NFL News & Analysis

2022 NFL Midseason Report: All 32 NFL teams' highest-graded players, biggest surprises and more

Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) runs between Green Bay Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas (29) and safety Darnell Savage (26) after a catch in the second quarter at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

• Stefon Diggs leads the Bills in PFF grade: Unsurprisingly, the veteran wideout is Buffalo's best-graded player (90.8).

• Josh Jacobs making the most of a contract year: The Las Vegas Raiders running back is both the team's highest-graded and most surprising player at the halfway point.

• QBs Geno Smith, Jacoby Brissett exceeding expectations: The former has done so more than the latter, but both signal-callers have performed admirably through the first half of the campaign.

Estimated Reading Time: 18 mins

JUMP TO A TEAM:

ARZ | ATL | BLT | BUF | CAR | CIN | CHI | CLE | DEN | DAL
DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC | LVR | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WSH


ARIZONA CARDINALS

Highest-graded player: WR DeAndre Hopkins (78.4)

Hopkins has played only 142 snaps after returning from his suspension, but he’s been incredible so far. In two games, he’s caught 22 passes for 262 yards and one touchdown.

Biggest surprise: DI Zach Allen (75.2)

After a rough few rough years to start his career, Allen has turned himself into one of the more underrated interior defenders in the NFL. He already has 14 stops this season and a 71.2 run-defense grade.

Stat to know: The Cardinals' wide receivers and tight ends have forced 35 missed tackles, fourth-most in the NFL.


ATLANTA FALCONS

Highest-graded player: G Chris Lindstrom (87.6)

Lindstrom is the NFL’s second-highest-graded guard, behind only Cleveland's Joel Bitonio. He has been a big reason why the Falcons have found success on the ground this season. 

Biggest surprise: WR Drake London (80.3)

London is in a low-volume pass offense, but he has been excellent for the Falcons so far. He is the highest-graded rookie receiver and the No. 8 overall receiver in the NFL this season by PFF grade.

Stat to know: No team in the NFL has dropped fewer passes than the Falcons (3). 


BALTIMORE RAVENS

Highest-graded player: TE Mark Andrews (84.5)

After a monster 2021 season, Andrews is right back to where he was last year. He is the No. 2 tight end in the NFL this season, behind only Kansas City's Travis Kelce (90.7). His average depth of target is at 11.1 yards, up from 10.8 last season.

Biggest surprise: S Geno Stone (82.0)

The Ravens signed Marcus Williams to a big contract in free agency, selected Kyle Hamilton in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft and retained Chuck Clark. But it’s Stone who has put together the best season so far in that safety room amid Williams' injury. He’s PFF’s fifth-highest-graded safety, excelling in coverage for the Ravens.

Stat to know: The Ravens lead the NFL in explosive runs (rushes of 10-plus yards) with 48.


BUFFALO BILLS

Highest-graded player: WR Stefon Diggs (90.8)

Diggs is the second-highest-graded receiver in the NFL, ever so slightly behind Miami's Tyreek Hill (90.9). He’s been phenomenal again this season and is a perfect fit with quarterback Josh Allen. He’s averaging 13.9 yards per reception, which would be his highest mark since 2019.

Biggest surprise: ED Boogie Basham (86.5)

Basham hasn’t played a ton for the Bills this season (156 snaps), but he has been excellent when on the field. He has a 17.2% pass-rush win rate and has already totaled nine hurries on 93 pass-rush snaps. He’s just another weapon for Leslie Frazier on that defensive line. 

Stat to know: The Bills' offensive line has allowed just five sacks this season, the fewest in the NFL.


CAROLINA PANTHERS

Highest-graded player: DI Derrick Brown (89.7)

You can make the argument that Brown was on track to be a bust after the first two years of his career. But he’s been excellent this season and is PFF’s highest-graded run-defender (89.7).

Biggest surprise: QB P.J. Walker (77.1)

Walker struggled in his start against the Rams in Week 6, but he’s been fantastic in his past two games — so much so that he’s forced Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold to continue to sit on the bench.

Stat to know: The Panthers have allowed the fewest pressures in the NFL (59). 


CHICAGO BEARS

Highest-graded player: OG Teven Jenkins (77.3)

Coming out of training camp, there was some real doubt about Jenkins even being on the Bears' roster. And even if he was, there was no guarantee he would start. But Jenkins eventually earned one of the starting guard spots and he’s been their best offensive lineman ever since, recording an 81.4 run-blocking grade thus far.

