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The PFF 101: Highlighting the top 101 players from the 2021 NFL season

Super Bowl 56 brought a close to the 2021 season, and before we move on to the excitement of free agency and the NFL draft, it's time to reflect for a moment on some of the best individual performances of the season.

The PFF Top 101 represents the top 101 individual performances this season, regardless of position, and credits the best players of the season that was.

PFF remains a player evaluation site at its heart, and the 101 is our chance to acknowledge and praise the best players from the 2020 season one last time before we all look ahead to assembling rosters for the upcoming year.

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Here is a quick reminder of our basic criteria:

• This list is based solely on 2021 play. Past or future play is not accounted for. This isn't about class or talent; it's about performance throughout the 2020 NFL season.

• This list is created with an “all positions are created equal” mantra. So, you won't see 32 quarterbacks heading the list, even though that is the game's most valuable position. Instead, we take a look at how guys played relative to what is expected from their position.

• Unlike PFF's awards, the 101 factors in the postseason, so some players who won PFF awards may find themselves jumped in the 101 by rivals who had a playoff run worthy of a change in ranking.

Disagree with the players we've included here? Let us know on Twitter (@PFF).

1. T Trent Williams, San Francisco 49ers

2021 Snaps: 1,062 | 2021 PFF Grade: 98.3

Williams wasn’t just the best offensive lineman in the NFL this season, but he was the best player overall and had a historically great season. His 96.6 PFF grade is the highest mark ever given to a tackle, and the next best grades belong to Jonathan Ogden and Joe Thomas — Hall of Fame or future Hall of Fame players. Williams allowed 23 pressures across 18 games, including the playoffs, but his run blocking was a true marvel. He simply erased defenders from the point of attack and paved the way for some big gains.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 11

2. DI Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams

2021 Snaps: 1,261 | 2021 PFF Grade: 93.5

Donald has been the top-ranked player on this list in four of the last six seasons, and he almost made it once again. Including the postseason, Donald once again topped 100 pressures, accomplishing that feat in four of the last five seasons. What is perhaps most impressive about his performance this season is that he played over 1,000 snaps in the regular season and actually registered the most snaps PFF has recorded from an interior defensive lineman over a season. Donald still pressured quarterbacks at an elite level despite being asked to endure a historically high workload.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 1

3. WR Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams

2021 Snaps: 1,301 | 2021 PFF Grade: 93.0

Kupp is both a phenomenal receiver and the beneficiary of the kind of deployment that makes it almost impossible for an opposing defense to take him out of the game. He lined up in the slot on 65.5% of his snaps, generating 1,402 yards from that inside alignment alone in the regular season. Kupp gained 3.45 yards for every route run from the slot, as that alignment makes it very difficult for defenses to just defend him with their best corner or play aggressive man coverage.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

4. G Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys

2021 Snaps: 1,105 | 2021 PFF Grade: 94.3

In any other season, Martin’s year would have been the best offensive lineman performance, but this season, it’s second to Williams. Evan Mathis' 2013 season is the only time PFF has given a better grade to a guard during the regular season in the past decade. Martin was a dominant run-blocker for Dallas and allowed 23 pressures from 17 games, including the postseason. Martin has been the most consistent member of the Cowboys' offensive line since he arrived in Dallas, and 2021 represents his best season.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 48

5. WR Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

2021 Snaps: 897 | 2021 PFF Grade: 93.2

Adams is the best wide receiver in the NFL, and he backed up his incredible 2020 season with another phenomenal campaign in 2021. Long considered the best route runner in the league, Adams has become an all-around force, generating 2.8 yards per route run over the season. He couldn’t match Kupp’s production, but he has to deal with a lot more single coverage while playing on the outside far more often, where defenses can more readily give him extra attention.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 5

6. QB Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

2021 Snaps: 1,263 | 2021 PFF Grade: 91.8

Burrow’s ascension in Year 2 was remarkable. The fact that he achieved it after returning from a devastating knee injury at the end of his rookie year makes it even more incredible. He was the most accurate quarterback over the NFL regular season, as 65.2% of his passes were charted as “accurate” by PFF’s methodology. In the postseason, he recorded a series of massive moments in high-leverage situations to keep them in the hunt.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

7. EDGE Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns

2021 Snaps: 866 | 2021 PFF Grade: 92.0

Only Micah Parsons — who rushed the passer 217 fewer times — posted a better PFF pass-rushing grade than Garrett this season. Garrett finally put together a full season of elite-level play and was a constant problem for opposing offensive tackles. Even players who were otherwise good over the season — such as Bears left tackle Jason Peters — had no answer for Garrett's skill set.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 43

8. WR Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers

2021 Snaps: 910 | 2021 PFF Grade: 90.4

Samuel was one of the most dynamic players in the entire NFL this season, coining a new position — wide back — to describe his utilization as both a wide receiver and running back. Samuel racked up over 1,400 receiving yards in the regular season, but his eight rushing scores also set an NFL record for a wide receiver. He lined up in the backfield 80 times during the season and became one of the biggest matchup problems in the NFL.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

9. QB Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2021 Snaps: 1,240 | 2021 PFF Grade: 92.6

The greatest of all time finished his NFL career still among the best in the NFL, earning a 92.0 PFF grade at 44 years old. Brady led the NFL in big-time throws (42) in the regular season and was one of just two passers who registered a turnover-worthy play rate of less than 2.0%. Brady even went out on the back of a spectacular comeback that fell short when Tampa Bay’s defense lost track of Kupp one time too many.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 4
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10. LB Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys

2021 Snaps: 960 | 2021 PFF Grade: 89.7

Few rookies have ever made the kind of impact that Parsons was able to this season in Dallas. Drafted as an off-the-ball linebacker, Parsons was forced to moonlight as an edge rusher, and all he did was finish the season with the best pressure rate (22.6%) and pass-rushing grade (93.0) of any player in the league. He became a hybrid weapon on defense, giving the Cowboys rare flexibility upfront while forcing his way into the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year conversation.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: Unranked

