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NFL1000: Ranking the Top 1,000 Players from Week 13

Doug FarrarNFL Lead ScoutDecember 8, 2016

NFL1000: Ranking the Top 1,000 Players from Week 13

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    Rob Leiter/Getty Images

    The primary participants in Denver's "No-Fly Zone" secondary—cornerbacks Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr., and Bradley Roby as well as safeties Darian Stewart and T.J Ward—have been frequent guests at the top of their positional charts all season in the NFL1000 rankings. The offense was hardly stellar in Denver's 20-10 win over the Jaguars on Sunday, but the defense, as usual, was on point. Roby had a pick-six of Blake Bortles to fill out the highlight reel, but Harris took the crown in our rankings, and he's the top cat among all players in the Week 13 edition of the NFL1000.

    As usual, Harris was outstanding in coverage, both outside and in the slot. When Harris covered inside, Bortles targeted him five times, and he allowed only three receptions for 25 yards. Outside, Bortles found nothing when targeting Harris, as he completed zero passes on four targets. Allen Robinson's inability to hold onto the ball on a deep boundary route helped keep that tally clean, but Harris snapped the ball away from Robinson late in the first half. The undrafted Kansas alum has turned himself into one of the game's great pass-defenders over the years. From multi-positional coverage to route-reading to run defense, there isn't anything he can't do at a high level.

    Roby, who faces a ton of targets for a third cornerback because quarterbacks would prefer to avoid Talib and Harris, ranked 45th overall this week and allowed one catch for 12 yards on five targets, as well as the aforementioned pick-six. Halfway through the third quarter, he did a great job of establishing inside position on a short drag route, and when Bortles missed the read under pressure, Roby was on his way for the 51-yard score.

    The Broncos are still trying to figure out their quarterback situation, but Wade Phillips has their defense playing at the same Super Bowl-caliber level it did in 2015. Most impressive is how new defenders keep popping up and excelling. This week, our top inside linebacker is Denver's Todd Davis, who has jumped from going undrafted in 2014 to his current role as a key part of the front seven. Davis looked great no matter his assignment—he run-blitzed with aplomb, sifted through blockers to bring down Jacksonville's running backs, and looked agile and rangy in coverage. He finished his day with five tackles, five stops and one quarterback hurry.

    It's a tribute to Denver's defensive coaching staff that so many unheralded players have become stars in this system.

    Part of Bleacher Report's NFL1000 player rating methodology is the ability to look at our grades from week to week (as you, dear reader, can) and suss out which patterns are turning into trends and which are flukes in the relatively small sample size of an NFL season.

    There are many ways to dissect and learn from what the NFL presents on the field every week, and the NFL1000 goes as deep as any to tell you what's going on out there.

    With a 17-person crew of experienced evaluators, we'll comb through the game tape each week to bring you concise, clear evaluations of every player in the NFL. We'll tell you which rookies are rising and which undrafted players are coming out of nowhere to make an impact. We'll tell you which players are falling in performance and why.

    There is no predetermined narrative with these grades. No mysterious "clutch factor." No tweaked-out quarterback ratings that defy explanation. Our grades are based on pure scouting, and lots of it. We grade the key criteria for each position based on a series of attributes and add in a score for positional importance.

    In the case of a tie, our scouts ask, "Which player would I want on my team?" and adjust accordingly.

    Is it a subjective process? Of course—that's what scouting is, and as we like to say, ties are no fun.

    Each player is evaluated and graded by our crack team of scouts, who possess more than 100 combined years of experience in playing, front-office work, coaching and media. Cian Fahey, John Middlekauff, Marcus Mosher, Mark Schofield, Duke Manyweather, Ethan Young, Joe Goodberry, Justis Mosqueda, Charles McDonald, Zach Kruse, Derrik Klassen, Jerod Brown, Ian Wharton, Kyle Posey, Mark Bullock, Chuck Zodda and Doug Farrar have watched tape for months to bring you these grades, and we'll be bringing you player grades based on the game action every week.

    Here are the NFL1000 player grades for Week 13 of the 2016 NFL season.

