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2022 NFL Free Agent Rankings: Top 200 players expected to enter free agency

With Super Bowl 56 in the books, the free agency picture is coming into focus and teams are beginning to identify potential targets to improve their roster weaknesses.

Here is PFF's list of top 200 free agents as it stood before the start of the legal tampering period on Monday, March 14.

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Player Grades


1. T Terron Armstead, New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints rarely let a player they want to retain get away, but after making Ryan Ramczyk the highest-paid right tackle in NFL history by a decent margin with his five-year, $96 million extension signed before 2021, the decision with Armstead gets interesting. He has consistently been one of the best tackles in football since he was drafted in 2013, earning an overall grade above 75.0 in each season. While he’s graded better as a pass-blocker over his career, he’s not a liability in the run game by any means. If Armstead does get to test the open market, a dozen teams should be lining up to make him an offer.

Strengths:
– Elite in pass protection
– Scheme-diverse run-blocker
– Explosive athlete

Weaknesses:
– Injury history

Scheme Fit/Role:
HIGH-END STARTING LEFT TACKLE: There aren't many weaknesses to Armstead's game. He's one of the position's best pass-protectors and rarely loses in the run game across both gap and zone run concepts. There are plenty of teams with cap space next offseason — such as Jacksonville and Miami — that could make use of Armstead's services if the Saints opt against bringing him back. Slotting in next to Quenton Nelson in Indianapolis would be the most intriguing potential landing spot for the 30-year-old.

Recent Injury History:
Armstead played over 750 offensive snaps just twice in the first six seasons of his career due to a litany of injuries, but he had been healthier of late heading into 2021. Armstead missed nine games in 2021 with elbow and knee injuries.

Contract Projection: Three years, $60 million ($20M per year), $43.75 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
We recently saw an elite tackle on the wrong side of 30 with injury concerns step into San Francisco's offense and become the most valuable tackle in football. Armstead may not quite be Trent Williams, but he's one of the best all-around tackles in the league and would make almost any offense better.


2. EDGE Von Miller, Los Angeles Rams

The projection here is driven by something we’ve seen across almost a dozen recent trades — players signing strong contracts after being acquired via an expensive draft pick trade. Miller may not be what he was at his peak, but he’s not too far off. His 90.4 overall grade in the regular season ranked fourth among edge defenders.

The Rams sent the Broncos second- and third-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft for half a season of Miller’s services, but there was more to it than that. Denver agreed to retain around $9 million in salary to facilitate the deal, and this boosted the required draft capital return as a result. Nevertheless, the Rams gave up a lot to add another future Hall-of-Famer to their defensive line and may be inclined to do what it takes to keep them together for a few more years.

Strengths:
– Elite athlete
– Variety of ways to win as a pass-rusher
– Disciplined run defender

Weaknesses:
– Recent injury history
– Age

Scheme Fit/Role:
THREE-DOWN EDGE: Miller has played just four snaps with his hand in the dirt since 2018, likely limiting the list of prospective teams to defenses that would allow him to rush out wide from a two-point stance. The Los Angeles Rams are the leaders in the clubhouse to extend him after the trade, but a cross-city move to the Chargers to join forces with Brandon Staley and Joey Bosa is another situation to monitor.

Recent Injury History:
The veteran edge dislocated a peroneal tendon in his ankle last September that kept him off the field for the 2020 NFL season. He missed some time with an ankle injury this season but has looked healthy for the most part in his 2021 return. 

Contract Projection: Two years, $34 million ($17M per year, $25.25 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
There are some reasons to be concerned about decline from Miller, given his age and recent ankle injuries, but he's still performing at an extremely high level. There aren't many defensive fronts that wouldn't improve.


3. EDGE Chandler Jones, Arizona Cardinals

Jones missed three-quarters of his 2020 NFL season with a bicep injury, but he didn’t miss a beat in his return with a seven-pressure, five-sack Week 1 outing. Jones finished with an 89.8 pass-rush grade, and his 15 quarterback hits tied for sixth-most among edge defenders. Jones now has double-digit sacks in each of the past six seasons in which he played more than 300 snaps. 

Strengths:
– Length and hand usage as a pass-rusher
– Pass-rush repertoire
– Converting pressures to sacks

Weaknesses:
– Missed tackles
– Taking on blocks

Scheme Fit/Role:
THREE-DOWN EDGE: Jones has been an effective three-down player since entering the league in 2012, as he can hold up against the run and rush the passer at a high level. He has dabbled inside playing over the guard at times throughout his career, but Jones is at his best as a true edge in either a 4-3 or a 3-4 base system.

Recent Injury History:
Jones had been one of the most durable defensive linemen in the NFL until a biceps injury ended his 2020 season after only five games. Prior to that, Jones had played at least 750 snaps in every year of his career from 2012 to 2019, including three seasons of over 1,000 snaps. He played in all but two games in 2021.

Contract Projection: Two years, $33.5 million ($16.75M per year, $24 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
The 2019 season saw Jones go from solid to elite as a pass-rusher, and he's maintained that status ever since. He attacks tackles with a full array of pass-rush moves and he's an effective run defender, though he's taken a step back in that department over the past two years.


4. CB J.C. Jackson, New England Patriots

Jackson played in 2021 on a second-round restricted free agent tender at a value of $3.384 million, presumably seeking an extension before the season. However, former New England Patriots cornerback and 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, who was eventually traded to the Carolina Panthers, was also looking for new money headed into 2021. If Carlton Davis does get franchise-tagged, Jackson could become the top man coverage cornerback available after a full season serving as New England’s No. 1 player at the position.

Strengths:
– Receiver-like ball skills
– Experience traveling in man
– Very rarely gets beat deep

Weaknesses:
– Hasn't been nearly as effective in zone
– Closing on intermediate routes

Scheme Fit/Role:
OUTSIDE CB IN MAN-HEAVY SCHEME: Jackson was the second fiddle to Stephon Gilmore in New England for much of his career, but he's still handled his fair share of tough, man-coverage assignments in Bill Belichick's defense. He's been one of the position's best playmakers in that role, rarely squandering an interception opportunity. Dallas and New Orleans stand out as potential non-Patriots landing spots if they're able to make things work financially.

Recent Injury History:
Jackson hasn't missed significant time with injury since being drafted in 2018. He drew several questionable tags in 2020 with knee and hip injuries, but those proved to be minor.

Contract Projection: Four years, $72 million ($18M per year, $56 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Throwing at Jackson has resulted in one of the lowest passer ratings in the league since 2018 due to a combination of rarely getting beat downfield and his ability to produce turnovers. He has the man-coverage skill set that teams covet at the position.


5. S Marcus Williams, New Orleans Saints

Williams has been the one continuous thread in a secondary that has experienced some changes over the years, and perhaps we’re now at the point where we need to give him more credit for keeping everything in front of him on the backend.

The Saints have prioritized free-agent spending and drafting in the secondary, so we’re not suggesting Williams is playing in a weak group, but he has graded above 70.0 for five years in a row now as the free safety manning the deep third of the field. He’ll still be just 26 years old in Week 1 of 2022 after playing on the franchise tag and should have offers to become one of the highest-paid safeties in the NFL.

Strengths:
– Consistency
– Performs well in all facets

Weaknesses:
– Can struggle for physicality
– Inconsistent matched up in man coverage

Scheme Fit/Role:
VERSATILE FS: Marcus Williams has been a consistently impressive player for the Saints in his NFL career. He has been the team's free safety and is excellent in zones at all levels of the coverage. He would be a good starting safety in any scheme but fits best in a defense that plays with two high safeties, such as Atlanta's or Houston's.

Recent Injury History:
Williams has been remarkably injury-free in his NFL career and has little concern in that area.

Contract Projection: Four years, $64.5 million ($16.125M per year, $35 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Williams was excellent as a rookie before being the player embarrassed on the “Minneapolis Miracle” play by the Vikings. Since then, he has continued to excel and would be a good starting free safety for much of the NFL.


6. WR Allen Robinson II, Chicago Bears

Robinson endured a disastrous 2021 season as he once again tried to produce in a woeful passing offense. He saw just 44 targets through Week 8 after commanding 76 targets through Week 8 in 2020. While the lion’s share of the blame can be placed on the Bears’ offense in general, Robinson individually earned the worst overall grade of his career thus far (66.9). It’s entirely possible the focus was on staying healthy and getting ready for 2022 and beyond outside of Chicago. 

Strengths:
– Contested catches
– Body control
– Hands

Weaknesses:
– His quarterbacks
– Speed

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 1 WR: Allen Robinson has a history of balling out despite awful quarterbacks throwing him the football dating back to high school. He isn't the fastest receiver in the game, but he is good at everything else and can defeat press coverage and beat elite cover corners. He won't be coming off his best year but is still a No. 1 option. Teams such as Jacksonville, Philadelphia and Cleveland could all use him for that spot.

Recent Injury History:
Robinson has had several injuries in the NFL, with his most recent one of significance being December 2020. His most severe injury was a torn ACL in 2017.

Contract Projection: Three years, $45 million ($15M per year, $27.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Robinson's true ceiling is still something of an unknown because he has literally never experienced elite quarterback play. And yet, he has still consistently performed as a top-10 receiver.


7. C Ryan Jensen, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The 2021 offseason was a big one for centers, with the Los Angeles ChargersCorey Linsley signing the biggest deal ever at the position. Linsley was quickly surpassed by Detroit Lions center Frank Ragnow’s extension as the market continued its upward trajectory. Jensen, who earned a 70.3 overall grade in 2021, now has a decision to make after Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady announced his retirement: stick around with Tampa Bay, or find a new home.

Strengths:
– Finishing and maintaining blocks
– Blocking in space

Weaknesses:
– Can be overaggressive
– Snap accuracy

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING CENTER: Jensen's best fit is on a downhill rushing offense that takes advantage of his physicality, but he's graded above the 70th percentile among all centers in gap and zone run schemes over the past three seasons. He would slide into nearly any offense without many issues.

Recent Injury History:
Jensen has been one of the most durable centers in the league since he signed with Tampa Bay prior to the 2018 season. He hasn't missed a start for the Buccaneers, notching over 4,000 offensive snaps for the team over that stretch.

Contract Projection: Three years, $40 million ($13.33M per year, $26.25 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Jensen became a fan favorite in Baltimore and Tampa Bay because of his attitude and well-rounded game that can be plugged into most NFL offenses. The biggest concern for potential suitors would be that he's now on the other side of 30 at a position that takes a beating in the trenches, especially given the way that he plays it.

Dive into PFF Premium Stats to see all grades and advanced metrics from Jadeveon Clowney's 2021 season and NFL career.

8. LB Bobby Wagner, Free Agent

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING MLB: Wagner has been one of the league's best players since he came into the NFL. Since he was drafted, he has been the most valuable linebacker in football, according to PFF WAR. At his best, he was a tackling machine who once missed just five tackles in two years, but he has shown some signs that he isn't the player he once was. Wagner still has elite potential, but now gauging where he is in his decline becomes a tricky balance.

Contract Projection: One year, $8 million


9. EDGE Jadeveon Clowney, Cleveland Browns

At the halfway point of the NFL season, Jadeveon Clowney ranked ninth in total pressures among edge rushers (32). His positive sack regression finally hit, with his five sacks through Week 7 being more than he had in 2019 and 2020 combined. He has been held without a sack since then, though. Perhaps a team will be more willing to give Clowney a strong multi-year deal if he can turn it up at the tail end of the season. For now, he seems to be enjoying the eight-figure mercenary approach, and who can blame him?

Strengths:
– Explosiveness and powerful
– Equally effective rushing the passer on the edge or on the interior

Weaknesses:
– Never dominated as a pass-rusher
– Missed tackles/finishing plays

Scheme Fit/Role:
3-DOWN EDGE: Clowney is one of the better run defenders in the league and he has the speed and power to move around the defensive line to create mismatches in pass-rushing situations. He's a No. 2 pass-rusher and should not be relied upon as a No. 1 option.

Recent Injury History:
Injuries have been an issue for Clowney for the majority of his career. He missed three games in 2019, played just 425 snaps due to season-ending knee surgery in 2020 and battled several lower-body injuries in 2021.

Contract Projection: One year, $15 million, $12 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Clowney's sack totals have fluctuated in recent years, but his snap-for-snap production has been very consistent. He's a good, not great pass-rusher and a block-destructing run defender who fits best as the No. 2 pass-rusher on a good defensive line.


10. EDGE Randy Gregory, Dallas Cowboys

Gregory has finally reached unrestricted free agent status after getting drafted No. 60 overall in 2015 and making an impressive return to full-time football action over the past two seasons. His 84.7 pass-rush grade in the 2021 regular season ranked 11th among edge defenders. The big question may be whether Dallas is able to retain a player who has developed into a premier pass-rusher while also paying edge defender Demarcus Lawrence top-five money at the position. If Gregory does reach free agency, there may be a long line of teams vying for his services. 

Strengths:
– Explosiveness
– Full arsenal as pass-rusher

Weaknesses:
– Run game
– Off-field suspensions

Scheme Fit/Role:
PASS-RUSHING EDGE: While Gregory has shown improvement in the run game, he's at his best on passing downs where he can use his burst and array of pass-rush moves to affect the quarterback.

Recent Injury History:
Gregory has battled various injuries since returning in 2020 from a suspension. A knee ailment kept him on the injury report for a chunk of 2021, and he was placed on IR with a calf injury, as well.

Contract Projection: Two years, $32.5 million ($16.25M per year, $21.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
It took several years of setbacks, but Gregory has shown the pass-rushing ability that made him a high-end prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft. He is at his best as a designated pass-rusher rushing off the edge.


11. CB Stephon Gilmore, Carolina Panthers

After the contentious standoff between the New England Patriots and star cornerback Gilmore ultimately culminated in his placement on the physically unable to perform list to start the season, Gilmore was unceremoniously traded to the Panthers for a 2023 sixth-round pick. While the late future draft pick isn’t a substantial sunk cost that puts pressure on the Panthers to get an extension with the South Carolina native, they paid Gilmore around $6 million for his services in 2021. A player-friendly structure on a modest, short-term deal makes sense for both parties, and Gilmore can help Panthers No. 8 overall pick Jaycee Horn develop into the lockdown player Carolina foresaw when drafting him.

Strengths:
– Man coverage
– Ball skills
– Size/speed

Weaknesses:
– Off/zone coverage
– Age

Scheme Fit/Role:
OUTSIDE CB IN MAN-HEAVY SCHEME: Gilmore made the Patriots' defense tick from 2017 to 2019, as he played lockdown man coverage better than any corner in the league. He's at his best playing press man, where he can cover the league's best receivers, but he comes back down to Earth when asked to play more zone concepts.

Recent Injury History:
After playing in every game in 2018 and 2019, Gilmore was limited to just 11 games and 632 snaps in 2020 due to knee and hand injuries. He was limited to just eight games in 2021 due to quad and groin injuries.

Contract Projection: Two years, $25 million ($12.5M per year, $17.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
From 2017 to 2019, Gilmore was the premier cornerback in the league while matching up against the best receivers in the league in New England's man coverage system. He played well on just 304 snaps with the Panthers last season, showing that he can still produce at a reasonable level. Scheme fit and his age (32 years old just after the start of the 2022 season) are the big question marks moving forward.

PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool that you can use to help you set the best lineups. You can toggle between showing the Matchup Advantage column against all projected coverage or the individual defenders.

12. CB Carlton Davis, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Carlton Davis is one of very few good, young cornerbacks set to hit the free-agent market and among an even shorter list of cornerbacks with the ability to play man coverage and battle head-to-head with an opposing team's No. 1 wide receiver. This more rare skill set always has a higher earning potential on the open market, but a franchise tag here for around $17 million-$17.5 million might be the most likely outcome.

Tampa Bay went the franchise-tag route with wide receiver Chris Godwin this past offseason, and they may elect to go that route once more as Davis has missed time to injury this past season — just like Godwin did in 2020.

Strengths:
-Reading routes and passing concepts
-Physicality
-Contesting targets

Weaknesses:
-Penalties (often too physical)
-Consistency

Scheme Fit/Role:
No. 1 CB: Carlton Davis has the size and physical profile of a cornerback who excels at man coverage, but he actually has pretty stark splits between man and zone in the NFL, with significantly worse production when playing man coverage. Davis has great physicality and the ability to break on the ball, and teams with weaknesses at corner should be all over him, putting the likes of the Cardinals, Seahawks, Jets and 49ers firmly in the mix.

Recent Injury History:
Davis suffered a quad injury that shut him down and landed him on IR in early October. He has otherwise been pretty injury-free.

Contract Projection: Four years, $66,000,000 ($16.5M per year, $42,500,000 guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Carlton Davis is a talented No. 1 corner in pretty much any scheme. He has the profile of a corner that should excel in man coverage, but he has actually been better in zone shells throughout his NFL career. He would be a fit for most cornerback needy teams.


13. S Tyrann Mathieu, Kansas City Chiefs

When Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith signed a four-year, $64 million extension shortly before the 2021 season, it had to have gotten the attention of veteran safeties league-wide. The Smith deal is one of the strongest contracts for a player in recent memory, with the signing keeping him under contract through his age-36 season. Mathieu is several years younger than Smith, and he helped lead the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense to a much stronger second half of the season than the first, so the versatile defensive back may be able to cash in once more.

Strengths:
– Instincts in coverage
– Versatility

Weaknesses:
– Size
– Can get caught out of position looking to make a play

Scheme Fit/Role:
DO-IT-ALL SAFETY: Mathieu frequently finds himself on “most versatile” lists, and his snap distribution backs those claims up. Since joining Kansas City in 2019, Mathieu has played over 600 snaps in deep, box and slot alignments. The Ravens reportedly had interest in Mathieu back in 2019 and could use his playmaking ability at safety.

Recent Injury History:
Mathieu had two ACL tears and a shoulder injury that led to missed time early in his career, but he has rarely left the field in recent years. He has averaged over 1,000 defensive snaps per year over last five years.

Contract Projection: Three years, $48.75 million ($16.25M per year, $30.75 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Mathieu brings leadership, energy and the ability to make plays from multiple positions to any defense he's on.


14. G Brandon ScherffWashington Commanders

Scherff played the 2021 season on his second consecutive franchise tag at a value of $18.036 million, bringing his three-year earnings to $45,591,000. He already ranks in the top five among guards in career earnings, and he’s never signed a multi-year veteran contract. Scherff missed Weeks 5 through 8 with a sprained MCL but had another strong season with 70.0-plus grades in both run- and pass blocking. Injuries have kept him sidelined from time to time, but he has unteachable talent, which led to his selection at No. 5 overall in 2015. 

Strengths:
– Reliable in pass protection
– Zone blocking

Weaknesses:
– Durability
– Hasn't been as dominant in gap schemes in recent years

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING GUARD: Scherff is one of the best all-around guards in football when healthy. He has graded out better the past several seasons in zone rushing schemes, where his ability on the move shines. He would be a nice addition to the Jets' young, rebuilding offensive line opposite Mekhi Becton and Alijah Vera-Tucker.

Recent Injury History:
The MCL sprain that sidelined Scherff for multiple weeks in 2021 is the latest in a growing list of injuries that have limited him throughout his career. Scherff has missed at least two games in each of the last five seasons.

Contract Projection: Three years, $50 million ($16.67 million per year, $30 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
A healthy Scherff is the best interior offensive lineman scheduled to hit free agency this offseason, but it's difficult to bank on Scherff staying healthy through an entire NFL season.


15. WR Odell Beckham Jr., Los Angeles Rams

The Rams' final midseason addition of 2021, Beckham Jr. didn’t take too long to get acclimated to the West Coast. He had had his first 40-plus yard reception since Week 2 of 2020 in just his second game with the team — against the Green Bay Packers in Week 12 — on a beautifully run slant-and-go route. Plays like that are why Beckham Jr. had as many suitors as he did when he was granted his release from the Cleveland Browns, and they could be lining up again given how effective he’s been during the Rams’ Super Bowl run.

Strengths:
– Spectacular ball skills
– Speed and route running

Weaknesses:
– Injuries
– Recent history

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 2 RECEIVER: OBJ has elite, No. 1 skills as a receiver, but it has been a long time since we have seen that player for an extended period of time. He has battled through a laundry list of injuries and doesn't seem quite the same explosive athlete he once was. He still possesses a rare blend of ball skills, athleticism and ability to separate and will have suitors trying to uncover the player he once was.

Recent Injury History:
Beckham Jr. dealt with a sprained shoulder throughout 2021 and injured his hip shortly after arriving with the Rams. He has a lengthy injury history over the course of his career.

Contract Projection: One year, $5 million ($3.5 million fully guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
OBJ is one of the most talented receivers in the NFL but has been battling injuries for years while enduring constant media attention. There will be teams that want to chase the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but his big-money contract days are going to need to be re-earned with some elite play.

PFF's new Best Bets Tool allows you to take advantage of the best prop and game betting opportunities for each NFL slate during the 2021 season.

16. EDGE Emmanuel Ogbah, Miami Dolphins

Ogbah has finally blossomed into a solid defensive end after a few years of bouncing around rosters. The Cleveland Browns made him the first pick of the second round in the 2016 NFL Draft and subsequently traded him to the Kansas City Chiefs for a fourth-round pick and safety Eric Murray before the 2019 season. In his second season with the Miami Dolphins, Ogbah earned a career-best 77.0 overall grade, and his 71.4 pass-rush grade was his first such mark above 65.0. 

Strengths:
– Block recognition in the run game
– Can rush the passer from inside and on the edge

Weaknesses:
– Taking on double teams when lined up inside
– Dominant wins on the edge

Scheme Fit/Role:
SOLID STARTER ON THE EDGE: Ogbah has never ranked higher than 40th among edge defenders, but he's on pace to have the best year of his career in 2021. He's a low-end starter who can win on the edge or on the interior as a pass-rusher.

Recent Injury History:
Ogbah's 2019 season was cut short after 410 snaps due to a pectoral injury, but he bounced back to play 792 snaps in 2020 and 755 in 2021.

Contract Projection: Three years, $46.5 million ($15.5M per year, $30 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
An average edge defender for the first five years of his career, Ogbah is trending in the right direction, and he's effective against the run and rushing the passer from multiple alignments. His career production projects him as a low-end starter or high-end rotational defensive lineman.


17. DI Akiem Hicks, Chicago Bears

Hicks was yet another established veteran seeking a well-deserved contract extension prior to the 2021 season, with his agent Drew Rosenhaus going so far as to spend a few days at Bears training camp in an effort to get something done. Nevertheless, no agreement was reached, and Hicks then battled a nagging groin injury in his contract year. He still maintained his very high floor of play, earning a 72.3 grade (23rd), driven by a strong 71.9 pass-rush grade (29th).

Strengths:
– Power. Incredible pop in his hands
– Bullrush
– Blowing up the downhill run game

Weaknesses:
– Pass-rush variety
– Playing against outside run game

Scheme Fit/Role:
POWER 3/5-TECHNIQUE: Hicks has been one of the better run defenders in the league over the last few years, especially when lined up over the guard or tackle. He has not been nearly as effective during his limited time playing nose tackle.

Recent Injury History:
Hicks was limited to just five games and 191 snaps in 2019 due to multiple arm injuries. He only played 304 snaps in 2021, though he played over 800 snaps in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020.

Contract Projection: Two years, $17 million ($8.5M per year, $12.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
We're a few years removed from Hicks' elite 2018 season that saw him rank fourth among interior defensive linemen with a 91.7 overall grade. Hicks has otherwise been an above-average run defender and pass-rusher, though we've seen some decline in his game as he gets into his 30s. He's missed significant time in two of the last three seasons.


18. EDGE Melvin Ingram III, Kansas City Chiefs

Ingram requested a midseason trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers after signing a one-year, $4 million deal in a dead market this past offseason. He landed with the Kansas City Chiefs and provided a boost to a defense that was struggling mightily, with eight quarterback pressures in his first three games.

Perhaps most importantly, his arrival helped the Chiefs get star interior defender Chris Jones back on the interior where he thrives as a pass-rusher. While Ingram is on the wrong side of 30 years old, he continued a streak of 70.0-plus pass-rush grades that dates back to 2013. There will always be a market for players who excel at chasing down quarterbacks, and he deserves a pay raise after proving he can stay healthy for a full season while still producing at a high level.

Strengths:
– Power
– Hand usage
– Pass-rush production

Weaknesses:
– Durability
– Age

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 2 OR NO. 3 PASS-RUSHER: Ingram is still an effective all-around player, but he's likely best as part of a rotation at this point in his career. He can play the run on the edge or rush from any alignment.

Recent Injury History:
Ingram has missed time in each of the past three seasons due to hamstring, knee and groin injuries. He had played over 1,000 snaps in 2015, 2016 and 2018, but that durability has taken a hit since 2019.

Contract Projection: One year, $8 million ($6.5M fully guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Injuries have started piling up for Ingram, but his power and technique make him effective both against the run and as a pass-rusher. He may not be an 800-plus snap player any longer, but he has plenty to offer in a complementary role.


19. CB Casey Hayward Jr., Las Vegas Raiders

Hayward was a cap casualty of the Los Angeles Chargers in the 2021 offseason after earning the lowest grade of his career by a wide margin — 59.5 overall after zero prior grades below 70.0. Not much of a market developed for the 32-year-old, and he eventually signed a one-year, $2.5 million flier with the Raiders and former Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. All Hayward did this year was regain his elite form, with his 75.0 coverage grade being his fifth 75.0-plus mark in his past six seasons. He thrives playing zone coverage in a predominantly Cover 3 system, and there are a lot of defenses running such a scheme, so he should be playing his way into a better deal for next year.

Strengths:
– Instincts in zone
– Click and close

Weaknesses:
– Limited schematically
– Age

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING CORNERBACK IN ZONE-HEAVY SCHEME: Hayward has operated in the heaviest Cover-3 defense in the league under Gus Bradley since 2017. It makes sense for Hayward to remain in a similar defensive environment in 2021.

Recent Injury History:
Hayward has only missed one game due to injury since he joined the Chargers back in 2016. That was the 2020 season finale after being placed on IR with a hamstring injury.

Contract Projection: One year, $6.5 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Hayward has shown that he still has something left in the tank this season for Las Vegas, grading out as one of the best cornerbacks in football. The cliff is nearing as Hayward pushes into his 30s, but he should still be able to provide quality starting play for a zone-heavy defense in 2022.

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20. G Laken Tomlinson, San Francisco 49ers

Tomlinson picked up where he left off in 2020 with a second consecutive overall grade above 75.0, and he also recorded a much-improved, career-best 75.2 pass-blocking grade. The former first-round pick of the Detroit Lions in 2015 may be in for a bigger deal this time around than his early extension signed in 2018 for $16.5 million across three years. 

Strengths:
– Value-add in run game, one of highest percentages of positively graded run blocks
– Zone blocking

Weaknesses:
– Pass blocking on true pass sets
– Locking onto targets on the move

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING GUARD: Tomlinson has developed into one of the best guards in the league under Kyle Shanahan, so a zone-heavy system is best for him to ensure continued high production. However, Tomlinson has done it all throughout his career and he can play in any scheme.

Recent Injury History:
Since 2017, Tomlinson has played at least 1,000 snaps in every season. He tore an MCL toward the end of 2018 but recovered in time to play every game in 2019.

Contract Projection: Three years, $31.5 million ($10.5M per year, $19.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
After a slow start to his career, Tomlinson developed into a high-end starter and his most recent work ranks him among the league's best guards. He's a valuable asset in the run game and a strong pass protector who has plenty of good football left as a starting guard.


21. LB De'Vondre Campbell, Green Bay Packers

The Packers — long searching for a reliable off-ball linebacker — brought Campbell aboard on a one-year, $2 million contract, and his 86.7 overall grade was second among linebackers through Week 8 while his 90.7 run-defense grade ranked first, leading to a Pro Bowl nod. Campbell’s 90.4 tackling grade is his fifth straight such mark above 75.0, and that sure tackling goes a long way in Green Bay. He’s earned himself a nice raise. Now it’s just a matter of how nice it’ll be. 

Strengths:
– Durability
– Tackling
– Downhill play vs. run

Weaknesses:
– One-year wonder
– Can get caught out of position in coverage

Scheme Fit/Role:
THREE-DOWN LINEBACKER: Campbell has played at least 850 regular season defensive snaps in every season since his rookie year in 2016. He rarely comes off the field, and there's been no reason for Green Bay to take him off the field given his play in all phases during his first year with the Packers.

Recent Injury History:
Campbell ranks among the top-10 off-ball linebackers in the league in defensive snaps played since he was drafted in 2016. He hasn't missed significant action in his six-year career.

Contract Projection: Two years, $18 million ($9M per year, $11.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
The hope for whatever teams sign Campbell is that he follows the Demario Davis career arc with his best football yet to come as he pushes towards 30 years old. He's a difficult evaluation with All-Pro-caliber play in 2021 following five seasons with a PFF grade below 70.0 to start his career.


22. WR Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys

Gallup’s contract year got off to a bit of a shaky start, as he sustained an injury in Week 1 that kept him sidelined through Week 9. He put up at least 30 receiving yards in every game from Weeks 10 to 17 but unfortunately suffered a torn ACL late in the season that complicates matters heading into 2022. 

Strengths:
– Route running and pacing
– Footwork
– Separation

Weaknesses:
– Average drop rate
– Bouts of inconsistency
– Average physical gifts

Scheme Fit/Role:
SCHEME-DIVERSE NO. 2 RECEIVER: Gallup can actually play as an X receiver as well as the Z, defeating press coverage and aggressive man coverage from cornerbacks with his footwork, hands and route running. He is a good secondary option but can work in either of those spots on an offense. Teams like Washington or New England would make a lot of sense for his services. Jacksonville always needs receiver help but would need more than just Gallup.