11. G Joel Bitonio, Cleveland Browns

2021 Snaps: 1,053 | 2021 PFF Grade: 93.8

This year was a season of disappointment for the Browns, but Bitonio had a career year in what has been an already impressive career. He allowed 17 pressures in 17 games and recorded, by far, the best PFF run-blocking grade (92.5) os his career. Bitonio was one of the best players, not just the best offensive linemen, in the entire league this season even while the Browns underachieved as a team.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 46

12. EDGE Maxx Crosby, Las Vegas Raiders

2021 Snaps: 977 | 2021 PFF Grade: 91.7

Crosby became just the third player in the last 15 years to register at least 100 pressures in the regular season, joining prime-J.J. Watt and Donald as the only defenders to achieve the feat. Crosby did face an unusually weak run of opposing right tackles, but he maintained his effectiveness even when he faced better competition. His development was impressive, as he became one of the most potent edge defenders in the league.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: Unranked

13. TE Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

2021 Snaps: 884 | 2021 PFF Grade: 91.9

Andrews proved that he's not simply a product of being Lamar Jackson’s favorite target. When Jackson missed time due to injury, Andrews continued to produce for Tyler Huntley and even Josh Johnson. Andrews averaged 2.2 yards per route run, caught 60% of the contested targets sent his way and racked up almost 1,400 receiving yards overall.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

14. QB Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

2021 Snaps: 1,219 | 2021 PFF Grade: 91.7

If Allen regressed in 2021, it was very small, as the Bills quarterback was still a phenomenal quarterback. Allen was at his best in the postseason, and his rushing ability sets him apart from other passers. Allen led the league in yards per attempt (6.3) — 3.4 of which came after contact. No quarterback in the league has the full breadth of Allen’s skill set, and he has now played to the level of those tools in two consecutive seasons.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 13

15. RB Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

2021 Snaps: 729 | 2021 PFF Grade: 86.0

The MVP talk for Taylor went a little too far, but it highlighted his incredible year for the Colts. When the team’s offensive line got healthy, it was a catalyst to supercharge Taylor’s already impressive individual performance. He averaged 3.8 yards per carry after contact, breaking 65 tackles on 332 carries overall. Taylor is an elite ball carrier regardless of the blocking, but when that blocking was good, he was a production monster.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

16. TE George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

2021 Snaps: 971 | 2021 PFF Grade: 91.4

Even with Kittle operating as a second fiddle to Samuel within the 49ers offense, he racked up 916 yards and six scores in the regular season while leading all tight ends in yards per route run (2.35). When Samuel wasn’t in the lineup, Kittle proved capable of carrying the load as the team’s No. 1 receiving option. Kittle is an elite receiver but also thrives as a blocker — something that really separates him in a world of one-dimensional tight ends.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

17. S Kevin Byard, Tennessee Titans

2021 Snaps: 1,123 | 2021 PFF Grade: 90.6

Few players have been as consistent as Byard in recent years. Playing over 1,000 snaps for the fifth-straight year, Byard bounced back from a relatively average season in 2020 to dominate this year. He generated a 90-plus PFF coverage grade thanks to five interceptions and six pass breakups (including playoffs). The Titans defense seemed to consistently outperform the sum of its parts, and players such as Byard were a major reason why.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

18. QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

2021 Snaps: 998 | 2021 PFF Grade: 90.9

There may have been no more efficient quarterback this season than Rodgers, whose ability to make big plays without putting the ball in harm’s way is arguably the best in NFL history. Rodgers recorded 36 big-time throws to just 12 turnover-worthy plays in addition to a 77.6% adjusted completion rate this season. His worst game came on the opening weekend, but he was as good as any quarterback in the league from that point on.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 2

19. DI Cameron Heyward, Pittsburgh Steelers

2021 Snaps: 1,000 | 2021 PFF Grade: 90.8

Heyward continues to be the interior defensive lineman who is putting the most pressure on Donald at the top of the rankings. For the second season in his last three, Heyward posted a 90-plus PFF grade, racking up a massive 46 defensive stops and 61 pressures. Heyward is playing the best football of his career and is outstanding in all facets of play. T.J. Watt gets all of the recognition up front on Pittsburgh’s defense, but Heyward was just as good this season.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 29

20. EDGE T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers

2021 Snaps: 814 | 2021 PFF Grade: 89.6

The sack total gets all of the publicity, but Watt is an all-around excellent player who specializes in impact plays. He generated five forced fumbles, and his sacks represented 22 of his 62 pressures over the course of the season. Watt seems to be able to maintain an unusually strong ability to “finish” pressures and convert them into sacks, as he often makes the most valuable plays for his defense in the biggest moments.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 9
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21. WR Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

2021 Snaps: 965 | 2021 PFF Grade: 90.4

Jefferson’s rookie season was so incredible that some kind of regression seemed inevitable in Year 2. Instead, the Vikings pass-catcher backed it up with another outstanding year. He averaged 2.59 yards per route run and put up over 1,600 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, ranking fourth in the NFL in targets among wide receivers. Jefferson is already a complete receiver and one of the most devastating players in the league at the position.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 15

22. T Jordan Mailata, Philadelphia Eagles

2021 Snaps: 944 | 2021 PFF Grade: 90.3

The rise of Jordan Mailata continues apace, with a new career benchmark for the man who only took up the sport of football in 2018. The Eagles tackle already beat out a first-round draft pick for the Eagles' left tackle job and secured himself a big-money contract. This season, he set about proving his ability as an elite player, earning a PFF grade of at least 83.0 in both pass protection and as a run-blocker. Given how new he is to the sport and the incredible size and athleticism he brings to the table, it is still very possible he is still getting better.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

23. TE Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles

2021 Snaps: 803 | 2021 PFF Grade: 90.5

It felt as though Goedert became a far bigger part of the Eagles offense this season, but his 72 targets over the season was only eight more than last year and six fewer than the season before that. What changed was just how effective he was on those targets. He caught a career-high 77.8% of them, gaining an average of 14.8 yards every catch, with 6.8 of that coming after the ball was in his hands. Goedert is a tough cover for any NFL defense and a big weapon with the ball in his hands.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

