Pro Football Focus has released their 101 best players of 2016, as graded by Pro Football Focus from their 2016 season grades.
Yesterday, we talked about their 23rd, David Johnson, and 24th, Calais Campbell, ranked players, but today we get three more.
First off, I am writing about the omission of Patrick Peterson for tomorrow, so save your vitriol for that, today, let us enjoy that the Arizona Cardinals had five of the best players in the NFL in 2016.
Yet, somehow finished outside of the playoffs in 2016.
I guess when one of those top five players isn’t the quarterback, things don’t go your way.
Here is what PFF said about the last three Arizona Cardinals:
62. Chandler Jones, EDGE, Arizona Cardinals (unranked)
Chandler Jones proved to be an excellent pickup for the Arizona Cardinals, and he formed a formidable pass-rushing duo with Markus Golden. Jones totaled 66 QB pressures over the season and ended the year with back-to-back two-sack games. He was a consistent force as a pass-rusher, despite playing 938 snaps, or 87.1 percent of the team’s defensive plays.
Best performance: Week 7 vs. Seahawks, 92.2 grade
Key stat: Jones notched 66 QB pressures in total this season, with multiple pressures in all but three games.
I have maintained that Jones infusion into the lineup was more important for Calais Campbell and Markus Golden than any other players. Sign the man.
The next member of the PFF 101 from the Arizona Cardinals is going to get paid, it is likely going to be in $6 million a year range, will that be above the Arizona Cardinals pay grade?
84. Tony Jefferson, S, Arizona Cardinals (unranked)
The Top 101 list this season has a lot of undrafted success stories in it, and Tony Jefferson is the latest one. The former undrafted free agent was excellent for the Cardinals this season as their strong safety, posting a run-defense grade of 98.0 and notching 35 defensive stops on the season (third among safeties). Jefferson was a rock-solid tackler, missing only five of 98 attempts all year. He didn’t record an interception, but did break up five passes and allowed just 7.1 yards per reception when he was the primary coverage defender.
Best performance: Week 8 vs. Panthers, 89.5 grade
Key stat: Jefferson recorded a PFF run-defense grade of 98.0.
It is interesting that three of the five Cardinals are free agents...
Anyways, onto the last player, the one we all love and adore... For at least one more season.
89. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals (43)
Larry Fitzgerald was another receiver to suffer through significant ups and downs from his quarterback, Carson Palmer, but despite that, he continued to excel, notching 107 receptions and topping 1,000 receiving yards. Fitzgerald was also one of the best blocking receivers in the game, putting the team before himself and doing the ugly work when others won’t. Fitzgerald is now more of a possession receiver than in years past, but he is still an excellent one.
Best performance: Week 1 vs. Patriots, 86.2 grade
Key stat: Fitzgerald caught 72.8 percent of passes thrown his way.
There is literally nothing else left for Fitzgerald to do, but win a ring.
Hopefully, he exchanges his Pro Bowl nod and a place on this list for one... Or gets all three, I really don’t care.