Recent Injury History:
Gallup missed significant time with a calf strain this season that saw him land on IR and opened up the door for Cedrick Wilson to eat into his playing time even when he returns. He has had some minor injuries in the past.

Contract Projection: Four years, $55 million ($13.75M per year, $33 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Gallup is a really intriguing receiver who is capable of doing a lot and even generating yards and catches against elite corners like Jalen Ramsey. He may not have the ceiling, consistency or elite athleticism of the best receivers in the game, but he would make a fantastic complementary piece to an offense that already has one.


23. WR Antonio Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Even at 33 years old and after missing time here and there due to injury, Brown is still one of the best wide receivers in the NFL when he plays. Through five contests to start the season, he had three outings with at least 90 receiving yards and a touchdown, and his 86.3 receiving grade ranked fourth among wide receivers. In any given stretch, Brown can be dominant, but there will of course be other questions this offseason after his bizarre mid-year breakup with the Buccaneers in 2021.

Strengths:
– Route-running nuance
– Ball skills
– Setting up defenders

Weaknesses:
– History of behavioral issues
– Age

Scheme Fit/Role:
SCHEME-DIVERSE UTILITY RECEIVER: Brown works in any scheme and in any position. He would be best suited to a scheme that taps into that versatility and already moves their receivers around and interchanges roles. 

Recent Injury History:
Since arriving in Tampa Bay, Antonio Brown had been pretty healthy until an ankle injury put him out in Week 6 and continued to linger. Brown has been remarkably durable for a smaller receiver throughout his career.

Contract Projection: One year, $4 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
At his peak, Antonio Brown was one of the best receivers the game has ever seen before forcing his way out of Pittsburgh and then blowing up subsequent opportunities. 

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24. DI Calais Campbell, Baltimore Ravens

The ageless wonder Campbell put together another very strong season at 35 years old, with his 80.8 grade well above any of the other pending free agent interior defenders. He’s a better run-defender at this stage in his career than he is a pass-rusher, but he can still win his one-on-one matchup and get upfield in a hurry now and then. Much like his former teammate Larry Fitzgerald, Campbell will likely continue to play on strong one-year deals until he decides to hang up the cleats.

Strengths:
– Wins on the interior and on the edge
– Length and quickness

Weaknesses:
– Gets moved by double teams in the run game
– Age

Scheme Fit/Role:
MULTIPLE-GAP INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: Campbell broke out in 2011 and he hasn't looked back, ranking as one of the best defensive linemen in the league. He is at his best playing over the guard, but he's been effective playing the run and rushing the passer from all alignments along the defensive line. Campbell is a scheme-versatile player who upgrades multiple positions in any system.

Recent Injury History:
After playing over 750 snaps in each season from 2009 to 2019, Campbell played just 469 snaps in 2020, as he missed five games due to a calf injury. He's missed Week 12 this season with a concussion. Other than that, he's been one of the most durable players in the NFL.

Contract Projection: One year, $8 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
While Campbell is going to be 36 at the start of the 2022 season, he has enough left in the tank to provide a three-down presence to any defensive front.


25. EDGE Haason Reddick, Carolina Panthers

Reddick has successfully made the transition from off-ball linebacker to edge rusher — it’s now just a question of how high his ceiling can be. He is a bit undersized as a full-time outside linebacker at 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds, but he has a knack for bringing the quarterback down and has racked up 28 sacks since 2020 — the fourth-most among edge rushers. He is also able to set the edge moderately well in run defense, earning a 70.4 grade for the 2021 season. 

Strengths:
– Explosive first step and quickness
– Wins tend to result in big plays
– Speed in pursuit

Weaknesses:
– Size
– Counters after tackles engage

Scheme Fit/Role:
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER IN AGGRESSIVE DEFENSE: Reddick is at his best on blitz-heavy defenses like Carolina's and Arizona's that can create unblocked opportunities and pass-rushing reps against tight ends and running backs. Reddick hasn't matched his 2020 pass-rushing production this year for the Panthers, but he has earned positive grades against the run at one of the highest rates at the position.

Recent Injury History:
Reddick missed the first game of his career since he was drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft on the COVID-19 list late this year. He's played 600-plus defensive snaps for the fourth consecutive season.

Contract Projection: Three years, $35 million ($11.67M per year, $18 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Few edge rushers have sacked opposing quarterbacks at a higher rate than Reddick since the start of the 2020 season. His size limits what he can do schematically, but we've seen that a blitz-heavy defense can make use of his first step and quickness off the edge.


26. T Duane Brown, Seattle Seahawks

Brown was looking for an extension before the 2021 season but had to settle for a reworked contract that moved his cash payment schedule forward entering his age-36 season. Brown is still several years younger than Rams stalwart left tackle Andrew Whitworth, so he will surely point to his situation in an effort to continue making decent money well into his 30s. Brown deserves it, with 80.0-plus grades in every facet in 2020 and solid grades near 70.0 in every facet in 2021.

Strengths:
– Avoiding negatively graded plays in the run game
– Pass protection
– Moves well in space

Weaknesses:
– Run blocking on gap runs
– Age

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING LEFT TACKLE: While he's at his best in a zone-heavy scheme, Brown has done it all during his 14-year career. He's been one of the most dependable tackles in the league since his rookie season and he's likely entering tackle-for-hire one-year deal status for teams that expect to be in playoff contention.

Recent Injury History:
After playing all 17 games in 2018, Brown missed four games in 2019 between biceps and knee injuries. He bounced back to play over 1,100 snaps once again in 2020.

Contract Projection: Two years, $20 million ($10M per year, $14.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
We're getting toward the tail end of Brown's stellar career in which he's been one of the best pass protectors in the league. He's shown some signs of decline, but he can be an effective starting option for teams looking for a quick replacement at left tackle.


27. HB/WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons

Patterson attempted to set an NFL record for most positions listed on the depth chart, as he was the Atlanta Falcons’ RB2 (though he became the RB1 in reality), kick returner and fifth-string safety. Patterson enjoyed an incredible breakout year as an offensive weapon, with his 2.23 yards per route run ranking second among running backs. He may not be able to cash in on a huge deal now past 30 years old, but he deserves a healthy raise over his $3 million deal signed this past season. 

Strengths:
– Receiving skills
– Position versatility
– Natural playmaker with the ball

Weaknesses:
– Can every team maximize him?
– Jack of all trades, master of none

Scheme Fit/Role:
MATCHUP WEAPON: Patterson is a unique player. Not quite a running back and not quite a wide receiver, he can be a problem for defenses in either spot and is good enough at both to move seamlessly between them and exploit resulting mismatches in personnel. He fits with a team that is willing to carve out that role for him.

Recent Injury History:
Patterson suffered an ankle sprain that caused him to miss time in 2021. He has a fairly extensive history of minor injuries throughout his NFL career.

Contract Projection: Two years, $12 million ($6M per year, $8.25M total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Patterson was a disappointment as a first-round receiver but has since developed into an elite playmaker on offense as a running-back-turned-matchup-problem. He also adds versatility as a kick returner, though that position is less valuable these days.


28. TE Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Gronkowski looked even better to start off the 2021 campaign than he did in 2020, perhaps because his post-retirement rust was fully shaken off. The tight end racked up 129 receiving yards and four touchdowns through Week 2 before injuries to his ribs and back kept him sidelined for a while. Regardless, he is still capable of being “Gronk” when healthy — it may just be a matter of finding a new quarterback to catch passes from.

Strengths:
– Size/catch radius
– Contested-catch ability
– Red-zone weapon

Weaknesses:
– Run blocking tapering off in recent years
– Durability/age

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING TIGHT END: Gronkowski has been the quintessential all-around tight end during his Hall of Fame career, and he still has many of those same characteristics, albeit a step below where he once was. He's one of the few tight ends who can play on the line against defensive ends in the run game but also line up outside and create mismatches as a receiver.

Recent Injury History:
2020 was just the third time Gronkowski played all 16 games of the regular season, as he's been banged up with various injuries throughout his career. He missed time in 2021 due to a rib injury.

Contract Projection: One year, $7 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Even at the tail end of his career, Gronkowski is a pass-game weapon who can add value as a run blocker. The one limitation for the other 31 teams is if he's only tied to Tom Brady and with Brady retiring, will Gronk have interest in continuing his career?


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29. CB Darious Williams, Los Angeles Rams

Williams was the only restricted free agent to receive the first-round tender in the 2021 offseason at a value of $4.766 million, signaling how much the Rams value his contributions. The move may also demonstrate their perception of how he is regarded league-wide if they thought a second-round tender would not have been enough to keep another club from signing him to an offer sheet. A very solid player opposite Jalen Ramsey, Williams has thrived in a zone-heavy scheme but has physical limitations at just 5-foot-9. Nevertheless, opposing quarterbacks rarely fare well throwing into his coverage, and he deserves a payday.

Strengths:
– Ball Skills
– Quickness
– Ability to mirror and change of direction speed

Weaknesses:
– Size
– Protected role within Rams defense
– Run defense

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 2 CB: Dating back to college, Williams really doesn't have any bad tape to speak of. With the Rams, the only question is that Jalen Ramsey has enabled him to lead a sheltered life as a No. 2 corner that hasn't had the tough assignments that can cause problems to smaller corners. He is not scheme-specific and fits as a No. 2 in any defense.

Recent Injury History:
Williams suffered an ankle injury in Week 5 that landed him on IR.

Contract Projection: Three years, $33 million ($11 million per year, $20 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Darious Williams has elite quickness, movement skills and the ability to find and break up the football once it's in the air. He can play equally well in man or zone coverage but has always been protected by his role within the Rams defense.


30. EDGE Justin Houston, Baltimore Ravens

After grading below 79.0 just once in eight seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs — his rookie season — Houston signed a two-year, $23 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts in 2019. He debuted with 60 quarterback pressures for the Colts but posted a career-low 64.4 pass-rush grade in 2020. It was the first sub-70.0 mark of his career, and his 32 quarterback pressures were his fewest in a full season since his rookie season in 2011.

The salary cap drop of the 2020 offseason could not have come at a worse time, and Houston eventually agreed to sign with the Baltimore Ravens for less than what several other teams were reportedly offering. Houston’s 18 combined sacks and hits ranked 23rd among edge defenders in 2021, and he should be able to bounce back in a better market.

Strengths:
– Hand usage
– Power

Weaknesses:
– Declining speed and explosiveness
– Inconsistent vs. run of late

Scheme Fit/Role:
ROTATIONAL PASS-RUSHER: Houston fits into the cluster of edge defenders in this free-agent class who can still provide value to a defense but are best utilized situationally at this stage of their careers. He has shown in his time with Kansas City, Indianapolis and Baltimore that he can operate both as a 4-3 defensive end and a 3-4 outside linebacker.

Recent Injury History:
Houston missed his first game since the 2018 season back in Week 3 of this year, sitting out while in COVID-19 protocols. He's been relatively healthy since several injuries that led to missed time toward the end of his Chiefs tenure.

Contract Projection: One year, $7 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Houston has lost some of the juice that helped make him one of the NFL's best all-around edge defenders in Kansas City, but he has shown this season that he remains a technician capable of winning one-on-ones.


31. G Connor Williams, Dallas Cowboys

Williams was a top-50 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and a full-time starter at left guard in Week 1 of his rookie season. Williams was briefly benched late in 2021, but he finished the season with an 84.1 pass-block grade over the final five weeks, which ranked fifth among guards. Williams understandably gets overlooked playing alongside an elite left tackle in Tyron Smith and with guard Zack Martin leading the way in PFF grade among guards since 2020 (94.6). Nevertheless, he’s a solid young player with more room to grow. 

Strengths:
– Blocking on the move
– Combo blocks

Weaknesses:
– Blocking players with length/power
– Penalties

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING GUARD: While Williams has done most of his damage in a zone-heavy scheme, he's an effective puller and he's capable of executing any block required in a gap-heavy system as well. In pass protection, he could use help against longer players.

Recent Injury History:
After Williams' 2019 season was cut short due to an ACL, he's bounced back to play in every game in 2020 and 2021.

Contract Projection: Three years, $20 million ($6.67M per year, $12.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Another offensive lineman who took a couple years to get going, Williams stepped up his game with a top-20 grade in 2020, and he continued that success in 2021. He's a better run-blocker than pass-blocker and he's a mid-tier starting option who has scheme diversity.


32. EDGE Jerry Hughes, Buffalo Bills

Hughes has become something of a pass-rush specialist to close out his career, with his 87.4 pass-rush grade since 2019 slotting in as the 10th-best mark among edge rushers, but his 57.3 run-defense grade ranking 119th out of 188 edge rushers. Teams will always pay for someone who can get after the opposing quarterback, and Hughes shows no sign of losing that ability — even at 33 years old. 

Strengths:
– Consistently high pass-rush win rate
– Speed around edge and inside counter

Weaknesses:
– Finishing pressures with sacks
– Age

Scheme Fit/Role:
ROTATIONAL PASS-RUSHER: Hughes has graded out in the 90th percentile or higher among edge defenders in pass-rush grade and pass-rush win rate over the past three seasons. Turning 34 years old in August means that his ability is best used situationally at this point, but Hughes makes sense for defenses in need of another pass-rushing specialist off the edge.

Recent Injury History:
Hughes entered camp this season with a calf injury, but he's reportedly gotten healthier as the season has progressed. Hughes tweeted that he played through torn ligaments in his wrist during the 2019 season that never appeared on the injury report.

Contract Projection: One year, $6.5 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Even at 33 years old, Hughes has been one of the NFL's most effective edge rushers this season. He can still bring value to a team as a pass-rushing specialist in the twilight of his career.


33. G James Daniels, Chicago Bears

Daniels earned a career-high 71.0 grade in 2021, with the Chicago Bears finally putting him at one position – right guard – and leaving him there to improve over the year. Daniels was one of the youngest draft picks in 2018 and will be just 24 years old in Week 1 of 2022. The combination of youth and the fact Daniels kept getting moved around the interior of the offensive line suggests he could have even more untapped potential playing full-time at right guard. 

From Week 4 through the end of the season, Daniels’ 75.8 overall grade ranked 12th among guards. His 71.8 pass-blocking grade ranked 27th among players at the position, and his 76.3 run-blocking grade ranked 17th.

Strengths:
– Age
– Zone blocking
– Pass blocking

Weaknesses:
– Gap runs
– Facing power

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING GUARD IN A ZONE-BLOCKING SCHEME: Daniels has played predominantly in zone-heavy attacks between college at Iowa and his four years with the Bears, and that's where he excels when it comes to the run game.

Recent Injury History:
Daniels played in every game in 2018 and 2019 before a torn pectoral robbed him of all but five games in 2020. He's been healthy again in 2021, playing in every game through Week 12.

Contract Projection: Five years, $60 million ($12M per year, $34.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Since 2018, Daniels has been productive at both guard positions. He also has experience at center and will turn 25 just after opening day in 2022. Daniels is an excellent fit for a zone-blocking scheme and has been one of the best pass-blocking guards in the league over the last two seasons. His best football may still be ahead of him.

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34. QB Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints

Winston suffered an unfortunate ACL tear injury that knocked him out of the second half of the 2021 season after a relatively slow start, but it was one that featured few interceptions and a lot of wins. Winston may never become the gunslinger envisioned when he was selected No. 1 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015, but his time in New Orleans did illustrate that he can patiently manage an offense and take what’s given to him. Winston was also let down a number of times by the poor collection of wide receivers New Orleans was able to bring in due to their disastrous salary cap situation, but the big question for teams will be his health. 

Strengths:
– Arm strength and willingness to attack downfield
– Able to break the pocket and pick up first downs with legs

Weaknesses:
– Putting the ball in harm's way
– Passing under pressure

Scheme Fit/Role:
LOW-END STARTING QUARTERBACK: Trying to turn Winston into a game manager is a losing battle. He's been one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL at avoiding negatively graded throws, including this season in New Orleans prior to his injury. But there should be a market out there for teams interested in his ability to pick up yardage in chunks downfield. Winston's style of play would be a refreshing change of pace for Pittsburgh after the low-ADOT approach of the last several seasons.

Recent Injury History:
Winston's knee injury, which included a torn ACL and MCL damage, is a tough blow for the 27-year-old quarterback as he enters free agency. The recovery will play a role in teams' interest next offseason.

Contract Projection: One year, $7 million, incentives can boost it to $12 million

Bottom Line:
Winston isn't an overly exciting starting option, but he could be toward the top of the list for several teams looking to make a change at the quarterback position in a weak free agent and draft class.


35. WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers

Smith-Schuster reportedly turned down offers from the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs in order to stay with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who selected him in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Smith-Schuster was once believed to be supplanting Antonio Brown as the best wide receiver in Pittsburgh, but even with Brown no longer in town, that still isn’t the case. However, Smith-Schuster plays a very valuable role as a sure-handed slot receiver who a quarterback can rely on in critical situations. He ranks in the top 15 in third-down receptions (85) among wide receivers since he was drafted in 2017. That said, he will once again likely be facing one-year flier offers after missing much of the 2021 season to injury. 

Strengths:
– Physicality
– Hands
– Just turned 25

Weaknesses:
– Explosiveness
– Separating downfield vs. single coverage

Scheme Fit/Role:
PHYSICAL SLOT RECEIVER: Smith-Schuster looked to be one of the NFL's best young receivers early in his career as a secondary option on an offense that featured Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell. Brown's departure highlighted that JuJu isn't a viable No. 1 option in the passing game, but this version of the Steelers' offense also hasn't done him any favors. He can provide quality play as a big slot with sure hands on a talented offense like Tennessee's.

Recent Injury History:
Smith-Schuster will enter free agency coming off a shoulder surgery that limited him to only five games in 2021 before returning for Pittsburgh's lone playoff game. He missed time during the 2019 season with a knee injury and concussion as well.

Contract Projection: One year, $8 million

Bottom Line:
Smith-Schuster's career arc has largely been a function of the offenses that he's played on, putting up big numbers on the “Killer B” offenses early in his career before seeing his numbers take a nosedive on dysfunctional Steelers offenses since 2019. He won't transform an offense, but he can be a nice complementary piece on an offense that already has legitimate outside weapons.


36. S Marcus Maye, New York Jets

An Achilles tear came at the absolute worst possible time for Maye, as he suffered the injury halfway through the season while playing on the franchise tag. Odds are Maye will be seeking a one-year flier to prove he’s back to 100% healthy before once again looking for a multi-year payday.

Strengths:
– Versatility
– Zone coverage
– Run fits

Weaknesses:
– Missed tackles
– Major injury off a down year

Scheme Fit/Role:
VERSATILE S BEST SUITED TO FS ROLE: Maye spent his first seasons as a deep-lying free safety but then was able to play in a more expanded role once Jamal Adams left for the Seahawks. He is good in deep zones but always fits the run well, despite some missed tackles. He would fit well in any scheme but is best suited to a free safety role.

Recent Injury History:
Maye blew his Achilles in Week 9 on a non-contact injury, putting him out for the remainder of the 2021 season and casting an ugly cloud over his future contract, as he was playing on the franchise tag.

Contract Projection: One year, $6 million

Bottom Line:
Maye is versatile but now has age and a bad injury in the form of a ruptured Achilles may completely suppress his market. He wasn't playing well this season before the injury, and may not be at his best next year, so he may be waiting a while for a deal.


37. CB Steven Nelson, Philadelphia Eagles

Nelson was entering the final season of his three-year, $25 million contract signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers and wanted an extension before Week 1. With Pittsburgh already exhausting a lot of resources to retain key players, and with edge defender T.J. Watt set to sign the biggest contract for a defensive player in the entire NFL just months later, they decided an outright release would be better for both parties. Nelson didn’t have to leave the state of Pennsylvania, latching on in Philadelphia on a one-year, $2.5 million flier. Operating as the No. 2 alongside Darius Slay, Nelson will look to cash in on a longer-term deal this offseason.

Strengths:
– Zone coverage
– Rarely beaten deep
– Feisty and physical

Weaknesses:
– Average ball skills
– Gives up too many TDs in the red zone

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 2 CORNER: Steven Nelson is a classic overachiever at the cornerback position. A little undersized, he has been a consistently good player in the NFL, making up for some limitations with feisty physicality. He is better in zone coverage, but can hold up in man coverage too and would fit within most NFL defenses. He would be a good option to a team that needs several cornerback additions like the Cardinals or Vikings.

Recent Injury History:
Nelson has been durable in the NFL, suffering little but minor niggles lately.

Contract Projection: Two years, $14 million ($7M per year, $8.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Steven Nelson fits in any scheme as a No. 2 corner who will consistently make some plays and give up some yardage and touchdowns. He is at his best in zone coverage and would be even better with a team that has a legitimate No. 1.


38. C Ben Jones, Tennessee Titans

Jones has aged like a fine wine in the Tennessee Titans wide zone rushing attack, earning the three best grades of his career the last three seasons, all over the age of 30. A handful of other older centers have played well into their thirties in this offensive scheme, most notably 49ers center Alex Mack, who signed a three-year deal this past offseason at 36. Jones has shown no signs of slowing down and should take just a slight age-related drop in pay from his current contract. 

Strengths:
– Run blocking in a zone scheme
– High percentage of positively graded blocks in the run game
– Pass blocking
– Durability

Weaknesses:
– High percentage of negatively graded blocks in run game

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING CENTER IN ZONE-HEAVY SCHEME: Battle-tested and reliable, Jones is one of the better starting centers in the league. He does his best work in the zone running game, but he's capable of playing in any system. He also has experience playing guard, if needed.

Recent Injury History:
Jones missed one game due to a concussion in 2019, but he's been extremely durable, playing over 1,000 snaps in seven of his last eight seasons.

Contract Projection: Three years, $20 million ($6.67M per year), $12 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
With three straight years grading in the top 10, Jones has developed into one of the league's best centers. He's continued to improve throughout his eight-year career, and he's showing no signs of slowing down.


39. CB Charvarius Ward, Kansas City Chiefs

Ward played the 2021 season on a second-round restricted free agent tender and continued to show he can hold up as a man cover corner with good size at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds. If Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis and New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson were to be franchise-tagged or extended by their current clubs, Ward would have an argument as the best cornerback available due to his ability to play out wide in a man coverage scheme.

Ward also excels in an area that every defensive coordinator will love: tackling. He’s one of the best pure tacklers at wide corner in the NFL, and his 5% missed tackle percentage is the lowest rate among the top 75 outside cornerbacks in total tackles since 2019.

Strengths:
– Single coverage
– Making plays on the ball
– Size/length

Weaknesses:
– Zone coverage
– Playing in the slot

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 2 CB IN MAN-HEAVY SCHEME: Ward has played a variety of coverages in Kansas City, but he's at his best in man coverage on the outside.

Recent Injury History:
Ward missed one game in 2020 due to a broken hand and has sat out multiple games in 2021 due to a quad injury.

Contract Projection: Three years, $42 million ($14 million per year, $23.25 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
A former undrafted free agent, Ward boasts the size and speed to play press-man coverage on the outside. Given his career production, he projects better as a No. 2 option, particularly in a man-heavy scheme on a team that dictates matchups.


40. CB D.J. Reed Jr., Seattle Seahawks

Reed had a career year in 2021, playing almost 500 snaps more than his previous season-high and earning a career-best 78.6 overall grade. Working against Reed is the fact he’s listed at 5-foot-9 and is primarily an outside cornerback, much like fellow NFC West standout Darious Williams. Nevertheless, Reed has played well since becoming a full-time starter on the outside in Week 10 of 2020, and back-to-back seasons with run defense grades above 85.0 suggest his size isn’t always an issue. 

Strengths:
– Run support
– Physicality
– Competes at the catch point

Weaknesses:
– Undersized for an outside cornerback
– Hasn't played much man coverage in Seattle

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING CORNERBACK IN ZONE-HEAVY SCHEME: Listed at 5-foot-9, Reed doesn't have the prototypical length Seattle has coveted in their cornerbacks, but he's found success in Pete Carroll's defense over the past two seasons. He has played significantly more snaps in zone coverage than in man coverage and has graded out better on those zone snaps. He'll stand out as a plus run defender for the position wherever he ends up.

Recent Injury History:
Reed missed three games this season due to a groin injury and a stint on the COVID-19 reserve list. He missed the first eight weeks of the 2020 season while on the reserve/non-football injury list with a torn pectoral.

Contract Projection: Three years, $24 million ($8M per year), $13.5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Despite not possessing the kind of length Seattle typically looks for in their cornerbacks, Reed has been the Seahawks' top option at the position since joining the team in 2020. He has allowed a first down or touchdown on just one-third of his targets while providing excellent run support since taking on a starting role outside.


41. QB Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos

Bridgewater is only two years removed from signing a three-year, $63 million contract with the Carolina Panthers and has been more consistent behind a better Broncos offensive line. Bridgewater has out-performed his reworked one-year, $10 million contract and is the only proven starting-caliber quarterback under 30 years old this offseason. That fact alone may dictate his market, depending on how many teams need quarterbacks. And considering the 2022 NFL Draft class is expected to be very underwhelming at the position, he could be in for a decent deal.

Case Keenum signed a two-year, $36 million contract with the Broncos after an NFC Championship game run with the Minnesota Vikings in 201. This contract somewhat mirrors that bridge quarterback deal, though it is not as big because of a potentially flooded veteran quarterback market.

Strengths:
– Accuracy
– Leadership

Weaknesses:
– Lack of big-time throws
– Not careful enough with the football
– Possibly durability

Scheme Fit/Role:
BRIDGE QUARTERBACK/HIGH-END BACKUP: Bridgewater has shown he is capable of starting and playing well in the NFL, but also that there is a ceiling to his play and a conservative streak to his passing that limits his effectiveness. He isn't likely to take a team all the way to a Super Bowl, but he can back up the player who does — or keep the seat warm for a young player in the meantime.

Recent Injury History:
Bridgewater suffered a concussion in Week 4 against the Ravens this season, but has otherwise been relatively healthy. His entire career comes in the context of a devastating knee injury suffered with the Vikings that almost cost him his leg, never mind his career.

Contract Projection: Two years, $17 million ($8.5M per year, $12 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
An accurate passer who teammates and coaches love, Bridgewater is a viable starter, but nothing more. Any team chasing better than that will view him as a backup or a stopgap.


42. WR Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals

Kirk lined up in the slot on 79% of his snaps in 2021, easily beating out his previous career-high of 41.6%. Kirk has had a similar career trajectory to Washington Commanders wide receiver Curtis Samuel, with a massive jump in slot deployment and his average depth of target dropping in the fourth year of his rookie contract. Both are roughly 5-foot-11, 200-pound former second-round picks who play at 4.4 speeds. 

Strengths:
– Tracking the ball downfield
– Comfortable making catches through contact over the middle of the field

Weaknesses:
– Numbers take a hit when lined up outside
– Not elusive after the catch

Scheme Fit/Role:
VERTICAL SLOT THREAT: Kirk has averaged half a receiving yard more in the slot than he has out wide over the course of his NFL career. His best fit is with a team looking for a slot receiver who can help stretch the field, but there are few better quarterbacks out there who will provide him with downfield opportunities than Kyler Murray.

Recent Injury History:
Kirk hasn't missed any extended stretches since suffering a broken foot in his rookie season. He did deal with a lingering ankle injury in 2019 that kept him out of three games.

Contract Projection: Three years, $39 million ($13M per year, $22M total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Kirk is a solid complementary option in the passing game who can win vertically from the slot. He'll have a tough time finding a quarterback better suited at hitting him deep than Murray if he leaves Arizona, though.

PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.

43. WR D.J. Chark Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars

Chark’s relationship with former Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer didn’t get off to the best start, as Meyer said he was a “big guy that played little.” In a wide receiver room devoid of top-end talent, Chark was supposed to be that guy. Unfortunately, an ankle injury sustained in Week 4 knocked him out for the remainder of what was quite the eventful season in Jacksonville. Chark may look to depart for greener pastures, and there should be a handful of teams interested in adding a 6-foot-4 wide receiver with 4.3 speed. 

Strengths:
– Speed
– Size
– Ball skills and body control

Weaknesses:
– Physicality running routes
– Feel for zone coverage
– Contested catches

Scheme Fit/Role:
DEEP THREAT/NO. 3 RECEIVER: Chark has the speed to burn and an excellent frame to give defensive backs all kinds of problems at the catch point or if he can gain any separation in his route. He has the speed to run away from defenders after the catch but struggles to set up corners or win against physicality. His speed should always be valuable and a team like New Orleans could use that threat.

Recent Injury History:
Chark has had a pretty extensive injury history including missing almost all of the 2021 season with an ankle injury. He has a slight frame and has shown a concerning level of durability.

Contract Projection: Two years, $25 million ($12.5M per year, $15 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Injuries will scare teams off Chark as will the weaknesses in his game, but he has game-changing speed and is a little more than just a one-trick pony on the deep ball, and that always has a place in an NFL offense. He will be a luxury pick for a team that already has a solid receiving corps.


44. S Quandre Diggs, Seattle Seahawks

Diggs is a pure free safety who rarely leaves the deep third of the field, patrolling the back end while Jamal Adams played down in the box and closer to the line of scrimmage. Diggs does not miss an opportunity to force a turnover, intercepting 21.6% of passes thrown into his coverage since 2019, which is the top mark among safeties and has translated into 11 interceptions over the span (tied for third among safeties). Diggs could push for a contract like the ones recently doled out to San Francisco 49ers safety Jimmie Ward (three years, $28.5 million), Las Vegas Raiders safety Lamarcus Joyner (four years, $42 million) and Houston Texans safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. (three years, $22.5 million). All three players are sub-6-foot and were at least 28 years old at the time of signing. 

