson Griffen and Gerald McCoy over retaining CB Byron Jones this past offseason. All three players are no longer on the roster, and Dallas has one of the worst defenses in NFL history. Dallas must now realize they have to invest in coverage to get this unit back on track, just like Miami did with Byron Jones.

Prediction: Cowboys sign Awuzie for three years, $27M ($9M APY): $15.5M total guaranteed, $10M fully guaranteed at signing.

43. WR Curtis Samuel

Perhaps one of the more under-the-radar storylines of the entire 2020 season is Curtis Samuel’s rebirth in Carolina under new head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady. When Carolina signed speedster Robby Anderson this offseason, some thought it could spell the end of Samuel’s time in Carolina. He’s long been rumored in trades as he approaches the end of his rookie contract, but his 2020 campaign changes the situation entirely. Samuel and Anderson really aren’t very similar in their playing styles, and Joe Brady has accentuated Samuel’s strengths in an impressive fashion. 

Contract Analysis: Samuel has shifted inside to the slot, and he’s also had at least one rushing attempt in every game this season. His 2020 average depth of target of 6.2 yards through Week 12 is a massive drop-off from his 2019 average depth of target mark of 15.1 yards. As a result, Samuel’s game is starting to resemble another second-round wide receiver with the last name Samuel: Deebo Samuel of the San Francisco 49ers. Both players look like running backs in the open field when they get the ball near or behind the line of scrimmage, flashing a physical, downhill nature in their efforts after the catch. Samuel has excelled in his new role and could have an opportunity to finish the season on a tear with D.J. Moore expected to miss some time.

Prediction: Giants sign Samuel for three years, $25 million ($8.33M APY): $15 million total guaranteed, $10 million fully guaranteed at signing.

44. RB Aaron Jones

Jones is one of the league’s best running backs, but like all backs, he is heavily dependent on his environment. Jones has been running behind an impressive offensive line and catching passes from Aaron Rodgers, neither of which may be true with his next team.

Jones has four straight seasons with a PFF rushing grade of 79.0 or higher, and he ranks fourth in receiving grade among running backs since the start of the 2019 season, behind only Austin Ekeler, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara, each of whom has had a big payday in large part because of that skill.

Jones is a well-rounded threat at the position and a player with little in the way of weaknesses. He has also been kept relatively fresh by Green Bay’s use of a committee approach to their backfield, so should still have tread left on the tires.

Contract Analysis: Jones watched this offseason as fellow 2017 draftees Joe Mixon ($12M APY), Dalvin Cook ($12.6M APY), Alvin Kamara ($15M APY) and Christian McCaffrey ($16M APY) signed huge deals. Green Bay was smart to hold off, and we’d be surprised if Jones is a Packer in 2021.

Prediction: Dolphins sign Jones for four years, $46 million ($11.5M APY): $25 million total guaranteed, $15.5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

45. Edge Yannick Ngakoue

It’s all about setting proper expectations and carving out a role for Ngakoue, who has been a good, not great, pass-rusher throughout his career. He excels from wide alignments where he can threaten the edge and has the inside counters to keep offensive tackles off balance. Since 2017, Ngakoue has the eighth-best pass-rush grade in the league when rushing from wide alignments (89.1), but he grades out at just 68.3 from all other defensive line alignments. When combining that with a history of well below-average run-defense grades (he peaked with a 59.0 grade in 2018), Ngakoue has a limited skill set compared to other top edge defenders around the league.

Ngakoue’s best role is as a designated pass-rusher on a team with strong interior rushers and in a scheme where he can stay on the outside while limiting his work in the run game.

Contract Analysis: Eventually, a team that trades for Ngakoue has to pay him, right? Ngakoue shouldn’t be too confident in that happening, as Baltimore let Za’Darius Smith walk after 2018 and couldn’t come to terms with Matthew Judon this past offseason. They’re not afraid of losing edge rushers.

Prediction: Giants sign Ngakoue for four years, $70 million ($17.5M APY): $40 million total guaranteed, $30 million fully guaranteed at signing.

46. DI Shelby Harris

One of the most underrated players in the league, Harris has been an above-average player since starting to see significant playing time in 2017. The former seventh-rounder wins with good pad level and quickness in the running game and ranks in the top third of the league in run-stop percentage since 2018. Harris has also been one of the league’s best pass-rushers since 201,8 with the only reservations being that he has only two seasons with more than 500 snaps (636 in 2019, 516 in 2017). 

Contract Analysis: Denver signed interior defender Mike Purcell to an extension during the 2020 season after drafting McTelvin Agim in the third round and trading for Jurrell Casey from the Titans. The Broncos also drafted Dre’Mont Jones in the third round in 2019. All of this is to say, even though Harris is having a great 2020 season, he may be the odd man out on the defensive interior; it appears Denver planned accordingly.

Prediction: Cardinals sign Harris for three years, $33.375 million ($11.125M APY). 

47. WR Marvin Jones Jr.

Kenny Golladay is not the only Lions wide receiver headed to free agency, but the team won’t be as hard-pressed to retain Jones, who will be 31 years old before the 2021 league year begins on March 17. Jones has been incredibly consistent, grading between 71.0 and 76.0 in each of his last six seasons. Jones is still a capable Z wide receiver on the outside opposite a true X, but he has also seen his snaps from the slot increase steadily each season, which could perhaps make him more attractive to potential suitors if there are concerns about his game not aging well.

Jones has solid hands (only dropped more than four passes once in a season) and some juice after the catch. He should still be a capable addition to a lot of receiving corps in the league. He isn’t a true mismatch weapon or a No. 1 receiver, but he can still provide a lot of value.

Prediction: Browns sign Jones for three years, $27 million ($9M APY): $16.5 million total guaranteed, $12.5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

48. TE Gerald Everett

Gerald Everett is an athletic move tight end who has taken advantage of his role within the Rams’ offense to put up some solid numbers in a limited workload. He has averaged more than 5.0 yards after the catch in his career and broken 30 tackles on 130 catches in his career. Given his age and upside, as well as his relatively small workload throughout his NFL career, he could be an intriguing option for a team looking to get more athletic at the position and expand its passing game options.

Contract Analysis: The Rams extended tight end Tyler Higbee in 2019 before extending both Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods this past offseason. Whatever Everett signs for, it’s doubtful the Rams will be the team that offers it.

Prediction: Bengals sign Everett for three years, $15 million ($5M APY).

49. CB Brian Poole

At 5-foot-9, Brian Poole very much fits the mold of a slot cornerback at the NFL level, and he has always been solid in that role. Since moving to the Jets, he has been better than solid, posting one of the highest PFF coverage grades from the slot over the past two seasons. He has allowed just one touchdown and a passer rating of under 70.0 when targeted over that stretch. There are more spectacular players around the NFL, but Poole has proven to be an impressively consistent and solid defender in one of the most undervalued positions in the league.

Contract Analysis: The Jets inking Poole to a one-year, $5 million contract for 2020 was one of the better value signings across the NFL, as he was playing some really good football before heading to injured reserve with shoulder and knee ailments. Following consecutive one-year flier deals from the Jets, Poole will look to cash in on a multi-year extension.