Biggest surprise: Jenkins

Jenkins is currently the eighth-highest-graded guard in the NFL, excelling as a run-blocker. In fact, he has the fifth-highest run-block grade among all guards in the NFL.

Stat to know: No team in the NFL has more rushing yards after contact (1,065) than the Bears.


CINCINNATI BENGALS

Highest-graded player: ED Trey Hendrickson (83.8)

Hendrickson continues to be a value for the Bengals as one of the NFL’s most productive edge rushers. He’s recorded five sacks this season while also totaling nine quarterback hits and 30 pressures overall.

Biggest surprise: ED Sam Hubbard (73.3)

Hubbard has always been a solid player, but he is having a breakout 2022 season. He’s already recorded 30 pressures on the season and has 19 run stops. Hendrickson and Hubbard form one of the NFL’s most underrated edge duos.

Stat to know: The Bengals lead the NFL in yards after the catch with 1,219. 


CLEVELAND BROWNS

Highest-graded player: ED Myles Garrett (92.9)

Garrett has been limited to 357 snaps this season, but he’s already racked up 41 pressures and eight sacks. He’s the highest-graded edge rusher in the NFL, and that isn’t changing anytime soon.

Biggest surprise: QB Jacoby Brissett (77.5)

There have certainly been moments when Brissett has struggled, but he has helped the Browns stay afloat on offense. He’s having one of the best years of his career, sitting as PFF’s eighth-highest-graded quarterback this season.

Stat to know: The Browns have forced 74 missed tackles in the run game this season, most in the NFL. They also lead the NFL in rushing first downs (79).


DALLAS COWBOYS

Highest-graded player: ED Micah Parsons (90.9)

Parsons is the current favorite to win the Defensive Player of the Year award, as he’s recorded eight sacks in eight games. He has yet to have an outing with fewer than three pressures en route to a 91.3 pass-rush grade.

Biggest surprise: S Malik Hooker (80.2)

While Hooker played a combined 570 snaps in 2020 and 2021, he has now emerged as one of the best safeties in the NFL. He’s been outstanding in coverage, allowing just 16 yards this season.

Stat to know: The Cowboys lead the NFL in team pass-rush grade (84.6) and total pressures (182).


DENVER BRONCOS

Highest-graded player: ED Randy Gregory (87.4)

Gregory was off to an incredible start to the season before a knee injury landed him on the injured reserve list. He has a 25.0% pass-rush win rate, which ranks among the highest marks in the NFL.

Biggest surprise: ED Baron Browning (70.7)

One of the reasons why the Broncos were comfortable trading away Bradley Chubb was Browning's development. The 2021 third-round pick from Ohio State found a home at edge defender, where he has a 21.6% pass-rush win rate. He’s totaled 12 hurries and 18 pressures overall on just 125 pass-rush snaps.

Stat to know: The Broncos have allowed the fewest passing touchdowns (4) in the NFL. Teams have a 77.3 passer rating when playing the Denver this season.


DETROIT LIONS

Highest-graded player: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (76.9)

St. Brown has missed some time with injuries, but he’s developed into one of the NFL’s most dynamic slot receivers. 

Biggest surprise: CB Jeffrey Okudah (66.1)

Okudah returned to the field after missing most of the 2021 season with an Achilles tear. He is still a bit inconsistent in coverage, but his tackling ability has stood out in a big way.

Stat to know: The Lions have the third-fewest pressures in the NFL (102), behind only the Rams and Bears. 


GREEN BAY PACKERS

Highest-graded player: RB Aaron Jones (83.1)

If it weren’t for Aaron Jones, the Packers might have the NFL’s worst offense. He’s done it all this season, totaling 765 yards and four touchdowns in eight games. He is the offense's most explosive player, and the team might need to get him even more work in the final nine games of the season.

Biggest surprise: WR Randall Cobb (79.9)

Cobb is on injured reserve with an ankle injury, but he was the most trusted receiver on the offense. He’s having a career year in 2022 at age 32. 

Stat to know: The Packers lead the NFL in pass-rush win rate (64.3%). 


HOUSTON TEXANS

Highest-graded player: LT Laremy Tunsil (85.1)

Tunsil is having a career year with the Texans, ranking as the fourth-highest-graded offensive tackle in the NFL. He’s always been a solid player, but this is the best we’ve seen him play since entering the league in 2016.