Strengths:
– Recognition and instincts
– Athletic range in zone coverage

Weaknesses:
– Playmaking at the catch point
– Tackling on the perimeter

Scheme Fit/Role:
RELIABLE STARTING SAFETY: Diggs' position change was the best thing to happen to his trajectory, and his skill set would be a core piece for any secondary. He's been a capable free safety for the Seahawks, but he could add even more value to a defense that prefers to play multiple coverage schemes.

Recent Injury History:
Diggs hasn't been listed on a gameday injury report since 2019, which was for a high-ankle sprain. In that same season, the safety struggled with recovering from a hamstring injury.

Contract Projection: Three years, $30 million ($10M per year, $16.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Diggs won't be a transformative addition, but his addition would provide relief to any defense in the middle of the field. One can make the argument that if Seattle had another safety versatile enough to mix up its coverages, Diggs would have more tape showcasing his versatility.


45. G Austin Corbett, Los Angeles Rams

The Cleveland Browns drafted Austin Corbett with the first pick in the second round of the 2018 Draft, but things got off to a very shaky start with his first franchise. After playing just 15 snaps over a season and a half, the Browns sent him to the Los Angeles Rams for a fifth-round pick. Strangely enough, Corbett’s career trajectory now somewhat resembles Browns star right guard Wyatt Teller’s, with a trade and a change of scenery leading to a boost in his play.

Corbett didn’t miss a single snap for the Rams in 2020 and logged a career-high 73.4 overall grade and 76.4 run-blocking grade despite switching from center to right guard. He has maintained that level of play through Week 12 of 2021, and his upward trajectory, positional flexibility along the interior of the offensive line and draft status could lead to a solid payday after a rocky start to his NFL career. 

Strengths:
– Solid all-around grading profile
– Hand usage
– Screens

Weaknesses:
– Dealing with length on the interior
– Can be late to second-level defenders off combo blocks

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING GUARD: Corbett has turned his career around in Sean McVay's wide zone offense, and he's graded above the 50th percentile among all guards in zone- and gap-rushing schemes since the start of last season. He's also graded out in the top half of qualifying guards in pass-blocking grade on true pass sets. Corbett doesn't necessarily need to remain in a similar offense to be an effective starter.

Recent Injury History:
Corbett has started every game at right guard for the Rams since the start of the 2020 season. He hasn't dealt with any major injuries since he was drafted in 2018.

Contract Projection: Four years, $40 million ($10M per year, $23.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Corbett's play as the Rams' starting right guard over the past two years has helped him shed the “bust” label that was prematurely placed on him after being drafted 33rd overall by the Browns in 2018. He's a top-20 guard in PFF's wins above replacement metric since 2020, and he can be plugged in as a capable starting guard for most NFL offenses.


46. EDGE Derek Barnett, Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles let 2017 first-round pick Derek Barnett play out his fifth-year option season in 2021, going so far as to push $7.25 million in salary cap into 2022 just to fit everyone on the books. While this could suggest the two sides will at least explore an extension after the season, Philadelphia just signed 2018 third-round edge rusher Josh Sweat to a three-year, $40 million extension, which could make Barnett the odd man out.

Barnett is very consistent, with his five season grades landing between 59.0 and 68.0. No facet of his play has ever earned a grade below 50.0 for a season. He has a very high floor, but his ceiling may not be as high as was originally projected when he came out of Tennessee. A good comparison contract signed recently could be Cincinnati Bengals edge rusher Sam Hubbard, who signed a four-year, $40 million extension before the 2021 season. Hubbard is also a player who is stout in run defense at 4-3 defensive end but doesn’t offer a ton of production as a pass-rusher.

Strengths:
– Power in the run game
– Bend on the edge

Weaknesses:
– Average pass-rusher
– Gap discipline

Scheme Fit/Role:
SOLID STARTER ON THE EDGE: Barnett does not stand out in any one area, but he can play the run and is a mid-tier pass-rusher. Ideally, he'd be part of a three-man rotation on the edge. Regardless, he can provide 600-800 quality snaps as a starter if needed.

Recent Injury History:
Barnett was limited to just six games in 2018 due to a torn rotator cuff. In 2019, he missed time due to an ankle injury, while hamstring and calf injuries kept him out of three games in 2020.

Contract Projection: Three years, $37.5 million ($12.5M per year, $25M total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Barnett has been extremely consistent in his five NFL seasons, showing to be an effective run defender and a mediocre pass-rusher. He is a complementary piece in a good defensive line rotation.


47. LB Alexander Johnson, Denver Broncos

Johnson finds himself in one of the most unique contract situations in NFL history. The 30-year-old linebacker will be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career after a delayed start to his NFL career, and now he’ll be working his way back from a torn pectoral muscle injury. When healthy, Johnson is among the best sideline-to-sideline run-defenders at off-ball linebacker in the league. 

Strengths:
– Thumping run defense
– Tackling
– Aggression

Weaknesses:
– Age
– Sample size
– Coverage in space

Scheme Fit/Role:
SCHEME-DIVERSE MIDDLE LINEBACKER: Johnson has a complicated backstory and got his chance in the NFL late, but he has been consistently excellent when on the field. He hits free agency at 30 years old with just a little over 2,000 career snaps to his name. Johnson should have at least one contract of high-end play in him as a middle linebacker who can do it all — especially in run defense. He can also be productive as a blitzer and in coverage, although they aren't his best facets of play.

Recent Injury History:
Johnson tore his pectoral, which ended his season in 2021 after just 323 snaps. He played over 1,000 snaps the previous season.

Contract Projection: Two years, $14 million ($7M per year, $9 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
There is a four-year hole in Johnson's career because of rape charges that he was later acquitted of, so he'll hit free agency low on experience and proven elite play despite being 30 years old. He possesses high-end starter potential and will be an interesting case this offseason.


48. G Andrew Norwell, Jacksonville Jaguars

Norwell had two years and $25 million remaining on his five-year extension signed in 2018 heading into the 2021 season, but the Jacksonville Jaguars negotiated a pay cut and contract reduction, making him a free agent after the season. Norwell responded with his eighth-straight season grading out above 65.0 overall and above 70.0 as a pass blocker, and there will almost certainly be a handful of teams looking for a veteran guard with his extremely high floor. 

Strengths:
– Pass blocking
– Never had a bad season
– Just 30 years old.

Weaknesses:
– Run blocking
– Finished badly in back-to-back years

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING LG: Norwell is still a solid option as a starting guard in today's NFL. He is a better pass-blocker than run-blocker and would upgrade several offensive lines in the league. His play hasn't been trending in the right direction, but he has still never had a poor season overall.

Recent Injury History:
Norwell dealt with an ankle injury early in the season but barely missed any time. He played over 1,000 snaps in 2021.

Contract Projection: Three years, $21.75 million ($7.25M per year), $15 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Norwell was once the prize of free agency on the offensive line and seen as one of the best guards in the game. He's not at that level right now, but he is still a capable starter who would be an upgrade for several teams.

PFF's Big Board provides up-to-date grades, rankings and analysis for all of the top prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft.

49. T Morgan Moses, New York Jets

Moses’ release from the Washington Commanders this past offseason was one of the more surprising moves around the league. To Washington’s credit, second-round rookie right tackle Samuel Cosmi has had a great debut season when healthy. Moses ended up with the New York Jets on a one-year, $3.6 million deal and turned in another solid season grading above 65.0 as a run- and pass-blocker while rarely missing a snap. A stronger market should land Moses another multi-year deal for a good bit more than $3.6 million per year.

Strengths:
– Durability
– Positive blocks in the run game

Weaknesses:
– Pad level
– Average pass-blocker

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING RIGHT TACKLE: Moses is a durable player who has been consistently solid since taking over as a starter in 2015.

Recent Injury History:
Moses has been one of the most durable players in the league. He has not missed a game since 2015.

Contract Projection: Three years, $22.5 million ($7.5M per year, $14.5M total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Moses will be heading into his ninth NFL season in 2022, and he's been one of the most dependable right tackles in the league in his career. He brings value to the run game and is reasonable in pass protection, making him a valuable starting option for teams in need of a right tackle.


50. T Eric Fisher, Indianapolis Colts

Fisher suffered an unfortunate Achilles injury in the 2020 AFC Championship and then underwent surgery before returning to football action just seven months later in mid-September. The mere fact Fisher was even ready to play by Week 2 of the 2021 season is remarkable, and he showed improvement as the season wore on while protecting Carson Wentz’s blindside and working his way back to 100% health. Fisher is a former No. 1 overall pick, and while he may not have lived up to those lofty expectations, he’s a very solid NFL left tackle, which every team can always use. His one-year, $8.38 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts even while questions still remained about his recovery illustrates the kind of market he will have this offseason now back in top form — a strong one.  

Strengths:
– Very good athlete
– Blocking on the move
– Consistent in pass pro for most his career

Weaknesses:
– Struggles with power off the edge
– Run blocking in gap scheme

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING LEFT TACKLE: Fisher fits in the mold of average starting tackles that fanbases think they can upgrade over, but the reality of replacing an average tackle isn't always pleasant. Fisher fits best in a zone-blocking scheme.

Recent Injury History:
Fisher got off to a slow start to the season as he made his way back from an Achilles injury that he suffered in the 2020 AFC Championship game. He also missed eight games during the 2019 season following core muscle surgery.

Contract Projection: Three years, $42 million ($14M per year, $30 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Fisher understandably had a slow start to the 2021 season as he worked his way back from an Achilles injury, but he's bounced back a bit down the stretch. He's an average starting tackle who will have lowlight moments against power-rushers who can get into his chest.


51. TE Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals

Zach Ertz experienced a bit of a career resurgence after getting traded to the Arizona Cardinals at the deadline, earning a 71.4 receiving grade from Week 7 on, the 12th-best mark at the position. Ertz’s 264 yards after the catch over the same stretch ranked sixth among tight ends. 

Kansas City’s Travis Kelce signed a top-of-market extension after turning 30, and while Ertz is not the player Kelce is, he’s demonstrated he can still play at a high level and should be compensated accordingly.

Strengths:
– Hands
– Route running

Weaknesses:
– YAC
– Blocking

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING TE: A longtime star for the Eagles, it looked like Ertz was beginning to wane, but he has had a new lease of life since being traded to Arizona. Ertz has great hands and can run routes and find space against a defense, but he has limitations as a blocker and after the catch.

Recent Injury History:
Ertz's biggest issue in 2021 was landing on the COVID-19 list. He has been fairly durable and available throughout his NFL career.

Contract Projection: Two years, $20 million ($10M per year, $12.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Ertz has been a high-level receiving weapon at tight end throughout his career. At 31, how much he has left in the tank is a fair question, but he's shown this season in Arizona he can still be a useful part of a dynamic passing attack.

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52. QB Marcus Mariota, Las Vegas Raiders

For years, the primary goal of quarterbacks in Mariota’s position was to find a team desperate enough for a starter to sign them to an inflated deal in free agency that they’d inevitably regret a year later. While that’s still a goal, there are more potential avenues for players with Mariota’s skill set. With two-quarterback systems cropping up around the NFL, Mariota could attempt to leverage New Orleans Saints weapon Taysom Hill’s recent four-year, $40 million extension with massive upside. Mariota is an infinitely superior passer of the football, and while he’s had a handful of injuries the past few years, he’s still just 28 years old. 

Strengths:
– Athleticism and running in space
– Play-action passing

Weaknesses:
– Mistakes
– Consistent accuracy
– Durability

Scheme Fit/Role:
HIGH-END BACKUP/LAST-CHANCE STARTER: Mariota never really got going in Tennessee, devolving rather than evolving as a starter before being replaced by Ryan Tannehill. As a backup with the Raiders, he has flashed the potential to be a starter again after time on the bench. But in a league with plenty of options, there won't be many chances for him to start again. His best role may be that of a high-end backup who can offer a change-of-pace package of rushing plays in certain situations from the bench.

Recent Injury History:
Mariota suffered a quad injury on a 31-yard run off the bench for the Raiders this season. He carries an extensive injury history, which is its own issue, independent of any concerns over his play.

Contract Projection: One year, $8 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Mariota is a former No. 2 overall draft pick, and the NFL struggles to give up on that kind of prior evaluation for a player. He flashed talent in limited snaps with the Raiders, and it might just be enough to convince a team without a quarterback in 2022 to roll the dice on him one last time. At the very least, he should be a coveted backup option.


53. LB Foyesade Oluokun, Atlanta Falcons

Oluokun leads the way for a very underwhelming free-agent class at off-ball linebacker, though his timing of reaching unrestricted free agency could work out nicely in his favor. This past offseason, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner and subsequently Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard reset the market at the position just under $20 million per year after years of stagnation. With Oluokun one of the few young players available, a market could develop for him that exceeds expectations. 

Strengths:
– Filling against the run
– Identifying routes in his zone
– Speed

Weaknesses:
– Defeating blocks at the second level
– Missed tackles
– Size/bulk

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING MLB/WLB: Foyesade Oluokun has impressive speed and more strength than you might expect for a player of his size, and he can play multiple linebacker spots but is at his best when he can run freely to the ball. He would fit in a scheme like Indianapolis' and could be an option for a defense improving either side of the linebacker group like the Raiders.

Recent Injury History:
Oluokun dealt with several minor injuries in 2020 but has been healthy so far this season.

Contract Projection: Four years, $40 million ($10M per year, $22.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
An undersized, speedy linebacker, Foyesade Oluokun flashes talent consistently but too often gets swallowed up by blockers the second level or doesn't quite make the play in coverage. He fits the profile of a linebacker that may eventually put it all together, but he hasn't got there yet.


54. TE Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks

This past offseason, Everett departed the Rams for another NFC West team in the Seahawks on a one-year, $6 million flier. While the Seahawks’ season was somewhat of a disaster, Everett thrived when quarterback Russell Wilson returned from injury in Week 10. From Week 10 through the end of the season, Everett’s 44 targets ranked 12th among tight ends, while his 34 receptions ranked seventh. His 85 receiving yards after first contact with a defender was also seventh-best. 

Strengths:
– Reliable hands
– Raw athleticism

Weaknesses:
– Run Blocking
– Separation vs. man coverage

Scheme Fit/Role:
FLEX TIGHT END TYPE: It's no surprise that offensive coordinator Shane Waldron put Everett right to work when the two of them traveled from Los Angeles to Seattle. Everett can move around, allowing an offense to use different formations in the same personnel grouping. He'd log a high number of snaps for most NFL teams and would be on the field for every passing situation.

Recent Injury History:
Everett missed games in 2021 after entering the NFL's health and safety protocols but has not suffered a serious injury. Aside from a sore groin, he has not been listed on an injury report.

Contract Projection: Three years, $22.5 million ($7.5M per year, $13 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Everett may bounce around the NFL throughout his career because he lacks consistency as a blocker, but he will add value everywhere he plays as a receiver.


55. LB Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys

Vander Esch has had an up and down first four years in the NFL, but the talent that made him a first-round pick in 2018 still flashes on occasion and will certainly draw attention. Vander Esch earned a 90.0-plus grade in three starts in 2021, including two such outings over the final five weeks. If he can play more consistently week to week, teams may view him as a low-risk, high-reward option in a weak linebacker class. 

Strengths:
– High run-stop percentage throughout career
– Still under 25

Weaknesses:
– Hasn't played with the same burst and physicality he showed in 2018
– Has missed significant time in two of his four NFL seasons

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING MIDDLE/WEAKSIDE LINEBACKER: Vander Esch has played both weakside and middle linebacker in Dallas' defense over the past four seasons and could start at either in 2022. The most important thing when it comes to a landing spot for Vander Esch will be finding a defensive line that can keep him clean and allow him to flow to the football, given that shedding blocks hasn't been a clear strength early in his NFL career.

Recent Injury History:
Vander Esch's injury concerns date back to the 2018 NFL Draft, where rumors surfaced that teams were concerned about his neck. Vander Esch then missed seven games in 2019 due to a neck injury that required surgery before missing time again in 2020 with a broken collarbone and high-ankle sprain. He didn't miss time for Dallas in 2021.

Contract Projection: Three years, $21 million ($7M per year), $12.5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Vander Esch came into the NFL in 2018 and instantly became one of the best linebackers in the league with an ideal blend of size and athleticism for the position. That version of Vander Esch hasn't shown up again in the three years since, due in large part to injuries. It's fair to question if he will ever get back to that level again.


56. G Alex Cappa, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cappa was drafted in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Division II Humboldt State. And he’s gotten better each season as he made a huge adjustment to the speed of the NFL game, culminating in career highs as a pass-blocker (71.4) and run-blocker (71.2). The Buccaneers also have center Ryan Jensen hitting free agency and may not be able to retain both players, which could lead to a solid free agency for Cappa.

Strengths:
– Powerful finisher on downhill runs
– Creates movement on doubles and zone blocks
– Eliminates power rushes

Weaknesses:
– Struggles with lateral movement
– Can whiff and miscommunicate on stunts and twists
– Loses to pass-rushers with speed

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING GUARD: Cappa isn't a world-beater on the interior, but he adds legitimate value to teams that want to run the ball downhill. The Chargers, Dolphins and Jaguars should all be looking to add a run-blocking guard like Cappa.

Recent Injury History:
Cappa did not suffer any injury of significance in the 2021-22 season. The guard suffered an ankle injury in 2020 that landed him on the IR.

Contract Projection: Four years, $37 million ($9.25M per year), $20 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
As the NFL becomes more spread out, interior offensive linemen will need to be powerful enough to win one-on-one blocks between the guards. Cappa fits that mold and should add value to teams struggling with its downhill runs.


57. LB Josey Jewell, Denver Broncos

Jewell is the other Denver off-ball linebacker who missed the majority of the 2021 season with a torn pectoral muscle, but he’s three years younger than Johnson. From Week 9 of 2020 through Jewell’s injury in Week 2 of this season, his 79.8 overall grade ranked fourth among off-ball linebackers and his 79.5 coverage grade ranked fifth. Jewell also provides value on the occasional pass-rush snap and very rarely misses tackles. He’s the complete package for a modern off-ball linebacker. Nevertheless, he may have to play on a one-year prove-it deal as he recovers. 

Strengths:
 – Tackling
– Diagnosing plays
– Consistency

Weaknesses:
– Athleticism
– Durability

Scheme Fit/Role:
WEAKSIDE/MIDDLE LINEBACKER: Jewell is good at everything without being great at anything. A former fourth-round pick, he makes up for a relative lack of athleticism and speed with excellent read-and-react skills and the technique to defeat blocks and make plays in all areas. He fits as a starter in most defenses in the NFL and would be a useful upgrade for a lot of teams.

Recent Injury History:
Jewell tore his pectoral muscle and was shut down for the season after just 82 snaps in 2021. He was healthy for all of 2020 but dealt with a number of injuries in 2019.

Contract Projection: One year, $6 million, $4.5 million guaranteed.

Bottom Line:
Jewell is a solid linebacker in all areas but typically doesn't “wow” because he isn't a freak athlete. He would be a useful upgrade for a lot of teams, bringing versatility to any linebacker group.


58. CB Bryce Callahan, Denver Broncos

Throughout Callahan’s career, it has been a challenge to identify an on-field flaw in his game. This is why he went from an undrafted free agent to signing one of the top contracts for a slot cornerback. However, staying on the field has often been a challenge, and 2021 was no different. He missed a chunk of the season with a left knee injury suffered in Week 8. If he can get back healthy in time for 2022, he should have a handful of suitors vying for his services.

Strengths:
– Explosiveness to break on routes
– Hasn't picked up a penalty since 2018

Weaknesses:
– Durability
– Beaten downfield more in 2021 than prior seasons

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING SLOT CORNERBACK: Callahan stepped up and played some outside cornerback for Denver in 2020 when he was called on, but that's not where he's at his best. Callahan has been one of the best nickel cornerbacks in the NFL, boasting a 96th percentile slot coverage grade since 2017. Brandon Staley's defense in Los Angeles stands out as a scheme fit for him if the Chargers aren't planning on re-signing Chris Harris Jr. this offseason.

Recent Injury History:
This is the biggest red flag for Callahan. His stint on injured reserve with a knee injury in 2021 is only the latest ailment. He also spent time on IR in 2020 with a foot injury after missing the entire 2019 season with another foot injury.

Contract Projection: Two years, $10 million ($5M per year, $5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
The risk with Callahan is that he's a 30-year-old cornerback with an extensive injury history, but the reward for prospective suitors is one of the NFL's best slot cornerbacks when healthy.


59. C Brian Allen, Los Angeles Rams

Allen’s breakout 2021 campaign sheds additional light on why the Rams were so comfortable moving on from Austin Blythe last offseason. Allen earned an 80.2 overall grade this past season, the sixth-best mark among centers, while his 87.4 run-blocking grade in Sean McVay’s wide-zone running scheme ranked fifth at the position.

However, 2021 marks Allen’s first full season of starting after missing about half of the 2019 season and the entire 2020 campaign with a severe knee injury. How his market develops at a position that tends to pay only the very top guys will be interesting.

Strengths:
– Zone blocking
– Positive blocks in the run game

Weaknesses:
– Pass protection
– Picking up stunts

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING CENTER IN ZONE-HEAVY SCHEME: Allen has been one of the better zone run-blocking centers in the NFL in his two years as a starter with Los Angeles, helping mask a below-average pass-blocking profile. His best fit is in an offense that utilizes play action frequently and moves the pocket to reduce the number of true pass sets.

Recent Injury History:
Allen suffered a serious knee injury in 2019 that kept him out of the final seven weeks of the campaign and the entire 2020 season. Allen also battled COVID-19 last year.

Contract Projection: Three years, $21.75 million ($7.25M per year, $10.5M total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Allen has logged just over one full season of playing time in his fourth year out of Michigan State, but his dominance as a run blocker and overall improvement after returning from a serious knee injury in 2019 should interest teams looking for an upgrade on the interior this offseason.


60. RB Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Lombardi Lenny bet on himself in 2021 after a market didn’t materialize for him following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl run. This time around, he took complete command of the backfield over Ronald Jones, and while Giovani Bernard served as the primary pass-catching back, Tom Brady was not afraid to dump it off to Fournette at all. He’s not a dynamic pass-catcher, but a capable one, and he’s shown some of the physical running between the tackles that made him a top-five pick in the first place.

Strengths:
– Powerful runner
– Only two fumbles in over 1,000 career rushing attempts

Weaknesses:
– Elusiveness in the open field
– Pass protection

Scheme Fit/Role:
ROTATIONAL BACK IN GAP-HEAVY SCHEME: Fournette rejuvenated his NFL career in Tampa Bay's duo-heavy rushing attack. He has been one of the best runners in gap schemes in the league this season, so it makes sense that he would look to join a team that utilizes a similar approach if he doesn't stay with the Buccaneers. Ideally, Fournette would rotate with someone who is better suited to take on the passing-down work that he's picked up over the past few years.

Recent Injury History:
There was some concern about whether Fournette's physical running style would lead to injuries coming out of LSU, but he's done a decent job of avoiding injuries in his NFL career. A lingering hamstring injury cost him time in 2018, and the only other notable injury prior to this year was an ankle injury that kept him out several weeks in 2020. Fournette missed the final three weeks of the 2021 regular season and the wild-card round with a hamstring injury.

Contract Projection: Two years, $15 million ($7.5M per year, $9M total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Fournette has recuperated some of the value that he lost in Jacksonville with his play down the stretch in Tampa Bay's Super Bowl run last year and as their lead back this season. He's not going to shake too many people in the open field, but Fournette has been an effective runner in addition to earning Tom Brady's trust as a receiving outlet in 2021.


61. DI Folorunso Fatukasi, New York Jets

Fatukasi played alongside fellow defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers, who the Jets extended in the middle of the season, and New York also has 2019 No. 3 overall pick Quinnen Williams’ next contract to think about in the not-so-distant future. Even still, Fatukasi is one of the league’s better and most unheralded nose tackles over the past few years, with run defense grades of 87.6 in 2019 and 86.2 in 2020 before a more subdued 2021 campaign. However, his 16 quarterback pressures this year represented a career-high.  

Strengths:
– Run-game disruptor
– Power

Weaknesses:
– Pass-rushing
– Gets caught upfield vs. run

Scheme Fit/Role:
EARLY-DOWN RUN DEFENDER: Fatukasi was one of the best run defenders in college football at UConn, and he's developed into one of the NFL's best over the last three years. He has never provided much as a pass-rusher, but he's among the league's best at disrupting the run game when lined up over guards and centers.

Recent Injury History:
Fatukasi has remained healthy during his time in the NFL while topping out with 507 snaps played in 2020.

Contract Projection: Three years, $33 million ($11 million per year, $20 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
There are limitations to Fatukasi's game, and he'll likely never be a true three-down player, but his power and block shedding ability make him one of the best in the league against the run.


2022 NFL Draft position rankings:
Top 10 players at every position

QB | RB | WR | TE | iOL | OT | DI | EDGE | LB | CB | S


62. S Jordan Whitehead, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Whitehead played in Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl victory last year with a torn labrum in his shoulder, demonstrating how tough a player he is, which is exactly what teams need at the strong safety position. At 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, his build and play style are somewhat reminiscent of Cincinnati Bengals strong safety Vonn Bell, who signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Bengals prior to the 2020 season that could serve as something of a blueprint for a deal here. 

Strengths:
– Downhill player
– Plus run defender in the box

Weaknesses:
– Spatial awareness
– Open-field tackling

Scheme Fit/Role:
STRONG SAFETY TYPE, SINGLE-HIGH DEFENSE: With the evolution we're seeing in modern pro defenses, Whitehead's archetype as a safety is losing value the further downfield he goes. However, anytime he's near the line of scrimmage or in an underneath zone, his aggression and physicality provide immediate results. The more you watch him, the more it seems he's tailor-made for New England or a coach off Pete Carroll's tree.

Recent Injury History:
Whitehead has battled shoulder, hamstring and calf injuries through the 2021 season. Given his size and play style, it's easy to predict that he will be a player who misses games each season.

Contract Projection: Three years, $24 million ($8M per year, $13.5 million guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Whitehead is an enforcer type in an NFL that's trending toward more coverage bodies at the safety position. When he's at linebacker depth and moving toward the line of scrimmage, there are few safeties in the NFL better at making an impact.


63. RB James Conner, Arizona Cardinals

Conner was a workhorse three-down back with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the duration of his rookie contract before ultimately signing an underwhelming one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals this past offseason. If Conner’s 2021 season – namely his 18 touchdowns – are any indication, getting healthy and splitting touches with Chase Edmonds was a better situation for him. However, Conner also stepped up in a major way when Edmonds was injured this season, assuming a larger role and making a handful of highlight-reel catches with several Cardinals pass-catchers sidelined down the stretch. 

Strengths:
– Short-yardage rushing
– Good hands out of the backfield
– Elusive after the catch

Weaknesses:
– Doesn't have breakaway speed
– Durability
– Relatively high fumble rate

Scheme Fit/Role:
POWER BACK IN RB ROTATION: Conner has a unique skill set in that he's one of the best short-yardage and goal-line runners in the NFL yet he also provides value as an outlet in the passing game. There's no reason he can't be on the field all three downs, but it would be wise for teams to avoid relying on him in a true bell-cow role, given his injury history.

Recent Injury History:
A heel injury keeping Conner out two weeks late in the 2021 regular season ended one of the healthiest stretches of his NFL career in Arizona. Conner didn't appear in more than 13 regular-season games in any season from 2017 to 2020 after overcoming a serious knee injury and Hodgkin's lymphoma while at the University of Pittsburgh.

Contract Projection: Two years, $13 million ($6.5M per year), $7.75 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Conner has proven that he can play an important role for a contender. He has a three-down skill set, but injuries have kept him from claiming a three-down workload for an entire season.


64. S Jayron Kearse, Dallas Cowboys

Kearse signed a veteran minimum salary deal with the Cowboys this offseason and was one of many safety additions alongside Damontae Kazee and hybrid S/LB Keanu Neal. Despite the competition for snaps, Kearse has emerged as the best of the bunch, earning a career-high 76.8 grade on over 1,000 snaps after never having played more than 503 in a single season. 

Strengths:
– Size
– Man coverage vs TEs
– Tackling

Weaknesses:
– Sample size
– Something of a ‘tweener

Scheme Fit/Role:
MATCHUP SS: Kearse is at his best using his size and length to cover tight ends one-on-one as the answer to how that position has developed in recent years. He has the size to combat those bigger bodies and the coverage skills to go man-to-man. Teams that play a lot of man coverage or matchup zone should consider him specifically for that assignment.

Recent Injury History:
Kearse played over 1,000 snaps in the regular season in 2021 before picking up a hamstring injury before Week 18.

Contract Projection: Three years, $15 million ($5M per year), $8.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Jayron Kearse is a potential answer to the matchup problems caused by tight ends who can run and catch like wideouts but in a 250-pound frame. Kearse has man coverage skills but in a much bigger body. How he fares in traditional zone assignments is less clear, which limits his market.


65. TE Evan Engram, New York Giants

The Giants reportedly rebuffed several requests from other teams to trade for 2017 first-round tight end Evan Engram ahead of each of the past two trade deadlines, but it remains to be seen if he is truly in their long-term plans. Engram’s 4.4 speed at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds is enough to keep teams monitoring his situation, even as his overall and receiving grades have declined in each of the past four seasons. An anemic Giants offense that ranks 30th in expected points added per pass play since 2020 certainly didn’t help his cause.

Strengths:
– Feel on underneath routes
– Matchup problem with LBs

Weaknesses:
– Run blocking
– Positional versatility

Scheme Fit/Role:
RECEIVING TE/BIG SLOT: Engram's sales pitch coming into the NFL was a ball-winning, vertical option on the interior, but he's gone his entire rookie contract without a proper breakout season. He may be able to play a similar role as the Miami DolphinsMike Gesicki — a big-bodied slot wide receiver — but New York's investment in slots last offseason casts doubt on him being able to handle a greater share of targets.