          

    All advanced stats are courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

Methodology

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    The NFL1000 team of scouts was given a series of important attributes to grade for every player in their positional review. Using a grading scale starting at 0 and going up to anywhere from 10 to 50 based on the position and the attribute, our scouts have graded each player based on their own expertise and countless hours of tape review over the years. Our evaluators were given specific positional assignments based on their proven fields of expertise. 

    Every NFL player with snaps in offensive and defensive roles is observed and graded based on a multitiered process that marks specific attributes per position. As we're combing through All-22 footage to assess each performance, there are additional factors to consider.

    We'll adjust for opponent based on the obvious notion that the cornerback we're grading is doing a better job if he's shutting down Antonio Brown than if he's negating the efforts of a seventh-round rookie receiver.

    We'll also adjust for players with multiple responsibilities in the course of a game and over the course of time. Think of guys like J.J. Watt and Michael Bennett on the defensive line—how they seamlessly switch from gap to gap. Or how cornerbacks such as Chris Harris and Tyrann Mathieu dominate outside and in the slot. Or how receivers such as Doug Baldwin and Larry Fitzgerald bedevil cornerbacks from multiple field positions.

    That's more important than ever in today's NFL, and we pay attention to it.

    We will not adjust for injuries. If a player is underperforming because of an injury, that's part of his performance, fair or unfair, and it needs to be graded accordingly. 

    Grading any player is a subjective process, but with a series of attributes per position and a specific direction as to what to grade and how, we'll work to make it as definitive as possible.

Top 50 Overall from Week 13

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    Ralph Freso/Getty Images

    After Chris Harris, quarterbacks round out the top of this week's rankings. Andrew Luck didn't face a lot of resistance against the Jets' disinterested defense on Monday Night Football, but that shouldn't take away from the excellence of his performance.

    Luck made several ridiculous throws from multiple platforms and tossed four touchdowns, re-establishing himself as one of the league's great young stars. If anything, the Jets' dismal defensive showing displayed what Luck could do week-to-week had general manager Ryan Grigson's personnel missteps not left him scrambling to win, literally and figuratively, over the last couple of years. 

    Cincinnati's Andy Dalton, who finished 885th in our overall rankings last week, bumped himself up to third with his two-touchdown performance against the Eagles, and Carson Palmer had a blast from the past performance-wise in Arizona's win over the Redskins.

    But the Cardinals' real star these days is running back David Johnson, who bashed Washington's defense for 84 rushing yards on 18 carries and 91 receiving yards on nine catches. Johnson is now 296 receiving yards away from becoming the third back in NFL history to gain at least 1,000 yards both rushing and receiving in a season. He would join Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk, and he'd do it in just his second season.

    "If he doesn't get hurt, David Johnson is going to surpass a lot of NFL records by the time he's done playing football," Cardinals running backs coach Stump Mitchell recently told B/R's Lars Anderson. "It's unreal, the amount of total yards he's capable of putting up in our offense. He'll blow records out of the water. ... David can do it all: He's elusive, he's explosive and he's powerful. And he has great hands. Plus, he's getting better every single day."

    It's hard to argue with any of that.

                 

    Top 50 Overall from Week 13
    RankPlayerPos.TeamNFL1000 ScoreLWMoving
    1Chris Harris Jr.CBDEN8717
    2Andrew LuckQBIND83NR
    3Andy DaltonQBCIN82885
    4Carson PalmerQBARI82113
    5Le'Veon BellRBPIT8120
    6Tyron SmithLTDAL814
    7David JohnsonRBARI8127
    8Eric BerrySSKC80106
    9Casey HaywardCBSD80100
    10LeSean McCoyRBBUF8016
    11Aaron DonaldDTLA799
    12Travis KelceTEKC7938
    13Glover QuinFSDET79152
    14Cordy GlennLTBUF7934
    15Aaron RodgersQBGB7913
    16Mike MitchellFSPIT7952
    17Johnny HekkerPLA79377
    18Marcus GilbertRTPIT78643
    19Khalil Mack4-3 DEOAK781
    20Matthew StaffordQBDET7872
    21Todd DavisILBDEN78842
    22Julio JonesWRATL78316
    23James Harrison3-4 OLBPIT78291
    24Golden TateWRDET78319
    25Donald PennLTOAK7859
    26Sam BradfordQBMIN78440
    27Byron JonesFSDAL78151
    28Jalen RamseyCBJAX78946
    29Earl ThomasFSSEA78NR
    30Mark GlowinskiOGSEA77615
    31Gerald McCoyDTTB7740
    32Joe ThomasILBGB77NR
    33Melvin GordonRBSD7778
    34Patrick PetersonCBARI77422
    35Bryan BulagaRTGB7730
    36Ezekiel ElliottRBDAL7725
    37Joe FlaccoQBBAL77585
    38Tavon YoungCBBAL77748
    39T.Y. HiltonWRIND77532
    40Devonta FreemanRBATL77163
    41Lardarius WebbFSBAL7769
    42Jake MatthewsLTATL7749
    43Ha Ha Clinton-DixFSGB7728
    44Sean DavisSSPIT77372
    45Bradley RobyCBDEN77707
    46Quintin DempsSSHOU77512
    47Harrison SmithFSMIN7744
    48Dez BryantWRDAL76165
    49Duane BrownLTHOU7660
    50Maurkice PounceyCPIT76474

