News & Analysis

One stat to know on every team's highest-graded free agency signing

By Mark Chichester
Mar 27, 2019

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Oct 9, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears safety Adrian Amos (38) reacts during the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. The Vikings won 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 iteration of the free agency period had its fair share of excitement and movement, as some of the league’s top players have switched teams, and even sides of the country. From star pass-catchers to veteran edge rushers, we break down one PFF stat to know for every team’s top-graded new signing to date.

If you would like to make some observations of your own, you can do so with PFF Elite, where you can find several signature statistics for every offensive and defensive position in football, thanks to Premium Stats 2.0

AFC EAST

Buffalo Bills: Running back Frank Gore forced nine missed tackles out of the no-huddle offense last year at a rate of 0.50 missed tackles forced per touch; both of these figures ranked first among backs with at least 10 attempts. Gore has forced 354 total missed tackles as a rusher during his career within the PFF era (2006-Present), which is the third-most among running backs over the last 13 seasons. 

Miami Dolphins: Ryan Fitzpatrick averaged 9.6 yards per pass attempt last season, the best single-season figure by a quarterback in 13 years of grading.  

New England Patriots: Among the 18 running backs who have logged at least 25 rushing attempts for the Patriots since 2006, Brandon Bolden‘s average of 0.19 missed tackles forced per attempt ranks second to only Dion Lewis (0.24).

New York Jets: Over the last three seasons, Steve McLendon has produced a tackle for loss or no gain on 4.3% of his run-defense snaps, which is the third-best rate among 115 qualifying interior defensive linemen in that span.

AFC NORTH

Baltimore Ravens: Safety Earl Thomas has earned six single-season coverage grades of at least 80.0 throughout his career, which is tied with Ed Reed for the most among safeties in the PFF era. His 80 coverage stops since 2010 are the fourth-most among safeties in that span. 

Cincinnati Bengals: Among tight ends with at least 100 red-zone snaps since 2015, Tyler Eifert’s red-zone receiving grade of 89.7 and average of 1.61 yards per route run both rank first.

Cleveland Browns: Interior defender Sheldon Richardson produced three sacks, four hits and 14 hurries from his 132 late-down pass-rushing snaps last year for a pressure rate of 15.9% that ranked ninth among 37 interior defensive linemen. 

Pittsburgh Steelers: From 2011 to 2018, Ramon Foster has allowed just 32 knockdowns on his 3,622 pass-blocking snaps. His allowed knockdown percentage of 0.9% is tied for the fourth-best mark among qualifying left guards in that span. 

AFC SOUTH

Houston Texans: A staggering 47.2% of Jadeveon Clowney‘s career run tackles have been for a loss of yardage or no gain. This is second to only Michael Bennett (53.7%) among the 94 edge defenders with at least 500 run-defense snaps since 2014. 

Indianapolis Colts: Over his career, Justin Houston has notched an 87.9 pass-rushing grade from his snaps where he lined up as a defensive end, which ranks 11th among the 171 edge defenders with 300-plus snaps from such an alignment. His pressure rate of 17.6% and pass-rush productivity of 21.5 both rank first among the same group of players.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Thanks to two extraordinary postseason runs, quarterback Nick Foles owns the second-highest postseason grade (90.3) of the PFF era. Not only that, but Foles’ 101.3 postseason passer rating under pressure ranks first among quarterbacks with at least 25 attempts under pressure since 2006. 

Tennessee Titans: Since 2010, Cameron Wake leads the NFL’s edge defenders in third-down pressures (269), third-down knockdowns (109), third-down pressure rate (20.8%) and third-down pass-rush grade (93.5), while his third-down pass-rush win rate of (21.1%) ranks second to only Khalil Mack (21.2%) in that time.

AFC WEST

Denver Broncos: Since 2016, cornerback Bryce Callahan has allowed a passer rating of only 66.1 on throws into his primary slot coverage, which ranks first among qualifying cornerbacks in that span. 

Kansas City Chiefs: Despite playing six NFL seasons and seeing 142 career targets, safety Tyrann Mathieu is still yet to drop an interceptable pass. He joins Kevin Byard, Justin Simmons and Tavon Wilson as the only safeties with at least 100 targets since 2014 to achieve this.