24. EDGE Von Miller, Los Angeles Rams

2021 Snaps: 939 | 2021 PFF Grade: 91.2

It once looked as if Miller’s star had started to fade, but a trade to Los Angeles and the chance of another Super Bowl reinvigorated him. Against Tampa Bay in the playoffs, Miller notched his first double-digit pressure game since Week 8 of 2019, and he showed that he still has some gas left in the tank. His perennial dominance against the run has stayed intact, and while he might not generate a league-leading rate of pressure in the future, he can still be extremely effective in that area.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

25. QB Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

2021 Snaps: 1,122 | 2021 PFF Grade: 90.3

Justin Herbert’s rookie year was incredible, but it was also built on the back of elite play in volatile areas and had regression written all over it. To see him take a leap in Year 2 and back that play up with vast improvements almost across the board suggests he will be a special quarterback going forward. Herbert posted a PFF grade above 90.0 in 2021 and had one of the most phenomenal performances of any player all season when he fought tooth and nail to try and keep the Chargers in a playoff position in the final game of the regular season.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 91

26. WR Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals

2021 Snaps: 1,186 | 2021 PFF Grade: 85.3

The Burrow-Chase combination that torched the college football landscape in 2019 did the same thing to the NFL in 2021 — even with Chase being rookie and Burrow only in his second season. The Bengals receiver surprised the league with just how dominant he can be in all areas, winning at the catch point, in his routes and also after the catch. Few players have his combination of skills. If he can call on them at all times consistently, there won’t be a better wideout in the game.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

27. C Creed Humphrey, Kansas City Chiefs

2021 Snaps: 1,328 | 2021 PFF Grade: 92.5

The Chiefs overhauled their entire offensive line after last season’s Super Bowl defeat, and drafting Humphrey was a major part of the success of that endeavor. The second-round center played like the best in the game from Day 1, allowing 12 pressures in 20 games across almost 1,400 snaps of action, including the playoffs. Humphrey’s run blocking was elite and looked like something we would hope to see from an established veteran.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

28. T Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys

2021 Snaps: 754 | 2021 PFF Grade: 91.9

At his best, Smith is arguably the best left tackle in the game. However, a career blighted by injuries has left us with a scant view of that player. We saw him back again this season, as he posted a 90.0-plus PFF grade for the first time since 2015. He couldn’t escape injuries entirely and did miss a stretch of games, but he was outstanding when he did take the field, allowing 17 pressures across 515 pass-blocking snaps and earning a run-blocking grade of 90.0.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

29. CB Jalen Ramsey, Los Angeles Rams

2021 Snaps: 1,269 | 2021 PFF Grade: 84.4

Ramsey played a new role within the Rams defense this season, lining up in the slot or in the box on 42.7% of his snaps compared to just 23.6% the season before. The star cornerback responded with his best season since that incredible year in 2017, racking up 14 pass breakups and a career-high 26 defensive stops. Ramsey is an elite playmaker, and his new role puts him at the heart of the action more often.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 64

30. S Antoine Winfield Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2021 Snaps: 1,014 | 2021 PFF Grade: 89.1

Winfield is another player who had an outstanding rookie campaign a season ago and backed it up with an even better Year 2. Winfield has looked like a seasoned veteran from the moment he hit the NFL, and he is already a vitally important member of the Buccaneers defense. He recorded 25 defensive stops, three forced fumbles and seven combined interceptions and pass breakups. The Bucs safety earned outstanding PFF grades in every facet of play other than tackling, where 19 misses kept that grade lower.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

31. EDGE Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers

2021 Snaps: 975 | 2021 PFF Grade: 89.4

Including the playoffs, only Maxx Crosby racked up more pressures than the 88 posted by Bosa among edge rushers. Bosa returned from a major knee injury to pick up exactly where he left off as one of the best pass-rushers in football. As was the case in his rookie year, he seemed to pick things up in the playoffs, recording five sacks and 13 pressures in total across the 49ers' three postseason games. The only notable difference between this version of Bosa and his previous iteration was a PFF run-defense grade that took a step backward this season.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked
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32. TE Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

2021 Snaps: 1,041 | 2021 PFF Grade: 87.1

Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs had their lull during the 2021 season, but when all was said and done, he still racked up 1,424 yards and 12 touchdowns including the playoffs. He averaged 1.92 yards per route run, and passes thrown in his direction resulted in a 112.4 passer rating for his quarterback. Kelce scored in each of his last six games and was a go-to receiver during some of the team’s biggest “gotta-have-it” situations of the season.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 3

33. WR Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

2021 Snaps: 991 | 2021 PFF Grade: 87.1

Hill is one of the most terrifying playmakers in the game, and the fact that he was still able to amass over 1,200 yards and score nine touchdowns with the league on an almost religious mission to take away the explosive plays from Kansas City’s offense tells you a lot about how good he is. Hill caught 71.6% of passes thrown his way and still had a 75-yard score to his name in the regular season and one of 64 yards in the playoffs.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 20

34. EDGE Rashan Gary, Green Bay Packers

2021 Snaps: 722 | 2021 PFF Grade: 89.8

With Za’Darius Smith injured and missing almost the entire season, Gary was asked to take on more responsibility as the primary source of pass rush for the Packers, and he answered that call. Gary’s overall PFF grade and pass-rush grade (90.1) were both career-highs and massive jumps from last season. He finished the year with 87 pressures when including the playoffs and had a dominant outing in the team's playoff defeat to San Francisco, doing everything in his power to try and secure a win.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

35. G Shaq Mason, New England Patriots

2021 Snaps: 971 | 2021 PFF Grade: 88.3

New England pieced its offensive line back together this season, and the unit began to really dominate once again, with Shaq Mason playing some of his best football at right guard. Mason has been a run-blocking monster since his college days in a triple-option offense at Georgia Tech. He recorded an 87.2 run-blocking grade this season and allowed 16 pressures across 589 pass-blocking snaps despite blocking for a rookie passer.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 50