Prediction: Jets sign Poole for three years, $18 million ($6M APY): $11.5 million total guaranteed, $7 million fully guaranteed at signing.

50. CB Xavier Woods

Woods entered the league as a versatile safety with slot coverage skills and a sixth-round draft steal as he’s developed into a solid free safety. He ranks in the middle of the pack from a coverage standpoint when lined up deep, but he’s been excellent when lined up closer to the line of scrimmage, making him a good fit for teams that play with interchangeable safeties. He can still dabble in the slot at times, and the Cowboys are doing more of that in 2020, but it hasn’t been Woods’ strong suit to this point in his NFL career. His four season grades have ranged from 65.0 to 73.0.

Contract Analysis: This much talent at one position could have the effect of suppressing contracts for everyone. Or, particularly because of the salary cap situation in 2021, it could have the effect of eroding the middle-tier market. Teams may decide that unless they can land a premier free safety who is an impact player, they might as well just go to the bargain bin and sign a cheap veteran. For this reason, Woods’ next contract could truly fall within a very wide range.

Prediction: Cowboys sign Woods to a four-year, $25 million extension ($6.25M APY).

Sep 13, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) throws during the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

51. QB Tyrod Taylor

Penciled in as the Los Angeles Chargers’ starting quarterback this season, Tyrod Taylor lasted a game before a doctor inadvertently punctured his lung when administering a painkilling injection meant to help him battle through injured ribs. That thrust Justin Herbert into the lineup, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Taylor now hits free agency again, with the last signs of his best play even further in the rear-view mirror.

His one game this season saw him earn a 60.7 PFF game grade, and you have to go back to 2017 for his last solid stretch of starting play. That said, it’s hard to completely ignore three years where he was a very capable, if flawed, starter for the Bills. He’s likely a backup at this point — but a good one, which is valuable.

Contract Analysis: Taylor had an opportunity to start at the beginning of the season and demonstrate why he’s earned several top-of-market backup quarterback contracts, with the potential to earn another. A mistake by the Chargers’ medical staff vaulted Justin Herbert into a starting role, and he never looked back. If a team is looking for a good mentor to a young quarterback, it’s hard to argue with Taylor’s track record helping out Baker Mayfield and now Justin Herbert in consecutive stops.

Prediction: Football Team signs Taylor for two years, $10 million. $5 million total guaranteed, $5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

52. CB Quinton Dunbar

Following a trade from the Washington Football Team this past offseason, Dunbar was hoping to repeat a dominant 2019 on a more competitive team and cash in big time in 2021. The former wide receiver turned cornerback has gotten off to a tough start in Seattle, though he had been dealing with nagging injuries all season until he was finally placed on IR in Week 11.

His 397 snaps are the second-most in a season in his career. Any team looking to sign Dunbar is banking on a relatively young player at the position getting back to his excellent 2019 form.

Prediction: Seahawks sign Dunbar for two years, $12 million ($6M APY): $9.5M total guaranteed, $7.5M fully guaranteed at signing.

53. LB Jayon Brown

Another undersized, modern-day linebacker, Brown has earned the 10th-best coverage grade in the league since 2018. His profile is eerily similar to Matt Milano's — they're plus coverage players, below-average run defenders and both have a fifth-round pedigree.

The one difference is stylistic, as Milano has done his best work when lined up in single coverage while Brown has performed best in zone. Brown also has the fourth-best forced incompletion percentage since 2017, so he will get his hands on the ball in the middle of the field.

Contract Analysis: Tennessee also has to make a decision on the fifth-year option for 2018 first-round LB Rashaan Evans this offseason, which may influence whether the Titans keep Brown around. Brown is a bright spot on a defense that struggles mightily in coverage, but, unfortunately, a dislocated and fractured elbow suffered in Week 11 against the Baltimore Ravens could impact his negotiations. While no two players are the same, Chicago Bears LB Danny Trevathan suffered the same injury to the same elbow in Week 10 of 2019 and he was ready to go by Week 1 of 2020 with a new contract extension of his own.

Prediction: Titans sign Brown for four years, $47.5M ($11.875M APY): $22.5M total guaranteed, $17.5M fully guaranteed at signing.

54. Edge Melvin Ingram III

Ingram’s second contract went a lot better than his first in terms of his level of play. Once seen as a first-round disappointment, Ingram blossomed into an extremely effective NFL pass-rusher only enhanced by the arrival of Joey Bosa to the Chargers‘ defensive front.

Ingram racked up three straight seasons with 70 or more total pressures before injury broke that streak, and 2020 featured the best PFF pass-rushing grade he has posted since 2017, even if the sacks never materialized.

Ingram is a productive pass-rusher, but he was limited to just 361 snaps this season. And at this point in his career, he isn’t going to be the primary source of pass rush for anything other than a bad pass-rushing football team. Teams that already have that primary stud up front could dramatically improve their rush with the addition of Ingram as a second threat, however.

Contract Analysis: Ingram briefly held out of training camp before the season, presumably looking for an extension of some kind. But after making Bosa the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, the Chargers were only willing to guarantee Ingram’s 2020 salary and not add any years onto his deal. Injuries kept him out of the Chargers’ final six games, and he appeared in just seven games total in 2020.

Prediction: Lions sign Ingram for two years, $20M ($10M APY): $16M total guaranteed, $14M fully guaranteed at signing.

55. Edge Bud Dupree

Dupree broke out with a 77.7 overall grade in 2019, good for 23rd among edge rushers. That marked trampled his previous performances, which ranged from 44.4 (2015) to 62.6 (2016) overall, and he came back down to Earth here in 2020 with a 60.2 overall grade prior to a season-ending injury.

The key with Dupree is not to get caught up in the sack totals, particularly this season, as most of his sacks have come down to quarterbacks holding the ball for way too long. Dupree does play hard, and his high motor allows him to get in several hustle plays and clean-up sacks, but high-end pass-rushers should be winning one-on-one against offensive tackles far more often than Dupree has shown over his career.

Given Pittsburgh’s blitz-happy scheme and supporting talent combined with Dupree’s mediocre career grades and subsequent injury, he’s a buyer-beware candidate on the open market.

Contract Analysis: Pittsburgh chose to let Bud Dupree walk in free agency the minute they extended defensive lineman Cameron Heyward before the 2020 season. Soon enough, T.J. Watt could be looking for the first $30M APY contract for a defensive player in NFL history, and the odds are that he’ll be worth it. Unfortunately for Dupree, a torn ACL in Week 12 may limit his options to one-year prove-it deals.

Prediction: Colts sign Dupree for one year, $10 million ($10M APY): $7.5M total guaranteed/fully guaranteed at signing.

56. TE Rob Gronkowski

It’s deceiving to have Gronkowski on any free agent list, as he’s made it clear he wants to play with Tom Brady alone, so expect a Bucs reunion if Gronkowski returns in 2021. He’s no longer the Hall of Fame-caliber tight end he once was, but Gronkowski is still a versatile blocker and a capable receiving threat. He has enough tools to threaten the defense up the seam or in the red zone, and he’s a necessary complementary threat that pairs well with the Bucs’ strong receiving corps.

