NFL Position Ranking Roulette: The Top 25 Players Following the 2020 Season
The NFL PRR for 2020 series has finally come to close; so what better way to put a cap on it than to rank the top 25 players for the 2020 season? On this list, rankings are determined by production and stat lines relative to their position, how much disparity there is between each player at each position, and the overall impact they made to their team and the NFL entirely.
As it has been all series long, this list will be controversial, thought provoking, and raw based on a combination of production, stats, and what we see on tape. Without further ado, here are my top 25 players following the 2020 season!
Photo: AP Photo/David Zalubowski
25. Joey Bosa - Los Angeles Chargers - LE
(2nd Edge Defender - 10th Defense)
In just 12 games and 350 pass rush snaps, Bosa dominated opposing offensive tackles as he recorded 7.5 sacks on 45 pressures, giving him a 12.9% pressure rate and a 90.5 PFF pass rush grade.
24. DeForest Buckner - Indianapolis Colts - DT
(2nd Interior Defensive Lineman - 9th Defense)
58 tackles, 10 TFLs, 9.5 sacks, and 26 QB hits is no small feat for an interior defensive lineman, and, in fact, grades him at a very high rate production-wise.
23. Darren Waller - Las Vegas Raiders - TE
(2nd Tight End - 15th Offense)
Darren Waller has exceeded expectations over the past 2 seasons. Emerging as Derek Carr's #1 target, Waller posted 107 receptions for 1,196 yards and 9 TDs, all unreal numbers for tight ends.
22. Allen Robinson - Chicago Bears - WR
(4th Wide Receiver - 14th Offense)
As I've said many times before, if Robinson had a half decent QB, he could be the best receiver in the game. Still, 102 catches for 1,250 yards and 6 TDs is a great season.
21. Trent Williams - San Francisco 49ers - LT
(1st Offensive Lineman - 13th Offense)
After holding out on Washington last season, Trent made a major impact in the pass and run game for San Fran. His 91.9 PFF grade led all offensive tackles, and his tape is ridiculous.
20. Bobby Wagner - Seattle Seahawks - MLB
(2nd Linebacker - 8th Defense)
Bobby's speed, football IQ, and play puts him in the top 20. He always seemed to be around the football while defending the run, rushing the pass, and playing in coverage.
Photo: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
19. Jessie Bates - Cincinnati Bengals - FS
(1st Safety - 7th Defense)
Jessie Bates broke out in 2020, allowing a 70.7 passer rating and recording 3 INTs on 48 targets. Expect big things from Bates in 2021.
18. DeAndre Hopkins - Arizona Cardinals - WR
(3rd Wide Receiver - 12th Offense)
One of the best receivers in football did big things in a new town. 115 receptions for 1,407 yards and 7 TDs are great numbers to build off of during his first year in Arizona.
17. Jalen Ramsey - Los Angeles Rams - CB
(3rd Cornerback - 6th Defense)
Ramsey shut down nearly every receiver he lined up against. One of the only corners in the game to truly follow the opposing team's number 1 receiver posted a 68.1 passer rating when targeted in 2020.
16. Russell Wilson - Seattle Seahawks - QB
(5th Quarterback - 11th Offense)
The MVP candidate for the first half of the season put up some of the best numbers of his career, with 4,212 passing yards and 40 TDs, while rushing for 513 yards and 2 TDs.
15. Alvin Kamara - New Orleans Saints - HB
(3rd Running Back - 10th Offense)
Kamara could have been considered a WR1 for a good part of the season, recording 83 receptions, more than Adam Thielen, for 756 yards, more than DJ Chark, and 2 TDs, more than Jakobi Myers, paired up with 187 carries for 932 yards and 16 TDs.
Photo: AP Photo/Brett Duke
14. Jaire Alexander - Green Bay Packers - CB
(2nd Cornerback - 5th Defense)
Although he didn't record many INTs, Jaire's impact goes beyond a stat sheet. A 67.4 passer rating against him and 13 pass breakups are great numbers to have in place of INTs.
13. Dalvin Cook - Minnesota Vikings - HB
(2nd Running Back - 9th Offense)
If Cook had a better offensive line, he could be the best running back in the game numbers-wise. 1,557 rushing yards and 16 TDs, paired with 361 receiving yards and 1 TD, with the 26th ranked o-line per PFF, are impressive numberin their own right.
12. Stefon Diggs - Buffalo Bills - WR
(2nd Wide Receiver - 8th Offense)
Another new town receiver shined in 2020, posting career high numbers of 127 receptions and a league leading 1,535 yards. Crazy to think he's never had a season with 10 TDs or more.
11. Josh Allen - Buffalo Bills - QB
(4th Quarterback - 7th Offense)
After being a bottom 5 QB for the first 2 years of his career, Josh Allen stepped up in 2020. 4,544 passing yards and 37 TDs, to go along with 421 rushing yards and 8 TDs, are MVP caliber numbers. Some people attribute this to Stefon Diggs's arrival, but one receiver doesn't create this much drastic change in a QB year over year.