36. HB Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

2021 Snaps: 482 | 2021 PFF Grade: 88.3

Chubb wasn’t quite as good this season as he was in previous years, yet he still averaged over 4.2 yards per carry after contact, broke 57 tackles and racked up 17 breakaway runs of 15 or more yards on the season. For the fourth consecutive year, he posted an 80.0-plus PFF rushing grade, the only running back in the league to achieve that feat. Chubb’s biggest weakness is his lack of use in the passing game, but as a pure ball carrier, there may be nobody better.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

37. C Corey Linsley, Los Angeles Chargers

2021 Snaps: 1,013 | 2021 PFF Grade: 88.0

Linsley backed up the big contract the Los Angeles Chargers handed him in the offseason with a great season. He was coming off a career year with the Packers and was still able to follow it up with one almost identical in quality. He surrendered 10 pressures across 17 games and didn’t allow a sack all season while posting a career-best 84.6 run-blocking grade.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 39

38. DI Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs

2021 Snaps: 764 | 2021 PFF Grade: 83.4

The Chiefs started the year playing Jones as a full-time edge rusher, which seems absurd given the fact he typically weighs in at 310 pounds and is 6-foot-6. The fact that he was moved back inside tells you how well the plan worked overall, but Jones wasn’t bad on the edge, registering 21 pressures in six games before he became a full-time interior player again. Once he moved back inside, he was back to being a dominant force as a pass-rusher, finishing the year with 75 pressures, including 10 in the playoffs.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 25

39. T Rashawn Slater, Los Angeles Chargers

2021 Snaps: 1,049 | 2021 PFF Grade: 87.2

Rookie offensive linemen aren’t supposed to dominate from Day 1, but that’s exactly what Slater did for the Chargers. Slater looked like a seasoned veteran immediately, allowing 26 pressures on 752 pass-blocking snaps. His biggest struggle came against All-Pro Myles Garrett, and even in that game, his biggest problem was being uncomfortable with help in the form of chip-blocks. He fared much better when being left to his own devices. Slater is already one of the best tackles in the game.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

40. LB De'Vondre Campbell, Green Bay Packers

2021 Snaps: 1,041 | 2021 PFF Grade: 86.0

One of the most surprising performances this year came from Campbell, whose 86.0 PFF grade was the best of any linebacker who played there full-time over the season. Campbell’s previous career-best mark was 69.1 back in 2017, and he was more likely to grade below 60.0 than above it until this year. He was outstanding in the middle of Green Bay’s defense, earning impressive grades of at least 73.3 in every facet of play and tallying 55 defensive stops overall.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

41. QB Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

2021 Snaps: 1,030 | 2021 PFF Grade: 89.6

So much focus is on where Cousins falls short that we often fail to recognize just how good he has been in Minnesota and his impressive continual improvement. He finished the regular season with the No. 5-ranked quarterback grade and dropped to No. 6 by the end of the playoffs. Cousins was one of the most accurate passers in the game, with a top-10 big-time throw rate and turnover-worthy play rate. He is not one of the very best passers in the game, but he might be the best of the next tier.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

42. G Ali Marpet, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2021 Snaps: 1,145 | 2021 PFF Grade: 84.9

Marpet hasn’t had a bad season in the NFL, and he may have had his best in 2021. He allowed 25 pressures from over 800 pass-blocking snaps when including the playoffs, and his PFF run-blocking grade (86.3) tied his career-high. Marpet allowed sacks in just two games and was penalized only four times all season. The Buccaneers' offensive line was a top-tier unit, and Marpet was a rock-solid member of it.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 79

43. QB Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

2021 Snaps: 1,343 | 2021 PFF Grade: 86.1

Matthew Stafford in Los Angeles was a lot like Matthew Stafford in Detroit for most of the season, but the results were better because of everything around him. However, once the playoffs began, his game went to a different level. Other than Josh Allen, Stafford was the best-graded playoff quarterback and made big plays late in the Super Bowl to execute another signature game-winning drive and cap off his first season in L.A. with a ring.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 73

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44. T Tristan Wirfs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2021 Snaps: 1,146 | 2021 PFF Grade: 84.3

Wirfs had a phenomenal rookie season a year ago and picked up right where he left off in Year 2. He is already arguably the best right tackle in the league, allowing 15 pressures from over 800 pass-blocking snaps, some of which came against elite-level rushers. Wirfs ended the regular season with the lowest pressure rate allowed among tackles, and his injury in the playoffs was a massive factor in Tampa Bay eventually being eliminated.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 69

45. QB Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans

2021 Snaps: 1,168 | 2021 PFF Grade: 87.3

Tannehill’s play definitely fell off when Derrick Henry was hurt, but the relationship between his performance was much more tightly associated with his receivers also getting hurt. Overall, he proved that he is still very much capable of an excellent year independent of Henry in the offense. Tannehill recorded a 77.4% adjusted completion rate and played better than his box score statistics would indicate.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 17

46. T Kolton Miller, Las Vegas Raiders

2021 Snaps: 1,151 | 2021 PFF Grade: 86.3

The Raiders' offensive line was so bad overall that it seems hard to believe there were any players on the unit performing well, but Miller had an excellent year at left tackle. He allowed 35 total pressures from 792 pass-blocking snaps and earned PFF grades of at least 77.9 as both a run-blocker and a pass-blocker. Miller has significantly improved his overall PFF grade every season in the league.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

47. CB A.J. Terrell, Atlanta Falcons

2021 Snaps: 1,023 | 2021 PFF Grade: 82.7

A season ago, Terrell was a struggling rookie cornerback, but he is now an All Pro-caliber player despite the defense having little in the way of quality around him. Terrell allowed just 43.9% of passes thrown into his coverage to be caught, resulting in a 47.5 passer rating. He surrendered only 200 yards all season long, a figure some cornerbacks gave up in a single game during the season.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