Quarterbacks

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    Norm Hall/Getty Images

    Todd Bowles' New York Jets offered no resistance to Andrew Luck on Monday night. Luck's performance was at times easy, but he made all of the routine plays and added in some spectacular ones. One of his touchdown passes to Dwayne Allen was spectacular, as he hit his tight end on a back-shoulder throw down the seam against tight coverage. Luck had been threatening to have that kind of game this year before he suffered a concussion two weeks ago. Andy Dalton, on the other hand came, out of nowhere. 

    The Cincinnati Bengals quarterback has never had a better first half than the one he had against the Philadelphia Eagles. Dalton's career has been defined by his inability to throw receivers open or react competently to pressure.

    Against Philadelphia, however, he repeatedly delivered perfect passes to tightly covered receivers downfield despite facing pressure in the pocket. Dalton missed a couple of easier plays and didn't have to do much in the second half. Had he continued to play the way he did in the first half, he would have comfortably been the league's top-ranked quarterback this week.

    Carson Palmer was just as impressive as Dalton with similar problems coming from his supporting cast. Palmer has gotten little protection from his offensive line this year, while J.J. Nelson and Michael Floyd have repeatedly sabotaged some of his better throws. Floyd and Nelson had their issues in this game, but both caught touchdowns thanks to perfect passes from Palmer. First, Palmer fit the ball to Floyd between two defenders when the coverage suggested he shouldn't have attempted the throw. The second throw was a deep shot to Nelson where Palmer placed the ball perfectly for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

    On the other end of the spectrum, Paxton Lynch and Blake Bortles combined to create one of the worst quarterbacked games you're likely to see. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a similar game before Bryce Petty came in to replace him. Petty somehow managed to look even worse than Fitzpatrick, as he repeatedly threw the ball to Colts defensive backs. Petty is going to start the Jets' last four games of the season, but if this game is any indication, he won't be competing for the starting spot entering the offseason.

            

    Grading Scale

    Acc: Accuracy (Graded out of 25)

    Arm: Arm Strength (Graded out of 25)

    Press: Pressure/run threat (Graded out of 20) (Pressure weighted at 15, run threat at 5)

    Dec: Decision-Making (Graded out of 20)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

                   

    Quarterback Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamAccArmPressDecPosOvr
    1Andrew LuckIND212314151083
    2Andy DaltonCIN212115151082
    3Carson PalmerARI212215141082
    4Aaron RodgersGB192214141079
    5Matthew StaffordDET162215151078
    6Sam BradfordMIN192115131078
    7Joe FlaccoBAL172015151077
    8Derek CarrOAK172212151076
    9Dak PrescottDAL172014141075
    10Ben RoethlisbergerPIT172114131075
    11Tom BradyNE161814141072
    12Philip RiversSD151915131072
    13Jameis WinstonTB152015121072
    14Drew BreesNO162012121070
    15Ryan TannehillMIA151913131070
    16Russell WilsonSEA182011111070
    17Alex SmithKC161813131070
    18Eli ManningNYG151814121069
    19Kirk CousinsWAS151911131068
    20Tyrod TaylorBUF141912131068
    21Matt BarkleyCHI151812131068
    22Cam NewtonCAR142212101068
    23Matt RyanATL151813101066
    24Brock OsweilerHOU131711121063
    25Trevone BoykinSEA151810101063
    26Jared GoffLA141612111063
    27Ryan MallettBAL141810101062
    28Colin KaepernickSF131711101061
    29Blake BortlesJAX111713101061
    30Paxton LynchDEN91611121058
    31Blaine GabbertSF121610101058
    32Ryan FitzpatrickNYJ12161091057
    33Carson WentzPHI1016991054
    34Bryce PettyNYJ10161081054