Contract Analysis: Gronkowski likely has a list of teams that is one (1) team long, so there’s not much excitement here. Rob & Tom Take Tampa 2 (no pun intended).

Prediction: Buccaneers sign Gronkowski for one year, $10 million: $10 million fully guaranteed at signing.

Sep 27, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson (32) rushes against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field. Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

57. RB Chris Carson

You will find few harder-running backs than Chris Carson, and that play style has led to him having some of the most consistent PFF rushing grades of any back in the league during his career. He hasn’t had a rushing grade below 75.0 or above 81.0 in four years and has always maximized his yardage. In each season of his career, he has gained at least three yards per carry after contact, topping out with 3.63 yards on average in 2019 — a season in which he broke 62 tackles including the playoffs.

Carson may not possess the receiving skill set of other backs, but he has been bucking that trend in 2020, already bettering two of his previous three seasons in terms of receiving first downs and soon to set a new career-high in that area. While Carson wasn’t a high draft pick, he has been one of the better players at his position since entering the NFL.

Contract Analysis: Chris Carson has had as strong of a start to his career as possible after being selected 249th overall in 2017 (26th running back taken). Nevertheless, Seattle drafted Rashaad Penny in the first round in 2018 and added DeeJay Dallas in the fourth round in 2020, which could signal they’re looking to replace Carson — not retain him. 

Prediction: Bills sign Carson for three years, $27 million ($9M APY): $15 million total guaranteed, $10 million fully guaranteed at signing.

58. EDGE Leonard Floyd

Floyd has been a solid player for the majority of his career, and 2020 was no different. However, don’t get caught up in career-highs in both pressures and sacks, as Floyd has posted pass-rush grades in the 60s in four of his five years in the league — including this past season. He’s an above-average run defender and is good in coverage, where he’s played over 100 snaps in each of the past three years. But the key for Floyd’s market will be expectations where he is more of a complementary pass-rusher than a “10-sack guy.” 

Contract Analysis: Leonard Floyd’s 2020 offseason featured the rare situation where a team exercised its first-round pick’s fifth-year option but then rescinded the contract before it vested to a fully guaranteed deal (the new collective bargaining agreement removed the ability for teams to do this going forward). The Chicago Bears and Floyd couldn’t agree on a multi-year extension, so he reunited in Los Angeles with his former position coach in Chicago — Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley. It was quite a reunion for both, and Floyd is back on the market looking for a long-term deal.

Prediction: Seattle signs Floyd for three years, $40 million ($13.33M APY): $22.5 million total guaranteed, $13.5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

59. EDGE Trey Hendrickson

Of all the players in the free-agent pool, Hendrickson may have made himself the most money here in 2020. His career started with three years of average grades, but he’s getting after the quarterback at a high rate — and the NFL is noticing. Hendrickson was an outstanding player in college at Florida Atlantic, posting back-to-back years of 90.0-plus pass-rush grades. He then showed off his athleticism with above-average marks in the 40-yard dash, three-cone drill and broad jump at the NFL combine, giving him an intriguing profile of production and movement skills. It’s important not to completely overrate his sack totals this season, but Hendrickson has ranked as a mid-level pass-rusher and run defender in his four years in the league.

Contract Analysis: The Saints’ 2017 draft class is one of the best in recent history on a per-player basis, with Hendrickson their fifth selection at No. 103 overall in the third round. With Marshon Lattimore, Ryan Ramczyk, Marcus Williams and Alvin Kamara becoming almost immediate high-level contributors, Hendrickson’s name got lost in the shuffle. This is in part because the following year in 2018, the Saints traded up in the first round for edge rusher Marcus Davenport, and both players primarily line up as a defensive end on the right side of the line opposite Cameron Jordan

Davenport has battled injuries his whole career, which has provided an opportunity for Hendrickson to see increased playing time. He’s made the most of it, and he’s currently tied for first in the NFL in sacks (10) through Week 12.

Prediction: Bills sign Hendrickson for four years, $45 million ($11.25M APY): $25 million total guaranteed, $20 million fully guaranteed at signing.

60. WR Nelson Agholor

It’s been a career of inconsistency for Agholor, who has been good in two of his five years with three other seasons being marred by dropped passes and disappointing production. However, Agholor was an excellent slot receiver for the Eagles in 2017, as Philadelphia quarterbacks had a 114.5 passer rating when targeting him. 

His 2020 campaign with Las Vegas has netted similar production, albeit in a different role. Agholor has become a legitimate downfield threat for the Raiders, posting career-highs in yards, and touchdowns while dwarfing his career yards per reception numbers with a 17.9 mark. The question is whether Agholor can sustain his success, and that question is better asked of him in a complementary role rather than a feature one.

Contract Analysis: These flash-in-the-pan players like Agholor can be hard to project, as he’s a former first-round pick coming off a 900-yard, eight-touchdown season. However, Agholor still had nine drops on his 82 targets, which earned him a 31.7 drop grade (109th of 115 wide receivers with at least 30 targets). 

Prediction: Raiders sign Agholor for two years, $15 million ($7.5M APY): $9 million total guaranteed, $7 million fully guaranteed at signing.

61. CB Xavier Rhodes

By the end of his time with the Minnesota Vikings, Xavier Rhodes looked absolutely cooked. Yet, this season showed how much of that was due to injury and being hung out to dry when not 100% healthy.

In his first season with the Colts, Rhodes bounced back to his best form and, if anything, had a career year. He allowed only 50% of passes thrown his way to be caught, down more than 30 percentage points from last season, and throwing into his coverage generated a 79.2 passer rating, down 50 points from last year.

Rhodes isn’t all that young anymore, but he showed in 2020 he can be a high-level corner if he plays healthy.

Contract Analysis: Rhodes’ play fell off a cliff in 2019 after a strong start to his career, and odds are that he’s best suited in a zone-heavy coverage scheme going forward. But that’s not all bad, as he excelled in a defense that left him on an island far less often. His 2020 prove-it deal had a base value of $3 million, and he demonstrated that he’s deserving of another (more substantial) contract before it’s all said and done.

Prediction: Colts sign Rhodes for three years, $24 million ($8M APY): $14.5 million total guaranteed, $8.5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

62. CB Ronald Darby

It’s been an odd career for Darby, who has now had productive seasons for three different teams in his six NFL seasons. The problems in between have been injuries and ineffectiveness, and 2020 is the first season in which Darby has played at least 600 snaps since 2016. He’s best in man coverage, where he has the speed and shiftiness to hang with a variety of receivers. Darby has graded in the 92nd percentile in single coverage since entering the league. 

The knock on Darby has always been a lack of interceptions, both in college and in the NFL; he has just eight in his career. But for man-heavy teams looking to make life difficult on outside receivers, he is worth another look as he hits free agency for the third straight season.

Contract Analysis: Darby signed a pseudo-one-year deal with the Eagles in 2019 that had voidable years tacked on, and after he endured the worst season of his career following a torn ACL, Philadelphia indeed moved on. Another prove-it deal of $3 million from the Washington Football Team went much better for Darby, and now he’s poised to hit the market at a high point. After six full seasons in the NFL, Darby still only just turned 27 years old on Jan. 2. 