48. T Ryan Ramczyk, New Orleans Saints

2021 Snaps: 622 | 2021 PFF Grade: 85.9

Ramczyk missed some time in 2021 but was good enough to still rank among the top 50 single-season performances. He wasn’t penalized all year, earned an 85.6 run-blocking grade and surrendered 19 total pressures from 361 pass-blocking snaps. Despite appearing in only 10 games, he played over 650 snaps.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

49. S Amani Hooker, Tennessee Titans

2021 Snaps: 770 | 2021 PFF Grade: 85.9

The Titans had two elite safeties this season, with Hooker joining Kevin Byard in the top 50 on the PFF 101. Hooker posted impressive grades across the board but did his best work in coverage. He broke up four passes and made two interceptions while allowing just 9.5 yards per catch when he was in primary coverage. He spent the majority of his time as a deep-lying free safety and did very little wrong all season.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

50. EDGE Joey Bosa, Los Angeles Chargers

2021 Snaps: 847 | 2021 PFF Grade: 85.8

There are few more consistent players than Bosa, who was once again a dominant force. He enjoyed his third straight year with a 90.0-plus pass-rushing grade. Bosa also recorded 68 pressures, including 10 sacks, and rushed the passer 468 times over the course of the season. He forced six fumbles, two more than his previous career-best.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 21

51. T La'el Collins, Dallas Cowboys

2021 Snaps: 702 | 2021 PFF Grade: 85.7

Another player who missed time but was outstanding when he did take the field, La’el Collins helped Dallas solidify its position as the best offensive line in the NFL over the season. The seventh-year tackle had to earn his starting spot back at right tackle but allowed 20 pressures over more than 500 pass-blocking snaps in total. His 89.7 run-blocking grade represents a new career high in that facet of play.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

52. T Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles

2021 Snaps: 836 | 2021 PFF Grade: 85.6

Few players are as consistently dominant when on the field as Johnson. The right tackle missed a few games due to injury, but he allowed just 11 pressures — none of which were sacks — across 448 pass-blocking snaps. Johnson’s biggest issue is injuries, which have caused him to miss time in each of the past three seasons, but he was outstanding this year, regardless.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

53. T Rob Havenstein, Los Angeles Rams

2021 Snaps: 1,236 | 2021 PFF Grade: 83.4

Completing a run of right tackles, Havenstein finished his season with a Super Bowl ring. He was outstanding as a run-blocker this year, posting his third excellent grade in that area in four seasons. As a pass-blocker, he allowed 31 pressures across 763 pass-blocking snaps and was excellent in the Rams' victory over the Bengals to close the campaign.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 86

54. DI Jonathan Allen, Washington Commanders

2021 Snaps: 772 | 2021 PFF Grade: 84.9

Allen was one of the most consistent interior pass-rushers in the game this season, although he cooled off a little down the stretch. Allen registered 67 pressures overall, upping his career-high by 17. He made 32 defensive stops and recorded an elite 90.9 PFF pass-rushing grade for a Washington defense that vastly underachieved relative to expectations.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

55. G Chris Lindstrom, Atlanta Falcons

2021 Snaps: 992 | 2021 PFF Grade: 84.9

The Falcons’ offensive line was far from amazing this season, but Lindstrom continues to improve into one of the best guards in football. He finished this season with a PFF grade more than six points better than last year’s mark, and he allowed 31 pressures from 661 pass-blocking snaps. Lindstrom has improved each season in the NFL and is one short step away from being a regular All-Pro.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

56. LB Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts

2021 Snaps: 1,000 | 2021 PFF Grade: 80.6

Leonard was a turnover machine for the Colts this season. He perfected the “Peanut Punch” technique of knocking the ball loose in the process of the tackle, forcing seven fumbles — three more than any other linebacker. He also tallied four interceptions and four more pass breakups. Leonard was constantly around the football and a true quarterback on defense, directing his teammates and countering what offenses were doing pre-snap.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

57. WR CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys

2021 Snaps: 880 | 2021 PFF Grade: 84.9

Lamb built on a strong rookie campaign with a season that saw him emerge as a true dominant force. For the second year in a row, he started on an incredible pace before his quarterback situation deteriorated and his production declined down the stretch. This time, Dak Prescott was still under center, just not playing as well as he had before picking up an injury. Lamb averaged 1.94 yards per route run, moving outside from the slot on 59.1% of his snaps this season.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

58. S Micah Hyde, Buffalo Bills

2021 Snaps: 1,146 | 2021 PFF Grade: 83.8

Buffalo fielded arguably the league's best defense this season but overachieved relative to the sum of individual performances of the players. One of the members of the unit who did play up to that No. 1 ranking was safety Micah Hyde, who continued his impressive run of play. Hyde recorded six picks and three pass breakups — including the playoffs — as well as 19 defensive stops and even nine total pressures on the blitz.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

59. CB Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles

2021 Snaps: 1,024 | 2021 PFF Grade: 81.0

“Big Play Slay” lived up to his name in 2021, posting a career-high PFF coverage grade (84.5) and showing himself to be a threat to score when he gets the ball in his hands. The Eagles corner allowed a passer rating of 76.2 when targeted, the lowest figure of his career, and catches in his coverage averaged just 10.4 yards per reception. Slay bounced back to his best play after back-to-back seasons of relative struggles.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked
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60. EDGE Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints

2021 Snaps: 831 | 2021 PFF Grade: 83.7

Jordan didn’t have a career year like many of the other players on this list, but the fact that he can still place on this list without playing at his very peak simply illustrates how good his career has been. The veteran edge defender notched 51 pressures and a career-high 43 defensive stops in 2021, forcing a pair of fumbles along the way. His run defense was as good as ever, but he wasn’t quite as potent as a pass-rusher as we have seen in the past.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 59