          

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

Running Backs

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    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    The Pittsburgh Steelers are right in the mix for the AFC North, and Le'Veon Bell is a major reason why. He is having a fantastic season, showing the ability to do it all on a weekly basis. Bell was dominant against the New York Giants Sunday, destroying them on the ground and lighting them up in the passing game.

    His unique, patient mindset combined with his short-area burst and vision exposed defenders all game. Bell's ability to run routes gave linebackers major trouble because they had no chance to cover him. It was perhaps his best game of the season, which speaks volumes. If the Steelers get back to the playoffs, it will be Bell carrying them, not Ben Roethlisberger. 

    While their running styles are different, Arizona's David Johnson dominated like Bell. He was relentless and explosive against the Redskins, wearing them out inside the tackles and down the middle of the defense. He also ran routes as though he were a wide receiver, finishing with nine catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. Johnson and Bell have established themselves as the two best running backs in the NFL.

    Buffalo's LeSean McCoy might not be in their category, but he isn't far behind. He was dominant against the Raiders and is playing as fast as he ever has. San Diego's Melvin Gordon got back on track with a strong, physical game against the Texans, as did Atlanta's Devonta Freeman against the Chiefs. Freeman might be one of the league's most underrated players, as his power, quickness and versatility have mostly flown under the national radar.

                   

    Grading Scale

    In: Inside Running (Graded out of 25)

    Out: Outside Running (Graded out of 25)

    Rec: Receiving (Graded out of 20)

    Blk: Blocking (Graded out of 20)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

                  

    Running Back Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamInOutRecBlkPosOvr
    1Le'Veon BellPIT20211717681
    2David JohnsonARI21201717681
    3LeSean McCoyBUF21191816680
    4Melvin GordonSD19181717677
    5Ezekiel ElliottDAL20181617677
    6Devonta FreemanATL19181816677
    7Thomas RawlsSEA19171716675
    8LeGarrette BlountNE18191616675
    9Jordan HowardCHI19181616675
    10Jay AjayiMIA19171716675
    11Carlos HydeSF19181616675
    12Spencer WareKC19181616675
    13Ty MontgomeryGB18171716674
    14Mark IngramNO16181717674
    15Latavius MurrayOAK19171616674
    16Terrance WestBAL17181616673
    17Kenneth DixonBLT18171616673
    18Dion LewisNE17171716673
    19Theo RiddickDET16171716672
    20Mike GillisleeBUF18171615672
    21Jonathan StewartCAR18161517672
    22Jerick McKinnonMIN18171615672
    23Jeremy HillCIN18161616672
    24Jalen RichardOAK18171615672
    25Zach ZennerDET17161517671
    26T.J. YeldonJAX16161716671
    27Matt AsiataMIN18161516671
    28Kapri BibbsDEN17171516671
    29James WhiteNE16181615671
    30Jacquizz RodgersTB17161616671
    31Frank GoreIND17151617671
    32Matt ForteNYJ16161716671
    33Rex BurkheadCIN17151616670
    34Alfred BlueHOU17161516670
    35Robert KelleyWAS18161416670
    36Tevin ColemanATL18161515670
    37Rashad JenningsNYG15141717669
    38Paul PerkinsNYG17171514669
    39Jonathan GrimesHOU16161516669
    40Chris ThompsonWAS15171615669
    41Shaun DraughnSF15151616668
    42Lamar MillerHOU17151515668
    43Darren SprolesPHI15141716668
    44Travaris CadetNO14151715667
    45Todd GurleyLA17141515667
    46Ka'Deem CareyCHI16151614667
    47Jeremy LangfordCHI16151515667
    48Dwayne WashingtonDET16141516667
    49Doug MartinTB16141516667
    50Denard RobinsonJAX14171614667
    51Christine MichaelGB16141516667
    52Damien WilliamsMIA16151515667
    53Bilal PowellNYJ15151615667
    54Kenneth FarrowSD16141515666
    55Josh FergusonIND14161515666
    56Devontae BookerDEN16141515666
    57Andre EllingtonARI15141615666
    58Robert TurbinIND16141515666
    59Tim HightowerNO14141516665
    60James StarksGB15141416665
    61Fozzy WhittakerCAR14151515665
    62Benny CunninghamLA15141515665
    63Peyton BarberTB15151415665
    64Charcandrick WestKC15141515665
    65Wendell SmallwoodPHI15141514664