Recent Injury History:
Engram suffered a calf injury at the end of the 2021 preseason that cost him a couple of games to open the season. A foot injury ended his 2019 season.

Contract Projection: Two years, $18 million ($9M per year, $10M total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Engram has been New York's starting tight end from the time he was selected, but he's yet to actualize the potential that he flashed at Ole Miss. His market will be limited because of his inability to block, forcing non-spread teams to look at him as a specialty/situational player.


66. DI B.J. Hill, Cincinnati Bengals

Right before the 2021 season, the New York Giants inexplicably traded Hill and a seventh-round pick for former Cincinnati Bengals center Billy Price – and Hill excelled with more opportunities on a less-crowded defensive line. 

The former third-round draft pick is a solid all-around 3-technique with the ability to generate relatively consistent pressure from the interior. With increased playing time, he earned his third straight 70.0-plus season grade, producing a career-best 12 combined sacks and hits.

Strengths:
– Run defense
– Strength
– Rarely misses tackles

Weaknesses:
– Hasn't been a regular starter since his rookie season
– Only an average pass-rusher

Scheme Fit/Role:
RUN-STUFFING INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: Hill began his career stuck in a crowded interior defensive line rotation in New York with the likes of Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams, prompting the trade to Cincinnati. He has been a positive force against the run while producing pressure at a middling rate with both teams.

Recent Injury History:
Hill has appeared in every game since he was drafted in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, excluding a Week 18 absence last season while on the COVID-19 list. He's been one of the more durable defensive linemen in the NFL, albeit in a rotational role.

Contract Projection: Three years, $26.25 million ($8.75 million per year, $14.5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
The fact that Hill hasn't started many games in his first four seasons doesn't mean he can't be a starting defensive tackle for a team with a need at the position. He's a plus run defender who isn't a non-factor in the passing game.


67. LB Dont'a Hightower, New England Patriots

Hightower opted out of the 2020 season, and after a bit of a slow start getting reacclimated to the speed of the NFL gam, he was back to his old self  for stretches of the 2021 season. His 18 quarterback pressures ranked fourth among off-ball linebackers, as Patriots head coach Bill Belichick continued to deploy the 6-foot-3, 260-pounder all over the place in his constantly evolving defense. Hightower will be 32 years old in Week 1 of 2022, but there's an argument that taking the 2020 season off has his body refreshed and revitalized.

Strengths:
– Physical, downhill player fitting the run
– Enough versatility to be used as a pass-rusher on third down

Weaknesses:
– Not viable in coverage on a down-to-down basis
– Lacks the athleticism to add value against perimeter offenses

Scheme Fit/Role:
EARLY-DOWN/RUN-STOPPING LB: As is typical of a Bill Belichick defender, it feels impossible to project productivity for Hightower outside of New England's system. Because the Patriots are intentional about how their players match up against offenses, Hightower is often in a position to succeed. If he were to leave New England, expect him to be a utility player, used most against run-heavy offenses.

Recent Injury History:
Hightower last missed time in 2019 for a shoulder injury but has been healthy since.

Contract Projection: Two years, $15 million ($7.5M per year, $10M total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Hightower is likely to stay in Foxborough, where he's been most valuable. It's not likely he would receive as many snaps in any system outside of Belichick's 3-4 defense, especially given his age and positional value.


68. CB Donte Jackson, Carolina Panthers

The Panthers used the No. 8 overall pick on South Carolina standout Jaycee Horn and then traded for two cornerbacks in Jacksonville Jaguars 2020 No. 9 overall pick C.J. Henderson and Stephon Gilmore this season, but they remain steadfast that those moves don’t say anything about their plans for Jackson. It would appear he will at least have a chance to test the open market as Carolina prioritizes signing Gilmore to an extension to mentor their young collection of cornerbacks.

Strengths:
– Speed and recovery speed
– Explosive vertical leap
– Zone coverage

Weaknesses:
– Man coverage
– Missed tackles
– In-breaking routes

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO 2 CB IN A ZONE SCHEME: Donte Jackson has the speed to burn, but is at his best in zone coverage where he can keep his eye on the quarterback and use his athleticism to break on the ball. His best plays come using that speed to attack out-breaking routes. The Steelers or Seahawks run perfect schemes for Jackson.

Recent Injury History:
Jackson battled a toe injury for much of 2020, but he has been healthy so far in 2021. He has yet to clear 1,000 snaps in a season.

Contract Projection: Two years, $20 million ($10M per year, $11.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Donte Jackson has exceptional speed and athleticism but doesn't have the man-cover skills to match them. He can be a playmaker in the right zone scheme, where he can key the quarterback and break on the football, but is limited to a No. 2 role.


69. DI D.J. Jones, San Francisco 49ers

Jones has quietly turned in a campaign that could make him the most sought-after free-agent interior defensive lineman. The 49ers kept him on a one-year deal in 2021 after his rookie contract expired, and if it was a “prove it” situation, his career-high 73.2 overall grade certainly proved that he’s earned a stronger multi-year deal.

Strengths:
– Run defense
– Penetration in the backfield

Weaknesses:
– Missed tackles
– Can get moved by double teams

Scheme Fit/Role:
EARLY-DOWN DEFENSIVE TACKLE/NOSE TACKLE: Jones is listed as San Francisco's nose tackle, but there aren't too many true nose tackles lining up exclusively in 0- or 1-techniques in the NFL anymore, Jones included. In all, 70% of his defensive snaps over the past three seasons have come lined up from the A gap to the B gap, rather than lined up over or shading the center. Given that Jones' 13 pressures in 2021 are the most of his career, his primary value is going to come against the run on early downs regardless of where he's lining up.

Recent Injury History:
Jones appeared in every game for the 49ers this season after missing San Francisco's Super Bowl run in 2019 due to an ankle injury and two games during the 2020 season with another ankle injury and a stint on the COVID-19 list.

Contract Projection: Three years, $26.25 million ($8.75M per year), $15.5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Jones hasn't gotten a lot of attention, given the other players he has played alongside on San Francisco's defensive line, but he's positioned himself well entering 2022 free agency off a career year in 2021. He won't add a ton of value as a pass-rusher, but Jones has been one of the better interior defensive linemen in the NFL at making impact plays against the run in recent seasons.


70. RB Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals

Edmonds saw his former Cardinals teammate in Las Vegas Raiders running back Kenyan Drake play out the 2020 season on the transition tag before signing a two-year, $11 million contract in the 2021 offseason. Edmonds headlines another underwhelming class at the position and may be looking for a similar deal to cash in when he can.

Strengths:
– Agility
– Receiving out of the backfield

Weaknesses:
– Has never led a team in snaps
– Doesn't force missed tackles at a high rate

Scheme Fit/Role:
CHANGE-OF-PACE BACK: Edmonds is a little bit undersized for a bell-cow workload as a lead back, but he does offer value as a receiving back who can add some explosive plays on the ground. Arizona is one of the biggest inside-zone rushing offenses in the NFL, and Edmonds has graded out higher in zone than gap schemes throughout his career.

Recent Injury History:
Edmonds was banged up in 2021, dealing with a lingering shoulder injury before being placed on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain. He did play in all 16 games last season but missed an extended stretch in 2019 with a hamstring injury.

Contract Projection: Two years, $12 million ($6M per year, $9 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Edmonds finally got the opportunity to enter the season as Arizona's starting running back, but he's since ceded that title to James Conner while on injured reserve with an ankle injury. Whether he starts the game or not, Edmonds is at his best in a complementary role to someone who can split work with him on early-down runs.


71. T Trent Brown, New England Patriots

The Raiders sent Brown back to the New England Patriots two years into the four-year, $66 million mega-deal he signed with Las Vegas in 2019. New England revised the deal, reducing his compensation and making him a free agent after 2021. Like linebacker Jamie Collins, Brown seems to be a superstar with the Patriots but lackluster anywhere else. That being said, the 6-foot-8, 380-pound offensive lineman earned career highs in pass-blocking grade (81.2) and overall grade (77.6) on 489 snaps last season. 

Strengths:
– Size
– Pass-blocking
– High percentage of positively graded run blocks

Weaknesses:
– High percentage of negatively graded run blocks
– Durability

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING TACKLE IN ANY SCHEME: Brown has had success on both the left and right sides. He can move people in the run game, even though he'll have his share of losses, and he's been one of the better pass-blocking tackles in the league over the last few years. He's capable in both zone and gap schemes.

Recent Injury History:
Brown has missed time due to several lower-body injures over the last few years. After a 1,341-snap season in 2018, Brown played just 11 games in 2019, five in 2020 and he missed time in 2021 due to a calf injury.

Contract Projection: Two years, $22 million, incentives could push it to $25 million ($11M per year, $15 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
When Brown is on the field, he's been a strong option in both pass protection and in the run game across multiple systems and at different positions. If he stays healthy, Brown is one of the better tackles in the NFL.


72. RB Sony Michel, Los Angeles Rams

The New England Patriots declined Michel’s fifth-year option for the 2022 season and subsequently traded him to the Rams for a fifth-round pick and a sixth-rounder that will likely convert into a fourth-rounder based on conditions. Michel was solid after taking over the starting job from Darrell Henderson in Week 13, but he offers little more than downhill, north-south running without much ability to break off big gains or factor as a receiver. 

Strengths:
– Well-rounded runner
– Pass protection

Weaknesses:
– Doesn't offer much as a receiver
– High percentage of runs for loss or no gain

Scheme Fit/Role:
EARLY-DOWN ROTATIONAL BACK: Michel has now posted 70.0-plus PFF rushing grades in three of his four NFL seasons across multiple schemes. He will get downhill and move the chains on the ground, but he's provided little reason to send him out on many routes through four seasons.

Recent Injury History:
Michel missed seven games with a quad injury in 2020, but he has returned in 2021 and appeared in every game for the Rams. Michel had a relatively lengthy injury history (knee injuries, in particular) coming out of Georgia and bleeding into his rookie year with the Patriots.

Contract Projection: Two years, $8.5 million ($4.25M per year), $5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Michel has proven to be an effective runner across multiple offensive schemes, but he isn't an elite creator beyond what is blocked up and has struggled to make any kind of receiving impact to this point in his career.


73. DI Linval Joseph, Los Angeles Chargers

Joseph has long been one of the NFL’s premier nose tackles, and while his 63.1 overall and 49.3 run-defense grades in 2021 are both by far his lowest since 2011, he earned a career-best 83.0 pass-rush grade this season. In Joseph’s final three seasons in Minnesota, the team graded out at 91.5, 87.0, and 75.4 against the run. Without him, the defense has dropped to 41.5 and 50.3. Despite the down year, Joseph is a space-eater who may still garner some interest at 34 years old. However, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he hangs up his cleats after a great career. 

Strengths:
-Size
-Strength
-Run defense

Weaknesses:
-Age
-Dynamism

Scheme Fit/Role:
RUN-STUFFING INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: Linval Joseph has been a dominant run defender in his career but is coming off a surprisingly productive pass-rushing season for the Chargers. His biggest plus is the capacity to occupy space and dissuade interior running, making an impact whether or not he makes the play.

Recent Injury History:
The veteran missed time with a shoulder injury earlier in the season, as well as some time with Covid-19, which put him out for multiple weeks.

Contract Projection: One year, $6.75 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Joseph is getting on in years, but he can still be a useful part of a defensive line rotation, particularly for a team struggling for blast up the middle.

PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool you can use to help set the best lineups. You can toggle between showing the Matchup Advantage column against all projected coverage, or the individual defenders.

74. S Devin McCourty, New England Patriots

Another safety playing well into his 30s, McCourty has been a stellar player for the New England Patriots. While New England just extended safety Adrian Phillips, he plays more like a hybrid linebacker/safety, as does 2020 second-round pick Kyle Dugger. McCourty is the perfect deep-third safety that keeps everything in front of him to round out this secondary, and he earned 70.0-plus grades in every facet this season at 34 years old. 

Strengths:
– Rarely out of position in coverage
– Veteran presence, has seen it all
– Moves well and can make plays on the ball

Weaknesses:
– Age
– Not going to be an impact run defender
– Can be exploited when left one-on-one

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING FREE SAFETY: While McCourty's best fit is in a familiar New England system, he's a true free safety who can contribute to both single- and two-high looks. He's better away from the line of scrimmage rather than in the box, but he can move around just enough to add value to a more multiple scheme.

Recent Injury History:
McCourty has been one of the league's most durable players, as he hasn't missed a game since late in 2015. He's played 1,000 snaps in all but one of his 12 seasons.

Contract Projection: Two years, $12 million ($6M per year), $8.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Few players have been as good as McCourty over the last decade, as he's been one of the most dependable free safeties in the league. He's getting toward the end of his career, and he may not want to move to a new situation, but he can still hold it down on the back end and ensure that the defense gets lined up properly.


75. S Kareem Jackson, Denver Broncos

Jackson is another player who played admirably well into his 30s, especially so far from the line of scrimmage as a safety. He was something of a cap casualty of the Broncos before the 2021 season, as they declined a team option that carried a $10 million salary. However, the two sides ultimately agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal to bring him back. After three straight seasons grading out above 80.0, Jackson’s 52.0 overall grade this past season is his lowest since his rookie campaign in 2010. Denver and other teams may have noticed him losing a step in the 2021 offseason, but few veterans have a higher football IQ. 

Strengths:
– Played in a versatile scheme, will understand any defense
– Plus tackler, in the box and in space
– Enough athleticism to play in the middle of the field

Weaknesses:
-Man coverage liability
-Back injury in his 30s, a major red flag

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING FREE SAFETY: Jackson was moved from corner to safety to hide his slipping coverage skills in the first place, and Fangio's Cover 1-heavy scheme doesn't do much to mask those deficiencies. Philadelphia plays the kind of soft two-high coverages that play best with Jackson's skill set.

Recent Injury History:
The veteran was placed on injured reserve in Week 18 after battling back issues for multiple weeks.

Contract Projection: One year, $3.5 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Jackson is a starting-level NFL safety, but his man-coverage ability keeps trending in the wrong direction and we're now facing a safety who needs to be better protected by deep zone drops.


76. CB Robert Alford, Arizona Cardinals

Alford hadn’t played a single snap of NFL football in two full seasons and stepped in as the Cardinals’ No. 1 cornerback this year at the age of 33, a truly remarkable feat. Alford’s 68.5 coverage grade is the second-best of his career, and he showed he hadn’t missed a step. Unfortunately, a pectoral injury landed him on injured reserve just a year after another pectoral injury suffered in training camp kept him out the whole year. 

Strengths:
– Experience in heavy man and Cover 3 schemes
– Steady and dependable
– Can live in press coverage occasionally

Weaknesses:
– Loses at the catch point in man
– Not sticky enough at the top of the route
– Lack of playmaking skills

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 2 OR NO. 3 CB IN ZONE SCHEME: Alford is the kind of defensive back you can use to stabilize a defensive backfield in need. With the attrition and injuries suffered in Tampa Bay, he may be an option for a similar blitz-heavy, majority-zone defense.

Recent Injury History:
Alford was placed on the injured reserve after suffering a pectoral injury. This is his second consecutive season that's been ended due to a pec injury.

Contract Projection: One year, $5 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Alford is about average in coverage ability, and far from his peak with the 2017 Atlanta Falcons. He can still live on the outside and provide value to a defensive backfield, assuming his pec heals properly.


77. DI Sebastian Joseph-Day, Los Angeles Rams

The Rams run defense took a big hit for a few weeks following Joseph-Day’s torn pectoral muscle in Week 7, but reports have indicated he may return for the playoffs. His ability to eat up space on the interior and free up other rushers will definitely be valued across the league. 

Strengths:
– Major disruptor against the run
– Speed and power to win against guards and centers alike
– Good hands; he is a pocket-crusher on pass rushes

Weaknesses:
– Limited value on third down
– Lack of explosiveness off the ball
– Pressure conversion rate is low

Scheme Fit/Role:
EARLY DOWN NOSE TACKLE: Joseph-Day is made for the bear front and 3-4 trend we've seen spreading back across the league. If the Rams can't afford to retain him, The Los Angeles Chargers are in desperate need of interior run-stoppers.

Recent Injury History:
Joseph-Day has been out since Week 8 with a pectoral injury. He was placed on injured reserve and is having the pec surgically repaired.

Contract Projection: Three years, $24 million ($8M per year), $15.5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Joseph-Day hasn't had the hardest job in the NFL, given that he's been playing next to Aaron Donald, but he provides positive value to any run defense. If he's blocked one-on-one, expect him to win most of those reps.


78. LB Anthony Barr, Minnesota Vikings

Barr agreed to a pay cut before the 2021 season that also voided the 2022 and 2023 seasons on his five-year extension signed in 2019. Better luck with his health led to a respectable 63.8 overall grade and 72.6 pass-rush grade in 2021. Barr is a bit of a unique player, generally deployed as a Sam linebacker in a 4-3 scheme who occasionally gets his hand in the dirt.

Nevertheless, there were several interested teams last time he was a free agent — he came very close to signing with the New York Jets before ultimately returning to Minnesota — so it seems defensive coaches think they can find a way to put him in positions to succeed and utilize his athletic ability. 

Strengths:
– Size and athleticism
– One of the best pass-rushing linebackers in the NFL
– Few negative plays against the run

Weaknesses:
– Hasn't been a playmaker in coverage throughout his career, his three picks in 2021 aside
– Inconsistent play

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING STRONGSIDE (SAM) LINEBACKER: Barr has made the successful transition from collegiate edge rusher to off-ball linebacker in the NFL, but he's still best utilized in a role that lets him get after the quarterback as a blitzer. He has consistently met expectations against the run over his eight-year career, producing both negative and positive grades at one of the lowest rates at the linebacker position.

Recent Injury History:
Barr missed the majority of the 2020 NFL season with a torn pectoral muscle, and a knee injury kept him out of the first four weeks of the 2021 season. Barr managed to play in all but two of Minnesota's games since Week 5 while managing knee and hamstring injuries.

Contract Projection: Two years, $14.5 million ($7.25M per year), $8.5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Barr had an uphill climb to provide value on the five-year, $67.5 million contract he signed prior to the 2019 season. Still, he's still a viable veteran starter entering 2022 free agency who has been a key part of several very good Vikings defenses since entering the league in 2014.


79. DI Maliek Collins, Houston Texans

Collins appeared to be one of the first veterans in Houston to buy into the new regime, put his head down and play hard on a team with zero playoff aspirations. The former third-rounder of the Dallas Cowboys has played at least 500 snaps in six straight seasons to begin his career and recorded a career-best 31 total pressures in 2021. He’ll still just be 27 years old through the 2022 season and is starting to realize his potential.

Strengths:
– Lateral mobility
– Motor and Pursuit
– Powerful Hands

Weaknesses:
– First-step explosiveness
– Lack of production in the backfield
– Loses too often at the point of attack

Scheme Fit/Role:
ROTATIONAL INTERIOR TACKLE: Collins will likely be most valuable staying with the Texans. Assuming the defensive scheme stays the same, Collins needs a defense like Houston's — heavy on twisting and stunting — to help him get into the backfield.

Recent Injury History:
Missed a game due to NFL's health and safety protocol. No major injuries were sustained in 2021.

Contract Projection: Three years, $27.75 million ($9.25M per year), $16 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Collins is nice to have, but he won't blow anyone away as a run defender or pass-rusher. As s high-motor player, though, the 3-Technique can find a home in any defense — most likely as a piece of a four-man rotation on the inside.


80. HB Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos

Much to fantasy footballers' chagrin, Gordon played too well in 2021 for the Broncos to fully hand the reins to rookie running back Javonte Williams, a prospect PFF was high on months before the 2021 Draft. Gordon earned back-to-back rushing grades of 83.0 or better on his two-year, $16 million deal with Denver and while he may not match that per year average again, he shouldn’t take too much of a paycut. Topping the Kenyan Drake deal from the 2021 offseason — two years, $11 million – should be a floor. The bigger question may be whether Denver works to keep him around or finally passes the torch. 

Strengths:
– Forcing missed tackles
– Accelerating through the hole

Weaknesses:
– Receiving out of the backfield
– Fumbles

Scheme Fit/Role:
EARLY-DOWN BACK AS PART OF COMMITTEE: Gordon has been the least efficient receiving back in the NFL in recent years, but it's not as if he hasn't handled some receiving responsibilities. Since 2018, Gordon ranks in the 80th percentile of all running backs in rushing grade compared to the 1st percentile in receiving grade.

Recent Injury History:
Gordon has missed two games over the past two seasons since joining the Broncos, one with hip/shoulder injuries and one with illness.

Contract Projection: Two years, $12 million ($6M per year), $9.5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
There were plenty of people clamoring for more Javonte Williams touches in Denver this past season, but Gordon held onto the lead role and showed he can still contribute at a high level on the ground. There's no reason he can't again in 2022.


81. WR Will Fuller V, Miami Dolphins

A suspension to close out the 2020 season was likely a factor in Fuller signing a one-year, $10 million flier with the Miami Dolphins for the 2021 campaign. However, the season did not go as planned, with a finger injury landing him on injured reserve for just about the entire year. He’ll again likely be fielding one-year offers, as teams need to see him stay healthy and active for a full season for the first time in his career.

Strengths:
-Speed
-The deep route tree

Weaknesses:
-Durability
-Versatility

Scheme Fit/Role:
DEEP THREAT/NO. 3 RECEIVER: Fuller is the ultimate receiver tease in the NFL. An elite deep threat who immediately makes every offense he is on better, he can't stay on the field. Almost every NFL offense should be interested if the price is right, but they need to expect he will miss time, and that's a gamble many teams want no part of.

Recent Injury History:
Fuller's injury history is extensive and consistent, and it will be a significant offputting factor for any new team.

Contract Projection: One year, $7 million ($7M per year), $6 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Fuller is a roll of the dice — a gamble with a potentially big pay-out, but one with long odds. His injury history is extensive, and he isn't a complete player, but the things he is good at change offenses and the way defenses line up. That's always going to have a value attached to it.


82. S Justin Reid, Houston Texans

Reid’s first two seasons in Houston were extremely promising, with his 80.4 overall grade across 2018 and 2019 ranking 17th among safeties with at least 300 snaps over the two seasons. Reid’s 87.0 coverage grade ranked 13th, and his 14.1% forced incompletion rate ranked 19th among safeties with at least 25 targets into their coverage in that span. Since then, things have trended in the wrong direction, ultimately culminating with Reid being a healthy scratch in Week 12 for disciplinary reasons. It seems very likely that the Houston Texans were more to blame than Reid for his decline in play, so perhaps he can get his career back on track in a more stable environment. 

Strengths:
– Capable playmaker at the catch point

Weaknesses:
– Eye discipline
– Tackling

Scheme Fit/Role:
SPOT STARTER/DEPTH PIECE AT SAFETY: Reid's film doesn't suggest that he deserves better than the role he's presently in. The soft zone looks probably don't do much to help, but Reid is often unable to range to the ball and doesn't boast the tracking skills to take good angles and make sound tackles.

Recent Injury History:
Reid was listed on the injury report in 2021 for a knee ailment but hasn't missed practice or game time due to injury.

Contract Projection: Three years, $21 million ($7M per year, $13.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Reid is stuck in a bad situation schematically and lacks talent around him, but he's done little to raise his team's stock or his own in Houston. He's been productive in years prior, leaving open the possibility that he needs a change of scenery to return to form.

PFF’s Fantasy Football Rankings include ranks from our experts, projections and our Strength of Schedule metric.

83. T Riley Reiff, Cincinnati Bengals

Signing Riley Reiff is what ultimately enabled the Bengals to draft breakout star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, and that alone has paid dividends. While Reiff hasn’t been remarkable by any means, he’s been his usual consistent self despite switching from left tackle to right tackle after the better part of a decade on the blindside. He deserves another deal as perhaps a top-end swing tackle at worst, even after an ankle injury ended his season prematurely. 

Strengths:
– Experience at RT and LT
– Run blocking in power/gap schemes
– Beats up bad rushers

Weaknesses:
– Age
– Loses quickly
– Coming off career-low pass-blocking grade”

Scheme Fit/Role:
PROBLEM-SOLVING BRIDGE STARTER/SWING T: Reiff was a longtime starter at left tackle before moving to the right side for the Bengals in 2020. He has been solid in both spots but loses enough that teams will always be looking to upgrade. He would be a high-end backup but will also massively upgrade a problem spot for a team that has one.

Recent Injury History:
Reiff was shut down late in the season with an ankle injury that had been re-aggravated and was getting worse rather than better as time went on.

Contract Projection: Two years, $14 million ($7M per year, $9.25 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Riley Reiff's days as a starter may be over, but his experience on both sides makes him a valuable backup tackle for most teams. Franchises with a disastrous situation at tackle may turn to him late in the process to plug a hole.


84. T Germain Ifedi, Chicago Bears

Ifedi returned to the Bears on a one-year, prove-it deal worth $4.25 million after playing well over the final seven games of the 2020 season following a switch from right guard. While injuries largely derailed his 2021 campaign, the former first-rounder has shown that he’s a solid starter at either right guard or right tackle, even if he won’t become the player Seattle envisioned when they drafted him in 2016. 

Strengths:
– Pass blocking on true pass sets
– Guard/Tackle versatility

Weaknesses:
– Negative plays in run game
– League-high 62 penalties since 2016

Scheme Fit/Role:
LOW-END STARTING RIGHT TACKLE/HIGH-END SIXTH OL: Ifedi started the 2020 season at right guard for Chicago before kicking back out to right tackle, where he also started the 2021 season. Ifedi has graded out better as a pass-protector at tackle with the Bears, and he's been a better run-blocker in gap schemes throughout his career.

Recent Injury History:
Ifedi missed roughly half of the 2021 season with a knee injury that landed him on injured reserve. He had been extremely durable prior to this season, logging over 1,000 offensive snaps every year from 2017 to 2020.

Contract Projection: Two years, $13 million ($6.5M per year, $8.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Ifedi is coming off the two highest PFF grades of his career with the Bears in 2020 and 2021, and he's proven to be a viable starter at both right guard and right tackle. He's always likely to fall into the “looking to upgrade” starter category, though.


85. CB Patrick Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

One of the best cornerbacks of the decade, Peterson hoped to revive his career with a fresh start in Minnesota, but his tenure with the Vikings was underwhelming to say the least. Now entering his age-32 season, Peterson perhaps may explore a move to safety — as he has alluded to in the past — because his abilities as a man-cover corner are dwindling. 

Strengths:
– Physicality
– Reading tendencies/route concepts
– Run defense

Weaknesses:
– Quickness
– Can't play slot anymore
– Lost a step

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 2 CORNERBACK: Peterson was one of the best corners of his generation at his peak, but at 32, he is now seemingly well beyond that level of play. He still has enough experience and savvy to hold up overall, but he isn't as quick or rangy as he once was, which hurts his production in both zone and man coverage.

Recent Injury History:
Peterson had a minor foot injury early in the season before a hamstring injury caused him to miss some time, as well as a stint on the COVID-19 list.

Contract Projection: One year, $6 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Peterson may have a year or two left as a second corner for a team without better options. He has enough experience and savvy to get by and be solid, but elite receivers will put him in a bind.


86. C Bradley Bozeman, Baltimore Ravens

Bozeman earned career highs as a pass- and run-blocker in 2021 as a center with 70.0-plus grades in both facets. This was a year after starting the entire season at left guard and earning respectable 60.0-plus grades across the board as well.

Strengths:
– Rarely gets beat in the run game
– Full seasons starting at both guard and center

Weaknesses:
– Pass protection when lined up at guard
– Athleticism

Scheme Fit/Role:
INTERIOR OL STARTER IN GAP-HEAVY SCHEME: Bozeman is a below-average athlete who isn't at his best in a zone scheme that asks him to get out in space. He's coming off a career-best 73.8 PFF pass-blocking grade in 2021, his lone season at center for the Ravens.

Recent Injury History:
Bozeman has played over 1,100 offensive snaps in each of the past three seasons for Baltimore. He missed one game last season with an illness.

Contract Projection: Four years, $38 million ($9.5M per year, $21.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Bozeman is far from the most physically gifted offensive lineman in the NFL, but he has three years of respectable starting play across multiple positions on his resume and is coming off a career year in 2021.


87. TE Maxx Williams, Arizona Cardinals

Williams was on a tear to start the 2021 season — his 78.8 grade through Week 5 ranked fifth among tight ends and 8.0 yards after the catch per reception was sixth. Williams has always been a strong blocker, as his 82.3 run block grade since 2017 is the third-best mark among tight ends with at least 100 run-blocking snaps over the five-year stretch. An ACL tear is never a good thing, but he suffered the injury in early October and should be mostly recovered by Week 1, 2022. 

Strengths:
– Run blocking
– Hands
– Short-area receiver

Weaknesses:
– Durability
– Never been a high-volume pass-catcher

Scheme Fit/Role:
HIGH-END NO. 2 TIGHT END: While Williams has all the skills to be a No. 1 tight end, we've never seen him as a high-volume pass catcher and he's struggled to stay on the field. However, Williams is one of the league's best run-blockers and is sure-handed and capable of working the middle of the field as a No. 2 option with No. 1 tight end skills.

Recent Injury History:
Williams has had an injury-riddled career, most recently missing most of 2021 with a knee injury. An ankle injury limited him to just nine games in 2020, and 2019 is the only year Williams has played in every game.

Contract Projection: Three years, $18.75 million ($6.25M per year, $10 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Keeping Williams on the field is the biggest question mark, and he's currently recovering from a season-ending knee injury. When healthy, Williams is a factor in the run game and a dependable pass-catcher. He could add sneaky value as a No. 2 option if he can stay healthy.