Los Angeles Chargers: Among the 41 linebackers in the PFF era with at least 100 snaps as a pure pass-rusher (as opposed to their snaps from blitzes), Thomas Davis‘ pass-rush win rate of 25.4% and his pressure rate of 29.5% both rank first. 

Oakland Raiders: Safety Lamarcus Joyner has forced an incompletion — by way of either close coverage, a pass breakup or an interception — on 25.0% of his career targets in coverage. This is the best rate among 229 safeties with at least 50 career targets since 2006.  

NFC EAST

Dallas Cowboys: Over the last two seasons, Demarcus Lawrence has produced pressure on 14.9% of his pass-rushing snaps that came when the opposing offense was in the red zone; that’s the fourth-best mark among edge defenders in that span.

New York Giants: Throughout the PFF era, only three wide receivers have forced 20 or more tackles in consecutive regular seasons. Golden Tate is the only receiver to do it in more than two consecutive seasons, and he’s actually done it in all six seasons since 2013. Tate’s 173 total missed tackles forced are by far the most among receivers over the last 13 seasons and are 15 more than the next closest player at the position. 

Philadelphia EaglesBrandon Graham is one of only four edge defenders who has tallied 50 total pressures in each season since 2014, with Von MillerKhalil Mack and Ryan Kerrigan being the others. 

Washington Redskins: Landon Collins has accumulated a whopping 149 defensive stops since 2015, which is 13 more than the next closest safety in that span. 

NFC NORTH

Chicago Bears: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has allowed a passer rating of just 52.9 on throws into his primary coverage since 2014, which is the best mark among all safeties in that time.

Detroit Lions: Among the 49 edge defenders with at least 200 third-down pass-rushing snaps since 2017, Trey Flowers‘ pass-rush win rate of 23.2% ranks third, while his pressure rate of 20.1% ranks second.

Green Bay Packers: A staggering 47.1% of Adrian Amos‘ career targets have resulted in either a defensive stop or a forced incompletion. This defensive success rate is currently tied with Charles Woodson for the best mark by a safety in the PFF era. 

Minnesota Vikings: Linebacker Anthony Barr has produced pressure on 16.8% of his career third-down pass-rushing snaps, which is the third-best mark by a linebacker with at least 200 third-down pass-rushing snaps over the last five years.

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta Falcons: Grady Jarrett won 21.8% of his third-down pass rushes last season, the third-best rate among interior defensive linemen. His elite third-down pass-rushing grade of 90.1 is now the ninth-best single-season mark of the PFF era. 

Carolina Panthers: Center Matt Paradis has earned an overall grade of 83.4 on zone running plays, which is the sixth-best mark among centers with at least 500 career zone-blocking snaps. 

New Orleans Saints: Over the last two seasons, running back Latavius Murray has earned a running grade of 81.0 from his outside zone rushing attempts, the third-best grade among running backs with at least 75 outside zone attempts in that span. His 3.42 yards after contact per outside-zone attempt ranks fourth among the same group of players. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Since entering the league in 2015, edge defender Shaquil Barrett has received a negative grade on just 2.18% of his defensive snaps. That is tied for the third-best rate among the 57 edge defenders with at least 2000 snaps in that span, and only Von Miller and Calais Campbell are ahead of him.

NFC WEST

Arizona Cardinals: Over the last four seasons, linebacker Jordan Hicks has earned a coverage grade of 92.0 that ranks second among the 100 linebackers who played at least 1,000 defensive snaps in that span. The only player with a higher coverage grade is Luke Kuechly.

Los Angeles Rams: Last season, Eric Weddle allowed a passer rating of just 55.9 while in coverage against wide receivers, which was the third-best mark among safeties last year. 

San Francisco 49ersDee Ford earned a pass-rushing grade of 92.0 on his late-down pass-rushing snaps last season, which was tied for the sixth-best single-season mark of the PFF era. His pressure rate of 22.7% ranks third. 

Seattle Seahawks: Over the last three years, K.J. Wright has allowed a catch rate of 71.1% on throws into his primary coverage, which ranks fourth among the 34 linebackers with at least 1000 coverage snaps in that span. 

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