Prediction: Washington signs Darby for three years, $30 million ($10M APY): $16.5 million total guaranteed, $10 million fully guaranteed at signing.

Dec 15, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins (14) celebrates with wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) after converting a two-point conversion against Denver Broncos linebacker A.J. JohnsonÊ(45) during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

63. WR Sammy Watkins

Once looking like a future star, Watkins has leveled off as a complementary receiver over the past few years. He’s never gotten back to his career-high 89.8 grade in 2015, though he posted solid grades between 69.0 and 74.0 from 2016 to 2019 across three different teams. Watkins’ 64.4 overall grade in 2020 is the lowest of his career, though he always seems good for a couple of dominant games per season, and last year it showed up at the right time during the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run. 

Contract Analysis: Watkins agreed to an incentive-laden pay cut before the 2020 season to run it back with the Chiefs for another shot at a Super Bowl. Otherwise, Kansas City would have moved on from the receiver it originally signed to a three-year, $48 million deal back in 2018. 

Watkins was the top wide receiver on the market that year, with Allen Robinson II coming off a torn ACL being the next best available. 

Watkins won’t have that same luck this time, as he’s way down the list of top free-agent wide receivers. Nevertheless, the former No. 4 overall pick is still a serviceable player when healthy and will be only 28 years old. 

Prediction: Ravens sign Watkins for three years, $30 million ($10M APY): $21 million total guaranteed, $16.5 million fully guaranteed at signing

64. CB Jason Verrett

The San Francisco 49ers kept rolling the dice on an injured Jason Verrett, and they finally got the payoff in 2020 of a healthy season from a player whose talent level has always been unquestioned.

Verrett played 803 snaps this season — a career-high — and allowed a mere 76.3 passer rating in a season of huge offensive production. He allowed just 8.9 yards per reception and one touchdown all season, playing his first significant snaps since at least 2016. 

Any team will have to be conscious of the injury risk, but Verrett is still under 30 years old and has intriguing upside play at the position.

Contract Analysis: Though Verrett has been great in San Francisco this season, he played fewer than 350 snaps total in the prior three seasons combined. It takes only one team, however. 

Prediction: 49ers sign Verrett for two years, $10 million ($5M APY): $5 million total guaranteed, $3.5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

65. LB K.J. Wright

Wright has been one of the league's most consistent linebackers over his NFL career, and as he gets toward the end of it, he still provides a lot of value as a solid all-around player at the position. He finished the regular season with the eighth-best overall grade among linebackers at 75.3.

The Seahawks had their annual shock pick in the first round of the NFL draft when they took Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks at 27th overall. And while he’s slowly coming along in a Will linebacker role — which has been Wright’s spot in Seattle for nearly a decade — his presence may not necessarily mean Wright is on the way out.

Contract Analysis: Wright has been solid after transitioning into the strongside linebacker role following Bruce Irvin’s season-ending injury, and it suits him as he gets a bit older. His 59.9 coverage grade in 2019 was his worst since his rookie season in 2011, so playing closer to the line and setting the edge in run defense works for him at this stage of his career. Irvin is also a free agent after the season but is two years older and will be coming off a torn ACL, so perhaps Wright carves out a role in Seattle because he can contribute at either spot going forward.

Prediction: Seattle signs Wright for two years, $12 million ($6M APY): $6 million total guaranteed, $5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

66. QB Mitchell Trubisky

Trubisky’s accuracy has been an issue in his four NFL seasons, and even his best statistical years have been marred by too many missed throws and stats that have been inflated by either scheme or playmakers. He’s graded between 62.0 and 66.4 in every season, with the statistical results fluctuating based on ecosystem and turnover luck. Trubisky does add value with his legs, but he’s likely relegated to a backup role once again. 

Contract Analysis: Trubisky will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Marcus Mariota, another quarterback taken second overall. Mariota signed a two-year, $17.6 million deal with the Las Vegas Raiders that was really a one-year, $7.5 million flier loaded with incentives. It takes only one suitor for a quarterback to find a nice contract, and perhaps there are teams out there that see a worthy reclamation project in Trubisky.

Prediction: Bears sign Trubisky for two years, $15 million (7.5M APY): $8.5 million total guaranteed/fully guaranteed at signing.

67. S Malik Hooker

Hooker has dealt with significant injury after significant injury, and this concern existed even before the 2020 season, which was lost to a torn Achilles. He’s never really provided the intended playmaking ability in the middle of the field, but he’s also played in a Colts scheme that has been heavy on two-high safety coverages. 

Hooker still may be a better fit in a true single-high safety role where he takes good angles on downfield throws. He’s looked out of place when forced into one-on-ones with receivers or when needing to react quickly from two-high alignments. His best season saw him grade at 81.6 in coverage in 2018, though the other 1200 or so snaps have him graded in the mid-60s. He's worth a look in a new system that could get the most out of his downfield playmaking skill set.

Contract Analysis: The Indianapolis Colts were the last team in the NFL to make a decision on their 2017 first-round pick’s fifth-year option, waiting until the very last day to ultimately decline Hooker’s $6.7 million for 2021, which looks smart in hindsight. Hooker will likely need to take a near-minimum “prove-it” deal to get his career back on track. 

Prediction: 49ers sign Hooker for one year, $2 million.

68. C David Andrews

After missing the 2019 season, Andrews bounced back to grade out at 67.7 in 2020, good for 16th among centers. He has now ranked in the top 16 in his past three full seasons, doing his best work in pass protection. He ranks in the 87th percentile in pass-blocking grade on true pass sets since 2015. He did take a step back in that department, posting a career-low 56.4 pass-blocking grade in 2020. In the run game, Andrews has one of the lowest negatively graded play percentages in the league, and that dependability should be valued among a thin group of centers.

Contract Analysis: Andrews missed the 2019 NFL season while dealing with blood clots in his lungs, a frightening condition for the ascending center. His 2020 campaign was very promising considering his health situation, the fact there was no offseason and because Andrews had to learn to play with a new quarterback in Cam Newton. There’s certainly reason for optimism going forward. 

Prediction: Patriots sign Andrews for three years, $18 million ($6M APY): $8 million total guaranteed, $5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

69. QB Jacoby Brissett

Brissett has PFF grades of 62.4 in 2017 and 59.2 in 2019 as a starter, showing that he’s likely a high-end backup. Stylistically, Brissett has landed more on the game manager end of the spectrum, taking good care of the ball but also having a low percentage of big-time throws. When adding some rushing value to the mix, it’s clear that Brissett can be called upon to win a few games, but he hasn’t looked like a quarterback who is capable of carrying a team.

Contract Analysis: Brissett has now had the chance to back up and learn from both Tom Brady and Philip Rivers, so whenever he does get another chance to start somewhere, he should be confident and comfortable in his expansive knowledge of the game. He most likely ends up as a respected journeyman quarterback who can now become a teacher to younger signal-callers. There should still be a decent market for him in that role, similar to that of Case Keenum and Tyrod Taylor.