Biggest surprise: RB Dameon Pierce (82.6)

Pierce won the starting running back job in training camp, but no one expected him to play this well. He is currently PFF’s No. 8 running back in PFF grade, ahead of players such as Saquon Barkley, Austin Ekeler and Dalvin Cook.

Stat to know: The Texans rank second in the NFL yards after contact per attempt (3.5). 


INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Highest-graded player: LB E.J. Speed (84.2)

Speed has played at least 30 snaps in every game this season and has been an excellent run-defender. He’s already totaled 13 run stops, which is impressive considering he had just seven total in the first three years of his career.

Biggest surprise: LB Bobby Okereke (72.3)

Okereke really struggled during the 2020 and 2021 seasons, as his highest grade was 58.5. But he’s bounced back in a nice way this season. While he still struggles in coverage at times, Okereke has really come a long way as a run-defender.

Stat to know: The Colts have allowed the third-most quarterback hits this season (25), behind only the Vikings (29) and Commanders (27).


JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Highest-graded player: ED Josh Allen (83.3)

Allen doesn’t get mentioned as an elite edge, and that’s a shame. He has an 18.2% pass-rush win rate this season and has already recorded 21 hurries. If Travon Walker can live up to his No. 1 pick status, the Jaguars could have one of the best edge duos in the league.

Biggest surprise: CB Tyson Campbell (77.2)

Campbell has taken a huge step forward in Year 2, developing into a high-quality cornerback for Jacksonville. He has allowed just a 68.8 passer rating this season, which is significantly better than where he was as a rookie (97.9)

Stat to know: The Jaguars have the second-highest forced incompletion rate (11.3%) in the NFL this season. 


KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Highest-graded player: DI Chris Jones (92.9)

Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce are both having outstanding seasons for the Chiefs, but it’s Chris Jones who has the highest PFF grade. He’s been completely dominant once again, racking up six sacks and 21 hurries. He’s been the NFL’s best interior defensive lineman through Week 8.

Biggest surprise: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (71.7)

After a few down years, Smith-Schuster is finally back to being an impact player. He averaged 8.6 yards per reception in the 2020 and 2021 seasons, but that number has jumped up to 14.5 with Mahomes. He’s put together back-to-back performances with 110-plus yards and a touchdown and is finally clicking in Kansas City's offense.

Stat to know: The Chiefs have allowed the most passing touchdowns (17) and the second-highest passer rating (110.2) in the NFL this season. 


LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

Highest-graded player: RB Josh Jacobs (91.2)

Jacobs is the NFL’s highest-graded running back — and for good reason. He has produced incredible numbers despite playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL.

Biggest surprise: Jacobs

The Raiders declined Jacobs' fifth-year option, and he is now set to hit free agency. He was battling for his starting job going into training camp and was expected to be in a committee at running back. That hasn’t been the case at all, as the Raiders are leaning into him being a workhorse running back for the 2022 season.

Stat to know: The Raiders have the second-lowest forced incompletion rate (4.9%) in the NFL this season.


LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Highest-graded player: ED Joey Bosa (86.0)

Bosa hasn’t played a ton this season after landing on injured reserve following groin surgery. But he was playing at an elite level before that injury. He should be able to return at some point this season, providing the Chargers one of the best pass-rush duos with himself and Khalil Mack.

Biggest surprise: LB Drue Tranquill (72.0)

The Chargers' best linebacker this season has been none other than Drue Tranquill, who has significantly outplayed former first-round pick Kenneth Murray. Tranquill has been used all over the field and found a lot of success rushing the passer this season.

Stat to know: The Chargers' offensive line has allowed just five sacks this season, tied for the fewest in the NFL.


LOS ANGELES RAMS

Highest-graded player: DI Aaron Donald (90.5)

Another year, another dominant season for Aaron Donald. What more can we say about him at this point that hasn’t already been said? He’s already totaled 27 pressures this season and is well on his way to being in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation once again.

Biggest surprise: LB Ernest Jones (70.5)

Finding a “surprise” player for the Rams is tough, as their roster is very top-heavy and most of their players have underperformed this year. But Jones has had a nice year as a full-time starter.

Stat to know: The Rams have recorded the fewest quarterback hits (11), hurries (41) and overall pressures (66) in the league this season.


