- Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon are NFL's best RB duo: Both Jones and Dillon received top-five rushing grades at 90.7 and 88.1, respectively, making them the easy choice to be the top RB duo in the NFL.
- Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle earned top WR duo designation: Hill was not only second in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,710 in his first year in Miami, but he also led the league with a 92.1 PFF grade and 92.0 receiving grade. Waddle came in 13th with an 82.6 PFF grade and 14th in receiving grade at 83.5 to go along with his 1,356 yards, which ranked seventh.
- Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson were easy choice for top tackle duo: Very little surprise to see this pair on top, as Mailata and Johnson are the only tackle duo to both feature in the top 10 amongst tackles in PFF grade.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Throughout this offseason, PFF has been releasing a series of articles showcasing the top positional units across the NFL.
With this piece, we’re going to get a little tighter with these groups as we look at the top duos at each position. Just because a position group came out on top in their respective rankings doesn’t mean they’ll come out on top in this piece, as will be showcased shortly.
We will be excluding positions where only one player can be on the field at a time, so quarterback and center will not be featured. Rookies will also not factor into the rankings, as they have not shown their skills will translate to the NFL just yet.
Running Back: Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers
For the longest time, this spot would be occupied by the Cleveland Browns‘ Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, but because Hunt is still a free agent, the nod goes to Jones and Dillon. This was an easy choice as both Jones and Dillon received top-five rushing grades at 90.7 and 88.1, respectively. On top of that, Jones was tenth in the NFL with 1121 rushing yards with 2 rushing scores and added another 395 receiving yards through the air and 5 scores. Dillon put up 770 yards on the ground with 7 touchdowns of his own.
Wide Receiver: Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins
One of the toughest decisions on this list, had this been a trios ranking or a receiving unit in general, the Cincinnati Bengals would likely have come out on top, as there isn’t a much better trio than Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. While the Dolphins lack that third receiver that keeps defenses up at night, Hill and Waddle arguably top any other in football. Hill was not only second in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,710 in his first year in Miami, but he also led the league with a 92.1 PFF grade and 92.0 receiving grade. Waddle came in 13th with an 82.6 PFF grade and 14th in receiving grade at 83.5 to go along with his 1,356 yards, which ranked seventh.
Tight End: David Njoku and Jordan Akins, Cleveland Browns
This one was a little tricky, as not too many teams typically feature multiple impact tight ends. The New England Patriots will likely do so more than anyone after signing Mike Gesicki in free agency, but both he and Hunter Henry are coming off down years, so they missed out on the top spot. Instead, we’re going with the Browns here after adding Jordan Akins from the Houston Texans. Both Njoku and newcomer Akins are coming off career years in 2022. Njoku put up a PFF grade of 73.7 with a 78.7 receiving grade and a 76.3 pass-blocking grade while catching 58 passes for 628 yards and four touchdowns. Akins put up similar numbers with a 72.4 PFF grade, 74.3 receiving grade while recording career highs in PFF grade (72.4), catches (37), yards (495), and touchdowns (five). Together, this duo should give Deshaun Watson a multitude of options to work with to help the Browns return to the playoffs in 2023.
Offensive Tackle: Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles
Very little surprise to see this pair on top, as Mailata and Johnson are the only tackle duo to both feature in the top 10 amongst tackles in PFF grade. Johnson ranked fifth at 84.8 and Mailata was ninth at 81.7. Only Laremy Tunsil had a higher pass-blocking grade than Johnson’s 90.1 last season and to top it all off, Johnson was the only tackle in the league to play at least 600 snaps without allowing a sack (he played 1,173 snaps, including playoffs). Mailata was the better run blocker of the two, ranking ninth at 80.6.
Offensive Guard: Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller, Cleveland Browns
Bitonio and Teller are one of just two guard duos to each rank inside the top 20 in PFF grade, the other being Teven Jenkins and Nate Davis, neither of whom topped 700 offensive snaps while both Bitonio and Teller each went over 900. Bitonio was his usual dominant self in 2022, finishing second with an 87.5 PFF grade while finishing with both pass-blocking and run-blocking grades over 80. This past season wasn’t the usual dominant year for Teller; however, he still finished 18th amongst guards in PFF grade at 70.3.
Edge Defender: Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have such an embarrassment of riches at pass-rusher that we very easily could’ve swapped out Sweat for Brandon Graham and they’d still top this list, and that’s saying a lot considering how many dominant pass-rush duos are out there. We went with Sweat despite the lower PFF grade (Graham had an 89.8 grade at age 35 while Sweat was at 83.8) because Graham only started a single game during the Eagles’ NFC championship run while Sweat started 16. Including the postseason, Sweat finished with 15 sacks while Graham posted 14, yet both were looking up at league leader Haason Reddick’s 21. With duos like the Dallas Cowboys‘ Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence, the Patriots' Matthew Judon and Josh Uche, and the Los Angeles Chargers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack, the fact that none of them held a candle to what the Eagles put up in 2022 should alarm offensive lines everywhere.
Defensive Interior: Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams, New York Giants
In 2022, Lawrence broke out in a big way, as he and Chris Jones are the only two interior defenders to ever finish with a higher PFF grade than Aaron Donald in a season since he entered the league in 2014. While 2022 was Lawrence’s breakout season, Williams has been one of the most consistently reliable players since he entered the league in 2015, never having a PFF grade lower than 70 in his eight seasons.
Linebacker: Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw, San Francisco 49ers
According to PFF grade, Warner has finished as a top-five linebacker in each of the last three seasons, including second in 2022 and first in 2020. Greenlaw came in as LB9.
Also heavily considered for this list were the Chicago Bears‘ Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards. This duo is a bit unique as not only has neither player played together yet, but they also haven’t played for their current team yet — both Edmunds and Edwards were free-agent signings by the Bears this offseason. But the Bears added arguably the two best coverage linebackers in the league, as Edmunds tied for the NFL lead amongst linebackers with 10 forced incompletions while Edwards was third with 9. Edmunds also led all linebackers in coverage grade at 90.0 while Edwards was 13th at 78.4.
Cornerback: Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed Jr., New York Jets
After being made the fourth overall pick in the 2022 draft, Gardner burst onto the scene and led all corners with a 90.0 coverage grade while also finishing second with 20 forced incompletions while allowing a 53.9 passer rating. It helped that his teammate was no slouch either, as Reed quietly had the 12th-best coverage grade (77.5), which was just a few ticks lower than Jalen Ramsey’s 77.8. Reed also allowed fewer yards per reception than Gardner (9.9 vs. 10.6) and added 11 forced incompletions of his own.
Safety: Kyle Hamilton and Marcus Williams, Baltimore Ravens
With all the attention going to Sauce Gardner, Hamilton quietly put together a dominant rookie year of his own, as he led all safeties in PFF grade at 87.6. In fact, Hamilton had at least an 83.0 PFF grade in all four major grading categories. He had an 87.7 run defense grade, 85.7 as a pass-rusher and 83.0 in coverage, giving him about as well-rounded a rookie season as we’ve ever seen. Williams, on the other hand, is coming off his lowest-ranked PFF grade season since 2018, and he still graded amongst the top 20 safeties in the league with a 73.9 PFF grade.