Prediction: Chargers sign Brissett for two years, $14 million: $8M total guaranteed, $6M fully guaranteed at signing.

70. S Keanu Neal

A former first-round pick, Neal found his home immediately as a traditional strong safety in the Falcons’ Cover 1/Cover 3 scheme. He made an impact from Day 1, flying around the field in the run game and showing good range against underneath routes when playing zone. Unfortunately, injuries limited Neal to just 213 snaps across 2018 and 2019, but he was healthy once again in 2020, grading out at 68.2 overall. Neal is a classic box safety who does his best work around the line of scrimmage and in the middle of the field, and his future team should look for him to play a similar role.

Contract Analysis: Neal is set to hit free agency coming off his $6.466 million fifth-year option in 2020, and he’s fortunate Atlanta stuck by it. He was able to play a full season and provide quality snaps down in the box as well as in the slot, and a versatile safety who lurks near the line of scrimmage could be just what a few teams need this offseason.

Prediction: Texans sign Neal for two years, $10 million ($5M APY): $6 million total guaranteed, $3.5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

71. CB Patrick Peterson

The No. 5 overall pick from 2011 hadn’t shown any signs of slowing down through the 2018 season — his eighth consecutive year playing in all 16 games — but a six-game suspension to start the 2019 season may have provided one explanation. Peterson has struggled against good route-runners, and 2020 has seen him post his worst coverage grade since 2011 to go with a league-high 11 penalties. Recent play shows a below-average corner in both man and zone coverage.

Contract Analysis: Peterson is one of the best cornerbacks to ever play, and while he has lost a step, he’s still a serviceable veteran who opposing quarterbacks think twice about before targeting. 

Prediction: Cardinals sign Peterson for two years, $25M ($12.5M APY): $15M total guaranteed, $12.5M fully guaranteed at signing.

72. C Austin Reiter

Austin Reiter flashed ability in limited playing time early in his career before getting a chance to start in Kansas City, where he has become a quality starter for a championship-caliber team.

Reiter is a better pass blocker than he is in the run game, with PFF grades of at least 78.0 in every season of significant playing time in that facet. In 2020, he allowed just seven total pressures and wasn’t flagged for a penalty all season.

Contract Analysis: Reiter’s market will likely be determined by how much teams value the run game, but he is certainly a steady hand at a spot that can be a problem position for some teams.

Prediction: Bears sign Reiter for two years, $9.5 million ($4.75M APY): $4 million total guaranteed, $3 million fully guaranteed at signing.

73. Edge Matthew Judon

There’s an element to Judon’s game that screams “buyer beware,” as he has had high sack totals and good — not great — pass-rush grades over the past three seasons. The Ravens’ blitz-happy scheme certainly helps create mismatches and unblocked pressures, but even with those factored in, Judon has an above-average pass-rush grade over the past three years. The caveat is the expectation that he’ll become a “10-sack guy” in any system. Judon fits best as a situational rusher who can take advantage of mismatches and be used as a pass-rush/spy weapon against athletic quarterbacks.

Contract Analysis: It appears Judon is facing the same fate as former Ravens edge rusher Za’Darius Smith, especially after Baltimore doled out huge extensions to cornerback Marlon Humphrey and left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Reigning MVP Lamar Jackson is eligible for an extension after the season, as well.

Prediction: Jets sign Judon for four years, $64 million ($16M APY): $33 million total guaranteed, $21 million fully guaranteed at signing.

74. EDGE Aldon Smith

Smith’s return to the NFL is a miraculous comeback story after a four-year absence from 2016-19. While he hasn’t quite been the superstar he was with the 49ers, he’s still generated a 70.0 pass-rush grade while playing at least 40 snaps in every game so far in 2020 — a testament to his conditioning. He’s been moved all over the defensive front, and his 50 pressures tell a better story than his four sacks, as he was a solid pass-rusher in his return to the NFL.

Contract Analysis: Arguably the most impressive aspect of Smith’s return was that he did not sign a veteran minimum contract, negotiating a deal with a maximum value of $2 million in Dallas. At 31 years old, Smith has proven to just be a different type of human, and one final payday as a veteran will be a great end to his story.

Prediction: Cowboys sign Smith for two years, $15 million ($7.5M APY): $10 million total guaranteed, $8 million fully guaranteed at signing.

75. T Kelvin Beachum

Beachum has been as consistent as it gets, grading between 67.0 and 70.0 in each of the past four seasons. During that stretch, Beachum slots into the 82nd percentile in pass-blocking grade on true pass sets, ranking 19th among 107 qualifiers. He’s better in pass protection than he is as a run blocker, where he hasn’t graded above 60.0 since 2015 while ranking in just the 15th percentile in positively graded play percentage. It’s all about setting proper expectations for Beachum, as he will provide above-average pass blocking and below-average run blocking.

Contract Analysis: Beachum signed for a veteran minimum contract in 2020 and provided one of the best values in the NFL, starting all 16 games at right tackle for the Arizona Cardinals. The 2012 seventh-round draft pick of the Steelers has had a nice career.

Prediction: Steelers sign Beachum for one year, $4.5 million.

76. CB Nickell Robey-Coleman

Now infamous for the non-call on a blatant defensive pass interference in the 2018-19 NFC Championship game against the New Orleans Saints, Robey-Coleman hasn’t been quite as fortunate recently. An important piece of a stingy secondary in Los Angeles became expendable and ended up signing a one-year, $1.35 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles for 2020. Robey-Coleman’s defensive grade and coverage grade through Week 12 are both five-year lows, and those marks will raise some questions about how much of his grade in Los Angeles was down to the system rather than the player. 

He has shown flashes this year that he can still be an aggressive and feisty slot corner, but he has given up a 116.0 passer rating when targeted while allowing 11.7 yards per reception — a high figure for an inside defender. 

Contract Analysis: Robey-Coleman will land somewhere as a tried-and-true veteran at slot cornerback, but another one-year deal near the minimum is probably in order.

Prediction: Eagles sign Robey-Coleman for one year, $2 million fully guaranteed at signing.

Dec 13, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake (41) runs the ball against New York Giants linebacker Devante Downs (52) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

77. RB Kenyan Drake

Kenyan Drake was expected to have a huge year in 2020 given what we had seen from him within Arizona’s offense after his arrival the year before, but it never quite happened. Drake ended the season with a 60.9 overall PFF grade, the lowest mark of his career. And his 4.0 yards per carry was a full half-yard lower than any other season of his career. 

It wasn’t all Drake’s fault, however, and he still generated 2.5 yards per carry after contact and broke 31 tackles, but the lack of dominant production in a No. 1 role will immediately scare off plenty of teams. Overall, he still has plenty of ability in the right situation, yet he needs a good environment. 

Contract Analysis: Drake had an eventful path to unrestricted free agency, as he was traded in the middle of the 2019 season from the Miami Dolphins to the Arizona Cardinals for a conditional sixth-round pick. After a strong finish to the 2019 campaign, Arizona placed an $8.483 million transition tag on the 26-year-old running back for 2020. While Drake finished the 2020 season strong, backup Chase Edmonds looked every bit as explosive. And the Cardinals as a team finished the season 2-5, getting bounced from the playoffs in Week 17.