MIAMI DOLPHINS

Highest-graded player: WR Tyreek Hill (90.9)

Hill is the highest-graded receiver in the NFL. He leads the league in receiving yards (993) and yards after the catch (344) while completely transforming Miami’s offense. There isn’t a more dangerous weapon in the NFL.

Biggest surprise: QB Tua Tagovailoa (87.6)

It’s certainly been a wild season for Tagovailoa, but how can you not be impressed with his development at quarterback? There were some legit concerns after the 2021 season regarding his play, but he is now PFF’s No. 3-ranked quarterback this season. He might not be as talented as Justin Herbert or as flashy as Joe Burrow, but Tagovailoa is having an incredibly efficient season in Miami.

Stat to know: No team in the NFL has dropped more passes (20) than the Dolphins. However, they have the most explosive passing plays (receptions of 15-plus yards) with 59.


MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Highest-graded player: LT Christian Darrisaw (85.8)

The Vikings finally have a stud left tackle, and his name is Christian Darrisaw. The former first-round pick from the 2021 NFL Draft is the third-highest-graded offensive tackle in the league after allowing just two total pressures in the past three games. 

Biggest surprise: ED Za’Darius Smith (84.4)

After a back surgery cost him almost all of the 2021 season, there were some legit concerns about whether Smith would ever be a starting-caliber player again. He quickly proved those doubters wrong, as he’s already recorded 8.5 sacks this season. 

Stat to know: Quarterbacks are completing 73.9% of their passing attempts against the Vikings, the highest rate in the NFL.


NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Highest-graded player: RB Rhamondre Stevenson (88.6)

Stevenson entered the season as the backup to Damien Harris but has since taken hold of that job. He is the fifth-highest-graded running back in the NFL, averaging 5.3 yards per touch this season. Every time he handles the ball, good things happen for the Patriots.

Biggest surprise: CB Jack Jones (87.4)

The highest-graded cornerback in the NFL this season is none other than Jack Jones, a fourth-round pick by the Patriots this season. He boasts the highest coverage grade in the league (90.4), potentially signaling the Patriots have yet again struck gold at the cornerback position.

Stat to know: The Patriots are averaging just 0.8 yards before contact per attempt this season, the third-worst mark in the NFL.


NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Highest-graded player: LB Demario Davis (86.5)

Believe it or not, Davis has never made a Pro Bowl during his NFL career. Yet, he’s been one of the best linebackers in the league for multiple seasons now. Through eight weeks, he is the NFL's highest-graded linebacker, lacking a single flaw in his game.

Biggest surprise: QB/TE Taysom Hill (81.5)

Was Sean Payton holding back Taysom Hill? That seems like a joke, but it’s really not. Hill has been unlocked this season as a part-time quarterback and part-time tight end. He’s improved as a blocker and is now one of the more valuable offensive weapons for the Saints. 

Stat to know: The Saints have recorded just two defensive interceptions this season but have a 9.4% forced incompletion rate, the eight-highest mark in the league.


NEW YORK GIANTS

Highest-graded player: LT Andrew Thomas (90.1)

One of the biggest reasons for the Giants' success is their run game. And that’s been mainly due to Andrew Thomas, who has developed into one of the league’s best left tackles. In fact, he is the NFL’s highest-graded offensive tackle after eight weeks.

Biggest surprise: DI Dexter Lawrence (90.1)

No player in the NFL has made a bigger leap this year than Lawrence. He was just an average player in 2021 and is now among the most dominant defensive tackles in the league. Not only has he been an awesome run-defender, but he already has five games this season with four or more pressures.

Stat to know: The Giants have the fewest missed tackles (12) on defense this season. 


NEW YORK JETS

Highest-graded player: DI Quinnen Williams (90.8)

After a few solid seasons, Williams has finally become an All-Pro caliber defensive tackle. It took him a few years to get there, but he is one of the most disruptive pass-rushers in the league.

Biggest surprise: CB Sauce Gardner (83.9)

Everyone expected Gardner to be good as a rookie, but not this good. He is already in the conversation as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. He’s allowed a combined 25 yards over the past three games and is starting to develop a reputation as a shutdown cornerback.

Stat to know: Opposing quarterbacks have a 75.3 passer rating when facing the Jets this season. 


PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Highest-graded player: ED Brandon Graham (90.2)

The Eagles have a ton of talent on defense, but it’s the veteran Graham who is having the best season. He’s rushed the passer on only 124 snaps, but he has already totaled 21 pressures and 13 hurries. Plus, he’s always been a solid run-defender, which has helped his overall grade.

