A few years back, Pro Football Focus got in on the list-a-palooza tend that was sweeping the NFL, and they debuted their Top 101 Players. I’m guessing they threw in that extra 1, so they could stand out from the other Top 100 lists floating around.
Another thing that PFF tries to do to separate themselves is they take an “all positions are created equal” stance when compiling their list. The theory is they won’t have a list full of quarterbacks and “skill” players up near the top like some of the other lists out there do.
In case you didn’t realize, they’ve changed their grading system, so no more of the +/- grades. It’s now a 100 point scale, but their Top 101 doesn’t actually rank players in order of their grades. The reason for this is they “take a look at how guys played relative to what is expected from their position.”
Like any list, there is some subjectivity to it, and that’s OK. It gets the people talking.
75. Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears
If it wasn’t for Ezekiel Elliott, Jordan Howard would be getting a lot more attention for his rookie season. He would, in fact, have been the rushing champion himself, instead of Elliott. Howard didn’t start until Week 4 in Chicago, and still ended the season with 1,313 rushing yards, more than everybody other than Elliott. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry and 3.0 yards per carry after contact, and broke 40 tackles in 252 attempts.
Best performance: Week 8 vs. Vikings, 84.6 grade
Key stat: Howard fumbled the ball just once, compared to Ezekiel Elliott’s five in the regular season.
They gave Howard an 81.0 grade for his rookie season.
Here are the running backs that ranked higher that Howard and their PFF grades when given.
There only 5 running backs that made the list, with Howard being the 5th.
So what do you guys think about Howard at #75? Too low? Just right? Too high?
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