Pro Football Focus has released their PFF50, which is the NFL’s 50 best players entering the 2019 season according to their analysts. This list is not to be confused with their Top 101 Players from the 2018 NFL season list, which is their list of the best players from the 2018 season. This latest list isn’t simply ranking all the players according to their 2018 grades, but it’s more their take on who the best players are right now.
After having seven players make their Top 101 players from 2018, the Chicago Bears had two players crack the PFF50 rankings.
Safety Eddie Jackson was 14th on the 101, but he’s number 47 on the PFF50. Here’s what they had to say about Chicago’s All-Pro.
After earning just a 68.3 overall grade across 1,055 defensive snaps as a rookie, Jackson exploded onto the NFL scene in Year 2 of his career. He logged five defensive touchdowns and earned position-high marks in overall grade (93.2) and coverage grade (94.7) in the process. Regression is in order for the former Alabama standout given just how successful he was in creating turnovers and turning them into points, but he shouldn’t fall far in 2019.
So PFF is predicting a regression for Jackson just because he was good in 2018. I reckon that’s fair considering it would be hard to duplicate five defensive touchdowns.
But what if I told you PFF got their numbers wrong?
Jackson didn’t have five defensive TDs in 2018, he “only” had three, so is a regression still in order?
I’d ask PFF for a clarification, but then they’d get insulted at my question and it would end up being a whole thing.
After checking in at number 10 on the Top 101, they ranked Khalil Mack at number 8 in their PFF50.
Mack’s transition from Oakland to Chicago went swimmingly. He kept his streak of 90.0-plus graded seasons alive in the Windy City, earning a 90.7 overall grade, 87.4 run-defense grade and an 86.0 pass-rush grade in his first year with the Bears. He’s also recorded 70 or more pressures in four consecutive seasons while logging pass-rush win rates above 15% every single year. Entering his age-28 season and Year 2 with the Bears, Mack is the NFL’s top edge defender in the game right now.
I’m predicting a monster year for Mack in 2019 working in Chuck Pagano’s more aggressive scheme. In Pagano’s one year (2011) coordinating the Baltimore Ravens’ defense, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs won the Defensive Player of the Year award.