                  

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Adrian Peterson—injury
    • Ameer Abdullah—injury
    • C.J. Anderson—injury
    • Charles Sims—injury
    • Danny Woodhead—injury
    • Chris Ivory—injury
    • DeMarco Murray—bye
    • Isaiah Crowell—bye
    • Giovani Bernard—injury
    • Derrick Henry--Bye
    • Duke Johnson--Bye
    • Dwayne Washington--Bye

Fullbacks

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    The Green Bay Packers have rattled off two straight wins, and fullback Aaron Ripkowski has played well during that stretch, running the ball efficiently and also operating as a lead blocker. Against Houston, he scored a touchdown on a physical run at the goal line, which gave him his second score in two weeks.

    Baltimore's Kyle Juszczyk continues to be elite, helping the Ravens running game get going and giving the offense good balance. He was great in pass protection against the Dolphins, keeping Joe Flacco clean in an easy win. 

    New England's James Develin and Buffalo's Jerome Felton were both physical as lead blockers for their respective running attacks. Felton was excellent against the Raiders, taking advantage of their average linebackers in space and to help get LeSean McCoy going. Oakland's Jamize Olawale received limited playing time because Derek Carr's finger injury restricted him from going under center, yet Olawale was still productive in a reduced role. He helped the Raiders score a touchdown in a unique pistol formation they had never used.

             

    Grading Scale

    Blk: Blocking (Graded out of 50)

    Run: Running (Graded out of 25)

    Rec: Receiving (Graded out of 15)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

                 

    Fullback Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamBlkRunRecPosOvr
    1Aaron RipkowskiGB44189475
    2Kyle JuszczykBAL44179474
    3John KuhnNO44179474
    4James DevelinNE45159473
    5Jamize OlawaleOAK441510473
    6Jerome FeltonBUF43169472
    7Patrick DiMarcoATL44159472
    8Paul LasikeCHI44149471
    9Jay ProschHOU43159471
    10Zach LineMIN43159471
    11Derek WattSD44158471
    12Mike TolbertCAR43158470
    13Michael BurtonDET43149470
    14Anthony ShermanKC43149470
    15Andy JanovichDEN43148469
    16Will TukuafuSEA42158469

               

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • None

Wide Receivers

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Atlanta's Julio Jones was a monster against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, catching passes on the first three plays of the game (for 11, 16 and 17 yards). He finished the day with seven receptions for 113 yards before leaving in the fourth quarter with turf toe. Dallas' Dez Bryant, meanwhile, looks to be back to his uber-efficient self, as he saw four catchable targets and caught all four for 84 yards and a score against one of the league's stingiest defenses. 

    Tied for the best grade in the NFC, Golden Tate had one of his best performances of the season against New Orleans. He caught eight passes for 145 yards and a score, but he was even better than the stats indicate. The Saints rolled coverage to him, but Tate was able to get deep multiple times against them.

    On the AFC side, T.Y. Hilton enjoyed a big night against the New York Jets on Monday, catching nine passes for 146 yards. The Jets secondary often left him alone, as Darrelle Revis spent most of the night matched up against Donte Moncrief. New England's Julian Edelman also built upon his hot play of late, notching eight receptions for 101 yards on a number of different pass patterns. The veteran receiver continues to be a security blanket for Tom Brady in an offense operating without Rob Gronkowski, as he's open on most of his pass patterns.

    Speaking of receivers who are usually open, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree continue to impress for the resurgent Oakland Raiders. Both players caught touchdowns Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, and their numbers would have been higher if not for some issues with drops. Crabtree in particular dropped what would have been a touchdown, but he made up for it later in the contest with some good catches, including on his three-yard score.

