NFL News & Analysis

PFF's 2019 NFL Season Award Winners

With the Super Bowl LIV teams set, it's time to reflect on the year that was and recognize the fantastic play from the 2019 NFL season and reward the achievement of the players who put it all on the line every week.

These awards are given to the outstanding NFL performer in each category throughout the regular season — postseason play not included — and they strive to recognize the best the league had to offer this year. So, from the best overall player in the game to some more specialized awards, let's take a look at the winners from the 2019 NFL season.

Offensive Rookie of the Year

After hailing from Ole Miss’ decorated receiver room this past offseason, A.J. Brown set himself apart from not only his former teammate in D.K. Metcalf but from every other rookie receiver — and every offensive rookie for that matter — by dominating for the playoff-bound Tennessee Titans this season. Brown utilized an incredibly strong second half of the season, notably with Ryan Tannehill as his quarterback, and he edged out several other worthy rookies to be selected as PFF’s Offensive Rookie of the Year for 2019. Read more…

Defensive Rookie of the Year

In a world where the San Francisco 49ers are the top seed in the NFC, it should come with no shock that some individuals are set to receive some hardware at the end of the 2019 NFL season. What did come shockingly, however, was the overall demonstrative way in which rookie edge defender Nick Bosa shattered not only his rookie peers this season but rookie records from the PFF era with his brilliant play in his first season. Read more…

Breakout Player of the year

The development of a player isn’t always a neat, linear line of improvement, but when it is, things just seem so much cleaner. Watt has improved his overall PFF grade in each season of his career, and the same holds true when you dive deeper and focus on specific facets or statistics. Read more…

Offensive Player of the Year

Every year since we started giving our awards out, the winner of the Dwight Stephenson Award (the award for the best player in the league regardless of position) has also been awarded either the Offensive or Defensive Player of the Year.  Logically, if a player is the best overall player in the NFL, he is also the standout on his side of the ball. This year, however, Lamar Jackson breaks that rule. Read more…

Defensive Player of the Year

The fact that the NFL awards are driven mostly by flash plays and highlights is likely to be proven yet again in February when Aaron Donald doesn’t win Defensive Player of the Year. After all, the only reason to explain his omission would be either his “lack” of highlight-reel plays or the AP simply growing bored with giving him the award every year. However, those are the kind of mistakes that PFF will not make. Read more…


In an effort to replace that value element with simply the best or most outstanding player at any position, we at PFF first pivoted to the Dwight Stephenson Award instead of handing out MVP honors. However, with the recent creation of our PFF WAR metric, we have now been able to actually add some tangible data to that previously intangible value. This season, the data points to the fact that no player added greater value to their team than Russell Wilson did for the Seattle Seahawks. Read more…

PFF Stephenson Award

The NFL’s MVP award has lost its way. In most sports, MVP is simply designed to be awarded to the best or most outstanding player in the sport over a given period, but for some reason, the AP seems to tie itself in knots every year as they try to parse the ‘valuable’ element of the NFL's title. PFF’s Stephenson Award tries to right that wrong, and its purpose is to acknowledge the best player in the NFL regardless of position and regardless of how much value he brought to the table. Read more…

Comeback Player of the Year

Comeback Player of the Year has always been light on details and criteria, but whatever the measure, it would be hard to give the award to anybody other than Ryan Tannehill this season for what he did with the Tennessee Titans. Read more…

Top wide receiver

One of the toughest awards to decide upon this season was the best receiver in the NFL regardless of position. Even when we confined ourselves to just wideouts, we were given a sequence of players tightly bunched together in terms of PFF grade, all of whom had extremely strong cases for the title of the NFL's best pass-catcher for 2019. Read more…

Top coverage defender

Super Bowl LIV will take place in Miami in just under two weeks, and it will feature one of the game’s best cornerbacks, who is back to something like the peak of his powers, in the form of San Francisco 49ers standout Richard Sherman. Read more…

Top run defender

Every year we have given out this award, it has gone to the man they call “Snacks,” and he has done that in multiple different defenses. Harrison has been the gold standard in run defense at any position during his entire career, but injuries took their toll this season, and we saw his first significant drop in production, opening the door for a new winner of the award. Read more…

PFF Matthews Award

One of our longest-standing awards is the Bruce Matthews Award, given to the best offensive lineman in the NFL over a given season. Only Marshal Yanda has won the award multiple times, and including this season, there have been six different winners. This season, the best offensive lineman in football was none other than Philadelphia Eagles guard Brandon Brooks. Read more…

Offensive Line of the Year

Most seasons, there is a clear best offensive line in football, but this year the race was far tighter than usual, complicated by injuries across most of the leading contenders. In the end, the Philadelphia Eagles become the first two-time winner of PFF’s Offensive Line of the Year Award. Read more…

Top Pass-rusher

Aaron Donald wasn’t as good in 2019 as he was the year before, so people tend to dismiss just how good he was this season. His 2018 campaign was one of the greatest single defensive seasons the game has ever seen, so not being able to match that level shouldn’t count against somebody. Read more…

Top Run blocker

For the second straight season, the best run-blocking lineman in the NFL was New Orleans Saints right tackle Ryan Ramczyk. Ramczyk has been a dominant force in the run game since the moment he entered the league but took his game to another level this season despite winning this award a season ago as well. Read more…

Top Pass blocker

If you’ve followed PFF’s content this season, you won’t be surprised to learn that Baltimore Ravens’ left tackle Ronnie Stanley has been the best pass-blocking player in football, and so it proved over the final games of the season on his way to winning PFF’s Best Pass-Blocker award. Read More…

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