61. S Jevon Holland, Miami Dolphins

2021 Snaps: 893 | 2021 PFF Grade: 84.7

One of the most impressive and surprising rookie standouts, Holland was outstanding for Miami after being drafted early in the second round. He lined up all over the field and was deployed in a variety of ways, earning at least above-average PFF grades in every facet of play, including on the blitz. Holland registered 16 pressures from 65 pass-rushing snaps and was a major part of the game plan that shut down Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens’ offense.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

62. T Donovan Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2021 Snaps: 1,250 | 2021 PFF Grade: 84.6

Smith has been a tremendously improved player in recent years. Never quite as bad as his lowlights would suggest, he has nevertheless dramatically reduced the frequency of those bad beats and raised his overall baseline of play. His 80.1 pass-blocking grade this season was a career-best, and he allowed 42 pressures on 884 pass-blocking snaps when including the postseason.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

63. G Joe Thuney, Kansas City Chiefs

2021 Snaps: 1,328 | 2021 PFF Grade: 82.6

Kansas City invested huge money into Thuney last offseason as part of a concerted effort to overhaul the offensive line, and he repaid them with a fine season. Thuney earned a 90.5 pass-blocking grade — the best of his career — while blocking for quarterback Patrick Mahomes for the first time. He allowed 17 pressures all season, the same number as a season ago but on 445 more pass-blocking snaps.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

64. WR Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals

2021 Snaps: 942 | 2021 PFF Grade: 83.4

Higgins capped off his season with a big game in the Super Bowl that ultimately fell short of securing the Bengals a ring. His 100 receiving yards led all players from either side in the contest, but his 75-yard touchdown deserves an asterisk attached to it for the egregious no-call when he grabbed Jalen Ramsey’s facemask. Higgins benefited from Ja’Marr Chase dominating and taking attention away from him, and he is more than capable of taking advantage of those favorable matchups.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

65. HB A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers

2021 Snaps: 476 | 2021 PFF Grade: 88.2

Green Bay took a lot of heat after drafting Dillon, including from PFF, but he was excellent in a larger role in 2021. After just 55 carries as a rookie, he saw 194 opportunities to carry the football this season, averaging 4.3 yards per attempt, 3.1 of which came after contact. He broke 31 tackles and was consistently able to grind out more yards than were there on the play to help the Packers offense in key situations.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

66. T Penei Sewell, Detroit Lions

2021 Snaps: 990 | 2021 PFF Grade: 82.4

The offseason debate was whether the Bengals should draft Ja’Marr Chase or Penei Sewell with their first-round pick, and as good as Chase was in his debut season, Sewell was also very impressive. Asked to play both left and right tackle during the season, Sewell earned an 84.5 run-blocking grade and surrendered 35 pressures in total. He had some poor games but offset them with dominant ones at a position that typically takes time to adjust to in the NFL.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

67. HB Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons

2021 Snaps: 458 | 2021 PFF Grade: 82.3

Patterson has always been a talented playmaker, but the Falcons unlocked the full scope of that potential this season. He became a hybrid matchup weapon from the running back position, capable of carrying the ball for positive yards and becoming a huge problem for defenses when catching passes either out of the backfield or lined up out wide. Patterson averaged 2.95 yards per run after contact and 2.23 yards per route run, and he scored 11 total touchdowns.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

68. WR Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills

2021 Snaps: 1,016 | 2021 PFF Grade: 82.3

Diggs’ production declined in his second season in Buffalo, as he averaged 1.9 yards per route run compared to 2.5 the season before. He saw four fewer targets over the regular season but had 24 fewer catches and was significantly down on yards. He did score two more touchdowns and remains an all-around excellent receiver. Diggs can win in a variety of ways and is a vital part of the Bills’ offense.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 16

69. QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

2021 Snaps: 1,308 | 2021 PFF Grade: 81.8

Mahomes and the Kansas City offense had a very strange season, each struggling at various points and not quite looking the same as in previous years. Mahomes more than doubled his interception total from 2020 but actually had a lower turnover-worthy play rate (2.8% versus 3.2%). The big difference came on big-time throws, where his rate more than halved from last season as teams concentrated on eliminating explosive plays from the Chiefs’ offense. Even in a relative down year, Mahomes tossed 37 touchdowns and needed only 13 seconds to execute a game-saving scoring drive in the playoffs.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 7

70. LB Fred Warner, San Francisco 49ers

2021 Snaps: 1,170 | 2021 PFF Grade: 80.1

Linebacker has become one of the hardest positions to play in the NFL. Everything modern offenses do is designed in large part to put them in a bind and stretch their responsibilities. Warner was the best linebacker in the league a season ago, earning himself a big payday with that performance. He couldn’t quite replicate that play in 2021, but he was still very good. Warner posted impressive grades in all facets of play and made 48 defensive stops in the regular season, eight more than last year.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 30

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

2021 Snaps: 996 | 2021 PFF Grade: 78.9

Few players can lay claim to being the kind of ballhawk that Jackson has proven to be over his NFL career. In 2021, he allowed a 47.8 passer rating into his coverage, just marginally higher than the 45.7 figure he has ceded for his entire NFL career. Just 51.0% of passes thrown into his coverage were caught by the intended receiver, and he tallied 12 pass breakups to go along with eight interceptions.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

72. DI Christian Wilkins, Miami Dolphins

2021 Snaps: 734 | 2021 PFF Grade: 83.3

Seen as a big run-stuffing specialist, Wilkins enjoyed the best season of his career for Miami when it came to rushing the passer. He registered 31 pressures and recorded a 70.4 pass-rushing grade, both career-best marks. His run defense was also excellent — but that was more expected. He racked up 43 defensive stops overall and played 734 snaps for the Dolphins up front.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

73. CB Kendall Fuller, Washington Commanders

2021 Snaps: 1,004 | 2021 PFF Grade: 81.5

Given the overall performance from Washington’s defense, it might be hard to believe that there was anybody who performed well in coverage, but Fuller was that man. He earned his best overall grade and coverage grade since 2017, racking up 14 pass breakups even though he came away with just one interception. Fuller allowed only 9.4 yards per reception and put up an excellent grade against the run.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

74. T Dion Dawkins, Buffalo Bills

2021 Snaps: 1,156 | 2021 PFF Grade: 83.5

There were a couple of ugly games in his season, but Dawkins had an excellent year overall for the Bills, playing more than 1,000 snaps in the regular season for the fourth straight year. He allowed 28 pressures from almost 800 pass-blocking snaps when including the playoffs and posted the best pass-blocking grade (82.8) of his career.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 83

75. C David Andrews, New England Patriots

2021 Snaps: 1,098 | 2021 PFF Grade: 82.4

Andrews played 1,149 snaps for the Patriots in 2021, allowing 18 pressures from 654 pass-blocking snaps when including the playoffs. He surrendered only one sack all season and recorded good grades as both a run-blocker and pass-protector. 