                  

    Grading Scale

    Route: Route Running (Graded out of 25)

    Hands: Hands (Graded out of 25)

    YAC: Yards After Catch (Graded out of 20)

    Blk: Blocking (Graded out of 20)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

                  

    Wide Receiver Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamRouteHandsYACBlkPosOvr
    1Julio JonesATL20201613978
    2Golden TateDET21191712978
    3T.Y. HiltonIND20191613977
    4Dez BryantDAL20211412976
    5Jordy NelsonGB20181612975
    6Ted Ginn Jr.CAR20181610973
    7Larry FitzgeraldARI20191212972
    8Julian EdelmanNE20191212972
    9Steve Smith Sr.BAL18191312971
    10Cameron MeredithCHI19171412971
    11Brandon LaFellCIN18191213971
    12Odell Beckham Jr.NYG19191311971
    13Antonio BrownPIT18191312971
    14Sammy WatkinsBUF19181212970
    15Ty MontgomeryGB18141712970
    16Jarvis LandryMIA18181114970
    17Doug BaldwinSEA18181312970
    18Mike WallaceBAL18181212969
    19Cole BeasleyDAL18161610969
    20Emmanuel SandersDEN19181211969
    21Demaryius ThomasDEN18181212969
    22Randall CobbGB18181311969
    23Stefon DiggsMIN18201111969
    24Amari CooperOAK19171212969
    25Michael CrabtreeOAK18171312969
    26Tyler LockettSEA17171511969
    27Mike EvansTB18181311969
    28Pierre GarconWAS18171411969
    29Devin FunchessCAR17161412968
    30Tyler BoydCIN18191111968
    31Anquan BoldinDET18171212968
    32T.J. JonesDET17181311968
    33DeAndre HopkinsHOU17171312968
    34Tyreek HillKC17171411968
    35Albert WilsonKC17171213968
    36Brian QuickLA17171312968
    37Brandin CooksNO18181211968
    38Michael ThomasNO17171312968
    39Dontrelle InmanSD17181113968
    40Freddie MartinoTB18171311968
    41Michael FloydARI17181211967
    42Breshad PerrimanBAL16171312967
    43Marquise GoodwinBUF18171112967
    44Will FullerHOU16171213967
    45DeVante ParkerMIA17191111967
    46Malcolm MitchellNE17161312967
    47Robby AndersonNYJ17171311967
    48Paul TurnerPHI16171510967
    49Tyrell WilliamsSD17181112967
    50Jermaine KearseSEA16161511967
    51Jamison CrowderWAS16171510967
    52J.J. NelsonARI18171210966
    53Taylor GabrielATL16161510966
    54Donte MoncriefIND18171111966
    55Kenny BrittLA17151312966
    56Kenny StillsMIA17171112966
    57Brandon MarshallNYJ17171211966
    58Seth RobertsOAK16161114966
    59Dorial Green-BeckhamPHI17151411966
    60DeSean JacksonWAS16161510966
    61Kamar AikenBAL17171111965
    62Justin HunterBUF17161112965
    63Deonte ThompsonCHI16151411965
    64Cody CoreCIN16171112965
    65Andre RobertsDET16171211965
    66Marqise LeeJAX17161112965
    67Adam ThielenMIN16161311965
    68Willie SneadNO17151311965
    69Cobi HamiltonPIT16161113965
    70Russell ShepardTB16171211965
    71Josh BellamyCHI19111411964
    72Allen RobinsonJAX16151113964
    73Chris HoganNE16161112964
    74Quincy EnunwaNYJ16161112964
    75Nelson AgholorPHI16161211964
    76Jeremy KerleySF16151311964
    77Adam HumphriesTB16161211964
    78James WrightCIN16161111963
    79Danny AmendolaNE16161111963
    80Sterling ShepardNYG15161211963
    81Eli RogersPIT16151112963
    82Aldrick RobinsonATL15151211962
    83Davante AdamsGB16151111962
    84Braxton MillerHOU15141113962
    85Bryan WaltersJAX16161110962
    86Chris ConleyKC16141112962
    87Leonte CarrooMIA16141112962
    88Cordarrelle PattersonMIN13121513962
    89Mohamed SanuATL15141211961
    90Alex EricksonCIN15151111961
    91Cody LatimerDEN15151111961
    92Keith MumpheryHOU14141113961
    93Phillip DorsettIND15141112961
    94Travis BenjaminSD15131113961
    95Brandon TateBUF15141111960
    96Dezmin LewisBUF14141112960
    97Jordan NorwoodDEN15141111960
    98Charone PeakeNYJ15141111960
    99Andre HolmesOAK14141112960
    100Chris MooreBAL14141111959
    101Jordan TaylorDEN14141111959
    102Chester RogersIND14141111959
    103Shane WynnJAX14141210959
    104Chris HarperSF14141012959
    105Arrelious BennJAX14141110958
    106Kelvin BenjaminCAR13131012957
    107Terrance WilliamsDAL12121013956
    108Justin HardyATL12121210955
    109Charles JohnsonMIN12121012955
    110Tanner McEvoySEA12121012955
    111Brice ButlerDAL12121011954
    112Lucky WhiteheadDAL12121011954
    113Pharoh CooperLA12121011954
    114Laquon TreadwellMIN11111013954
    115Brandon ColemanNO12121011954
    116Victor CruzNYG13121010954
    117Torrey SmithSF12121011954
    118Quinton PattonSF12121011954
    119John BrownARI12121010953
    120Philly BrownCAR12121010953
    121Bradley MarquezLA12121010953
    122Roger LewisNYG12121010953
    123Rod StreaterSF12121010953

