The PFF 101: Highlighting the top 101 players from the 2022 NFL season | NFL News, Rankings and Statistics

Super Bowl 57 brought a close to the 2022 season, and before we move on to the excitement of free agency and the NFL draft, let’s reflect on some of the best individual performances of the year.

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 2022 season one last time before we look ahead to assembling rosters for the upcoming year.

Here is a quick reminder of our basic criteria:

This list is based solely on play in 2022. Past or future play is not accounted for. This isn’t about class or talent; it’s about performance throughout the 2022 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).

Editor’s note: The full 101 will be released over the week, with the top 25 dropping on Thursday, Feb. 23.

51. Za’Darius Smith, Minnesota Vikings

Smith was a problem all season for opposing offenses to block. He tallied 80 total pressures over the season, with almost half of those coming from an inside alignment, where his speed and quickness proved way too much for guards to contend with.

52. Demario Davis, New Orleans Saints

Since arriving in New Orleans, Davis has been one of the best linebackers in football, and this year was no exception. He recorded four pass breakups in coverage and racked up 43 defensive stops while earning impressive grades in every area except tackling, where 17 misses was a rare below-average return for him.

53. Jeffery Simmons, Tennessee Titans

Until he picked up an ankle injury midway through the season, Simmons was on a Defensive Player of the Year type of run. He still finished with 53 total pressures and 27 defensive stops, and the Titans’ defense was visibly less potent when Simmons wasn’t 100%.

54. Tristan Wirfs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady had the fastest average time to throw (2.31 seconds) in the NFL, which certainly helped his offensive line, but Wirfs allowed just six pressures all season, and two of them came after he returned from injury. He is as good as it gets from a pass-protecting standpoint in the NFL.

55. Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings

After missing significant time with injuries in recent seasons, Hunter was back to something like his best play this season for the Vikings. He totaled 76 pressures including the playoffs, the second most of his career, and earned the second-best overall PFF grade (87.1) in his career.

56. Trey Hendrickson, Cincinnati Bengals

Hendrickson continues to go from strength to strength in the NFL. He is on a streak of three consecutive career years, adding to last season’s 86.9 PFF pass-rushing grade with an 87.7 mark this season on the back of 74 pressures and 24 defensive stops.

57. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee offense collapsed in 2022, but Henry came back from last season’s injury showing little signs of decline. Despite one of the worst offensive lines in the game paving the way for him, Henry racked up more than 1,200 rushing yards after contact this season, breaking 69 tackles and posting yet another 300-plus-carry year.

58. Christian Wilkins, Miami Dolphins

Miami fielded a dramatically improved defensive front this year, and Wilkins was one of the biggest drivers of that. Wilkins had 33 total pressures and was one of just two interior defenders to play more than 1,000 snaps, with Super Bowl champ Chris Jones the only player to top him in workload.

59. Jaelan Phillips, Miami Dolphins

Phillips may have sacked the quarterback 10 times in each of his first two seasons, but those two years were very different by almost any other measure. Year 2 was a huge step forward for the former first-round pick. He recorded 77 total pressures including the playoffs, almost doubling last season’s total. His 42 defensive stops were more than twice his rookie mark, and his PFF grade jumped by more than 30 grading points.

60. Tyrann Mathieu, New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans defense underachieved in 2022, but there were impressive individual performances within the unit, and Tyrann Mathieu was one of them. In coverage, Mathieu had four pass breakups to go along with three interceptions, and he lined up all over the Saints’ secondary.

61. Charvarius Ward, San Francisco 49ers

Ward justified the contract the 49ers gave him in the offseason and had an excellent year. He finished with 11 pass breakups in addition to his lone interception and posted the best PFF run-defense grade of any outside cornerback (91.0).

62. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

Barkley had a career year this past season and was one of the leading candidates for Comeback Player of the Year. Behind a terrible Giants offensive line, he was able to record more than 1,400 rushing yards and score 12 touchdowns. He broke 41 tackles overall and helped propel the Giants past the Vikings on the road in the playoffs.

63. Kolton Miller, Las Vegas Raiders

Miller has become a good left tackle after some early-career struggles. This season marked his second consecutive overall PFF grade of at least 84.0, and he earned a mark over 75.0 in each facet of play. He allowed 33 total pressures across 16 starts.

64. Jaire Alexander, Green Bay Packers

He wasn’t quite able to play at a high level all season, but there were stretches this year where Alexander was as good as any cornerback in football, including limiting Justin Jefferson to just one catch for 15 yards in Week 17. 

65. Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers

There may not be a more complete NFL safety than Derwin James, who was able to post his second straight largely injury-free season for the Chargers. James has yet to earn a below-average PFF grade in any facet of play over a season in his NFL career.

66. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins

With Tyreek Hill putting up record-setting numbers in the Miami offense for much of the season, it’s easy to ignore Waddle’s continued success. Waddle almost doubled last season’s yards per reception figure in the new offense, and passes thrown his way generated a 119.2 passer rating.

67. DeForest Buckner, Indianapolis Colts

One of the few players with significant positives to take away from an ugly Colts season, Buckner posted an 82.3 overall PFF grade and recorded 56 pressures and 47 defensive stops.

68. Brian O’Neill, Minnesota Vikings

O’Neill gave up 24 total pressures in 16 games at right tackle for the Vikings this season. His run blocking was outstanding, with him earning an 83.3 PFF grade in that facet, and his absence due to injury late in the year was an obvious problem for Minnesota to try and overcome.

69. Tremaine Edmunds, Buffalo Bills

Edmunds put together a career year as he heads into free agency, finally showcasing the play that many believed him capable of given his age and physical skill set. He was particularly excellent in coverage, earning the best PFF grade of any off-ball linebacker (90.0) this past season.

70. Ryan Neal, Seattle Seahawks

Seattle’s defense was a surprising unit this season thanks in part to players like Ryan Neal at safety. He played almost 800 snaps for the Seahawks and posted an 84.4 PFF coverage grade thanks to six pass breakups and a very strong second half of the season.

71. Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

Before the season, it was almost impossible to foresee the kind of year Geno Smith would have at quarterback for the Seahawks. Only the Bills’ Josh Allen posted more big-time throws than Smith’s 34, with the veteran showing that he can do much more than act as a bridge quarterback.

72. Javon Hargrave, Philadelphia Eagles

Only Dexter Lawrence and Chris Jones earned better PFF pass-rushing grades than Hargrave this past season among interior linemen. Hargrave racked up 57 total pressures and 30 defensive stops including the playoffs, but he did record just a 48.2 PFF run-defense grade.

73. Michael Onwenu, New England Patriots

Finally given the chance to start all season at one position, Onwenu continued to excel on the Patriots’ offensive line. He allowed 14 total pressures in 2022, and six of those came in the final three games, including the only sack he let up. 

74. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens

Despite dealing with no real threat at wide receiver for most of the year and backup quarterbacks for some of it, Andrews remained elite for the Ravens. He caught 73 of the 110 targets thrown his way, dropping just four passes all season.

75. Stephon Gilmore, Indianapolis Colts

Gilmore had a quiet resurgence this past season with the Colts, but it was largely overlooked because of how bad the team was overall. He finished with an 81.1 PFF coverage grade and eight pass breakups to go along with two interceptions.

76. Garrett Wilson, New York Jets

The work that Wilson was able to do despite the Jets’ quarterback situation was remarkable for a rookie. He racked up more than 1,100 yards, and his 22 broken tackles with the ball in his hands were more than any receiver outside of Deebo Samuel. 

77. Penei Sewell, Detroit Lions

Detroit’s offense was cooking for much of the year, and Sewell was a big part of that success at right tackle. He allowed 28 total pressures over 17 games and was one of the better run blockers in the league. He even caught a game-clinching pass against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 14.

78. Patrick Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

Peterson may not have the same athletic ability as earlier in his career, but he has the experience and veteran savvy to still be an excellent zone cornerback. Peterson posted an 82.5 PFF coverage grade in 2022 — his best since 2018 — and allowed a 66.8 passer rating into his coverage.

79. T.J. Edwards, Philadelphia Eagles

The Super Bowl was an unfortunate way for his season to end, but Edwards had an excellent season for the Eagles at linebacker. He earned an above-average PFF grade in all facets of play over the season and made 51 defensive stops in the regular season. 

80. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles

He may not have been leaned on quite as much as other players, but when Goedert got the call, he was ready to make plays. Including the playoffs, Goedert caught 83.5% of the passes thrown his way, averaging 1.79 yards per route run and dropping only two passes all season.

81. Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns

Cooper is an instant success anywhere he goes in the NFL. Despite the Browns lacking an elite quarterback all year (between Jacoby Brissett’s play and the level Deshaun Watson was at when he returned), he racked up more than 1,100 yards and scored nine touchdowns, averaging 2.06 yards per route run.

82. Josh Sweat, Philadelphia Eagles

Sweat had his most productive NFL season to date as part of Philadelphia’s aggressive defensive line rotation. He played almost 700 snaps including the playoffs, racking up 51 pressures and 36 defensive stops. His overall PFF grade (83.8) was just behind Brandon Graham and Haason Reddick within the rotation.

83. Matt Milano, Buffalo Bills

Outshone for the first time by Tremaine Edmunds, Milano still had a fine season for the Bills and put together multiple elite games over the year. Milano didn’t allow a touchdown all season into his coverage from 81 targets, and he had 57 defensive stops, including 11 in the playoffs.

84. Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles

At one point in the year, you could have made the case that the Eagles had the league’s best two cornerbacks based on how they were performing. That play tailed off a little as the season wore on, but Slay still allowed just 56.6% of passes thrown his way to be caught and broke up nine passes including the playoff run.

85. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

Jones didn’t have much in the way of touchdown success this past season, but he was as good as ever running the football for the Packers. He averaged 3.2 yards per carry after contact while proving to be a consistent receiving threat.

86. Dre Greenlaw, San Francisco 49ers

Fred Warner is the superstar at linebacker for the 49ers, but Greenlaw has emerged as an excellent player in his own right alongside him. Greenlaw earned above-average PFF grades in every facet of play over the year and made 71 defensive stops including the playoffs, just one behind Warner.

87. Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders

Yet again, McLaurin had to endure rough quarterback play in a season, and yet again he showed he can produce regardless. McLaurin caught 67.0% of the passes thrown his way in 2022 and led the team’s receivers by a distance with 2.04 yards per route run.

88. Nick Bolton, Kansas City Chiefs

We saw in the Super Bowl, on the biggest stage, just what Bolton is capable of, and the Chiefs linebacker ended his year with impressive grades in all areas. He finished with 61 total pressures including the playoffs and allowed just one touchdown in coverage.

89. James Bradberry, Philadelphia Eagles

Bradberry may well be unfortunately remembered as the player responsible for the holding call that cost the Eagles a game-winning chance at the end of the Super Bowl, but he was outstanding overall this past season. He allowed just a 51.8 passer rating into his coverage this season, and that penalty on the final drive of the season was just his third all year.

90. Tyson Campbell, Jacksonville Jaguars

Campbell took a big leap forward in Year 2 in the NFL. The former second-round draft pick finished with nine pass breakups and wasn’t beaten for a pass longer than 25 yards all season. He surrendered just 9.7 yards per catch despite lining up almost exclusively on the outside.

91. Kyle Hamilton, Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore’s rookie safety had people worried in the preseason after some tough reps in practice and preseason games, but he looked like the assured college star once the games counted for real in the regular season. He became particularly adept as the season wore on at covering the slot against tight ends and running backs.

92. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Jackson played in just 13 games in 2022 — his second straight injury-marred year — but those games saw him approach some of his best play again. He finished with a 5.0% big-time throw rate while adding 47 first downs and 6.9 yards per carry on the ground.

93. Kamren Curl, Washington Commanders

Curl was excellent at safety in just 12 games this past season, earning PFF grades of at least 80.0 in three separate areas. He missed only four tackles all year and was a consistent presence in coverage from a variety of different alignments.

94. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

After the disaster that was the Urban Meyer tenure in Jacksonville, Lawrence first turned the corner in Year 2 and then went on to play as well as any quarterback in the league by the end of it. From Week 9 onward, only Joe Burrow and Patrick Mahomes earned better PFF grades.

95. Corey Linsley, Los Angeles Chargers

Linsley allowed just seven pressures across 15 games this past season, none of which were sacks. His run blocking wasn’t quite at the same level, but he has been arguably the best pass-blocking center in the game for several seasons.

96. Joe Thuney, Kansas City Chiefs

Thuney finished the 2022 season with the best PFF pass-blocking grade among guards. He allowed just 20 total pressures in 18 games for the Chiefs and didn’t have a single performance all year with a below-average PFF pass-blocking grade.

97. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Cousins had some spectacular games in 2022, including passing for more than 10.0 yards per attempt on two separate occasions and leading the biggest comeback in NFL history, no matter how that comeback unfolded. He now has five straight years with a PFF grade of at least 79.3.

98. Connor Williams, Miami Dolphins

The only upgrade of the Miami offensive line to make it through the entire season, Connor Williams played 1,127 snaps this season and allowed just 16 total pressures over 18 games. He finished with an 85.6 PFF run-blocking grade and was a huge upgrade over last year.

99. L’Jarius Sneed, Kansas City Chiefs

Sneed played both in the slot and out wide for the Chiefs this season and was the team’s best cornerback. He allowed 9.3 yards per reception and made a massive 44 defensive stops including the playoffs, the most of any cornerback in the league.

100. Rodney McLeod, Indianapolis Colts

McLeod had an excellent 2022 season for the Colts and was particularly good in the second half of the year. From Week 8 onward, he earned the second-best overall PFF grade among all safeties.

101. Jaycee Horn, Carolina Panthers

Horn has now allowed just 318 yards in his NFL career. He gave up a 52.6 passer rating this past season and did not let up a touchdown catch across 47 targets into his coverage.

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