88. WR Jamison Crowder, New York Jets

After agreeing to a rather substantial pay cut before the season to stay with the New York Jets, Crowder earned just a 65.1 receiving grade for 2021, the second-worst mark of his seven-year career. The veteran is a reliable slot receiver with just four drops on 154 targets since 2020. However, his 3.4 yards after the catch per reception in 2021 was a career-low by almost 1.5 yards. 

Strengths:
– Quickness
– Hands
– Play from the slot

Weaknesses:
– Size
– Speed

Scheme Fit/Role:
SLOT RECEIVER: Crowder isn't big nor fast, but he does everything else well and has been a consistently clutch slot receiver despite plying his trade for the Jets and Washington in the NFL. Crowder has a defined role, but any team needing a slot receiver would benefit from adding him.

Recent Injury History:
Crowder pulled a groin muscle early in the 2021 season. He has a history of soft-tissue muscle injuries in his NFL career.

Contract Projection: One year, $4.5 million ($3.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Crowder would be an upgrade at slot receiver for most NFL teams. Seventy-six percent of his career snaps have come inside, and he is a specialist in that role.


89. TE C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals

Uzomah’s 2021 season was very impressive for two simple reasons: he was coming off a nasty torn Achilles injury suffered in 2020, and he carved out an important receiving role in an offense that has arguably the best wide receiver trio in the NFL in Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. Keeping Uzomah around with major extensions looming for Chase and Higgins may be a bit of a challenge, but Cincinnati should be able to stagger cash/cap commitments for their offensive weapons over the next 3-5 years. 

Strengths:
– Size
– Difficult to tackle after the catch
– Working the middle of the field

Weaknesses:
– Inconsistency. Looks unstoppable in some games, nonexistent in others
– High percentage of negatively graded blocks in the run game

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING TIGHT END: Uzomah has been asked to make a variety of blocks in the run game, so he has experience in-line and on the move. He's a solid receiver with flashes of brilliance.

Recent Injury History:
Uzomah tore his Achilles in 2020, limiting him to just 96 snaps on the season. He battled an MCL injury during the 2021 playoffs.

Contract Projection: Three years, $25 million ($8.33M per year, $13.25 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
The highlight reel is tantalizing for Uzomah, who looks unstoppable at times. He's a big-bodied receiver who has handled a challenging role in the run game for the Bengals, making him a low-end starting option with the hope of extracting his high-end play for more than just a couple of games per season.


90. WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers

Marquez Valdes-Scantling hopes to be the next late-round pick/undrafted free agent speedster to cash in big in free agency, much like Tyrell Williams did with the Raiders and Robby Anderson with the Panthers. Valdes-Scantling is every bit of 6-foot-5, and his 4.37 40-yard dash translates to the gridiron — his 18.3-yard average depth of target was the third-highest among all wide receivers over the last two seasons. Some drop issues and injuries have limited his production, but he has improved his hands over time and when healthy has game-breaking ability on every snap. 

Strengths:
– Size
– Speed
– Big-play ability

Weaknesses:
– Hands
– Not a high-volume pass-catching option
– Contested catches

Scheme Fit/Role:
DEEP THREAT: Valdes-Scantling has excelled as a size/speed downfield mismatch in his four-year career, and that's his best bet to produce going forward. He's not polished in other parts of his game, but his career 17.5 yards per reception mark shows that he's capable of flipping the field in a hurry.

Recent Injury History:
Valdes-Scantling had played in every game in his career from 2018 through 2020 before a hamstring injury limited him in 2021.

Contract Projection: Two years, $20 million ($10M per year, $11.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
If used as a complementary deep threat, Valdes-Scantling has a role on a receiving corps, especially one looking to add some juice on the outside. He may never be a high-volume chain mover, but Valdes-Scantling should be coveted as an option that can get behind the defense once or twice a game.


91. LB Kyzir White, Los Angeles Chargers

White was a reliable presence at linebacker following the loss of 2020 first-rounder Kenneth Murray during Weeks 4-9 and when Murray was battling injuries over Weeks 11-15. White has had four straight seasons with coverage grades above 60.0, which is not an easy feat for an off-ball linebacker in today’s NFL against so many hi-lo concepts and the increase in run-pass options putting a ton of stress on the position. 

Strengths:
– Zone coverage
– Tackling
– Versatile underneath defender

Weaknesses:
– Making plays on the ball
– Playmaking in the run game
– Taking on blocks

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING OUTSIDE LINEBACKER: White brings a strong all-around skill set to the table, and he's continued to improve during his four-year career. He moves around well as an underneath zone defender, and he's at his best if he's kept clean in the run game. White is a mid-tier starter on the outside.

Recent Injury History:
White missed a few games in 2020, sandwiched around the 2019 and 2021 seasons in which he played every game.

Contract Projection: Two years, $12.5 million ($6.25M per year, $8 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
As his career has progressed, White has improved and seen his playing time increase. He's an effective three-down player who does his best work in coverage.


92. CB Rasul Douglas, Green Bay Packers

Douglas had a remarkable season with the Packers considering how his year began, bouncing around rosters before getting signed off the Arizona Cardinals‘ practice squad and earning a career-high 74.8 overall grade and 78.0 coverage grade with five interceptions. Perhaps the 6-foot-2 Douglas fits better in a more zone-heavy scheme. 

Strengths:
– Ball skills
– Zone coverage

Weaknesses:
– Single coverage
– Press coverage
– One year of top-notch production

Scheme Fit/Role:
OUTSIDE CORNER IN ZONE-HEAVY SCHEME: Douglas set career-highs with a 75.7 coverage grade and five interceptions in Green Bay's system in 2021. He's at his best when playing off coverage and making plays on the ball.

Recent Injury History:
When on a roster, Douglas has not missed much time due to injury during his career. He played a career-high 821 snaps in 2020 followed by another 734 snaps in 13 games last season.

Contract Projection: Three years, $20.25 million ($6.75M per year), $13.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line: It's fair to ask if Douglas' breakout 2021 season is sustainable, but he was excellent in Green Bay's scheme and his ball skills were among the league's best. The question is consistency, so another prove-it deal in a zone-heavy scheme may be in the cards.


93. WR Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons

Gage picked up where he left off from a strong 2020 campaign with a big 2021 season following Julio Jones' departure and Calvin Ridley stepping away during the 2021 campaign. From Week 11 through the end of the season, Gage’s 84.1 receiving grade was ninth among wide receivers while his 17 explosive receptions tied for fifth. 

Strengths:
– Creating separation against man coverage
– Body control/contested catches

Weaknesses:
– Not great after the catch
– Not a frequent deep target

Scheme Fit/Role:
LOW-END NO.2 OR NO. 3 RECEIVER: Gage works the short and intermediate levels well and projects as a good possession receiver — ideally as a No. 3 option.

Recent Injury History:
Gage missed multiple games due to an ankle injury in 2021, and he's had multiple small injuries that have placed him on and off the injury report in recent years.

Contract Projection: Four years, $34 million ($8.5M per year), $20 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Gage made the most of his opportunities in Atlanta, showing that he can be relied upon as a possession receiver. He knows how to work the middle of the field and can beat man coverage, making him an ideal No. 3 option or a low-end No. 2.


94. WR Emmanuel Sanders, Buffalo Bills

Even though Emmanuel Sanders will be 35 years old when free agency rolls around, he’s now had five straight seasons going over 550 receiving yards in his thirties while playing for four different teams. Sanders’ 15.9-yard average depth of target in 2021 was a career high, and his 14.9 yards per reception tied his previous best. He may not be able to handle the same volume as he did in his prime, but he’s still a productive and reliable target on a per-touch basis.

Strengths:
– Route running
– Creates separation against single coverage
– Hands

Weaknesses:
– Age
– Less effective after the catch in recent years

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 3/4 RECEIVER, CHAIN MOVER: Sanders still knows how to get open, and he's capable of winning on the outside as a complementary option in a good passing offense.

Recent Injury History:
Sanders suffered a knee injury that forced him out of action late in 2021. He didn't miss time in 2020 and battled through rib and knee injuries in 2019.

Contract Projection: One year, $5 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Heading into his age-35 season, Sanders provides a strong third or fourth option who has sure hands and knows how to get open against all coverages. He's at his best in the short and intermediate game, but 2021 showed that he's still capable of getting behind the defense as well.


95. WR Cedrick Wilson, Dallas Cowboys

Cedrick Wilson took on an increased role with Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper missing time during the 2021 season, and his 73.0 receiving grade, 602 receiving yards, and 1.74 yards per route run dwarfed his previous career bests. Dallas may have too many marquee free agents to keep Wilson around, so any team looking for a very solid slot receiver should be in the market. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott clearly showed he trusted Wilson with 10 targets in their playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Strengths:
– Shifty before and after the catch
– Slot production
– Hands

Weaknesses:
– A lot of projection involved
– One year of moderate production
– Durability concerns

Scheme Fit/Role:
SLOT/No. 2 OPTION: Wilson stepped up in 2021 with some injuries to the Dallas receiving corps and was productive from the slot. He has unusual size for an inside receiver and the shiftiness to gain yards after the catch as well as win on manufactured screen plays. He could potentially step up to a No. 2 role in a less stacked receiver room.

Recent Injury History:
Wilson dealt with minor ankle and shoulder injuries early in the year, but his biggest injury questions came in previous seasons where missed time with major knee and shoulder problems.

Contract Projection: Two years, $12.5 million ($6.25M per year), $9 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Wilson has the talent to be a No. 2 receiver or at worst a productive slot weapon, but he has dealt with some major injuries so far in the NFL and has few opportunities to show it. He might be a low-cost gamble with big upside.


96. DI Sheldon Richardson, Cleveland Browns

Richardson was a cap casualty of the Cleveland Browns following the 2020 season, and while they were probably smart to save the cash/cap they did, the Browns interior defender unit ranked dead last in 2021 partly because of Richardson’s absence. Richardson graded out above 60.0 in every facet in 2021 and generated 37 quarterback pressures, continuing his impressive consistency as a quality interior pass rusher.

Strengths:
– Winning with power as a pass-rusher
– Experience starting at multiple positions on DL

Weaknesses:
– Moved too easily in the run game in 2021
– Not a dynamic pass-rush threat

Scheme Fit/Role:
VERSATILE INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: Richardson has primarily played defensive tackle on four-man fronts of late, but he did kick out to defensive end this past season in Minnesota and has graded out best when lined up over tackles during the past three seasons. The 31-year-old is durable and still brings a well-rounded game, even if he's no longer the dominant run defender he was early in his career for the Jets.

Recent Injury History:
Richardson's 6,722 regular season defensive snaps since 2013 rank 11th among all defensive linemen. It's hard to knock his availability.

Contract Projection:  One year, $3 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Richardson is coming off a career-worst 62.1 PFF grade in 2021 — a season in which he had to transition from the interior to the edge following the losses of Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen. He has graded above the 60th percentile as a run defender and pass rusher on the interior over the past three seasons and projects as an average to slightly above-average starter entering the 2022 season.


97. WR Keelan Cole, New York Jets

The New York Jets offense obviously struggled throughout the season, but Cole displayed the versatility that made him an attractive free-agent target in the 2021 offseason, playing a career-high 83.0% of snaps lined up out wide — a 50% increase over 2020 with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Cole is a solid WR3 who can line up out wide and in the slot, and there should always be a decent market for such a player.

Strengths:
– Can play in the slot and outside
– Smooth route-runner
– Highlight-reel catches

Weaknesses:
– Hasn't shown many signs of improvement since his rookie year
– Doesn't have great size or speed

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 3 OR 4 RECEIVER: The five quarterbacks to throw the football to Cole the most in his NFL career have been Blake Bortles, Gardner Minshew, Zach Wilson, Mike Glennon and Mike White. It hasn't exactly been the best of circumstances, but Cole has still managed to produce relatively consistent results. He stands out as a decent complementary option who can line up either in the slot or outside.

Recent Injury History:
Cole hasn't missed any extended action in his five-year NFL career. He did miss two games last season with a knee injury and a stint on the COVID-19 list.

Contract Projection: Two years, $12 million ($6M per year), $8.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Cole could be an intriguing buy-low candidate coming off four consecutive seasons in bottom-10 passing offenses by EPA per play. He's a smooth route runner who has logged 800-plus routes in the slot and out wide over the past five seasons.


98. S Xavier Woods, Minnesota Vikings

Woods signed a one-year flier with the Minnesota Vikings in free agency in the 2021 offseason in a tough market for safeties and had an interesting season playing opposite star safety Harrison Smith. Woods played over 1,200 snaps, second-most among defensive players, and set career highs as a run defender and tackler with 87.5 and 88.0 marks, respectively. However, his 58.3 coverage grade was a career low, and Woods’ first season with a sub-60.0 coverage grade. 

Still, Woods has the makings of a later-wave but good-value free agent who has shown the ability to excel against the pass and run at different times. He could have a big-impact year if he could put it all together.

Strengths:
– Versatility
– Coverage when lined up in the box

Weaknesses:
– Can take bad/overly aggressive angles from deep alignments
– Not capitalizing on interception opportunities

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING FREE SAFETY: Woods has primarily operated from deep alignments, but he does have some experience in the slot and in the box (where he has graded out best in coverage) across his time with Minnesota and Dallas. He could slide into most NFL defenses, whether they operate from primarily single-high or two-high looks.

Recent Injury History:
Woods has played over 4,000 defensive snaps across the past four seasons, including the playoffs. Injuries haven't been a major concern throughout his career.

Contract Projection: Two years, $10.5 million ($5.25M per year), $6.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Woods would have more buzz as a free agent prospect if he were able to haul in a few of the seven interceptions he has dropped since 2017 (tied for most at the position). He's a reliable, if not great, starting option who has averaged over 1,000 snaps per season on defense the past four years.


99. EDGE Charles Harris, Detroit Lions

Charles Harris had a breakout stretch with the Detroit Lions in a similar fashion to Lions edge defender Romeo Okwara, who cashed in on a strong three-year, $37 million ($12.33M per year) deal in the 2021 offseason. Harris’ 78.7 pass-rush grade and 52 quarterback pressures trailed Okwara’s 84.5 and 61, but the former first-rounder may have played his way into a decent deal putting up strong numbers in his first season with over 500 snaps and with an injured Detroit Lions defensive line around him.

Strengths:
– Spin move
– Winning to the outside as a pass-rusher

Weaknesses:
– One year of good production
– Run defense
– Finishing plays

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 3 PASS-RUSHER: Even with a breakout 2021 season, Harris is best if relied upon as a third rusher as part of a rotation. He does his best working rushing off the edge from wide alignments.

Recent Injury History:
Harris missed time in 2019 with a wrist injury and battled an ankle injury in 2020. Last season, Harris played a career-high 871 snaps.

Contract Projection: Three years, $27 million ($9M per year), $15 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Harris broke out with a 78.6 pass-rush grade in 2021, accumulating 39% of his five-year career pressure total in just one year. He's at his best as a third rusher, but there may be a low-end No. 2 pass-rushing job that makes sense as he looks to prove last season wasn't a fluke.


100. TE Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts

Alie-Cox has had an extremely impressive first four years of his career considering he was a college basketball player at VCU before converting to tight end for the Rams and playing organized football for the first time since his freshman year of high school. He’s still learning the nuances of NFL football but hasn’t let that slow him down, with four-straight seasons grading above 65.0. Operating behind Jack Doyle has limited Alie-Cox’s receiving production, but perhaps he could become more of a focal point going forward. 

Strengths:
– Hands
– YAC
– Exploiting zone coverage

Weaknesses:
– Separating vs. man coverage
– Never had a high-volume role

Scheme Fit/Role:
ALL-AROUND TE: Alie-Cox has never played a huge role within an offense, but there's evidence to suggest he could be a successful No. 1 for many teams. He blocks well and has great hands and excellent after-the-catch skills. His separation in man coverage isn't great, but he finds space easily in zone coverage to offset that weakness.

Recent Injury History:
Alie-Cox has not had any notable injuries recently. In 2020, he dealt with a lingering knee injury that kept him on the injury report but not out of games.

Contract Projection: Three years, $20 million ($6.7M per year), $1 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Alie-Cox is a player long on talent who has yet to take over as a true No. 1 option at the position. He has some weaknesses to his game but is still worth a bigger role than he has received so far.


101. EDGE Jason Pierre-Paul, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jason Pierre-Paul is in the final year of a two-year, $25 million contract signed with the Buccaneers before their Super Bowl run in 2020. Pierre-Paul still shows flashes, tallying at least two quarterback pressures in six of his nine games, but injuries have started to catch up a bit. Now in Year 12, Pierre-Paul hasn’t earned a season-long grade of 70.0-plus since 2016, but he’s also never recorded a season-long grade below 60.0.

Strengths:
– Length
– Motor

Weaknesses:
– Tackling
– Age

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING EDGE IN DEEP ROTATION: The last two edge defenders in their 13th season or higher to play a single defensive snap were Terrell Suggs and Lorenzo Alexander in 2019. The days of Pierre-Paul logging over 1,000 snaps as he did in 2020 should be over, but he can still contribute as part of a rotation that keeps him fresh.

Recent Injury History:
The injuries are starting to pile up for Pierre-Paul in Tampa Bay. He suffered a fractured neck in a car accident prior to the 2019 season, played through a knee injury for much of last season in addition to playing through a finger that is “split into two pieces” and a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder in 2021.

Contract Projection: One year, $7 million ($5 million guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
At his best, Pierre-Paul is an every-down edge defender who understands how to use his length to impact both the run and pass game. It just remains to be seen how much of his best remains as injuries continue to mount for the 33-year-old.


102. CB Joe Haden, Pittsburgh Steelers

Haden was looking for a contract extension before the 2021 season, but the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t oblige. It’s likely he will now be playing elsewhere in 2022, but he’s still a solid zone cornerback with a high floor entering his age-33 season. Haden earned overall and coverage grades above 60.0 in each of his five seasons with the Steelers and looks to have a year or two left in him. 

Strengths:
– Good tackler
– Eliminates explosive passes
– Veteran experience

Weaknesses:
– Lack of twitchiness
– No production at the catch point (INT/PBU)
– Age/Durability

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 2 OR NO. 3 CB IN A ZONE SCHEME: As an older defensive back playing much less press coverage, it's time for Haden to take a look at the slot or play outside in a zone-heavy scheme. If playing inside is a dealbreaker, the Giants and Raiders may want to take a look at Haden. Patrick Graham and Gus Bradley run Cover 1 less than 15% of the time and allow their corners to play with the depth Haden needs to keep the game in front of him.

Recent Injury History:
Haden sustained a sprain in his left foot in 2021, but no structural damage requiring surgery was reported. He missed four games with the injury.

Contract Projection: One year, $5 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Father Time slows down for no man, and Haden is coming up on the back end of his career. If he is willing to move inside, he can extend his positive value for teams much longer than playing bend-don't-break football on the outside.

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

103. WR T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts

Injuries continue to keep Hilton on the sidelines, but he still generated his fourth-straight season grade of 70.0+ with zero drops on 37 targets. Set to be 33 years old in 2022, Hilton will likely continue to take one-year fliers like the one-year, $8 million deal he signed with the Colts in the 2021 offseason. 

Strengths:
– Threatens the intermediate level of the field (10-19 yards downfield)
– Hands

Weaknesses:
– Age
– Durability

Scheme Fit/Role:
LOW-END NO. 2: As Hilton ages, his value diminishes, but he's still capable of moving the chains as a complementary weapon on the outside.

Recent Injury History: Neck and quad injuries, as well as a concussion, limited Hilton to a career-low 337 snaps in 2021. He missed one game due to a groin injury in 2020, and a calf injury kept him out of action for six games in 2019.

Contract Projection: One year, $6.5 million

Bottom Line:
When healthy, Hilton is a sure-handed chain mover who can still sneak behind the defense on occasion. He just needs to stay on the field as he heads into Year 11 of his career.


104. WR Sammy Watkins, Baltimore Ravens

Watkins might end up on his third team in as many seasons after finishing the 2021 season lower on the depth chart than where he started. His 394 receiving yards were the lowest total of his career. The former No. 4 overall pick will always present an intriguing option, but at this stage in his career, he is purely a depth receiver who hopefully can command the defense’s attention to free up the top playmakers. 

Strengths:
– YAC
– Speed
– Ability to dominate games

Weaknesses:
– Durability
– Winning vs. elite cover guys

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 3 or NO. 4 RECEIVER: Sammy Watkins' best value in the NFL has been going off when all the focus is on another player. He has enough skills to win, and win big, against No. 2 corners or players who can't match up with him physically, but he struggles against elite cover guys and has been fragile.

Recent Injury History:
Watkins missed time with knee and hamstring injuries as well as an undisclosed injury early in the season. He has had a constant run of injuries in the NFL and cannot be assumed to be healthy long-term.

Contract Projection: One year, $5.5 million ($5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Watkins has the potential to be a No. 2 receiver, but his injury history makes that very unlikely. Teams will carry him for the few healthy games a year where he can have huge performances.


105. QB Andy Dalton, Chicago Bears

Dalton played well enough at times with a poor supporting cast to sign a decent backup contract in a weaker free-agent class at quarterback, despite just five big-time throws to nine turnover-worthy plays. 

Strengths:
– Accuracy
– Intermediate (10-19 yard) passing

Weaknesses:
– Natural playmaking
– Limited big-time throws
– Takes too many sacks

Scheme Fit/Role:
BRIDGE QB: Teams aren't looking to build around Dalton, but he's a low-end starter who can hold the fort as a bridge to the future.

Recent Injury History:
Dalton was in and out of the lineup in 2021 with knee, hand and groin injuries. In 2020, he missed time due to a concussion. He had been relatively healthy in his nine years as a starter prior to that.

Contract Projection: One year, $7.25 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Dalton has posted PFF grades between 66.0 and 73.0 in seven of his 11 seasons in the NFL. He's a low-end starter who is a good option as an organization is transitioning to its next franchise quarterback.


106. DI Tim Settle, Washington Commanders

Settle has still yet to play 350 snaps in a season, but his second straight 72.5-plus pass-rush grade and three straight seasons with double-digit quarterback pressures are intriguing for teams in need of a potential rotational interior pass-rusher. 

Strengths:
– Pass rushing at his size
– Power

Weaknesses:
– Athleticism
– Has never played more than 400 defensive snaps in a season

Scheme Fit/Role:
ROTATIONAL INTERIOR PASS-RUSHER: You don't expect a 320-plus pound defensive tackle with below-average athleticism to be a better pass-rusher than run defender, but that has been the case for Settle early in his NFL career. He's flashed the ability to overpower offensive linemen, particularly when lined up at the nose over the center.

Recent Injury History:
Settle's limited snap count in Washington hasn't been because of injury. He hasn't missed any significant action since being drafted in 2018 due to injury.

Contract Projection: One year, $4.25 million, $2.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Settle hasn't had much opportunity for an extended role in a position group that also features Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Matt Ioannidis. He has shown enough in limited action to warrant a team giving him an opportunity in a larger role in 2022, though.


107. WR A.J. Green, Arizona Cardinals

Green certainly played up to his one-year, $6 million flier signed with the Cardinals after a decade spent with the Cincinnati Bengals that included a stretch of seven straight seasons with 81.8-plus receiving grades. Green’s 15.7 yards per reception was his best mark since 2011, and he had a handful of big games following the loss of DeAndre Hopkins for the season.

Strengths:
– Catch radius
– Finding soft spots in zone

Weaknesses:
– Creating separation
– Athleticism not nearly what it was pre-injuries

Scheme Fit/Role:
POSSESSION RECEIVER: Green has finished in the 2nd percentile of all qualifying wide receivers in separation percentage since returning from injury in 2020. He's going to need to win in contested situations at this stage of his career, and he's only been average in those situations of late. He still provides a big target for quarterbacks at 6-foot-4 with 34-plus inch arms.

Recent Injury History:
Green played just 458 offensive snaps across the 2018 and 2019 seasons due to toe, foot and ankle injuries. He's been relatively healthy since returning in 2020, however. Green missed just one game last season on the COVID-19 list.

Contract Projection: One year, $7.25 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Green looked better in Arizona last season than he did with Cincinnati in 2020, but that wasn't a very high bar to clear. He's still a shell of his former Pro Bowl self. That doesn't mean he no longer offers any value in a tertiary role, though.


108. CB K'Waun Williams, San Francisco 49ers

Williams was a consistent presence in a 49ers secondary that was absolutely decimated by injuries in 2021, and while his 63.3 grade was a career-low, he’s still never earned a coverage grade below 60.0. Another one-year flier for the undersized but scrappy Williams probably makes sense. 

Strengths:
– Playing top-down in zone coverage
– Shooting gaps in the run game

Weaknesses:
– Playmaking
– Man coverage
– Age and recent lower-body injury history

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING SLOT CORNERBACK: You don't want Williams in a defense consistently asking him to stick with receivers in single coverage, but he's an effective slot option in a zone-heavy defense that asks him to get downhill on underneath passes and be an above-average run defender for his position.

Recent Injury History:
Williams was healthier last season than a 2020 campaign in which he missed eight games with knee, ankle and shin injuries. He did miss three games early in the 2021 season with another calf injury, though.

Contract Projection: One year, $2.5 million, $2 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Williams has been one of the more effective slot cornerbacks in the NFL since entering the league in 2014 with Cleveland, and that's becoming an increasingly valuable role with elite receivers moving in and out of the slot. His recent history of lower-body injuries as he gets set to enter the 2022 season at 31 years old is a reason for pause, however.


109. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington Commanders

Fitzpatrick missed almost the entire 2021 season with a nasty hip injury and may join a retirement class of quarterbacks that includes Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, especially if there are no starting opportunities available, which certainly may be the case. 

Strengths:
– Aggressiveness — he can hit a hot streak
– Presence and leadership

Weaknesses:
– Aggressiveness — he can hit a cold streak
– Arm strength

Scheme Fit/Role:
BRIDGE QB: When healthy, Fitzpatrick is a good short-term starter who can win some games, but he's ultimately a stopgap for an organization in transition.

Recent Injury History:
A hip injury limited Fitzpatrick to just eight dropbacks in 2021, but he had been healthy in previous seasons.

Contract Projection: One year, $7 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Fitzpatrick can be a roller coaster ride to watch, as his aggressive nature leads to big plays for both teams, but his last three years (2018-20) have been the highest-graded seasons as a starter. He's capable of winning games as a low-end starter as teams figure out their long-term quarterback prospects.


110. T Brandon Shell, Seattle Seahawks

Shell has been extremely consistent, with six straight season grades between 63 and 74 to begin his career, and is generally better as a pass protector with an 80.3 pass-blocking grade in 2020. Shell has dealt with some minor injuries here and there, but you pretty much know what you’re gonna get, which is worth a good deal at tackle. 

Strengths:
– Physical profile
– Above average in pass protection with Seattle

Weaknesses:
– Climbing to the second level
– Getting beat with quickness inside
– Durability

Scheme Fit/Role:
AVERAGE-TO-BELOW AVERAGE STARTING RIGHT TACKLE: Listed at 6-foot-5 and 324 pounds, Shell isn't the dominant force in the run game his size might suggest. But he has been a serviceable starting option for Seattle when healthy, which hasn't been a guarantee over the past two seasons. Shell has graded above the 65th percentile in true pass sets and in avoiding negative grades in the run game since 2020.

Recent Injury History:
Between ankle and shoulder injuries and a stint on the COVID-19 list, Shell missed seven games in 2021. He's missed 12 games in total after joining Seattle two offseasons ago, also missing time in 2020 with an ankle injury.

Contract Projection: Three years, $18.75 million ($6.25M per year), $10.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Quality tackle play isn't easy to find in the NFL. Shell may not be the most attractive starting tackle option out there, but he isn't likely to be a glaring weak link along the offensive line, either.


111. G Trai Turner, Pittsburgh Steelers

Turner had something of a bounceback year on a one-year, $3 million flier with the Steelers following his disastrous 2020 campaign with the Los Angeles Chargers, as his 69.4 grade is his best since 2017. Turner will still be less than 30 years old for all of 2022. 

Strengths:
– Pass protection
– Experience
– Age

Weaknesses:
– Run blocking
– Best play was a long time ago
– Durability

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING GUARD: Trai Turner has elite tape on his NFL resume, but it came in the first couple years of his career. This past year in Pittsburgh, he had a relative bounce-back season, but it was hugely helped by Ben Roethlisberger's league-fastest average time to throw. Turner showed he can still start, but it remains to be seen how good he'll be.

Recent Injury History:
Turner dealt with an ankle injury this past season and has played over 1,000 snaps just three times in a single season in his career.

Contract Projection: Three years, $18.75 million ($6.25M per year), $10 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Trai Turner can still be a starting guard in the NFL, but his best play is a long way in the rearview mirror. He has age and experience still on his side but must be running out of opportunities.


112. S Terrell Edmunds, Pittsburgh Steelers

Edmunds has been a solid starter on the back end for the Pittsburgh Steelers after becoming a surprise first-round pick in 2018, but the Steelers declined to exercise his $6.75 million fifth-year option for the 2022 season. Edmunds earned his second consecutive coverage grade above 70.0 but also his second straight run-defense grade below 60.0 with a career-low 34.0. 

A deal resembling Baltimore Ravens safety Chuck Clark’s three-year, $15.3 million contract from the 2021 offseason looks fitting, but Edmunds could push for something closer to Jacksonville Jaguars safety Rayshawn Jenkins’ four-year, $35 million deal.