Prediction: Cardinals sign Drake for three years, $20 million ($6.66M APY): $11 million total guaranteed, $8.5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

78. TE Jared Cook

A 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end who can run a 40-yard dash in the 4.4s, Jared Cook has always been a player with the potential for monster production in the passing game. And while he’s never quite put up that kind of production, he has been a consistently productive weapon.

Cook has a PFF receiving grade of at least 72.8 in each of the past three seasons, generating a 100.0-plus passer rating when targeted each year, too. There are teams out there for which Cook would represent a significant upgrade.

Contract Analysis: Cook will be 34 years old this offseason at a position not exactly known for longevity. However, he certainly lived up to his two-year, $15 million deal with New Orleans. 

Prediction: If Cook doesn’t retire, he signs a one-year, $5 million deal with the Colts.

79. C Alex Mack

Mack is just a few years removed from ranking as a top-five center in the league, and he ranked in the top 10 in 2019. His play dropped off a bit in 2020, but he’s still one of the best zone-blocking centers in the NFL. However, Mack posted the lowest pass-blocking grade of his career in 2020, so that’s the big question going forward for the 35-year old. He should be a viable one-year option for center-needy teams, especially in a zone-heavy scheme.

Contract Analysis: 2021 would be Mack’s age 36 season, and Father Time appears to be catching up to the longtime great center. With Atlanta set to bring in a new general manager and head coach as the team turns toward the future, Mack may have to move on.

Prediction: Rams sign Mack for one year, $6 million fully guaranteed at signing.

80. CB Mackensie Alexander

Alexander’s career started slow, but he’s now posted three straight solid coverage grades, including a career-high 72.5 mark back in 2018. He signed a one-year deal with the Bengals and provided average play, grading at 60.4 overall to go with a 67.2 coverage grade. Alexander has played primarily in the slot throughout his career, and he’s in the group of available slot corners who are worth a look.

Contract Analysis: Alexander joined Trae Waynes last offseason in departing Minnesota’s secondary for Cincinnati, but unlike Waynes — who suffered an injury before the season — Alexander was able to get on the field in 2020. He continued to provide average to above-average play in the slot and will likely be facing a similar market.

Prediction: Bears sign Alexander for two years, $6 million ($3M APY): $3 million total guaranteed/fully guaranteed at signing.

81. RB James Conner

Conner is a productive player with an incredible story, and after defeating cancer and graduating from Pittsburgh, he was able to continue his career in the Steel City. However, with the Steelers drafting Anthony McFarland Jr. and Benny Snell Jr. in the fourth round in back-to-back years, they may have already jump-started the process of moving on.

Contract Analysis: Conner’s production has stalled after an impressive start to his Steelers career, but the lack of dominance also coincides with the team’s run blocking getting worse. Conner has solid PFF grades in all four seasons of his career.

Prediction: Jets sign Conner for three years, $20 million ($6.66M APY): $10 million total guaranteed, $8 million fully guaranteed at signing. 

82. RB Mike Davis

Despite just 3.9 yards per carry during the 2020 season, Davis impressed with 43 missed tackles forced as a runner and another 22 as a receiver, all leading to a career-high 75.0 overall grade. He’s never been a big-play threat, but as a back who will take what’s in front of him while creating after contact, Davis has proven to be a good option in a backup role. 

Contract Analysis: Davis was signed in 2019 by the Chicago Bears, who promptly cut him before Week 10 for compensatory pick purposes — a loophole that was very unfriendly to players and was closed in the latest collective bargaining agreement. Davis was able to land in Carolina to close the 2019 season and was then provided a golden opportunity in 2020 when Christian McCaffrey was sidelined for an extended period. Davis played over 70% of offensive snaps in each game from Weeks 3-8, and he averaged 14 carries and five receptions over that stretch. 

Prediction: Buccaneers sign Davis for two years, $8.5 million (4.25M APY): $5 million total guaranteed, $4 million fully guaranteed at signing.

83. WR Keelan Cole

The Jaguars got great value out of Cole, a former undrafted free agent who has played both out wide and in the slot. Cole is a good route-runner who ranks in the 60th percentile at creating separation against single coverage. He’s also been strong at the catch point, winning 52% of his contested catches over the past two years. Cole profiles as a No. 3 or No. 4 option on a good team, but he can line up all across the formation.

Contract Analysis: Cole finally seemed to take a firm grasp of the WR3 job in Jacksonville and never looked back, consistently providing a solid baseline of play. Obviously, the wheels came off in Jacksonville with a new quarterback under center each week, but Cole was his usual reliable self. 

The start to his career is reminiscent of Dontrelle Inman, another former Jaguars undrafted free agent wide receiver. Cole received the second-round restricted-free-agent tender for 2020, illustrating that the Jaguars are fond of him and did not wish to see him go, so perhaps a reunion is in order.

Prediction: Jaguars sign Cole for two years, $11 million ($5.5M APY): $5 million total guaranteed, $4 million fully guaranteed at signing.

84. WR Danny Amendola

Despite approaching the age of time itself (35 years old), Danny Amendola has quietly been as productive as ever over the past few seasons. He hasn’t been as big a part of the offense as he once was, with his last 100-target season coming in New England, but for a team that needs a safe pair of hands or someone who runs a lot of routes from the slot, Amendola can still be a useful member of an offense. He has had six straight seasons with a 65.0-plus PFF receiving grade.

Contract Analysis: While Amendola’s usage has naturally declined, he managed to post his best season grade (74.9) since 2015. He signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Lions this past offseason, and he’ll most likely keep signing similar contracts until he retires.

Prediction: Lions sign Amendola for one year, $5.5 million: $5 million total guaranteed/fully guaranteed at signing.

Sep 13, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots running back James White (28) rushes against Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones (24) during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

85. RB James White

White is a specialist — he’s far better at catching the ball out of the backfield than he is carrying it as a traditional runner. He’s an excellent route-runner with good hands and shiftiness after the catch, all adding up to a perfect option in a pass-heavy attack. As a runner, White generally gets what is blocked, as he’s averaged just 2.0 yards after contact during his career. However, he can still be an effective pass-game weapon in the right offense. 

Contract Analysis: While Tom Brady had a phenomenal season, the Buccaneers seemingly used a different running back in the third-down role every single week. Brady missed his checkdown security blanket in White, and a lot of teams could benefit from the running back’s skill set. 

Prediction: Patriots sign White for two years, $10 million ($5M APY): $5 million total guaranteed/fully guaranteed at signing.

86. RB Le’Veon Bell

The great Le’Veon Bell that was once arguably the best back in the NFL is long gone, but he is still a capable player in the backfield with a well-rounded skill set. His trademark “patient” rushing style that was so successful in Pittsburgh seems to have morphed into a general lack of explosion over time, and he hasn’t had a carry longer than 20 yards since he was playing for the Steelers.