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

76. HB Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

2021 Snaps: 886 | 2021 PFF Grade: 79.2

Mixon’s season came up just short in the Super Bowl, but he had an excellent year overall despite running behind a suspect offensive line — particularly after injuries depleted the unit — and often in ill-advised situations. Mixon averaged 4.1 yards per carry over the season, but 3.0 yards of that came after contact. He broke 50 tackles on 344 attempts and racked up 69 rushing first downs.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked
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77. S Marcus Williams, New Orleans Saints

2021 Snaps: 1,037 | 2021 PFF Grade: 80.1

Williams has now been in the NFL for five years and has never had anything other than a good season overall. This year, his PFF coverage grade (84.3) topped 80.0 for the third time in five years, and he tallied five pass breakups to go with two picks. Almost exclusively a deep-lying free safety, Williams lined up in the box just 88 plays out of 1,037 in 2021.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

78. WR Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks

2021 Snaps: 782 | 2021 PFF Grade: 81.9

Somehow Lockett remained extremely productive despite Russell Wilson getting hurt for the first time in his NFL career and missing time. Lockett averaged 2.35 yards per route run and caught 70.9% of the passes thrown his way over the season. Passes sent his way generated a passer rating of 122.4, and he dropped just one of his 103 targets.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

79. CB Nate Hobbs, Las Vegas Raiders

2021 Snaps: 894 | 2021 PFF Grade: 79.4

At one point, fifth-round rookie Nate Hobbs was playing like the best slot corner in the NFL. And while that play had some more ups and downs in the middle of the year, he still had a phenomenal debut campaign. The first-year corner allowed 8.5 yards per reception and notched 24 defensive stops primarily from the slot and wasn’t beaten for a pass longer than 34 yards all season.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

80. T Andrew Thomas, New York Giants

2021 Snaps: 763 | 2021 PFF Grade: 82.8

Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas improved by leaps and bounds in Year 2 — so much so that the offensive line was noticeably worse when he was not in the lineup. The second-year offensive tackle allowed 18 pressures across 517 pass-blocking snaps in 13 games and even scored more receiving touchdowns than key receiver additions Kadarius Toney and Kenny Golladay.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

81. QB Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

2021 Snaps: 1,113 | 2021 PFF Grade: 81.6

Before getting hurt, Prescott looked on his way to a ranking at the very top of this list, but he was never able to recapture the same form after returning from a calf injury. Prescott accumulated 34 big-time throws overall, recording more than one in a game nine times. He had 24 turnover-worthy plays, 16 of which came from Week 11 on.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

82. HB Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

2021 Snaps: 595 | 2021 PFF Grade: 82.0

The Packers opted to dial back Jones' workload this season, as he carried the ball 183 times including the playoffs, 38 fewer than 2020 and 85 less than the year before. He averaged 4.6 yards per carry, with 3.15 of that coming after contact. He also forced 39 missed tackles and averaged had 1.5 yards per route run as a receiver. The Packers might not like him in an every-down bell-cow role, but he is devastating with the opportunities he does receive.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

83. WR A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans

2021 Snaps: 624 | 2021 PFF Grade: 88.0

Brown missed time this season with an injury, and it left the Titans offense without a consistent playmaker able to dominate in the passing game. When Brown was out there, everything was different. He averaged 2.72 yards per route run, the fifth-best mark in the league. He also caught an impressive 50% of contested targets on the season.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 22

84. G Michael Onwenu, New England Patriots

2021 Snaps: 632 | 2021 PFF Grade: 88.3

For some reason, Onwenu was the player forced to make his way to the bench when everybody got healthy on the New England offensive line. His play certainly doesn’t justify that move, as Onwenu has been excellent at multiple positions so far in his NFL career. This past year, he played both left guard and right tackle for at least 200 snaps and allowed 11 pressures over 340 pass-blocking snaps. 

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 60

85. DI Zach Sieler, Miami Dolphins

2021 Snaps: 518 | 2021 PFF Grade: 84.9

One of the most underrated players in the NFL, Sieler played over 500 snaps for the second consecutive season in Miami. He made a career-high 38 defensive stops, ranking eighth-best among interior defenders despite placing 70th in snaps. Sieler also recorded 23 pressures and a 76.7 pass-rushing grade.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

86. DI Calais Campbell, Baltimore Ravens

2021 Snaps: 615 | 2021 PFF Grade: 80.8

The Ravens’ defense was ravaged by injuries this season, but Campbell still played more than 600 snaps at 35 years old. He had a better season than a year ago, improving his run-defense grade to 77.9 and racking up 31 pressures. Campbell’s best play might finally be behind him, but he is still an excellent defender.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

87. DI D.J. Reader, Cincinnati Bengals

2021 Snaps: 777 | 2021 PFF Grade: 79.7

But for the occasional game in which he failed to make an impact, D.J. Reader was excellent this season. He put up 28 defensive stops and 29 pressures, and was particularly good in the playoffs against the Tennessee Titans in a game that was balanced on a knife-edge and run defense was a key differentiator. 