Strengths:
– Tackling
– Durability

Weaknesses:
– Run defense
– Playmaking

Scheme Fit/Role:
MARGINAL STARTING SAFETY: Terrell Edmunds was a surprise first-round draft pick when the Steelers selected him in 2018, and while he has been a starter during his rookie contract, he has not excelled in any area. Typically not a liability, he has been low on the kind of playmaking teams want at the position.

Recent Injury History: Edmunds has been very durable so far in the NFL, playing 4,131 total snaps since being drafted.

Contract Projection: Three years, $15 million ($5M per year), $7.75 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line: Edmunds may fill a starting spot for some team, but if he fell to the role of a backup it wouldn't be an injustice. A steady presence, he doesn't have the upside teams covet.

Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan (85) runs after a catch during the second quarter at Levi's Stadium. Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

113. TE Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers

Tonyan may have benefited from the Packers' depleted receiving corps, but his 70 targets from Week 1 of 2020 through Week 8 of 2021 — when he tore his ACL — was a top-15 mark among tight ends. His 13 touchdowns over the same span trailed only Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. Tonyan still has only one season's worth of snaps (1,204) on his resume, which makes him a potentially tricky evaluation. 

Strengths:
– Pass catching
– Hands

Weaknesses:
– Blocking
– One year of production
– Recent ACL tear

Scheme Fit/Role:
SECOND TIGHT END: Tonyan burst onto the scene in 2020, catching 12 touchdowns from Aaron Rodgers, but that represents his only significant production in the NFL given that his 2021 season ended early with an ACL injury. He has good movement skills and hands but has been a weak blocker and fits as a role player within the offense.

Recent Injury History:
Tonyan tore his ACL in late October of 2021, ending his season and likely hitting his value in free agency.

Contract Projection: One year, $5.5 million, $3.75 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
The Packers tight end has great hands and some good movement skills, but has only been a role player and has struggled with blocking at this level. He fits best as a second option at the position behind an established starter.


114. WR Zay Jones, Las Vegas Raiders

Jones emerged down the stretch with the Raiders in do-or-die mode to make the playoffs, hauling in at least five receptions in each of the last five games. Jones’ 70.1 receiving grade on the season was a career-high by almost a full 10 points, as he’s starting to look a bit more like the receiver the Bills hoped they’d be getting when they drafted him early in the second round in 2017. He didn’t quite have the career-resurgent season that Nelson Agholor had with the Raiders in 2020, which led to a two-year, $22 million contract from the New England Patriots, but a decent payday should be in his future. 

Strengths:
– Hands
– Short/intermediate threat

Weaknesses:
– One-year breakout
– Limited after the catch
– Contested catches

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 3 OPTION: Jones is at his best when relied upon as a sure-handed possession receiver. He had his moments where he looked like a viable deep threat in Las Vegas, but he does his best work in the short and intermediate game.

Recent Injury History:
Jones has been extremely durable since entering the league as most of his missed times have come due to role rather than injury.

Contract Projection: Three years, $18 million ($6M per year), $9.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Jones produced the best stretch of play of his career with an increased workload down the stretch in 2021. There's some risk if it was just a blip or an actual turning point, but he can catch the ball and move the chains effectively, making him a worthwhile risk as a No. 3 option.


115. S DeShon Elliott, Baltimore Ravens

Elliott only has one full season of play (2020), but he’s graded above 60.0 as a run defender and in coverage in each of the last two seasons. Teams would probably want to see a bit more before committing to a lengthy deal.

Strengths:
– Versatility
– Range

Weaknesses:
– Man Coverage
– Tackling
– Physicality

Scheme Fit/Role:
ROTATIONAL SAFETY/SPOT STARTER: Deshon Elliott carried an unenviable task of trying to cover for an injured and thin secondary, but he's capable enough to fulfill his responsibilities. Playing in the middle of the field or dropping over tight ends, he's a safety that can fill a hole in the secondary.

Recent Injury History: Jones has been extremely durable since entering the league as most of his missed times has come due to role rather than injury.

Contract Projection: One year, $5.25 million, $4 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Elliott isn't a world changer in the defensive backfield, but he will rarely be the problem within your defensive scheme. In a role where he can be a dime safety or rotate in situationally, Elliott can add a dynamic of athleticism to any defensive package.


116. CB Ahkello Witherspoon, Pittsburgh Steelers

Witherspoon, yet again, played few snaps over the course of the season following a trade from the Seattle Seahawks to the Steelers but had three 85.0-plus graded games over the final five contests of the regular season. Witherspoon didn’t reach the 400 snap mark in each of the last two seasons but posted 80.9 and 78.8 coverage grades, respectively, and moves quite well for a 6-foot-2 cornerback. A nearly identical one-year flier would probably make sense again. 

Strengths:
– Size
– Lateral movement
– Can play man or zone

Weaknesses:
– Tackling
– Speed receivers
– Durability

Scheme Fit/Role:
OUTSIDE CORNER: Witherspoon's coverage skills play in multiple schemes, and he has had enough stretches of strong play that he should be competing for a starting spot on the outside.

Recent Injury History:
Witherspoon has had several injuries through the years including a hamstring injury that forced him to miss time in 2020, a foot injury in 2019 and a PCL injury in his knee that forced him out of action in 2018.

Contract Projection: One year, $4 million fully guaranteed. 

Bottom Line:
Witherspoon has had an uneven career, posting coverage grades “in the green” in three of his five years in the league. His last 700-plus snaps have been his best, but he has already gone through multiple organizations and battled various injuries. When healthy, Witherspoon is a starting-caliber corner on the outside.


117. WR Braxton Berrios, New York Jets

Berrios was a jack of all trades for the Jets in 2021, posting a career-high 46 receptions with two touchdowns out of the backfield and a kick return touchdown en route to an All-Pro nod for special teams. (He was even the recipient of a nifty third-down lateral.) His presence should keep opposing defenses and special teams units on their toes.

Strengths:
– Finding holes in zone coverage
– Creating separation underneath
– Return ability

Weaknesses:
– Little downfield production
– Beating single coverage

Scheme Fit/Role:
SLOT/RETURN SPECIALIST: Berrios enters free agency at the right time, fresh off a career year in the slot for New York and a first-team All-Pro selection as a return man. He's not a vertical slot threat by any means, but he has shown the ability to find holes underneath and bring down everything thrown his way with just one drop on 60 targets in 2021.

Recent Injury History:
Berrios ended his 2021 season on injured reserve with a quadriceps injury, but that only cost him the season finale against Buffalo. Outside of that, Berrios has been relatively healthy in his three-year tenure with the Jets since being placed on IR his rookie season with New England.

Contract Projection: Three years, $20 million (6.67 million per year), $10.5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Berrios isn't going to be the flashiest of free-agent signings, but the reigning first-team All-Pro return man could be a cost-effective target to add value in the slot and on special teams.


118. QB Mitchell Trubisky, Buffalo Bills

Mitch Trubisky was a casualty of the 2021 salary cap drop and a strong 2021 draft class at quarterback. Another disappointing season for Matt Nagy’s Chicago Bears offense, which led to his firing, may also reflect positively on Trubisky in retrospect. There may be some high-end quarterback trades this offseason, but the free-agent market doesn’t have many options. Trubisky could be paid closer to a higher-end backup after a season spent with the Buffalo Bills working alongside Josh Allen and learning from former offensive coordinator Brian Daboll — now the head coach of the New York Giants.

Strengths:
– Mobility
– Big-time throws

Weaknesses:
– Accuracy
– Facing the blitz

Scheme Fit/Role:
BRIDGE/BACKUP QB: Trubisky never panned out in Chicago, and even in his best statistical season, his accuracy and decision-making were lacking when compared to other starting NFL quarterbacks. He profiles as a strong backup, however, who is capable of putting together a string of solid games with his good arm and athleticism.

Recent Injury History:
Trubisky missed time in 2019 due to a dislocated non-throwing shoulder while also dealing with a hip injury. He missed multiple games due to a right shoulder injury in 2020.

Contract Projection: One year, $14 million ($10.5 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Perhaps a second chance could rejuvenate Trubisky's career, but that chance is better made first in a backup role. He looked confident in the 2021 preseason, perhaps showing signs of a career turnaround, and he'll need more than just that to earn a future starting role. For now, Trubisky looks like a high-end backup who is worth having around to see if he can improve in the key areas needed to be a long-term starter.


119. EDGE Uchenna Nwosu, Los Angeles Chargers

Nwosu started start in 2021 but finished strong, posting a 78.7 grade from Week 8 through the end of the season — 15th among edge defenders. Nwosu’s 68.5 pass-rush grade and 40 quarterback pressures were career-highs at the right time, and though he may not have lived up to his top-50 draft slot billing, Nwosu could be a solid No. 2 outside linebacker.

Strengths:
– Coverage versatility
– Motor

Weaknesses:
– Tackling and finishing plays
– Taking on blocks
– Not an elite pass-rusher

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING OUTSIDE LINEBACKER IN SCHEME WITH 3-4 PRINCIPLES: Nwosu is a solid pass-rusher and a capable player in coverage, so his skills are best used in a system that still asks its edge rushers to drop into coverage.

Recent Injury History:
Nwosu has played in every game in three of his four NFL seasons (2018, 2019 and 2021). In 2020, he missed multiple games due to a shoulder injury.

Contract Projection: Three years, $26.25 million ($8.75M per year), $15.75 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
While Nwosu may never be a high-end player, he's a serviceable No. 2 pass-rusher, particularly in a role that taps into his coverage versatility. He is solid all-around and plays the game hard, leading to a high number of cleanup pressures.


120. G Mark Glowinski, Indianapolis Colts

With Colts right tackle Braden Smith receiving one of the top deals at his position before the 2021 season in addition left guard Quenton Nelson potentially resetting the market at guard this offseason, Glowinski may be the odd man out after proving to be a great pickup back in 2018. Glowinski earned his second career 70.0-plus grade in 2021 and offers a high floor at right guard for any team. 

Strengths:
– Good athlete
– Creating movement on double teams

Weaknesses:
– Dealing with quick interior pass-rushers
– Can be late to recognize stunts

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING GUARD: Glowinski is a plus athlete with power who has a nasty streak to him. That's not a bad combination to have at guard. Prospective teams have to weigh that against his play in pass protection, which has been slightly below league average since joining the Colts in 2018.

Recent Injury History:
Glowinski was relatively healthy by 2021 Colts offensive line standards. He missed one game on the COVID-19 list, which was his first missed game since an ankle injury kept him out in 2018.

Contract Projection: Three years, $18.75 million ($6.25M per year), $13 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Glowinski is an above-average run blocker and slightly below-average pass protector at guard. He projects as a serviceable starting option on a reasonable contract.


121. G Quinton Spain, Cincinnati Bengals

Spain has earned very strong pass- and run-blocking grades at different times throughout his solid seven-year career, but he has yet to put everything together for a full season. He allowed 23 pressures and five sacks as a member of an interior offensive line that was simply dominated by opposing pass-rushers at times, but he certainly proved that he deserves more than the veteran minimum he played on for 2021. 

Strengths:
– Size
– Powerful and physical play style

Weaknesses:
– Run blocking in a gap scheme
– Inconsistent hands
– Coming off two worst seasons in pass protection

Scheme Fit/Role:

LEFT GUARD IN ZONE-HEAVY RUN SCHEME: Big maulers at the guard position generally profile best in gap schemes, but Spain has graded in the 57th percentile at the position on zone runs compared to just the 10th percentile in gap runs over the past three seasons. He's a starting option but likely one who teams will be looking to upgrade on.

Recent Injury History:
Spain had started 24 consecutive games for the Bengals starting in Week 10 of the 2020 campaign before an ankle injury and an appearance on the COVID-19 list kept him out of a meaningless Week 18 game this season. He also missed time with a foot injury prior to the trade to Cincinnati in 2020.

Contract Projection: Three years, $14.25 million ($4.75M per year), $6.75 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Spain has been one of the Bengals' better offensive linemen this season, but that isn't saying all that much. He's a mid-to-low-end starting option with plenty of experience between his time with Tennessee, Buffalo and Cincinnati.


122. T Bobby Massie, Denver Broncos

Massie proved to be a key pickup for the Broncos following an injury to former right tackle Ja’Wuan James, as Massie posted a solid 70.0 grade that was bolstered by a 74.8 run-blocking grade. He will be 33 years old in 2022 and has dealt with minor injuries for three seasons in a row, but a team in need of a right tackle could do a lot worse. 

Strengths:
– Length
– Avoiding negative plays in the run game

Weaknesses:
– Speed around the edge
– Doesn't earn a high percentage of positive grades in the run game

Scheme Fit/Role:
AVERAGE-TO-BELOW AVERAGE STARTING RIGHT TACKLE: Massie has some ugly moments on tape giving up short angles to the quarterback in pass protection, but he's a steady starter on the right side overall.

Recent Injury History:
Massie has missed 18 games over the past three seasons with several different lower-body injuries. Massie's 13 games started last season were his most in a season since 2018.

Contract Projection: One year, $2.25 million, $1.5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Massie has now recorded 10 seasons in the NFL, and he's been a starter at right tackle for the better part of nine of them. Teams know what they're getting at this point — a middle-of-the-road starter who won't move the needle too much as a run blocker or pass protector.


123. T Cornelius Lucas, Washington Commanders

Lucas is a very capable swing tackle, as he now has three straight seasons of 500-plus snaps with 72.2 grade or better while spending significant time spent at both left and right tackle. Lucas has allowed just seven total quarterback hits over the past three seasons, and his 79.8 pass-blocking grade ranks tied for 25th among all tackles since 2019. The 6-foot-9 Lucas also earned his first run block grade above 70.0 in 2021, as his 71.2 mark is a career-high by almost a full 10 points.

Strengths:
– Solid pass-protector
– Rarely loses in the run game

Weaknesses:
– Defenders can get under his pads
– Low percentage of positive plays in the run game

Scheme Fit/Role:
SWING TACKLE EXTRAORDINAIRE: Lucas has been one of the better swing tackles in the league for the last eight years, always answering the bell with solid play when called upon.

Recent Injury History:
An ankle injury kept Lucas out of action in 2020, but he's been relatively healthy in his swing tackle role in recent years.

Contract Projection: Two years, $5 million ($2.5M per year), $4 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Lucas remains one of the best swing tackles in the NFL and has graded at 75.0 or better on 600-plus snaps in each of the least two seasons. He may not get a starting-caliber deal, but he's as dependable as it gets as a No. 6 offensive lineman.

PFF’s TE Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool you can use to help set the best lineups.

124. C Matt Paradis, Carolina Panthers

The 32-year-old Paradis suffered a knee injury in November that knocked him out for the remainder of the season, but he was in the middle of his seventh straight season with a 60.0-plus grade, as he can provide a comforting floor at center that can help out any quarterback. The Panthers will have an $8.3 million dead cap charge in 2022 if they can’t extend Paradis, so perhaps this helps the two sides potentially work something out. 

Strengths:
– Can still make difficult reach blocks
– Run blocking in a zone scheme

Weaknesses:
– Pass protection
– Coming off the three worst seasons of his career

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING CENTER IN ZONE SCHEME: At 32 years old, Paradis still flashes the ability to make difficult reach blocks and climb to the second level on zone runs. He'll be at his best in an offense that plays to that strength.

Recent Injury History:
Paradis has suffered two major injuries in his career — a fractured fibula in 2018 and a torn ACL suffered in Week 9 of the 2021 season. He's played at least 1,000 offensive snaps in every other season since 2015.

Contract Projection: One year, $3.5 million, $1.5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Paradis profiled as one of the better all-around centers in the NFL with the Broncos, but he has taken a clear step back since signing a contract with Carolina prior to the 2019 season. He's still been an above-average run-blocker for the position but has been a liability at times in pass protection.


125. C/G Ted Karras, New England Patriots

Karras’ decision to rejoin a New England team that drafted him paid off — even after fellow center David Andrews agreed to an extension and won the starting center job. Karras filled in for over 800 snaps at mostly left guard and earned a 76.9 pass-blocking grade. Karras earned a solid multi-year payday as a versatile interior offensive lineman. 

Strengths:
– Avoids negative plays in the run game
– Coming off a career season in pass protection
– Experience starting at center and guard

Weaknesses:
– Doesn't play with great leverage
– Low percentage of positively graded run blocks

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING GUARD/HIGH-END BACKUP WITH POSITIONAL VERSATILITY: Karras' 2021 season with the Patriots marked the first time he cleared a PFF grade of 70.0 in a starting role, and it was by far the best season of his career in pass protection of his three years as a starter. At worst, he's a high-end depth piece for an interior offensive line with starting experience at multiple positions.

Recent Injury History: Karras hasn't had any major injury concerns in his NFL career. He missed a game in 2019 with a knee injury but has been available outside of that over the past three seasons.

Contract Projection: Three years, $13 million ($4.33M per year), $6.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line: Karras' track record over the last three years of starting at multiple positions competently provides, at worst, peace of mind for an offensive line that is already in a good place when it comes to depth.


126. S Jabrill Peppers, New York Giants

Peppers was on his way to finishing the season with double-digit quarterback pressures for the fourth year in a row while playing on a crowded Giants safety unit. The former first-round pick suffered an unfortunate ACL injury in Week 7 of his fifth-year option season but has shown the ability to be disruptive down in the box and solid in the slot as a nickel back. Multi-year deals may not await him this offseason, but a solid one-year flier could help set him up for next offseason. 

Strengths:
– High motor player
– Willing contributor as a run defender

Weaknesses:
– Coverage ability
– Tracking the ball carrier & finishing with tackles

Scheme Fit/Role:
ROTATIONAL SAFETY: At this stage of his career, it's unfair to hold the expectation from Michigan against Peppers, but it's hard not to think about. Peppers' skill set fits best near the line of scrimmage in a Jamal Adams kind of role, but his movement skills don't do enough to make up for size disadvantages, and he's a liability in man coverage.

Recent Injury History:
Peppers was placed on injured reserve in October following a torn ACL. There's been no major developments/setbacks in recovery since surgery.

Contract Projection: One year, $5.5 million, $4 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Peppers is young, skilled and intriguing. What's more, he seems to be a hard worker and has embraced changing roles at every turn, so I believe him to be a great locker room fit. I'm just unsure of value given his position.


127. T Jason Peters, Chicago Bears

Despite joining the Bears in August, the 39-year-old Peters stepped right in as the starting left tackle and earned a remarkable 77.5 grade over 853 snaps. If Peters still wants to play, a lot of teams could land a massive upgrade at swing tackle and could feel comfortable relying on Peters for a stretch if necessary.  

Strengths:
– People-mover in the run game
– Above-average pass-blocker

Weaknesses:
– Age
– Durability
– High percentage of negatively graded blocks in the run game

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING LEFT TACKLE: Peters has slowed down from his peak, but he's still a capable starting left tackle who can hold his own in pass protection while creating movement at the point of attack in the run game.

Recent Injury History:
In 2019, Peters missed some time due to a knee injury, and multiple lower-body injuries forced him to miss eight games in 2020 and two more games in 2021.

Contract Projection: One year, $2.5 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line: Once one of the best left tackles in the league, Peters is a shell of his old self, but he's still holding up as a capable starter as he heads into his age-40 season. If Peters wants to play, he's a viable one-year stopgap.


128. CB Levi Wallace, Buffalo Bills

Wallace stepped up following an unfortunate injury to Bills star cornerback Tre’Davious White and earned his fourth consecutive season grade above 60.0 on a career-high 993 snaps. The 6-foot undrafted free agent out of Alabama has been a relative steal for Buffalo over his first four seasons, and he very well may look to double his career earnings with his signing bonus alone this offseason. A deal like Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Michael Davis’ three-year, $25.2 million ($8.4M per year) contract signed in the 2021 offseason is probably the goal, as is Davis another lengthy, undrafted corner who benefitted from playing in a predominantly Cover-3 scheme. 

Strengths:
– Consistency/Reliability
– Breaking on routes in front of him

Weaknesses:
– Man coverage
– Athleticism

Scheme Fit/Role:
LOW-CEILING STARTER OUTSIDE IN ZONE-HEAVY SCHEME: It's difficult to say that Wallace is “undersized” at 6-feet tall with nearly 33-inch arms, but he does have a thin frame to go along with below-average athleticism. It shouldn't come as a surprise that he has earned a PFF coverage grade nearly 30 points higher in zone coverage than man coverage over the course of his career.

Recent Injury History: Wallace appeared in all 19 games for Buffalo last season. He did have a stint on IR in 2020 with an ankle injury.

Contract Projection: Three years, $22.5 million ($7.5M per year), $13 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line: We are entering another offseason with Buffalo looking for a potential upgrade over Wallace opposite Tre'Davious White, but Wallace has remained in that role. That does a pretty good job of describing who he is as a player. He's a relatively low-ceiling No. 2 cornerback option who has proven he can get the job done if called upon.


129. DI DaQuan Jones, Carolina Panthers

Jones earned his third straight overall and pass-rush grade above 65.0 and was an unheralded contributor for a solid Panthers defense. Jones signed a one-year, $4.05 million flier in the 2021 offseason after seven seasons with the Tennessee Titans to begin his career. A slight bump up from that number could be in order.

Strengths:
– Holding up vs. double teams in the run game
– Durability

Weaknesses:
– Not a high-impact pass-rusher
– Defending outside zone runs

Scheme Fit/Role:
NOSE TACKLE: The only two defenders to log more snaps lined up directly over or shading the center than Jones over the past three years are Grover Stewart and Linval Joseph. He brings a well-rounded game with average PFF run-defense and pass-rush grades over the past three seasons.

Recent Injury History:
Jones' 2017 season ended early with a torn biceps injury, but he hasn't missed a game in four seasons since.

Contract Projection: Two years, $11.5 million ($5.75M per year), $7.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Jones is a reliable nose tackle who won't be a dominant force against the run or pass but will provide quality play in both facets.


130. G Oday Aboushi, Los Angeles Chargers

A torn ACL prematurely ended Aboushi’s 2021 campaign and may lead to a tough journey back to a starting lineup, but Aboushi’s 68.2 overall and 68.9 run-blocking grade through Week 5 were his best marks since his rookie season in 2014. 

Strengths:
– Pass protection
– Position flexibility

Weaknesses:
– Run blocking
– Ceiling

Scheme Fit/Role:
SOLID STARTER AT RG: Aboushi has developed into a solid starter at guard and has played both left and right guard throughout his NFL career. His ceiling may be limited, but he can solidify a problem area for a team that has a bad offensive line.

Recent Injury History:
Aboushi tore his ACL in October, which put him out for the remainder of the 2021 season. He needs to pass his medical exams for any team hoping to acquire him.

Contract Projection: One year, $1.5 million

Bottom Line:
Aboushi should be a starting-caliber guard for somebody in 2022 but is likely only of interest to teams who really need to address the guard position.


131. LB Ja'Whaun Bentley, New England Patriots

Bentley improved considerably in his second season as a full-time player, as his 68.1 overall grade was almost 15 points better than his 2020 overall grade. Still, in a league that continues to throw more and more, Bentley remains best-suited as an early-down run defender who can generate the occasional quarterback pressure. 

Strengths:
– Tackling
– Physicality

Weaknesses:
– Coverage
– Speed and athleticism

Scheme Fit/Role:
TWO DOWN LB/COVERAGE-PROTECTED ILB: Bentley was a run-stuffing specialist coming out of the draft, but his NFL career has been more mixed than that. He is an excellent tackler who brings great physicality but remains limited in coverage and needs to be protected from tough assignments against better athletes.

Recent Injury History:
Bentley had minor ankle and arm injuries in 2021, but nothing that is likely to scare teams away or impact his play next season.

Contract Projection: Two years, $10 million ($5M per year), $5.5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Bentley can start in the NFL and make an impact, particularly against the run. However, the doesn't thrive in coverage, which is becoming an ever-larger part of the job description.


132. CB Sidney Jones, Seattle Seahawks

Jones played twice as many snaps in 2021 as he had in any prior season and earned a career-best 70.2 grade with 65.0-plus marks against the run and in coverage. The former second-round pick is a 6-foot outside cornerback who has played pretty well in back-to-back seasons in heavy Cover-3 defenses. 

Strengths:
– One of the highest forced incompletion rates in the NFL over the last three years
– Plays tight against short and intermediate routes in single coverage
– Still only 25

Weaknesses:
– Aggressive play style can put him into bad positions
– Giving up the edge on outside runs
– Injury history

Scheme Fit/Role:
OUTSIDE CORNER: Jones has been a playmaker in three different secondaries over the past three seasons, albeit in a limited role for both Philadelphia and Jacksonville. That's been the case in both man and zone coverage, but his aggressiveness comes with more risk in man, where Jones has allowed nearly 20 yards per reception since 2019.

Recent Injury History:
Jones' 730 defensive snaps in 2021 marked the first time the fifth-year player cleared 350 snaps in a single season. He's had a number of injuries dating back to a torn Achilles suffered during his Pro Day that held him out of most of his rookie season in 2017.

Contract Projection: One year, $4.25 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Despite notching fewer than 2,000 defensive snaps in his first five NFL seasons, Jones is worth a look for a starting job outside coming off three consecutive seasons with a PFF coverage grade above 68.0.

PFF’s OL/DL Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool you can use to help set the best lineups. You can use this chart to find advantageous fantasy football matchups for run blocking (run) or for pass blocking (pass).

133. S Ronnie Harrison, Cleveland Browns

Harrison is a solid, versatile player who enabled the Browns to run a bunch of three-safety looks with 2020 second-round pick Grant Delpit and 2021 offseason acquisition John Johnson III. The 6-foot-3 former third-round pick can play down in the box, in the slot and in the deep-third, making him an interesting chess piece for any defensive backfield. 

Strengths:
– High-level tackler
– Plus run defender

Weaknesses:
– Limited in Coverage
– Not as versatile in alignment as other safeties

Scheme Fit/Role:
ROTATIONAL/SPOT STARTING SAFETY: Harrison should really only be playing over tight ends and in the box against running backs, a near prototypical down safety type. In a system like New England's always looking to field extra safety-type bodies, he would fit in perfectly given his abilities.

Recent Injury History:
Harrison has suffered nicks and bruises through his pro career, but none so serious as to cost him significant time recently.

Contract Projection: One year, $4.75 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
If you spot Ronnie Harrison on the field, know that he will be rolling down into the box shortly after. While his game is mostly pigeonholed, it plays directly into his strengths, and his abilities near the line of scrimmage will be valuable to heavy Cover 3 teams.


134. CB Chris Harris Jr., Los Angeles Chargers

Harris Jr. has finally shown signs of slowing down, as he's posted the two worst grades of his career over the last two seasons, but the 11-year veteran has still never posted a grade below 60.0. If Harris wants to keep playing in a decreased role, he could make a great veteran addition in the secondary for a lot of teams.

Strengths:
– Feel for zone
– Can play inside or outside
– Tackling

Weaknesses:
– Age
– Coming off his two worst seasons

Scheme Fit/Role:
SLOT CORNER: One of the best corners of his generation, Harris is at his best as a nickel corner capable of playing both man or zone coverage. He has had success on the outside during his career, but those reps are likely best if limited at this point.

Recent Injury History:
A foot injury limited Harris to just nine games in 2020, and a shoulder injury limited him to 14 games last season. He has played over 1,000 snaps in five of his 11 seasons, but he'll be 33 at the start of 2022.

Contract Projection: One year, $5 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
When healthy, Harris is one of the league's best corners, particularly in the slot, but he's been banged up and battling his early thirties over the last few seasons. He's still worth a look as a nickel corner.


135. CB Jason Verrett, San Francisco 49ers

Verrett has become one of the biggest “what if” players of the decade because, after another torn ACL robbed him of the majority of the 2021 season, he will once again be recovering from an injury ahead of the 2022 season. Verrett is a No. 1 cornerback when healthy, but unfortunately, that hasn’t been very often. 

Strengths:
-Man coverage
-Making plays on the ball and staying sticky in coverage
-Limits big plays

Weaknesses:
-Durability
-Better in man than zone
-Limited versatility

Scheme Fit/Role:
THIRD CORNER WHO PLAYS ON THE OUTSIDE: Given Verrett's injury history, it's difficult to project him as a starter despite his starter skills. He's an outside corner.

Recent Injury History:
Injuries struck Verrett again in 2021, as he played just 60 snaps due to a torn ACL. Prior to that, Verrett had played just 67 snaps from 2016 to 2019 due to a variety of injuries. In 2020, Verrett played 13 games in the healthiest season of his career since 2015.

Contract Projection: One year, $3 million, $1.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Verrett is worth a flier in free agency once again, though his extended injury history remains a concern. He's a good starting option when he is healthy, but he has only two healthy seasons since 2014.


136. QB Jacoby Brissett, Miami Dolphins

Brissett’s six starts early this season showed exactly why he deserved to be one of the highest-paid backups in the NFL, as his 77.4 grade and some late-game heroics make his one-year, $5 million deal a relative steal. There may not be any more starting gigs in his future, but he should remain a sought-after backup signal-caller.

Strengths:
– Limits turnover-worthy plays
– Can move the chains with his legs

Weaknesses:
– Limited big-time throws
– Takes too many sacks

Scheme Fit/Role:
BACKUP QB: Brissett has two full seasons as a starter, grading at 62.4 in 2017 and 59.2 in 2019. He has settled in as a high-end backup who generally takes good care of the ball.

Recent Injury History:
Brissett played in all 16 games as a starter in 2017 and missed one with a sprained MCL in 2019. Last year, he was knocked out of one game with a knee injury but likely could have returned if needed.

Contract Projection: Three years, $25 million ($8.3M per year), $13.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
A strong backup option, Brissett has performed below average in his two years as a starter, but he's a good decision-maker who can add a spark off the bench as he did for the Dolphins last season.