This season, Bell ended with a 73.9 overall PFF grade and averaged more than three yards per carry after contact in addition to dropping just one pass. He won’t break the bank anymore and could be a useful addition to a backfield lacking in talent.

Contract Analysis: Le’Veon Bell’s tenure with the New York Jets ended with an unceremonious breakup after never really getting off the ground, as he was more or less phased out of the offense in favor of 37-year-old Frank Gore. Bell will certainly benefit from performing on the biggest stage in the playoffs with the Kansas City Chiefs, and perhaps a few big performances can entice a team to take another chance on him.

Prediction: Dolphins sign Bell for two years, $10 million ($5M APY): $5M total guaranteed/fully guaranteed at signing.

87. EDGE Haason Reddick

Reddick’s strong finish to 2020 has looked nothing like the first 3 ½ years of his career, clouding his free-agent evaluation. Reddick was clearly out of place as a traditional linebacker, grading at just 35.4 in coverage in his first three NFL seasons — the third-worst mark among linebackers during that time. However, Reddick’s move back to his college position on the edge has rejuvenated his career, as his burst has been an asset when he rushes the passer. The question will be whether Reddick will continue this incredible stretch of play or if it’s just an anomaly, but he’s definitely worth a look as a change-of-pace No. 3 pass-rusher. And he may get paid like a No. 2.

Contract Analysis: The Cardinals finally moved Reddick from off-ball linebacker to an edge rusher on the outside, and big-time results followed. He registered an insane five sacks and a 97.1 pass-rushing grade in Week 14 against the Giants, and he followed that up with a 10-pressure outing against Philadelphia. It’s still such a small sample size of success, which certainly complicates the evaluation, but there’s no denying what Reddick did to close out the 2020 season. 

Prediction: Panthers sign Reddick for one year, $8.5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

88. CB K’Waun Williams

In a league where covering the slot has never been more important, K’Waun Williams is one of the NFL’s better slot defenders and has been consistently good at a position where it is hard to maintain a high standard. In six seasons, Williams doesn’t have an overall PFF grade below 66.2, and his best play has been genuinely elite.

Over the past two seasons, Williams has allowed just one touchdown on 99 targets. He would represent a significant upgrade for a lot of teams if he’s healthy.

Contract Analysis: Williams is one of four 49ers cornerbacks set to hit free agency, but as a pure slot corner, he may have the best chance of returning. Williams missed eight out of a possible sixteen games this season yet finished on a positive note with his highest-graded performance of the season in a lockdown effort at Arizona, earning him a 90.5 defensive grade and an 80.5 coverage grade.

Prediction: 49ers sign Williams for two years, $8 million ($4M APY): $4 million total guaranteed, $3 million fully guaranteed at signing.

89. CB Gareon Conley

A former first-round pick, Conley has had his ups and downs, grading out at 64.5 and 64.0 in his two full seasons. He missed all of the 2020 season. Conley is better in man coverage, as he’s graded in the 69th percentile in single coverage compared to just the 37th percentile in zone since entering the league. He’s also forced incompletions on 22.2% of his targets, the second-best rate in the NFL since 2017. Conley is worth a look in a man-heavy system. 

Contract Analysis: The former 2017 first-round pick of the then-Oakland Raiders was traded to the Houston Texans for a third-round pick after just two seasons. Conley is a perfect candidate to be 2021’s Ronald Darby, as he profiles very similarly — and that’s what he should be selling to potential suitors.

Prediction: Texans sign Conley for one year, $2.5 million: $1 million fully guaranteed at signing.

90. CB Bashaud Breeland

Breeland’s play at cornerback is something of a roller-coaster ride. In the right game, he can play well and hold his own on the outside against even decent receivers, but when the wheels come off, they tend to do so spectacularly.

The veteran cornerback had three games with a PFF coverage grade above 80.0 this past season, but he also one of 32.2 and another of 43.1 as well as two games in the 50s. Overall, he was beaten for a passer rating of 90.3 and earned a solid coverage grade, but it wasn’t always smooth sailing.

Breeland will be 29 by the time free agency hits, and though he can certainly play and start in this league, he represents the kind of starter that teams will always have an eye out to upgrade upon.

Contract Analysis: Breeland began the season with a four-game suspension following an arrest in April of 2020, but he made his presence felt immediately in Week 5 against the Las Vegas Raiders with an interception. Breeland has excelled as the right cornerback in defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s system, and with a strong playoff run could be looking for his first multi-year veteran contract.

Prediction: Chiefs sign Breeland for two years, $10 million ($5M APY): $5.5 million total guaranteed, $2.5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

91. CB Cameron Sutton

Sutton had played just 621 career snaps coming into 2020 but posted a solid 68.6 overall grade across 552 regular-season snaps in 2020. He was forced to play on the outside down the stretch after primarily lining up in the slot, so there’s some versatility to his game. He’s a high-upside play on a small sample size. Sutton has been above-average in the slot and in single coverage, two places that bring great value to any defense.

Contract Analysis: Sutton didn’t see much of the field over his first three seasons since being drafted in the third round in 2017, but he was solid in 2020 with an expanded role. He could be an interesting chess piece for a team to take a flier on, as he logged snaps at slot corner, out wide and down in the box as a strong safety.

Prediction: Steelers sign Sutton for one year, $2.75 million: $1.5 million total guaranteed/fully guaranteed at signing.

92.  T Matt Feiler

Feiler should be a player in demand this offseason, given the state of offensive line play in some areas of the NFL, and especially because he won’t be among the marquee names.

Feiler has extensive starting experience with the Steelers at both right tackle and inside at left guard, and he has graded well at both positions. In four seasons, he has never earned an overall PFF grade lower than 65.0 and hits free agency still well short of 30 years old. 

Feiler’s best season from a grading standpoint came while starting at right tackle, the more valuable position. And at the bare minimum, he would represent one of the best “sixth linemen” in the game. Often the best value signings happen in the second wave of free agency, and Feiler would upgrade a lot of offensive lines.

Contract Analysis: Feiler’s ability to play on both sides of the offensive line, as well as outside at tackle and inside at guard, makes him a very intriguing free agent. At no position is it more valuable to excel in multiple roles, and if Feiler could serve as the swing tackle and the first interior offensive lineman off the bench, that could be tremendously valuable to any club.

Prediction: Jets sign Feiler for two years, $12 million ($6M APY): $8 million total guaranteed, $5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

93. EDGE Takkarist McKinley

McKinley has disappointed as a first-round pick, though he’s produced at a solid level in his four years in the league. He’s graded in the middle of the pack as a pass-rusher since entering the league, with his best pass-rushing grade (70.1) coming as a rookie. McKinley has the skills to be effective against the run, but there have been too many blown gaps and missed tackles through the years, combined with just 33% of his snaps coming in the run game. He ranks as a mid-tier pass-rusher who is best suited as a No. 3 option or, perhaps, a low-end No. 2 rusher.