Biggest surprise: LB T.J. Edwards (77.6)

While linebacker has always been an issue for the Eagles, that hasn’t been the case this year. Edwards has been their best linebacker — including a sneaky 90.2 pass-rushing grade that ranks third at the position.

Stat to know: Philadelphia's offensive line has allowed the fewest sacks in the NFL (5), tied with the Bills and Chargers.


PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Highest-graded player: DI Cameron Heyward (88.0)

Even at 33 years old. Heyward continues to be one of the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL. While he is no longer an elite pass-rusher, he boasts the third-highest run-defense grade in the NFL at the position. Heyward is among the most consistent defensive tackles in the league.

Biggest surprise: ED Alex Highsmith (74.0)

After T.J. Watt went down in Week 1 with a torn pectoral muscle, Highsmith has stepped up in a big way for Pittsburgh. He’s recorded 6.5 sacks through eight games and has really developed into a good pass-rusher in Year 3.

Stat to know: The Steelers have just 32 explosive passing plays (receptions of 15-plus yards) this season, second-worst in the NFL.


SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Highest-graded player: ED Nick Bosa (89.9)

Like his brother, Bosa has been battling a groin injury this season. But that hasn’t slowed him down all that much. He is just as dominant as ever and a big reason why the 49ers have one of the NFL’s top defenses.

Biggest surprise: S Talanoa Hufanga (76.4)

One of the breakout stars of the NFL in 2022, Hufanga just keeps making a ton of big plays. He was known as a box safety at USC yet has excelled in coverage this season en route to becoming a well-rounded player.

Stat to know: The 49ers have the third-most sacks (27) in the NFL this season. They also have the fifth-best pass-rush win rate at 60.5%.


SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Highest-graded player: QB Geno Smith (88.4)

Smith is PFF’s second-highest-graded quarterback this season, doing a great job of taking care of the ball. He’s made several big-time throws to help win games and is able to do enough as a runner to keep defenses on their toes.

Biggest surprise: Smith

Yes, Smith is the biggest surprise, as well. He is playing as well as any quarterback not named Josh Allen this season and has the Seahawks atop of the NFC West. How could you put anyone else here?

Stat to know: The Seahawks have forced 49 missed tackles on the ground this season, fourth-best in the NFL.


TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Highest-graded player: S Antoine Winfield Jr. (83.5)

Winfield is PFF’s second-highest-graded safety this season. Not only is he fantastic against the run, he is also the highest-graded pass-rushing safety (93.4) in the league. He doesn’t have many flaws and can play all over the field for Todd Bowles.

Biggest surprise: S Logan Ryan (75.2)

Ryan has played only 150 snaps on defense in 2022 due to injury. He should be back sometime this month, though, which will give the Buccaneers another versatile defensive back in their secondary.

Stat to know: The Buccaneers have forced the fewest missed tackles in the run game this season (14). 


TENNESSEE TITANS

Highest-graded player: DI Jeffery Simmons (90.9)

Aaron Donald and Chris Jones are widely known as the only elite defensive tackles in the NFL. But that’s not fair to Jeffery Simmons, who continues to improve each year with the Titans. He is currently PFF’s No. 2-ranked interior defensive lineman, behind only Jones (92.9).

Biggest surprise: OG Nate Davis (79.2)

Without Taylor Lewan, there aren’t many well-known names on the Titans' offensive line. But Davis has been rock-solid this year, grading out as PFF’s No. 6 guard.

Stat to know: The Titans have the second-fewest yards after the catch in the NFL this season (595). They also rank dead last in explosive passing plays (26).


WASHINGTON COMMANDERS

Highest-graded player: ED Montez Sweat (88.6)

With Chase Young still out due to his knee injury, Sweat has stepped up in a big way for the Commanders. He is the seventh-highest-graded edge defender, just a few spots behind Nick Bosa and Von Miller. He’s already recorded 38 pressure, including 22 hurries, this season as one of the most dominant pass-rushers in the NFL.

Biggest surprise: S Kamren Curl (84.5)

Do you know who the highest-graded safety is in the NFL after Week 8? It’s none other than Kameren Curl, who has excelled in both coverage and against the run this season. He’s officially become a star for Washington in Year 3.

Stat to know: The Commanders have allowed the most pressures (129) in the NFL. 

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