137. CB Kyle Fuller, Denver Broncos

Fuller was somewhat of a surprise cap casualty from the Bears in the 2021 offseason, though he was coming off back-to-back sub-65.0 grades after his 85.6 grade from 2017-18 ranked sixth-best among outside cornerbacks. 

Fuller ultimately reunited with former Bears defensive coordinator, Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio, on a very strong one-year, $9.5 million deal in a tough veteran defensive back market in 2021. However, the reunion was a bit of a disaster, as he was benched and posted a career-low 40.8 coverage grade.

Strengths:
– Has shown playmaking ability
– Good length

Weaknesses:
– Has struggled in single coverage in recent years
– Has drawn 20 accepted penalties over the past three seasons, the fifth-most at the position

Scheme Fit/Role:
OUTSIDE CORNER: At his best, Fuller is a No. 1 cornerback who makes plays on the ball at one of the highest rates in the NFL. However, Fuller was far from his best last season in Denver.

Recent Injury History:
This past season, Fuller played fewer than 1,000 snaps for the first time since 2016, but that was more due to a crowded cornerback room than it was injury. He's been healthy throughout most of his career.

Contract Projection: One year, $5.75 million, $5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Fuller's evaluation is going to depend on how much you weigh a down 2021 season where he moved inside to the slot at times to fill in for an injured Bryce Callahan. He could bounce back in a new environment similar to what we saw from Casey Hayward Jr. in 2021.


138. HB Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks

Patience is a virtue, and in the final five games of Penny’s rookie contract, he did his best to prove that notion. One of the more highly critiqued first-round picks of the last several years battled injuries throughout his first four seasons, but from Week 14 through the end of the 2021 season, Penny’s 91.1 rushing grade was, by far, the best mark in the NFL. Penny’s 0.26 forced missed tackles per rushing attempt was tied for sixth, and he finished first with 5.2 yards after first contact per attempt. Injury questions will always surround Penny, but he was incredibly productive as a starter for a stretch. 

Strengths:
– Runs through contact
– Combination of size and speed

Weaknesses:
– Injuries/Small sample size
– Little production as a receiver

Scheme Fit/Role:
HIGH-UPSIDE RUNNER IN A COMMITTEE: Penny looked like one of the best runners of the football in the NFL over the last month of the 2021 season. That was what Seattle was hoping for when they made him a first-round pick, but it's also a player they rarely saw in his four years with the team. He has the size, speed and physical running style necessary to be an effective driver of a rushing attack if he can remain healthy — admittedly a big if.

Recent Injury History:
Penny's injury history is extensive. His Seattle career began with a broken finger that cost him the preseason, and he ultimately fell behind Chris Carson in the rotation. A hamstring injury and later a torn ACL limited him in 2019 and held him out of most of the 2020 season. Calf and hamstring injuries again kept Penny off the field early last season before a strong close to the year.

Contract Projection: One year, $3 million ($2.25 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Penny showed just enough when he was healthy late in the 2021 season for a team to want to take a chance on the former first-round pick and hope he can stay on the field.


139. CB Mike Hughes, Kansas City Chiefs

The former first-round pick had a career year following a trade to Chiefs, earning his best grades in every facet of play by a large margin in defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s man-heavy coverage scheme. Hughes’ 78.8 coverage grade in 2021 was a top-10 mark among cornerbacks, but he did struggle a bit, allowing explosive receptions on 4.1% of his coverage snaps — a bottom-15 mark. 

Strengths:
– Zone coverage
– Good and willing tackler
– 4 forced fumbles in 2021

Weaknesses:
– Struggled in the slot
– Doesn't have great size or speed

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 3 CORNERBACK IN ZONE-HEAVY SCHEME: Hughes was touted as a guy who could play both in the slot and outside coming out of UCF, but the results weren't all that great when he did play in the slot for Minnesota early in his career. This past season in Kansas City was the best of his career. He's likely best suited in a similar role moving forward.

Recent Injury History:
Hughes dealt with a neck injury during the 2020 season that limited him to fewer than 200 defensive snaps in his final season with the Vikings. He also suffered a torn ACL in his rookie season back in 2018.

Contract Projection: One year, $5.25 million ($4 million total guaranteed)

Bottom Line:
Hughes didn't have much experience coming out of UCF, and he has only managed to clear around 1,500 defensive snaps in four NFL seasons with several years sidetracked by injury. There should still be teams out there willing to take a chance on a 25-year-old coming off his best NFL season, however.


140. QB Tyrod Taylor, Houston Texans

The streak of young quarterbacks playing well amidst Taylor's veteran presence (Baker Mayfield, Justin Herbert) in the quarterback room continued with Davis Mills in Houston, but unfortunately so did Taylor's streak of getting off to a solid start before missing time. Taylor was 31-of-44 (70%), averaged 9.45 yards per attempt and recorded three touchdowns to zero interceptions before a hamstring injury in Week 2 effectively derailed his 2021 campaign. He remains a solid backup quarterback option for any team in need. 

Strengths:
– Avoids turnover-worthy plays
– Rushing ability

Weaknesses:
– Takes too many sacks
– Low percentage of big-time throws
– Play against the blitz

Scheme Fit/Role:
BACKUP QB: Taylor had early flashes in 2021, but he's likely just a high-end backup at this point as his last good season was 2017. Taylor can take care of the ball and move the chains with his legs, making him one of the better backups in the league.

Recent Injury History:
Hamstring and wrist issues kept Taylor out of action in 2021, and he suffered a punctured lung from an injection for a rib injury early in the 2020 season.

Contract Projection: One year, $5 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Taylor is a bridge quarterback at best, and that's the role he's been assigned to on his last three teams. He's capable of winning games as a starter, which puts him in the running to be considered one of the best backup options in the NFL.


141. CB Desmond King II, Houston Texans

King had the worst season of his bright career in 2021 while playing on a Texans defense that ranked 30th in the NFL, but he earned his third straight 75.0-plus run-defense grade, which is important for a nickel cornerback. There should always be a market for a versatile coverage defender such as King, and he could be a solid bargain signing who has upside if a team wants to bet on positive regression for 2022, which is certainly a possibility. 

Strengths:
– Zone coverage
– Run defense
– Playing in the slot

Weaknesses:
– Only produced in one scheme
– Man coverage

Scheme Fit/Role:
NICKEL CORNER IN ZONE-HEAVY SCHEME: King has done his best work in the Seattle cover-3 system, and we've seen his production drop off as his role expanded across multiple teams.

Recent Injury History:
King has been very healthy since entering the league, only missing time due to non-injury-related reasons over the last few years.

Contract Projection: One year, $2.5 million, $1 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
After a great start to his career, King's production has dropped off in recent years, coinciding with his expanded role across multiple systems. He's at his best playing zone in the slot, so that could limit his options, but he's been one of the more underrated players in the NFL since 2017.


142. T Nate Solder, New York Giants

Solder returned after opting out in 2020 and shifted over to right tackle for the first time since his rookie season in 2011, logging over 900 snaps and earning a 60.3 grade. Giants fans will view his four-year, $62 million contract as a failure, but the soon to be 34-year-old agreed to a pay cut in 2021 in order to keep playing, and if he wants to continue, he could probably serve as one of the better swing tackles in the NFL. 

Strengths:
– Versatile run-blocker
– Avoids negatively graded plays in the run game

Weaknesses:
– Pad level
– Below average pass-blocker

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING TACKLE IN RUN-HEAVY SYSTEM: Solder was already trending in the wrong direction as a low-end starting option at left tackle, but a move to right tackle made things look even worse in 2021. He's at his best when he can get set in a quick passing game, and he's still effective taking out linebackers in the run game.

Recent Injury History:
Solder hasn't missed a game due to an injury since Week 1 of 2016.

Contract Projection: One year, $5 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Prior to opting out in 2020, Solder ranked right in the middle tier of offensive tackles in 2019 before dropping to the bottom third in 2021 after moving to right tackle for the first time in his NFL career. Perhaps a move back to left tackle puts Solder back in the middle class of offensive tackles once again, but he's been trending in the wrong direction and looks like a low-end starter at this point.


143. T David Quessenberry, Tennessee Titans

Quessenberry had a career year in Tennessee’s outside-zone and power running scheme, earning an elite 89.1 run-blocking grade while playing more snaps than he’d played in his entire career combined to this point.

Drafted in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Quessenberry played just 35 career snaps before the 2020 season as he battled to overcome lymphoma and made an inspirational return to the NFL.

While he’s not a great pass-blocker, Quessenberry should find a home somewhere to clear running lanes off the right side, given the number of teams that employ a similar run scheme as Tennessee. There is some confusion as to whether he is a restricted or unrestricted free agent, and if he is a restricted free agent, the Titans would almost certainly keep him around on a one-year tender.

Strengths:
-Run blocking in a zone scheme
-High percentage of positively graded blocks in the running game

Weaknesses:
-Pass blocking
-One year of top production

Scheme Fit/Role:
RIGHT TACKLE IN ZONE-HEAVY SYSTEM: Perhaps better suited as a swing tackle, Quessenberry produced in a perfect role for his skill set. He executes all of the necessary blocks in a zone scheme, though he does need to be protected in pass protection.

Recent Injury History:
After recovering from Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma early in his career, Quessenberry has been extremely durable.

Contract Projection: One year, $4 million, $2.75 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
It was a breakout 2021 season for Quessenberry, who was one of the league's better run-blockers. However, pass blocking is still an issue and could give teams pause about handing over a starting role. At worst, he's an excellent swing tackle option. At best, Quessenberry can produce in a run-heavy system.


144. CB Eli Apple, Cincinnati Bengals

Apple may have shrunk the list of potential free-agent suitors a bit with his Twitter presence, but the former top-10 pick is a borderline starting outside cornerback. A team would ideally have Apple as their top backup outside cornerback, but he earned 60.0-plus grades on over 900 snaps in 2018, 2019 and 2021 and has 4.4 speed at 6-foot-1. 

Strengths:

– Ideal size and athleticism for the position
– Movement skills

Weaknesses:

  • Most penalized CB in last three seasons as a starter
  • More dropped INT than INT since 2016
  • Double moves

Scheme Fit/Role:
BORDERLINE STARTER AT OUTSIDE CB: Apple's physical gifts haven't translated to smooth sailing in the NFL. He is coming off his sixth NFL season with his fourth different team. Apple showed this year that he can start on the outside on a good defense, but it's unlikely he ever becomes a player who a defense has confidence with in that role.

Recent Injury History:
Apple has played at least 900 defensive snaps in three of the last four seasons. He played just 28 defensive snaps in 2020 with ankle and hamstring injuries limiting him before he was released by Carolina.

Contract Projection: One year, $4.25 million, $2.75 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Apple has the physical profile and confidence of an above-average starter at cornerback, but he has struggled to back that up with above-average play through his first six seasons in the league. 


145. EDGE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo , Los Angeles Rams

Okoronkwo has struggled to consistently see the field on an absolutely loaded Rams defensive front, but he made the most of his opportunities in 2021 with a career-best 79.2 overall and 72.8 pass-rush grade. He has 25 quarterback hurries on fewer than 250 pass-rush snaps since 2020 but will need to maintain that level of production with a larger snap share to truly cash in. 

Strengths:
-Burst and quickness
-Can challenge the edge as a pass-rusher
-Versatility

Weaknesses:
-Power
-Never produced in a full-time role

Scheme Fit/Role:
ROTATIONAL PASS-RUSHER: Okoronkwo has only 600 snaps to his name in four seasons in the NFL, but he's produced in his part-time role. He rushes the passer effectively and takes on blocks in the run game, making him an intriguing every-down option. However, the safer play is keeping him in a part-time role as a complementary piece.

Recent Injury History:
A shoulder injury kept Ogbonnia on injured reserve for the start of the 2021 season and he missed time with an elbow injury in 2020.

Contract Projection: One year, $2.25 million, $1 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Okoronkwo has impressive production in a limited sample, including 50 career pressures on just 376 rushes. He could be one of the sleepers in the class if he can keep that level of play for an entire season, but there's some risk as he's yet to play more than 304 snaps in a season. He's a high-end backup with starting potential.


146. T Mike Remmers, Kansas City Chiefs

Remmers was brought back to Kansas City to serve as the swing tackle after lining up all over the Chiefs offensive line during the 2020 playoffs, and he was his usual reliable self in two spot-starts at right tackle in Weeks 6-7 before a nagging knee injury ended his season. Remmers has never earned a pass-blocking grade below 60.0 over nine seasons and 3,700 pass-blocking snaps. He should continue to draw interest as a swing tackle if his health recovers. 

Strengths:
-Experience at both tackle positions and guard
-One of the better run-blocking grades on gap runs since 2015

Weaknesses:
-Below average pass-blocker on true pass sets
-Low percentage of positively graded plays in the running game

Scheme Fit/Role:
SWING TACKLE: Remmers could be a low-end starter at tackle, but any team that has him as their No. 6 offensive lineman is feeling good up front. He can play either tackle position or guard in a pinch, and he's performed reasonably throughout his career.

Recent Injury History:
In 2020, Remmers missed time due to a back injury, and he landed on injured reserve with a knee injury in 2021.

Contract Projection: One year, $2.75 million, $2 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Remmers is a class swing tackle who can produce at a reasonable level at either tackle or guard. We've seen him overwhelmed by elite talent at times throughout his career, and he needs some help in pass protection, but he's as good as it gets as a No. 6 offensive lineman.


147. DI Harrison Phillips, Buffalo Bills

Phillips has become a fairly reliable one technique on early downs who can clog up the middle, as his 79.8 run-defense grade on 473 snaps is a career-high. His role is limited, but it frees up the Bills’ dynamic duo of linebackers and safeties behind him, which carries value. 

Strengths:
– Strength
– Run defense
– Valued off-field member of Bills organization

Weaknesses:
– Low-impact pass-rusher
– Nearly all the pressures he does get are cleanup/unblocked

Scheme Fit/Role:
EARLY-DOWN RUN STUFFER: Phillips hasn't gotten a whole lot of pressure in Buffalo, and a decent chunk of his pressure hasn't come by means of winning one-on-one matchups. But that's not the role Buffalo or another team will be paying him for. Phillips is one of the stronger players at his position in the league and can be a key component in a good run defense.

Recent Injury History:
Phillips suffered a torn ACL early in the 2019 season, but he has been relatively healthy outside of that during his four seasons in Buffalo. He's missed more games as a healthy scratch than he has with injury in the last two years before settling into a starting role.

Contract Projection: Three years, $25 million ($8.3M per year), $13.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Phillips isn't a game-changer on the interior who is going to make splash plays at a high clip. He is a nice rotational piece and locker room guy who will specialize in the run game, though.


148. T Dennis Kelly, Green Bay Packers

Kelly parlayed his first season as a full-time starter in 2020 with the Titans into a deal as a reserve tackle for the Packers. Kelly was thrust into a starting role for the final five games of the regular season and the Packers' lone playoff game following a barrage of injuries to the Packers offensive line, and he held his own with 70.0-plus pass-blocking grades in four out of six starts. 

Strengths:
-Run blocking in gap schemes
-High percentage of positively grade blocks in the run game

Weaknesses:
-Less success in zone scheme
-High percentage of negatively graded run blocks

Scheme Fit/Role:
SWING TACKLE: Kelly can hold his own when called upon, and he's played both tackles positions and both guard positions at points in his career. He's a classic sixth offensive lineman.

Recent Injury History:
Kelly missed multiple games due to a back injury in 2021 in addition to missing all of 2013 due to another back injury. He's been relatively healthy otherwise.

Contract Projection: One year, $1.5 million, $500K total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Coming off one of his better seasons, Kelly is a good backup who provides serviceable play when called upon. He has played primarily right tackle in recent years, but he's shown the ability to produce across multiple positions.


149. DI Maurice Hurst, San Francisco 49ers

Hurst was cut by the Raiders before the 2021 season, and a loaded 49ers front plus a calf injury limited him to just 41 snaps this year. He’ll always be an intriguing interior defender who possesses pass-rush ability, but he may just be a rotational player in passing situations. 

Strengths:
-Plays with low pad level
-Hand usage
-Disruptive pass-rusher

Weaknesses:
-Taking on double teams in the running game
-Average at best against the run

Scheme Fit/Role:

ROTATIONAL INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: Hurst does his best work as a pass-rusher where he can get under lineman's pads and push the pocket. He's less effective in the run game, so a heavy pass-rush role is best in order to maximize production.

Recent Injury History:
Hurst was limited to just 41 snaps of action due to a high-ankle sprain and a calf injury last season. It was both an ankle and a calf that kept Hurst out of five games in 2020, as well. He played in all 16 games for a career-high 522 snaps in 2019.

Contract Projection: One year, $1.5 million

Bottom Line:
When healthy, Hurst has been an efficient down-to-down pass-rusher, and he's worth a look in a similar role. He may never be an 800-snap player, but he's a valuable part of a defensive line rotation.


150. EDGE Arden Key, San Francisco 49ers

Key was cut by the Raiders shortly before the 2021 season, but he performed well with the 49ers. Key’s 79.4 pass-rush grade and 36 quarterback pressures were career-highs, and he may have played his way into a solid deal as a rotational pass-rusher.

Strengths:
-Quickness to rush from the interior
-Burst

Weaknesses:
-Run defense
-Finishing plays
-Only one year of good pass-rush production

Scheme Fit/Role:
ROTATIONAL PASS-RUSHER: Key has never been a great run defender, but his breakout 2021 season showed that he has a role in rushing the passer from multiple alignments.

Recent Injury History:
Knee and foot injuries limited Key in both 2019 and 2020. He had offseason shoulder surgery after the 2018 season.

Contract Projection: Two years, $12.5 million ($6.25M per year), $6.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
After bulking up over the last few years, Key put together a career year in 2021, grading at 68.1 overall including an impressive 75.4 grade as a pass-rusher. He was effective moving around the line of scrimmage, and that makes him an intriguing option as a rotational pass-rusher moving forward.


151. EDGE Dante Fowler Jr., Atlanta Falcons

Fowler agreed to a pay cut before the 2021 season and had the 2022 year on the deal removed, which put him back onto the free-agent market this offseason. After a 67-pressure season with the Rams in 2019 earned Fowler a three-year, $45 million contract in Atlanta, he recorded just 60 total pressures over two seasons on one of the worst defensive lines in the NFL. Fowler is effectively a pure pass-rush specialist at this point but could be a decent third edge defender for a team that needs pass-rushers. 

Strengths:
-Full array of pass-rush moves
-Can shoot gaps and finish plays in the run game

Weaknesses:
-Average pass-rusher
-Missed tackles
-Limited to rushing off the edge

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 3 EDGE: Fowler isn't exceptional at any one thing, making him a rotational player at this point in his career. He can create some pass rush, but it's rarely explosive or effective, and he's a reasonable run defender if he can cut down on the missed tackles.

Recent Injury History:
After missing his entire rookie season due to a torn ACL in 2015, Fowler didn't miss a game due to injury between 2016 and 2019. He missed three games from a knee injury last season and he missed two games from a hamstring injury in 2020.

Contract Projection: One year, $6.5 million, $4.5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
The first-round pedigree shouldn't matter for Fowler at this point, as he's been an average edge defender on nearly 4,000 career snaps. His one productive season as a pass-rusher came in 2019 as he accumulated sacks for the Rams. Fowler is a rotational player who has performed at the low end of expectations for starters throughout his career.

Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper (19) runs with the ball after a reception against Atlanta Falcons linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. (56) in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium. Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

152. S Anthony Harris, Philadelphia Eagles

A disappointing 2020 season with the Vikings while on the franchise tag led to a one-year, $4 million deal with the Eagles for 2021, and Harris’ 61.6 grade was a career-low as a starter. Unfortunately, Harris has become a poster child for the NFL’s recent lack of investment in predominantly deep-third free safeties. 

Strengths:
-Ball skills
-Tackling
-Versatile

Weaknesses:
-Small sample of high-end play
-Coming off a bad season

Scheme Fit/Role:
FREE SAFETY IN ANY SCHEME: Harris is a solid tackler, but his best attribute is his ability to play deep coverage and make plays on the ball. He's at his best when he plays within split-safety coverage shells but has the range and skills to play single-high, as well.

Recent Injury History:
Harris had minor groin and hand injuries in 2021 that caused him to miss some time. He played 897 total snaps.

Contract Projection: One year, $3.5 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Harris has elite play on his NFL resume, but you have to go back as far as 2019 to find it and he is coming off his worst season as a starter. His market wasn't strong a season ago, and he may have to wait for an opportunity to get back to that high-end play.


153. T Joseph Noteboom, Los Angeles Rams

Noteboom has dealt with a few injuries and also played behind the legendary 40-year-old Andrew Whitworth, the oldest non-quarterback to play in a Super Bowl. He’s an intriguing free agent though: Over the last two seasons on more than 450 pass-blocking snaps, Noteboom has a 77.8 pass-blocking grade.

Strengths:
-Prototypical tools
-Pass protection
-Age

Weaknesses:
-Inexperience
-Very small sample size
-Run blocking

Scheme Fit/Role:
POSSIBLE STARTING LT: With Andrew Whitworth out through injury, Noteboom got an opportunity to start three games this past season. He acquitted himself well, allowing four total pressures across those three games. Opportunities at left tackle have been few and far between so far in his career, but he looked like a player capable of starting in the league.

Recent Injury History:
Noteboom suffered a pectoral strain late in the season that ruled him out of the NFC Championship Game.

Contract Projection: One year, $4 million, $2.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Noteboom was a third-round developmental tackle when he was drafted, and he has had to sit behind starters on the Rams, but the starts he made in 2021 suggested he could be a viable starter in this league. It would be a risk for whichever team takes the plunge, but it's one that may pay off.


154. LB Jayon Brown, Tennessee Titans

Brown appeared to be on his way to a strong free agency in the 2021 offseason after three solid seasons as a starter, but he may have been an unfortunate victim of the salary cap drop, as he ultimately agreed to return to the Titans on a one-year, $4.5 million deal. Now, Brown hits free agency coming off a career-low 421 snaps, though he still maintained a 60.0-plus coverage grade, which is where he derives a lot of his value as an off-ball linebacker. 

Strengths:
– One of the better coverage linebackers in the league
– Making plays on the ball

Weaknesses:
– Defeating blocks
– Too many negative plays in the run game
– Durability

Scheme Fit/Role:
NICKEL LINEBACKER, ZONE-HEAVY SCHEME: Given Brown's injury history and his coverage-run game splits, he's at his best in more of a coverage-first role. It's harder to define that in today's NFL, but an ideal role for Brown is one that taps into his good coverage ability and limits his snaps against the run.

Recent Injury History:
Hamstring and knee injuries limited Brown to just 444 snaps in 2021. He also played just 10 games in 2020 due to a season-ending elbow injury. He missed multiple games in 2019 due to groin and shoulder injuries.

Contract Projection: Two years, $9.5 million ($4.75M per year), $5.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Brown has been one of the league's best coverage defenders since 2018, but he has also been one of the worst against the run. Health has also become an issue in recent years, but he is a valuable commodity in the passing game when he's on the field.


155. S Jaquiski Tartt, San Francisco 49ers

Tartt earned his fifth-straight grade above 60.0 in 2021, but the 61.8 mark was still his lowest since 2017. Tartt profiles as a high-floor, low-ceiling veteran safety who could help a few teams.

Strengths:
-Feel in zone coverage
-Shows up in run support

Weaknesses:
-Ball Skills
-Lacks top-end explosiveness

Scheme Fit/Role:
ROTATIONAL SAFETY: Tart fits exactly what the 49ers look for in a safety, as he has enough instinctual knowledge and technical proficiency to handle how opposing offenses attacked the 49ers zone-heavy scheme.

Recent Injury History:
Tartt suffered a season-ending turf toe injury in 2020 and missed a couple of weeks with a bone bruise.

Contract Projection: Two years, $5 million ($2.5M per year), $3.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Tartt is a star in his current role with the 49ers. Thanks to the pass rush and Fred Warner‘s abilities underneath, Tartt is able to play from depth and protect his teammates from explosive plays. If he left San Francisco now, he probably wouldn't make more than a low-end starter's salary.


156. DI Derrick Nnadi, Kansas City Chiefs

Nnadi picked a bad time to earn a career-low season grade by over 10 points. He will likely never offer much as a pass-rusher, but three straight 71.9-plus run-defense grades over his first three seasons make him a solid option as an early-down run-stuffer. 

Strengths:
– Two-gap ability
– Powerful run defender

Weaknesses:
– Doesn't offer much as pass-rusher
– Athleticism

Scheme Fit/Role:
NOSE TACKLE: Nnadi has shown the ability to keep his man at arm's length and read and react to make stops in the run game. Just don't expect him to add on a whole lot of value on passing downs.

Recent Injury History:
Nnadi hasn't had any major injury concerns since the Chiefs drafted him in 2018. He missed just one game in 2020 with a concussion.

Contract Projection: Two years, $11.5 million ($5.75M per year), $6.5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
There's value in Nnadi's run-stuffing ability in the middle of a defensive line, even though he's a relatively low-ceiling player.


157. LB K.J. Wright, Las Vegas Raiders

Wright reunited with Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who filled the same role with the Seahawks during Wright’s rookie and sophomore seasons in the NFL. The 11-year veteran had a reduced role, logging just 426 snaps among a crowded linebacker group, but still earned a 63.7 grade to continue a 60.0-plus streak that's spanned his entire career. 

Strengths:
-Experience
-Versatility
-Run defense

Weaknesses:
-Age
-Coming off a weak year

Scheme Fit/Role:
TWO-DOWN LINEBACKER: A longtime stalwart at linebacker for the Seahawks, K.J. Wright has played both strongside and weakside linebacker throughout his career. He signed with the Raiders this past season but didn't look the same player in coverage and may have declined into a two-down player.

Recent Injury History:
Wright has been reasonably injury-free in recent years. His last major injury came back in 2018 when he dealt with a knee injury.

Contract Projection: One year, $2.5 million, $1.75  million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Wright has been one of the best linebackers of his generation but is coming off a weak year and is 32 years old. He may be able to bounce back, but his role may now be limited to a two-down specialist.


158. S Duron Harmon, Atlanta Falcons

Harmon earned a career-low 59.1 grade while playing on a veteran minimum contract in 2021. Nonetheless, he did log his second season of over 1,050 snaps and earned a career-best elite 90.3 run-defense grade with a low 4.5% missed tackle percentage — the fourth-best mark among defenders with at least 25 tackles. 

Strengths:
– Low Variance, Consistent
– Makes very few mistakes in coverage

Weaknesses:
– No splash-play potential
– Lacks high-end speed

Scheme Fit/Role:
VERSATILE SAFETY IN COVER 3 SCHEME: Harmon is best served as a safety in a soft zone scheme, keeping the whole game in front of him. The veteran safety didn't make many plays on the ball in 2021. At 31 years of age, it looks like his athletic peak is squarely behind him.

Recent Injury History:
Harmon hasn't suffered any major injuries or health concerns in recent years.

Contract Projection: One year, $2.5 million, $1.5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Harmon was mostly just “another guy” in Atlanta's secondary and will likely be a rotational guy exclusively on his next contract. His durability will be an asset for roster depth going forward.


159. S Rodney McLeod, Philadelphia Eagles

McLeod signed a revised one-year deal worth $1.5 million with the Eagles in the 2021 offseason. One season removed from a torn ACL, the veteran earned a 63.7 overall grade on 684 snaps, but his 58.4 coverage grade was his first sub-70.0 mark since 2013.

Strengths:
– Reliable in run support
– Plus tackler

Weaknesses:
– Overcommits in zone coverage
– Slow to react coming out of his break

Scheme Fit/Role:
BOX/DOWN SAFETY IN A SINGLE HIGH SCHEME: McLeod is made to play for defenses that still major in Cover 3 where he can roll down toward the line of scrimmage and add value to the run game. For teams like the Falcons, Patriots and Seahawks, he can step in and be a reliable piece of the rotation.

Recent Injury History:
The veteran didn't suffer any major injuries in 2021 but started the season late due to his recovery from a torn ACL.

Contract Projection: One year, $2 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
McLeod will be 32 by the start of next season, so his timeline in the league may be fraught going forward, given his ACL injury a season ago. His tackling ability and run support make him valuable, but his struggles with changing directions and making plays deep down the field put a clear cap on his ceiling.


160. S Tracy Walker, Detroit Lions

The former third-round pick has flashed the ability to be both a proficient deep-third free safety and run defender over the course of his rookie contract. Walker’s 231 total tackles over the last three seasons rank third among safeties, which includes 17 for loss or no gain — a top-10 mark. 

Strengths:
– Coverage from deep alignments
– Reliable run defender and tackler

Weaknesses:
– Has struggled in coverage when coming down into the box
– Little success singled up on tight ends in coverage

Scheme Fit/Role:
FREE SAFETY: Walker has been at his worst in Detroit when they've asked him to come down into the box and match up with tight ends. However, he has earned above-average coverage grades from deeper alignments, whether in split-safety or single-high coverages.

Recent Injury History:
Walker missed several games with illness in 2021 and one game with a foot injury in 2020. He also missed three games with a knee injury in 2019.

Contract Projection: Two years, $13 million ($6.5M per year), $8 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
The only truly disappointing season of Walker's four years in Detroit was a 2020 campaign where the Lions played him more around the line of scrimmage. The results when he's been able to play from deeper alignments and in the slot have been much better. That's where he could potentially step in as a starter elsewhere.

161. CB Xavier Rhodes, Indianapolis Colts

After a resurgent 2020 season, Rhodes’ 61.8 2021 grade resembled his down years in 2018-19. Rhodes is a solid, versatile outside cornerback who has good size at 6-foot-1. Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus — now the head coach of the Bears — could certainly use a steadying veteran presence in Chicago's young and inexperienced secondary.