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

88. LB Demario Davis, New Orleans Saints

2021 Snaps: 1,038 | 2021 PFF Grade: 77.2

Davis has been one of the best linebackers in the NFL since arriving in New Orleans, and he continued his impressive run of play this season. Davis racked up 39 defensive stops on the year, and though he didn't come away with any interceptions for the second straight season, he did allow just a 78.7 passer rating into his coverage, almost 30 points lower than the average pass targeting a linebacker.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 85

89. C J.C. Tretter, Cleveland Browns

2021 Snaps: 987 | 2021 PFF Grade: 81.4

Tretter had another excellent and consistent season for the Cleveland Browns at center. He allowed 10 pressures across 587 pass-blocking snaps and only one of those pressures was a sack. Tretter’s run blocking was good, but he has now had seven consecutive seasons with a pass-blocking grade of at least 80.0.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 80

90. S Adrian Phillips, New England Patriots

2021 Snaps: 921 | 2021 PFF Grade: 80.0

Phillips was a do-it-all player for the Patriots this season, lining up on the line of scrimmage, in the box, in deep coverage, in the slot and even split wide covering backs and tight ends as a cornerback. Phillips notched four picks and five pass breakups to go along with 31 defensive stops and a forced fumble in 2021.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

91. WR D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks

2021 Snaps: 785 | 2021 PFF Grade: 81.5

While Tyler Lockett proved to be quarterback-proof this season, Metcalf was the player who suffered when quarterback Russell Wilson missed time and then played poorly after rushing back into the lineup. Metcalf averaged three yards per reception less than a year ago and didn’t average more than 3.0 yards per route run in a game after Week 7.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: 68

92. EDGE Preston Smith, Green Bay Packers

2021 Snaps: 732 | 2021 PFF Grade: 81.5

With Za’Darius Smith missing for most of the season, the Packers needed a better year from Preston Smith than they had a year ago, and he duly supplied one, posting a career-best 76.3 PFF pass-rushing grade. Smith had 63 pressures on 457 rushes and forced two fumbles. His run defense was also better than ever, giving him a career-best overall grade on a lower number of snaps than he typically plays.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

93. WR Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills

2021 Snaps: 635 | 2021 PFF Grade: 83.1

Davis began the season buried on the Bills depth chart and was barely a factor for most of the year. But the more the team used him, the bigger an impact he made. His season culminated with an absolute destruction of the Kansas City secondary, where he caught eight of the 10 passes thrown his way for 201 yards and four touchdowns. He caught 11 touchdowns from only 74 targets, with passes thrown his way generating an absurd passer rating of 131.3.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

94. TE Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

2021 Snaps: 740 | 2021 PFF Grade: 81.2

The best tight end prospect to enter the NFL draft in years, Pitts quickly became a tight end in name only, lining up either in the slot or out wide on 78.2% of his snaps in 2021. He effectively became the Falcons’ No. 1 receiver, catching 63.6% of the passes thrown his way and generating 2.0 yards per route run. He had only one touchdown catch, fittingly following in the footsteps of Julio Jones as an elite playmaker for Atlanta with a curious aversion to the end zone. 

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

95. G Connor Williams, Dallas Cowboys

2021 Snaps: 963 | 2021 PFF Grade: 81.1

Williams is one of the more polarizing players in the NFL. Fans often focus on his negatives, but the baseline of his performance, especially relative to the current state of NFL guard play, is actually high. Williams allowed 15 pressures across 15 games starting in which he played 624 pass-blocking snaps. His run blocking was also good, and he earned a PFF grade of at least 74.0 in each facet of play.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

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

2021 Snaps: 1,002 | 2021 PFF Grade: 78.6

Cornerbacks who are 5-foot-9 and 188 pounds are not supposed to be able to hold up on the outside against some of the physical freaks who play wide receiver in the NFL, but Reed did just that for Seattle this season. He allowed only a 66.0 passer rating when targeted, with just 51.5% of those targets being caught by the intended receiver. 

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

97. C Brian Allen, Los Angeles Rams

2021 Snaps: 1,181 | 2021 PFF Grade: 74.8

Allen got to end his season with a Super Bowl win, helping the Rams to overcome the Bengals in the big game. Allen allowed 25 pressures over the season when including the playoffs and earned a 79.5 PFF run-blocking grade.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

98. DI Javon Hargrave, Philadelphia Eagles

2021 Snaps: 779 | 2021 PFF Grade: 67.3

If pass-rushing snaps were all that Hargrave played this past season, he would be far higher on the list. Only five interior defenders finished the year with more pressures than Hargrave’s 61, and he rushed the passer far fewer times than all but one of those players. His 91.6 pass-rushing grade ranked second only to Aaron Donald, but his 30.1 run-defense grade was one of the worst such marks in the league.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

99. S Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers

2021 Snaps: 961 | 2021 PFF Grade: 78.1

We finally got to see James play all season and survive almost completely uninjured for the first time since 2018. James played 961 snaps for the Chargers this season, earning impressive grades of at least 76.5 in every facet of play. He had three pass breakups and three forced fumbles along with two interceptions as he remains a dynamic and versatile playmaker on defense.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

100. WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

2021 Snaps: 854 | 2021 PFF Grade: 80.9

Waddle broke the rookie record for receptions in a season, recording 104 catches from 138 targets. That figure could have been even higher had quarterback Tua Tagovailoa been healthy all season. Waddle saw double-digit targets seven times in the season and was the player the Dolphins offense was running through at almost all times. His second season could be something special if Miami can find an offensive line before opening day.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked

101. C Matt Hennessy, Atlanta Falcons

2021 Snaps: 947 | 2021 PFF Grade: 80.8

Matt Hennessy was much improved in Year 2 after an ugly rookie campaign a season ago. His overall PFF grade jumped more than 30 points, and his pass-blocking grade was up more than 20. Pass-blocking remains his weaker area, but as a center, it is less of a problem than on other positions on the offensive line. His run-blocking grade of 89.1 was elite, and his trajectory is pointed in the right direction.

PFF 101 Rank, 2020: unranked


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