Contract Analysis: McKinley had a long, drawn-out saga with the Falcons finally come to an end with his eventual release from the team. The Cincinnati Bengals claimed him off waivers but released him for a failed physical, so the San Francisco 49ers swooped in to take a chance. The 49ers also failed him for a physical before the Las Vegas Raiders brought him in to get healthy under their care. Perhaps the true goal is to capitalize on McKinley’s value in compensatory pick considerations, but head coach Jon Gruden has expressed that the Raiders want McKinley around for the foreseeable future.

Prediction: Raiders sign McKinley for three years, $28.5 million ($9.5M APY): $18 million total guaranteed, $14.5 million fully guaranteed at signing. 

94. LB Denzel Perryman

Few players are better downhill thumpers than Perryman is; it’s just unfortunate for him that this is 2021 and not 1985. Perryman is coming off arguably his best season, albeit one in which his playing time totaled just 317 snaps. Perryman earned a PFF grade of 86.3 against the run, and his coverage grade of 74.1 represents the best figure of his career in that area. Two-down run-stuffers don’t have much of a role in today’s NFL, but Perryman is fun to watch given how he hits.

Contract Analysis: There may not be many suitors, but Perryman could still help a handful of teams on early downs.

Prediction: Packers sign Perryman for two years, $13 million ($6.5M APY): $4 million total guaranteed/fully guaranteed at signing.

95. Edge Romeo Okwara

After over 1,000 snaps of below-average production as a pass-rusher, Okwara finished like a ball of fire with the No. 3 pass-rush grade among edge defenders since Week 12. That stretch run was great, and it capped a career year that saw him post an 85.4 pass-rush grade, ninth-best in the league. If he’s truly figured something out, Okwara is worth a shot as a No. 2 pass-rusher, but perspective is needed given the 4.5 years of average play prior to his half-season of dominance. 

Contract Analysis: It’s never an exact science when determining whether a player has truly turned a corner in their career or just had a lucky stretch of play, but Okwara & Co. will certainly argue the former is the case here.

Prediction: Detroit signs Okwara for three years, $19.5 million ($6.5M APY): $10M total guaranteed, $7 million fully guaranteed at signing.

96. S Jaquiski Tartt

Safety play in the NFL is extremely volatile, and often at the mercy of the opposing offenses that you happen to run into in a given year. Nothing shows that better than Jaquiski Tartt’s grading profile over the past few seasons, as Tartt has earned PFF grades of at least 75.0 in every facet of play we measure, just not in the same season.

His best season came in 2017, but he has struggled to replicate that level of performance ever since, and he even lost half of this past season due to injury. Tartt is versatile — able to line up in any safety spot — and athletic, but he fits the solid-if-unspectacular profile more than he is a true playmaker.

Contract Analysis: With so many safeties available, Tartt may get lost in the shuffle and end up as a great value signing in the second or third wave of free agency after missing the 49ers' final seven games. Tartt has a high floor both in coverage and against the run and is a perfect guy to pair next to just about anyone.

Prediction: 49ers sign Tartt for two years, $9 million ($4.5M APY). $4 million total guaranteed, $3 million fully guaranteed at signing.

97. WR Breshad Perriman

Perriman, a former first-round draft pick, looked as if he had put it all together late in the 2019 season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but then he joined the New York Jets. Perriman couldn’t avoid being tarnished by New York in 2020, and his 63.1 overall PFF grade was back to his baseline of disappointment.

Perriman dropped only three passes, but he caught just 53.6% of the targets sent his way. With his height, weight and speed combination, there is still a lot to like about his potential in the right situation. The Jets, obviously, were not the right fit.

Contract Analysis: Perriman rode the wave of a great finish to his 2019 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into a one-year, $6.5 million contract with the New York Jets for 2020. The deal made sense for both parties, as the former 2015 first-rounder sought to prove he was deserving of a multi-year contract as the Jets aimed to replace Robby Anderson. While the marriage wasn’t exactly a resounding success for either party, Perriman barely missed an offensive snap from Week 9 through the end of the season, so his health is presumably in a good place as he looks for his next contract.

Prediction: Jaguars sign Perriman for two years, $16 million ($8M APY): $7.5 million total guaranteed, $6 million fully guaranteed at signing.

98. DI Ndamukong Suh

Suh certainly isn’t the force he once was, but he is still able to maintain an absurd workload for as many snaps as he’s logged over his NFL career.

The 788 snaps he played this season was the lowest total of his career, yet it was still the 11th-most among all interior defenders. Suh racked up 50 total pressures and 25 defensive stops and can still be a very solid member of a defensive line. At this point, he is a mercenary for hire on a short-term contract. If a team has a problem spot up front, Suh can fix it.

Contract Analysis: Suh is no longer resetting the market like he did with his massive six-year, $114 million contract with the Miami Dolphins back in 2015, but he’s still a highly productive interior defender. Now at 34 years old, Suh rarely comes off the field. While he’s still capable of handling a full-time role, perhaps he could also sell himself on becoming a lower-volume, higher-efficiency player like Tyson Alualu in Pittsburgh.

Prediction: Buccaneers sign Suh for one year, $6.75 million fully guaranteed at signing.

99. DI Sheldon Rankins

Injuries have become an issue for Rankins, but he hits free agency at 27 years old with some high-level play on his resume, albeit all the way back in 2018. That year was Rankins’ best season, seeing him post a PFF grade of at least 67.0 in every facet of play. Outside of that, he has been a plus run defender who has struggled to offer much as a pass-rusher. 

Over the past two seasons combined, Rankins has generated just 43 total pressures on 738 snaps, including the playoffs. He exceeded that total in 2018 on fewer snaps. Teams will have to determine which player they are signing.

Contract Analysis: Rankins and the Saints helped each other out by agreeing to “restructure” his fifth-year option salary in 2020, adding void years onto the deal for cap relief. But make no mistake, the 2016 first-rounder is an unrestricted free agent. His injury history will certainly scare some teams away, but when healthy, he’s an explosive player who shows you why he was drafted 12th overall. 

Prediction: Jaguars sign Rankins for two years, $14.5 million ($7.25M APY): $8 million total guaranteed, $5.5 million fully guaranteed at signing.

100. WR Rashard Higgins

A lack of blazing speed and elite measurables means that Higgins is typically overlooked for superior athletes, but he’s a player who has typically produced well when given an opportunity for a bigger role within an offense. And he has a knack for getting open.

With Odell Beckham Jr. getting hurt this season, Higgins earned more playing time for the Browns and responded with new career-high marks in yards and yards per reception. When throwing the ball in the direction of Higgins, Baker Mayfield had a passer rating of 126.1 despite badly missing him in the end zone for a touchdown on one occasion. At 26, Higgins represents an interesting option after the top receivers in the market are gone, though citations for drag racing will raise questions over maturity.

Contract Analysis: Higgins was finally thrust into a starting role following the loss of Odell Beckham Jr. in Week 7. From Week 7-17, Higgins was the 28th-ranked wide receiver out of the 146 who played at least 100 snaps over that stretch. He’ll get a chance to continue his free agency audition playing in the Browns’ first playoff game since 2002.

Prediction: Titans sign Higgins for two years, $10 million ($5M APY): $5.5 million total guaranteed, $4 million fully guaranteed at signing.

Know tomorrow, today. Western Southern Financial Group.

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