Strengths:
– Size
– Experience

Weaknesses:
– Durability
– Age
– Quickness

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 2 ZONE CORNER: At his best, Xavier Rhodes was an elite cover corner in any scheme. However, at his age, those skills in man-to-man coverage have eroded. He can still do a job as a No. 2 in a zone scheme but passes thrown his way generated a passer rating above 90.0 in 2021.

Recent Injury History:
The veteran corner has an extensive injury history. He played 638 total snaps in 2021.

Contract Projection: One year, $3 million, $2.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Rhodes can still do a job for a cornerback-needy team, but at this point should be seen as a Band-Aid to cover a problem area rather than a true solution.


162. DI Bilal Nichols, Chicago Bears

Nichols has been a versatile defensive lineman over his rookie contract, playing a bit of nose tackle in 2020 in addition to his usual spots as a three- and five-technique interior defensive lineman in Chicago’s 3-4 front. New Bears head coach Matt Eberflus brings a 4-3 approach, but it remains to be seen if Nichols’ versatility keeps him around. 

Strengths:
– Versatility
– Above-average athlete

Weaknesses:
– No stretches of dominant play
– Hasn't been great on true pass-rush opportunities

Scheme Fit/Role:
UNSPECTACULAR STARTER: Nichols carved out a role as a starting five-technique in Chicago's defense. The question now becomes whether new head coach Matt Eberflus thinks he's a fit for the three-technique spot in the Bears' 2022 defense. Nichols does provide some versatility and has lined up everywhere from the nose to over offensive tackles.

Recent Injury History:
Nichols hasn't had any major injury concerns in the NFL.

Contract Projection: Three years, $21 million ($7M per year), $12.75 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Nichols' ability to fill holes at multiple positions along the defensive line is valuable, but his play against both the run and the pass over his first four seasons hasn't been anything more than average.


163. TE Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers

Even at 34 years old, Cook is still a consistently productive receiving tight end, as he recorded his fifth straight season with at least 35 receptions and 500 receiving yards. After three straight 71.9-plus overall and receiving grades from 2018-20, Cook’s 61.9 and 63.4 marks were his lowest since 2015. 

Strengths:
– Size
– Speed
– Tools

Weaknesses:
– Consistency
– Age
– Track record within elite situations

Scheme Fit/Role:
RECEIVING TE: Cook has elite receiving skills and still has enough dynamism to get open and make plays, even at his age. His issue has always been inconsistency despite a track record of catching passes from elite quarterbacks. He can still be a valuable part of an offense, but expectations should be limited.

Recent Injury History:
Cook was injury-free in 2021. The last significant injury he had was a Grade 2 groin strain early in 2020.

Contract Projection: One year, $4 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Cook has always been a supremely physically talented receiving option at tight end who has been productive but perhaps always left some meat on the bone. He can still be a productive member of an offense in 2022.


164. HB Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts

Mack hardly saw the field in 2021 after recovering from the torn Achilles he suffered in Week 1 of 2020. But, from 2018-19, he recorded almost 2,000 rushing yards at over 4.5 yards per carry, earning a rushing grade above 75.0 in the process. He tried to navigate his way to a new club for a larger opportunity this season but nothing materialized. 

Strengths:
– Speed
– Explosiveness
– Potential

Weaknesses:
– Durability
– The passing game
– Need for good blocking

Scheme Fit/Role:
CHANGE-OF-PACE BACK: Mack hits free agency at just 26 years of age and with the potential to break off a big play at any moment. Durability has been a problem, and he isn't a great option in the passing game, but he could be a nice change-of-pace option for a team with an established back.

Recent Injury History:
Mack tore his Achilles in 2020 but was inactive for stretches this past season just because he had been passed on the depth chart.

Contract Projection: One year, $1.5 million, $500K total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
The Colts back has speed and big-play ability, but he has a history of injuries as well as a limited skill set in a league skewing ever-more to the passing game. He has a role as a change of pace, but anything more extensive would be a stretch.


165. WR Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns

Higgins played on a third consecutive one-year deal with the Browns as a depth receiver quarterback Baker Mayfield has grown to trust, but he dropped four passes from 43 targets in 2021, topping 30 receiving yards in a game just twice. 

Strengths:
– Route-running
– Hands
– Prototypical size

Weaknesses:
– Elite traits
– Speed

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 4 WR/ROTATION PLAYER: Higgins can beat man or zone coverage but doesn't have the physical tools to get it done against elite competition. He may have some upside as a No. 2 but needs to be paired with a receiver who has elite speed and quickness to his game.

Recent Injury History:
Higgins has had a relatively clean injury history, but reported attitude issues have surfaced and kept him inactive at times.

Contract Projection: One year, $2 million, $1.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
The Browns pass-catcher is an overachieving receiver when he gets an opportunity in games, but he has athletic limitations and may be a concern off the field in the wrong situation.


166. G A.J. Cann, Jacksonville Jaguars

Cann followed up a bounce-back 2020 season with a career-worst 47.7 grade on just shy of 200 snaps before suffering an MCL injury that kept him out for the remainder of the 2021 campaign. 

Strengths:
-Prototypical size
-Pass protection

Weaknesses:
-Run blocking
-Agility
-Consistency

Scheme Fit/Role:
MARGINAL STARTER/BACKUP GUARD: Cann has been a starter at right guard for the Jaguars since being selected in the third round of the 2015 draft. He has some seasons of solid play has just one above-average grade over the past four years. He may be reduced to a backup role.

Recent Injury History:
Cann played less than 200 snaps in 2021 before suffering a season-ending MCL injury.

Contract Projection: One year, $3 million, $2 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
A.J. Cann is a better option to start than some starters, but teams should be looking to do better overall. He would be a good backup but could still find himself in a starting position in the right spot.


167. TE O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Howard failed to take advantage of two years with Tom Brady, as he didn't reach the 150-yard mark in either season due to health and a reduced role. The 2017 first-rounder played on a one-year, $6.013 million fifth-year option for the 2021 season and may have a tough time getting that much on the open market in 2022. 

Strengths:
– Size and speed
– Capable. Has shown that he can do it all
– Potential

Weaknesses:
-Consistency. Has yet to put together strong seasons back to back
-High percentage of negatively graded plays in the run game

Scheme Fit/Role:
BACKUP TIGHT END WITH STARTER POTENTIAL: Potential has been the keyword for Howard who has had two good seasons and three below-average ones. He can be a vertical threat with his size and speed, and he's shown to be a capable run-blocker, but it's just a matter of getting it out of him every week.

Recent Injury History:
Howard missed time in 2019 due to a hamstring injury and a season-ending Achilles injury limited him to just 132 snaps in 2020.

Contract Projection: One year, $4.125, $3.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Potential is often a dirty word in football evaluation, but Howard has the size, speed and past production that tantalizes. He has two seasons with 80.0-plus PFF grades but also three seasons of 61.0 or below. Howard has the skills to stretch the middle of the field vertically, but he should sign on as a backup with hopes of extracting his first-round potential.


168. EDGE Jacob Martin, Houston Texans

Martin was a player we highlighted in an article about under-the-radar free agents this offseason who had their best seasons to date in their contract year. Martin is an intriguing rotational edge defender who has experience playing on several different defensive fronts. 

Strengths:
– Explosive off the ball
– Hand usage

Weaknesses:
– Size and length
– Run defense

Scheme Fit/Role:
PASS-RUSH SPECIALIST: Martin has been able to pair his athleticism with quick and violent hands to overcome his lack of ideal size on the edge. He's still best-suited in a pass-rush specialist role rather than an every-down assignment with a 13th-percentile run-defense grade since 2018.

Recent Injury History:
Martin missed two games in 2020 on the COVID-19 list and the final two weeks of the 2019 regular season with a knee injury. He didn't miss a game last season.

Contract Projection: Two years, $6.5 million ($3.25M per year), $3.5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
The 26-year-old Martin can bring value as a depth piece and rotational pass-rusher with some juice on what should be a reasonable contract.


169. CB Darius Phillips, Cincinnati Bengals

Phillips is a solid depth cornerback who can return kickoffs and contribute on special teams. On 700 defensive snaps from 2019-20, Phillips earned a 74.3 coverage grade — 28th among cornerbacks with at least 100 coverage snaps. 

Strengths:
– Technique
– Ball skills
– Can play slot and out wide

Weaknesses:
-Tools
-Sample size

Scheme Fit/Role:
SLOT CORNER/NO. 4 CORNER: Phillips has never had much of an opportunity to play in Cincinnati but has flashed talent when he has. He has excellent technique and ball skills but is limited in size and athleticism. He likely fits as a slot corner or the first man off the bench behind the top three players.

Recent Injury History:
Phillips was placed on IR with a shoulder injury in December 2021, ending his season. He had dealt with calf and ankle injuries earlier in the season.

Contract Projection: One year, $1.725 million, $1 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
The fourth-year cornerback has flashed talent but has just over 1,000 career snaps across four seasons in the NFL. He could potentially thrive in a larger role than he has had thus far but likely serves as an intriguing depth player.


170. TE Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings

171. EDGE Rasheem Green, Seattle Seahawks

172. EDGE Lorenzo Carter, New York Giants

Injuries kept Carter off the field at times, but he earned four 65.0-plus season grades over his rookie contract. Carter was drafted to be a pass-rusher but has struggled to consistently generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Perhaps new Giants defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale and his blitz-happy approach can unlock Carter if he sticks around. 

Strengths:
– Athleticism
– Length
– Run defense

Weaknesses:
– Low-impact pass-rusher through four seasons
– Struggles to do much against tackles who can neutralize his length

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING OLB IN SCHEME WITH 3-4 PRINCIPLES: Carter has the athleticism and length to drop into coverage and affect passing windows. He's also been a solid run defender for the position so far in his NFL career, but he has yet to shine in the department where edge rushers make their money — getting after the quarterback.

Recent Injury History:
Carter's 2020 season was cut short with an Achilles injury, but he's been relatively healthy otherwise.

Contract Projection: Two years, $8 million ($4M per year), $5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Carter is capable of stepping into a starting outside linebacker role like he has in New York, but he hasn't been the high-impact pass rusher that his length and athleticism might suggest.


173. EDGE Takkarist McKinley, Cleveland Browns

McKinley bounced around a few NFL rosters in 2020 following his exit from the Falcons, who drafted him in the first round in 2017. He landed with the Browns on a one-year, $4.25 million flier worth up to $6 million with incentives in the 2021 offseason. He was a serviceable third edge defender with 25 quarterback pressures on 214 pass-rush snaps. Another one-year flier could be in order. 

Strengths:
-Rushing from wide alignments
-Defeats blocks in the run game

Weaknesses:
-Not a dominant pass-rusher
-Finishing plays
-Durability

Scheme Fit/Role:
NO. 3 EDGE: McKinley has settled in as a complementary piece on a good defensive line, preferably as a third pass-rusher. Expecting anything more is aggressive at this point in McKinley's development.

Recent Injury History:
In 2020, a groin injury forced McKinley out of action and he had another groin issue in 2021. His season ended after Week 15 due to a torn Achilles.

Contract Projection: One year, $4 million, $3 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
While McKinley may never live up to his first-round pedigree, he can contribute off the edge as part of a good defensive line rotation. He's at his best when rushing from wide-9, so expectations should be set accordingly.


174. DI Quinton Jefferson, Las Vegas Raiders

While Jefferson's 51.5 PFF grade marked a career-low, his 686 snaps, 46 quarterback pressures and six sacks were all career-highs. Jefferson is a solid pass-rushing 3-technique who can disrupt on the interior — a coveted skill set across the league.

Strengths:
-Lateral agility
-Productive pass-rusher over last three years

Weaknesses:
-Gets stuck on blocks in the run game
-One really productive season was 2019

Scheme Fit/Role:
ROTATIONAL INTERIOR LINEMAN: Jefferson can line up anywhere between the C gaps, and he's provided reasonable production across multiple teams in recent years.

Recent Injury History:
Jefferson had foot surgery after the 2019 season, but he played in every game in 2020 and 2021.

Contract Projection: Two years, $11.5 million ($5.75M per year), $6 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Jefferson is a quality rotational option who can rush the passer from multiple alignments. He's gotten moved more than you'd like to see in the run game in recent years, so limiting his exposure to double teams is important, but he can provide a solid complementary pass-rushing option.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) passes against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at Lumen Field. Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

175. QB Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

Smith filled in admirably following Russell Wilson‘s finger injury, earning a 73.9 grade with over 7.4 yards per attempt while accumulating seven big-time throws to just three turnover-worthy plays. 

Strengths:
-Short accuracy
-Velocity

Weaknesses:
-Holds the ball too long
-High percentage of turnover-worthy plays
-Accuracy beyond 10 yards

Scheme Fit/Role:
BACKUP QB: Smith started three games last year with uneven results, though he finished with a strong game against the Jaguars. This year was the first extended action we've seen from him since 2017, and he proved to be a reasonable backup option.

Recent Injury History:
Smith battled a knee injury during the 2019 preseason, but he's stayed relatively healthy in his backup role in recent years.

Contract Projection: One year, $4 million, $3 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Smith has been a backup since 2015 and that's his best role going forward. He flashed as a starter last season, which should instill confidence that he can provide solid play if called upon.


176. WR DeSean Jackson, Las Vegas Raiders

Jackson signed an impressive one-year, $4.5 million contract in the 2021 offseason with the Rams but requested his release from the team before their trip to the Super Bowl. Jackson managed a 102-yard outing with a 56-yard touchdown reception in Week 12 with the Raiders, showing that he can still create big plays when called upon, but he hasn’t topped 20 receptions in three seasons. 

Strengths:
-Speed
-Return skills
-Defined role

Weaknesses:
-Age
-Ineffective for the first time in 2021

Scheme Fit/Role:
DESIGNATED DEEP THREAT: Jackson has been a premier deep threat throughout his NFL career. He has consistently made an impact, but that stopped working in 2021, which likely scares some teams away.

Recent Injury History:
Jackson dealt with a minor calf injury in 2021 but was otherwise healthy all season.

Contract Projection: One year, $3 million ($M per year), $1.75 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Jackson has been a consistent elite deep threat for his entire career. Even at his age, he is likely still a plus option for a team that needs to add speed to their offense. Given his age and recent history, it might take a while for them to pull the trigger, though.


177. HB Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers

Jackson is a capable backup who excels as a rushing and receiving option out of the backfield. However, 2021 was his lowest-graded season in both areas by a good margin. 

Strengths:
-Decisive as a runner
-Reliable hands out of the backfield

Weaknesses:
-Lacks physicality in pass protection
-Not explosive enough to create offense out of structure or after contact

Scheme Fit/Role:
DEPTH OPTION AT RB: Jackson has struggled with durability throughout his career, making him a rotational back at best. Given his struggles in protection, his role is likely locked in as a receiving back type.

Recent Injury History:
Jackson hasn't sustained any major injuries lately but has a history of soft tissue injuries throughout his career.

Contract Projection: Two years, $4.5 million ($2.25M per year), $2.5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Jackson is still young, and his pass-catching ability will keep him in the rotation wherever he's playing. If he can stay healthy, he can fit into any run scheme.


178. HB James White, New England Patriots

White suffered an unfortunate hip injury that knocked him out for the majority of the 2021 season, but he remained a veteran leader for the Patriots. Even still, White was in the midst of earning his seventh straight receiving grade above 80.0.

Strengths:
– Receiving
– Route running
– Elusive after the catch

Weaknesses:
– Running with power
– Not effective with all run concepts

Scheme Fit/Role:
PASS-CATCHING RUNNING BACK: White has made his name as one of the better pass-catching backs in the league, and he still has plenty to offer in a similar role. He's a tough cover for opposing linebackers, and he has a great feel for the passing game.

Recent Injury History:
White had been relatively healthy in recent years until a hip injury limited him to just 63 snaps in 2021.

Contract Projection: One year, $2.6225 million, $1.2725 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
One of the league's best pass-catching running backs, White is a nifty route-runner who can move the chains through the air. He'll never be a high-volume runner, and he generally gets what is expected and little more on the ground. If he is healthy after last year's hip injury, there's a role for White as a high-volume pass-catcher out of the backfield.


179. DI Ndamukong Suh, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Suh may very well ride off into the sunset alongside quarterback Tom Brady after posting a career-low 49.4 grade in 2021. However, he still managed 37 quarterback pressures on over 700 snaps, so he may want to keep going. Another one-year, $9 million offer may not be awaiting him this offseason, though. 

Strengths:
-Durability
-Strength
-Experience

Weaknesses:
-Age
-Production has been on the decline
-Pass rushing

Scheme Fit/Role:
ROTATIONAL INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: Suh has rarely come off the field during his career, but it might be time for him to take on a lesser workload. A 500-snap season could extract better production, as Suh's overall PFF grades have declined in each of the last four seasons.

Recent Injury History:
One of the most durable players of his generation, Suh is coming off a career-low 798 snaps, a number that still ranks 16 among interior defensive linemen. He has regularly played 850-plus snaps per season, including two years over 1,000.

Contract Projection: One year, $5 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Once one of the most dominant defensive players in the league, Suh has produced like a low-end starter in recent years and may still have something to offer in more of a part-time role. He can play up and down the line of scrimmage, but don't expect high-end production if he's asked to play 800-plus snaps.


180. T Tom Compton, San Francisco 49ers

Strengths:
– Elite run-blocker
– Plus footspeed

Weaknesses:
– Age
– Inconsistent in his pass sets

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING-CALIBER TACKLE: Compton's age and snaps played in the NFL wouldn't lend to the belief that he can still execute in an outside zone scheme, but 2021 showed that he knows how to maximize his athleticism. For the near future, it's reasonable to think that he can start for any run-first offense in the NFL.

Recent Injury History:
No major injuries in recent seasons.

Contract Projection: One year, $1.75 million fully guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Compton is aging, but his health is intact and his ability is still there. If his run blocking continues into his mid-30s, he may stretch his time as a starter over a decently sized next contract.


181. HB Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers

Strengths:
– Downhill runner
– Elite speed when healthy

Weaknesses:
– Not trusted in pass protection
– Not a shifty runner

Scheme Fit/Role:
LEAD BACK IN OUTSIDE ZONE SCHEME there's no better fit for Mostert than the system he's been playing in. San Francisco, Los Angeles and any scheme that relies on outside zone would be greatly helped by Mostert's speed on the edge.

Recent Injury History:
The young back suffered a cartilage injury to his knee that caused an extended absence in 2021. By all reports, he's on schedule to contribute again in 2022.

Contract Projection: One year, $1.75 million, $1.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Nobody in the NFL gets to fifth gear faster or more effectively than Raheem Mostert, and the NFL is in an era where there's no such thing as too much speed. If Mostert is 100% in 2022, he will go right back to being one of the more valuable backs in the league.


182. G Ethan Pocic, Seattle Seahawks

Strengths:
– Plays with good power in the run game, works combos well
– Enough athleticism to climb to the second level and scoop-block linemen

Weaknesses:
– Doesn't finish blocks as often as you'd like to see
– Lunges and drops head on his pass sets. He is easily beaten by arm-over moves

Scheme Fit/Role:
FRINGE STARTING INTERIOR LINEMAN: Pocic's struggles with picking up pass-rushers on stunts and twists in 2021 are concerning when it comes to gauging his ability to play in more spread-out systems. If he's in an offense with heavy personnel and tighter formations, his run blocking would help to sell play-action fakes and buy him time in pass protection.

Recent Injury History:
Pocic was put on injured reserve to nurse a hamstring injury early in 2021 but suffered no recurring issues in the regular season.

Contract Projection: Three years, $12 million ($4M per year), $5.75 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Pocic is a downhill blocker in a league that needs interior linemen to be more proficient in pass sets. He can still crack the starting five, but defensive coordinators will look to attack him on obvious passing downs.


183. RB J.D. McKissic, Washington Commanders

Strengths:
-Great receiver out of the backfield
-Shifty runner

Weaknesses:
-Lack of size/physicality
-Struggles to create after contact

Scheme Fit/Role:
THIRD-DOWN RECEIVING BACK: McKissic has racked up more than 120 receptions in the past two seasons. For a team like Buffalo, Kansas City and others that embrace the spread, McKissic is a good fit.

Recent Injury History:
McKissic was placed on IR after sustaining a neck injury and concussion in 2021. To date, no long-term concerns have been noted.

Contract Projection: Two years, $5 million ($2.5M per year), $2.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
McKissic is a small back and lacks the power to handle contact between the tackles. Getting him involved on the perimeter as a pass-catcher fills a role for teams that lack reliable tight ends or inside receivers.

Washington Football Team running back J.D. McKissic (41) scores a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half at FedExField. Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

184. T Chukwuma Okafor, Pittsburgh Steelers

Contract Projection: Four years, $50,000,000 ($12.5M per year), $30,000,000 guaranteed

185. C Mason Cole, Minnesota Vikings

Contract Projection: Three years, $15,000,000 ($5M per year), $7,000,000 guaranteed

186. LB Josh Bynes, Baltimore Ravens

Strengths:
– Good pace in run fits
– Finishes with tackles well between the tackles

Weaknesses:
– Not much of a playmaker in space
– Not as talented in coverage

Scheme Fit/Role:
TWO-DOWN LINEBACKER: Bynes can contend to start almost anywhere in the NFL, if not win the job as a forgone conclusion. If a team like New England lost one of its linebackers, Bynes could fill in as a dominant run defender.

Recent Injury History:
Bynes' health sheet is clean entering the 2022 off-season.

Contract Projection: One year, $1.125 million 

Bottom Line:
The archetype of a run-down linebacker is the same today as it was 20 years ago, and Bynes fits the mold. If teams use him in that manner and not as an all-purpose player, he will be a good value pickup in free agency.


187. LB Anthony Walker, Cleveland Browns

Strengths:
– Coverage ability
– Lateral range

Weaknesses:
– Poor run-fitter
– Takes on blocks poorly, issues with tracking the running back

Scheme Fit/Role:
SUB/PASS-DOWN LINEBACKER: Walker is a great tweener-type to have against wide-open offenses because he can step out into space against tight ends or backs and cover comfortably. Defenses high in Cover 1 and Quarters usage (Bills, Saints) may find an athlete like Walker valuable in that system.

Recent Injury History:
Walker spent a brief stint on the injured reserve due to a hamstring injury in 2021. He returned to play without any issues following the IR placement.

Contract Projection: Two years, $8 million ($4M per year), $5.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Walker is a space player, not a box linebacker. To get the most out of him, you'd need an offense to oblige with its formations before he can be used regularly.


188. C Austin Blythe, Kansas City Chiefs

Strengths:
– Good agility
– Excellent at setting protections and adjusting to exotic looks

Weaknesses:
– Lacks power/punch
– Doesn't drive guys vertically

Scheme Fit/Role:
STARTING CALIBER CENTER: Blythe wins with his pre-snap work mentally more so than his physical dominance post-snap. This makes the center a perfect fit in zone schemes, where he can work combos and create vertical movement. Teams like the Broncos, Giants and Dolphins may be wise to bring him in with new systems.

Recent Injury History:
Blythe couldn't make the active roster in 2021 following surgery to repair his sports hernia. If his abdomen/flexor muscles aren't regaining strength, there's a serious concern for his future.

Contract Projection: One year, $1.125 million

Bottom Line:
It's concerning for Blythe to have gone from a three-week recovery timeline to being out for the season, which leaves questions about his athleticism and strength for a player who wasn't much of a mauler to begin with. Blythe will likely be on a show-and-prove basis next contract.


189. C Austin Reiter, Miami Dolphins

Strengths:
– Heady player, picks up pressure in exotic looks

Weaknesses:
– Gets blown off of the football in pass protection

Scheme Fit/Role:
BACKUP CENTER: Reiter's run-blocking film is an issue, and his lack of power in protection and on zone schemes make it difficult to project a home where he should be considered a starter. Expect a pass-heavy offense to bring him into the fold as a player to swing around the three interior sports.

Recent Injury History:
Reiter made it through 2021 without suffering any serious injuries or health issues.

Contract Projection: One year, $1.125 million

Bottom Line:
Reiter isn't anywhere near solely responsible for the issues Miami had with blocking up front, but his play didn't do much to patch the holes. Having an experienced center is valuable, but Reiter probably shouldn't be starting in 2022.


190. S Malik Hooker, Dallas Cowboys

Strengths:
– Decent athletic range
– Shows up in run support

Weaknesses:
– Poor tackler in space
– Eye discipline is shoddy

Scheme Fit/Role:
BACKUP SAFETY: Hooker's athletic profile makes him intriguing for schematic fits. In terms of speed and agility, he can cover a deep third, a deep half or play quarters. He invites and plays with enough physicality to roll into the box, as well. His inconsistency is his enemy, making him more likely to thrive in a zone scheme with less on his plate than a man-heavy defense.

Recent Injury History:
Hooker hasn't had any flareups with the torn Achilles he had earlier in his career and seemed to have regained a good amount of his athletic ability.

Contract Projection: One year, $2.5 million, $1.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Hooker will hang around in the league because of his pedigree and athleticism, but it's clear to see why Indianapolis declined his option and Dallas gave him a prove-it deal. Too often, Hooker is in the right spot at the right time but doesn't finish the play, and that leaves him as a rotational player at this point in his career.


191. HB Darrel Williams, Kansas City Chiefs

Strengths:
– Physical runner, plays behind his pads
– Can handle a role as pass-catcher

Weaknesses:
– Not an elusive runner
– Adds little in pass protection

Scheme Fit/Role:
DOWNHILL RUNNER IN MAN/GAP SCHEME: Williams showed versatility in Kansas City's spread scheme, but he can punish teams as a north-south runner behind pullers and lead blockers.

Recent Injury History:
Williams escaped any major injuries in 2021. His injury history has been filled with typical lower-body injuries for running backs.

Contract Projection: Two years, $4.5 million ($2.375M per year), $2 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Williams is probably best set as an RB3-type on depth charts, especially since he's not much of a pass-protector. Williams can catch checkdowns, as well, but he isn't a back you'd want to split out in empty sets, making it hard to lead any backfield.


192. DI Zach Kerr, Cincinnati Bengals

Strengths:
– Can play multiple roles within the defensive interior

Weaknesses:
– Too easily moved as a run-fitter
– Doesn't generate pressure

Scheme Fit/Role:
BACKUP/ROTATIONAL DL: Kerr's best use is as an additional defensive lineman to employ against heavier personnel for the sake of the matchup. He can fit anywhere because of his ability to play in different alignments.

Recent Injury History:
No recent injury history.

Contract Projection: One year, $1.125 million 

Bottom Line:
Kerr won't do much to change your world in the defensive rotation, and he'll likely bounce around as a guy to stick in when there are injury issues for starting-caliber players.


193. TE Jordan Akins, Houston Texans

Strengths:
-Reliable hands, no serious drop concerns

Weaknesses:
-Not a strong run-blocker
-Created little to no yards after the catch

Scheme Fit/Role:
No. 2 TIGHT END: Akins' fit in the NFL as a tight end is precarious. He's not much of a run-blocker and certainly not a pass-protector, but his value in the passing game isn't explosive. And that squeezes him into a No. 2 or No. 3 role for most teams.

Recent Injury History:
Akins hasn't suffered any notable injuries in the last couple of seasons.

Contract Projection: Two years, $7.5 million ($3.75M per year), $3 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Akins would have to provide surplus value as a mismatch on the inside to be a higher caliber tight end. As it stands now, he's another player that's just nice to have in the fold in case of depth issues.


194. TE Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons

195. G Michael Schofield III, Los Angeles Chargers

Strengths:
– Works combos well
– Absorbs bull rushes well in pass protection

Weaknesses:
– Generates little movement, even on combos
– Poor balance in his pass sets

Scheme Fit/Role:
BACKUP/ROTATIONAL GUARD: It's always a bit concerning to see a guard's best tape be on combo blocks and his worst on base blocks. Schofield's saving grace is his ability to eat up interior pass-rushers, which should make him a draw as a backup for spread-out offenses.

Recent Injury History:
No major injury history in Schofield's recent seasons.

Contract Projection: One year, $1.75 million, $1 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Schofield teeters the edge of a starting level guard in the NFL, but his inability to base block on run schemes makes it difficult for an offense to get to a full menu of its run game. He will be on the fringes if he were playing for most playoff-contending teams.


196. S DeAndre Houston-Carson, Chicago Bears

Strengths:
-Matches routes in coverage well
-Plays sticky coverage in man calls

Weaknesses:
-Below average run-fitter
-Has not flashed ball skills

Scheme Fit/Role:
SUB PACKAGE DEFENSIVE BACK Houston-Carson is an ideal steal pick for defenses that use a lot of dime personnel, like the Rams or Saints. Houston-Carson can handle tight ends and backs out of the backfield, allowing linebackers to get after quarterbacks and set up their disguise.

Recent Injury History:
Houston-Carson went into the 2022 off-season nursing a broken ankle, which landed him on IR.

Contract Projection: One year, $1.75 million, $1.25 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
Houston-Carson isn't a good enough run fitter to justify greater use yet, but on any given third down, he can give a defense surplus value as a coverage defender.


197. QB Colt McCoy, Arizona Cardinals

Strengths:
-Accuracy
-Short Passing Grade

Weaknesses:
-Arm strength
-Playmaking

Scheme Fit/Role:
BACKUP QB: Heading into Year 13 of his career, McCoy is a clear backup option and he's shown that he can work the underneath game as an emergency starter.

Recent Injury History:
A broken right fibula limited McCoy in late 2018 and early 2019, and he battled through a pec strain in his few weeks as a starter last season.

Contract Projection: One year, $1.5 million, $1.5 million total guaranteed

Bottom Line:
McCoy continues to show that he's a reasonable backup option who can work the underneath game and keep a team in a position to win. That's his value at this point in his career.

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