The latest PFF Grades were released today (Pro Football Focus), and there were a few surprises in the rankings and an overall theme that dominated the 12 highest-rated players. PFF is considered one of the more reputable player analysis platforms that some teams look at when looking at draft stock of a player.
1. Caleb Williams
3. Drake Maye
11. Jayden Daniels
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Order of Quarterbacks
Caleb Williams being the top-rated player overall is no surprise. The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner probably would have been one of the highest picks in the 2023 NFL Draft if he was available. With his dual-threat mobility, it would be a shock to see Williams not be the first player off the board.
The order after him is a bit surprising.
Everyone knows that the NFL/NBA are not the same game as college, but sometimes I wonder how a quarterback who struggles to win or dominate in college is expected to excel at the next level (even though they often do).
Here are the rankings of the Top 5 Quarterbacks:
- 1. (1) Caleb Williams
- 2. (3) Drake Maye
- 3. (11) Jayden Daniels
- 4. (20) Michael Penix Jr.
- 5. (22) Bo Nix
The two that really stick out are Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels. While Maye has all of the intangibles that Daniels lacks, there is a clear comparison that is sticking out and not being talked about. Both players came into the 2023 season with very high expectations. Both struggled to get enough wins to really be in the CFP discussion late in the season.
Yet Jayden Daniels still won the Heisman. Daniels, in the same win/loss situation as Maye, was so dominant that he not only was invited to New York City for the ceremony, but he won the entire thing, breaking the recent tradition of the Heisman going to the best player on the best team.
Where was Maye? Not in the top ten which included six other quarterbacks.
PFF Offense Dominates the Top Tier, Defense Solid Group Behind
Of the top 12 highest-rated players according to the PFF grades, ten of the players are on the offensive side of the ball including the top six overall. Of course, this doesn’t mean to expect 10 of the first 12 picks in this year’s NFL Draft to be offensive players, it just means that if every team was equal and needed the same players, the data shows 10 of the first 12 would be on offense.
Interestingly, after the top 12, six of the next seven are on defense. Whether to call this a coincidence or something to watch later is for you to decide, but it certainly is interesting and a storyline to follow as the NFL Draft draws near.
Past Trends Favor the Offense
Over the past three years, 19 of the 30 first ten picks have been on the offensive. With many projections already showing that most of the first few teams in the draft are needing offensive players (up to four teams realistically could take a QB), this year could see a historic nine to even ten offensive players taken in the first ten overall picks.
Again, PFF is just one of the many ways that players are evaluated, but historically, grading well in PFF bodes very well players and their draft stock.
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