                

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Alshon Jeffery—suspension
    • Robert Woods—injury
    • Kevin White—injury
    • A.J. Green—injury
    • Jeremy Maclin—injury
    • Jalin Marshall—injury
    • Darrius Heyward-Bey—injury
    • Markus Wheaton—injury
    • Keenan Allen—injury
    • Vincent Jackson—injury
    • Josh Doctson—injury
    • Eric Decker—injury
    • Marvin Jones—injury
    • Percy Harvin—injury
    • Eddie Royal—injury
    • Tavon Austin—injury
    • Terrelle Pryor Sr.—bye
    • Andrew Hawkins—bye
    • Tajae Sharpe—bye
    • Rishard Matthews—bye
    • Kendall Wright—bye

Tight Ends

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Tight ends had a quiet week in the NFC, as Washington's Jordan Reed was inactive, and Dallas' Jason Witten franchise-record catch streak ended at 130 games. Tampa Bay's Cameron Brate continued his breakout campaign, catching six passes for 86 yards against the San Diego Chargers, including a nice touchdown grab in traffic that put Tampa Bay in the lead in the fourth quarter. Brate's ability to win in contested areas of the field is why he's becoming a favorite of quarterback Jameis Winston. 

    In the AFC, three players enjoyed career games. Pittsburgh's Ladarius Green caught six passes for 110 yards and a touchdown, with the score coming on a well-designed fake screen where Green deked the safety on his route with a fake block. Dwayne Allen caught three touchdown passes for the Colts in their big Monday night victory over the Jets, but the seemingly confused New York secondary left him wide open on his first two scoring plays.

    Kansas City's Travis Kelce continued his great run, gaining over 100 yards for the third straight game. Kelce caught all eight passes thrown his way against Atlanta, displaying great route running and ability after the catch. His subtle out-and-up move against rookie Keanu Neal early in the game set the tone for his big afternoon.

                  

    Grading Scale

    Route: Route Running (Graded out of 20)

    Hands: Hands (Graded out of 25)

    YAC: Yards After Catch (Graded out of 20)

    Blk: Blocking (Graded out of 25)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

              

