• Randy Gregory shows promise: Even though he missed most of the year due to a meniscus injury, Gregory impressed when healthy, setting career highs in pass-rush win rate and pressure rate.
• Orlando Brown Jr. thrives over second half of the season: Playing on the franchise tag, Brown really came into his own over the second half of the season, ranking fourth in pass-blocking grade among tackles over that time.
• Gerald Everett shows promise inline: Even though he lined up in multiple spots, Everett thrived when aligned inline, registering a 96.6 grade from that alignment in 2022.
Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins
EDGE Randy Gregory: 84.3 Defensive Grade, 190 Defensive Snaps
Gregory left the Dallas Cowboys during the best stretch of his professional career. From 2020-2021, Gregory ranked 7th in pass-rushing (88.1). He did not accumulate the production of some of his peers (68 pressures; T-39th) and 10 sacks (T-41st), but few rushers were better at generating pressure (15.0%; tied for eighth).
Gregory’s strong play continued in Denver. Blockers struggled to keep him contained, setting career marks in pass-rush win rate (24.7%; fourth) and pressure rate (22.4%; second). Gregory recorded 19 total pressures (fourth) through the first four weeks of the season and ranked second in pass-rush productivity. Gregory’s momentum was slowed down by a meniscus injury (Week 4) that would sideline him for most of the remaining season. Although he did return to play in Weeks 15 and 16, he did not look like himself and was placed back on IR. Denver should have high hopes for its pass-rush attack with Gregory back in the fold for 2023. The Broncos defense ranked 5th in pressure rate through the first quarter of the season, and Gregory’s play was a big reason why.
Kansas City Chiefs
OT Orlando Brown Jr.: 79.0 Offensive Grade, 1,163 Offensive Snaps
Brown transitioned to left tackle during his final season in Baltimore (2020) and has played exclusively there since coming to Kansas City, but the results have been mixed. Through the first eight weeks of 2021, Brown ranked ninth in run-blocking (75.1) but 21st in pass-blocking (69.5). He allowed 10 hits (most), 22 total pressures (fourth), and was beaten 14 times (tied for fourth). That trend flipped during the second half of the season, as he ranked 25th in run-blocking (58.4) and 16th in pass-blocking (79.3).
Brown played on the franchise tag in 2022 and again got off to a slow start. He ranked 20th in run-blocking (66.1) and near last in pass-blocking (61.3; seventh-worst). He allowed 19 hurries (most), 24 pressures total (tied for second) and an 8.2% pressure rate (sixth). Once again, Brown was able to turn things around in the second half of the season. From Week 9 on, he ranked fourth in pass protection (86.6), surrendering 23 total pressures (fifth) at a 2.3% pressure rate. Brown will be seeking a long-term deal this offseason and has earned an 80.3 offensive grade (16th) during his time in Kansas City. He may not be an elite tackle, but at his best, he can become any offensive line's cornerstone.
Las Vegas Raiders
WR Davante Adams: 90.4 Offensive Grade, 991 Offensive Snaps
Adams had an incredible run with the Green Bay Packers and brought that magic with him to Las Vegas. Adams was a nightmare for defenses in the second half of the season, as he was targeted 105 times (second) and hauled in 62 catches (fifth) for 1,004 yards (second). Defenders had a hard time bringing him down, as he ranked second in yards after the catch (324) and recorded 132 yards after contact (fifth). Adams was the definition of an offensive weapon. He could move the chains (42 first downs; third), put points on the board (nine touchdowns; first) and gain chunk yardage (25 explosive plays; second). Las Vegas will continue to rely heavily on his playmaking ability as it transitions to a new quarterback in 2023.
Los Angeles Chargers
TE Gerald Everett: 67.1 Offensive Grade, 647 Offensive Snaps
The Chargers lacked an experienced receiving threat at the tight end position and looked to Everett to help fill that void. Coming into 2022, Everett recorded 1,867 receiving yards (19th). He may not have been a dynamic player (70.7 receiving grade), but he was a reliable target (88.8% catch rate; T-25th) who was difficult to bring down (40 missed tackles forced; third). Everett had been used in multiple alignments (362 receiving snaps in the slot and 440 snaps out wide), but most of his production came inline (1,140 yards). That trend continued in 2022, as Everett registered a 96.6 receiving grade when he was targeted inline (third). He accumulated 30 catches (tied for seventh) for 269 yards (11th). In all, he hauled in 58 catches for 555 yards for the season. As an inline receiver, Everett ranked 10th in first downs (13) and eighth in yards per route run (5.85). Everett also demonstrated some playmaking ability, recording seven explosive plays (six) and forcing 10 missed tackles (first). Everett may never fill up the stat sheet, but he can be a valuable complementary receiver and should continue to provide a nice outlet for Justin Herbert in 2023.