10. Fred Warner - San Francisco 49ers - LB
(1st Linebacker - 4th Defense)
The best LB's incredible run defense and savvy pass defense put him in the top 10. With 125 tackles, 2 INTS, and a passer rating of 69.7, Warner proved he can do it all.
Photo: AP Photos/Winslow Townson
9. Travis Kelce - Kansas City Chiefs - TE
(1st Tight End - 6th Offense)
Kelce had not only a career year, but the best season a tight end has ever had. On 105 catches, Kelce amassed 1,416 yards and 11 TDs, while dominating defenders in with his run blocking as well.
8. Xavien Howard - Miami Dolphins - CB
(1st Cornerback- 3rd Defense)
10 INTs is no easy feat, especially after posting 8 two seasons prior. Pair that with a 48.3 passer rating allowed, Howard was the best corner and one of the best defensive players this year.
7. Patrick Mahomes - Kansas City Chiefs - QB
(3rd Quarterback - 5th Offense)
Mahomes is in a league of his own. He's arguably the best QB in the game right now, and proved it with 4,740 passing yards and 38 TDs, along with 308 rushing yards and 2 TDs. Even in a loss, he put it all on the line during the Super Bowl and will be remembered for years to come.
6. TJ Watt - Pittsburgh Steelers - LOLB
(1st Edge Defender - 2nd Defense)
With a league leading 15 sacks, 26 TFLs, 61 pressures, and a 91.6 overall PFF grade, TJ did it all in a DPOY worthy season.
5. Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay Packers - QB
(2nd Quarterback - 4th Offense)
The NFL MVP just barely makes his way into the number 5 spot on this years list. Keeping this list on the positive side, he had a historic season. He led the league with a 70.7% completion percentage, 48 TDs, a 9.1 TD%, and a 1.0 INT%, all while passing for 4,299 yards. He also posted a passer rating of 121.5, ranking second all-time behind his career high of 122.5 back in 2011.
If you want reasons why I believe Aaron Rodgers shouldn't have been MVP and why he wasn't the best QB in 2020, check out my End of Season Awards and NFL PRR: Top 12 QBs articles.
Photo: AP Photos/Jeffrey Phelps
4. Deshaun Watson - Houston Texans - QB
(1st Quarterback - 3rd Offense)
With minimal weapons, virtually no rushing attack, the 23rd ranked offensive line per PFF, one of the worst defenses in the league, and a change in coaching a third of the way through the year, Deshaun Watson made no excuses and was the best QB of 2020. He threw a league high 4,823 yards, 33 TDs, posted a 70.2% completion percentage, a 112.4 passer rating, and 444 rushing yards and 3 TDs. Watson put the Texans on his back and did everything he could in a terrible situation.
As before, check out the NFL PRR: Top 12 QBs article to find out more on Deshaun Watson's incredible 2020 campaign.
Photo: USA Today/Troy Taormina
3. Davante Adams - Green Bay Packers - WR
(1st Wide Receiver - 2nd Offense)
Davante is the best receiver in the NFL, hands down. His route running, ability to create separation, sneaky speed, and strong hands made him one of the best offensive weapons in 2020. On 115 catches, Adams posted 1,374 yards and 18 TDs, making Aaron's life easier and helping Green Bay on the way to another 13 win season.
Photo: Logan Riely/Getty Images
2. Derrick Henry - Tennessee Titans - HB
(1st Running Back - 1st Offense)
If you read the End of Season Awards article, you know Derrick Henry was my MVP for 2020. Eclipsing 2,000 yards behind the 15th ranked o-line per PFF is one of the most impressive feats in NFL history. Backed with a bad defense and a tough schedule in terms of run defenses faced, King Henry earned his crown in 2020 and is the biggest MVP snub in recent memory; he didn't even receive a vote. So how did my MVP for 2020 not get the number 1 spot on this list? Well...
Photo: GettyImages/Wesley Hitt
1. Aaron Donald - Los Angeles Rams - RE
(1st Interior Defensive Lineman - 1st Defense)
Let's be real, Aaron Donald has been the best player in the NFL for the past 3-5 years. He may go down as the best defensive player in NFL history, and 2020 was no different. 45 tackles, 14 TFLs, 13.5 sacks, 45 pressures, and 28 QB hits, while being double teamed 70% of the time, gives him a well deserving spot at #1, and it's not even close.
Photo: USA Today/Kirby Lee
Stat Sources: Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference
Let me make it clear, Derrick Henry is more valuable to the Titans than Aaron Donald is to the Rams, but Aaron Donald is the best player in the NFL right now and has been for some time. It may be a while before we see another player dominate his position like AD has done since he entered the league. Fun fact: Donald has never had a PFF grade below 90 in any season, including his rookie year.
That's a wrap on the NFL PRR following the 2020 season! Make sure you keep up with this series when it returns after the draft. I'll be predicting who I think the top 12 players at each position will be for the 2021 season, so be on the lookout for some new faces and rookies to take over some spots on those lists. Thank you for following along and for having an open mind to these lists!