    Tight End Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamRouteHandsYACBlkPosOvr
    1Travis KelceKC16221619679
    2Dwayne AllenIND14201419673
    3Ladarius GreenPIT14191419672
    4Jimmy GrahamSEA16171418671
    5Cameron BrateTB16191317671
    6Dennis PittaBAL14191219670
    7C.J. FiedorowiczHOU14191219670
    8Trey BurtonPHI17171515670
    9Eric EbronDET17171316669
    10Antonio GatesSD13191318669
    11Levine ToiloloATL15151418668
    12Greg OlsenCAR15171317668
    13Tyler EifertCIN14181119668
    14Jared CookGB15171317668
    15Ryan GriffinHOU13181417668
    16Jack DoyleIND13181219668
    17Coby FleenerNO16171316668
    18Will TyeNYG16181315668
    19Zach ErtzPHI16171316668
    20Jermaine GreshamARI15171316667
    21Richard RodgersGB14181316667
    22Neal SterlingJAX14181316667
    23Jesse JamesPIT13171219667
    24Lance KendricksLA15161217666
    25Kyle RudolphMIN14161218666
    26Nick VannettSEA14161416666
    27Vernon DavisWAS15151317666
    28Austin Seferian-JenkinsNYJ13161218665
    29Mychal RiveraOAK13161218665
    30Nick BoyleBAL13151119664
    31Nick O'LearyBUF12151120664
    32Demetrius HarrisKC12151318664
    33Dion SimsMIA13161118664
    34Jerell AdamsNYG15161215664
    35Clive WalfordOAK12151219664
    36Hunter HenrySD12151219664
    37A.J. DerbyDEN12151119663
    38Ben KoyackJAX12151119663
    39Martellus BennettNE13151118663
    40Brandon BostickNYJ12151119663
    41Vance MacDonaldSF13141317663
    42Darren FellsARI13151216662
    43Darren WallerBAL12151118662
    44Gerald ChristianBUF12151118662
    45Virgil GreenDEN12141119662
    46Erik SwoopesIND12151118662
    47Daniel BrownCHI13151116661
    48Ryan HewittCIN11141119661
    49Tyler KroftCIN11141118660
    50Alex EllisJAX11141118660
    51Eric TomlinsonNYJ11141118660
    52David JohnsonPIT11141118660
    53Derek CarrierWAS12141117660
    54Tyler HigbeeLA11141216659
    55Rhett EllisonMIN13121216659
    56Jason WittenDAL14131015658
    57Jeff HeuermanDEN11141116658
    58Matt LengelNE11141116658
    59Sean McGrathSD11141116658
    60Stephen AndersonHOU11141115657
    61Garrett CelekSF12121017657
    62Logan PaulsenCHI11121017656
    63Matthew MulliganDET11121017656
    64Brent CelekPHI11121017656
    65Austin HooperATL10121017655
    66John PhillipsNO11121016655
    67Brandon MyersTB11121016655
    68Ed DicksonCAR10121016654
    69Ben BrauneckerCHI11121015654
    70Gavin EscobarDAL10121011649

                  

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Crockett Gillmore—injury
    • Maxx Williams—injury
    • Jordan Cameron—injury
    • Josh Hill—injury
    • Troy Niklas—injury
    • Jacob Tamme—injury
    • Zach Miller—injury
    • Marcedes Lewis—injury
    • Rob Gronkowski—injury
    • Charles Clay—injury
    • Julius Thomas—injury
    • Luke Willson—injury
    • Jordan Reed—injury
    • Gary Barnidge—bye
    • Anthony Fasano—bye
    • Delanie Walker--bye

Left Tackles

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    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Once again, Tyron Smith of the Dallas Cowboys was the NFL's top left tackle in Week 13. The All-Pro was dominant against an explosive Vikings pass rush, surrendering only three pressures and no sacks in the Cowboys' 52 plays. He also finished blocks off with violence in pass protection and in the running game.

    If you are a fan of tough, physical, smashmouth football, you will love the performances of our No. 2-ranked right tackle, Buffalo's Cordy Glenn, and our No. 3-ranked right tackle, Oakland's Donald Penn. The Bills-Raiders matchup was an old-fashioned slugfest on the line of scrimmage.

    Penn was dominant as a run-blocker and effective in pass protection despite going head-to-head with Lorenzo Alexander, who is third in the NFL in sacks. It doesn't always look pretty, but it's fun to watch him get after it. Penn has a unique story, as he went undrafted in 2006 out of Utah State. Ever since, he has started 152 games, was selected to the 2010 Pro Bowl and has four career touchdowns in 11 seasons.

    Glenn is developing into an all-around dominant left tackle, as he's big, strong, agile and technically sound. His ability to recover when moved off his spot in pass protection is particularly impressive. Glenn also displays physical dominance as a run-blocker, especially on combo blocks, angle-drive blocks and collapsing and widening the point of attack on down blocks. 

              

    Grading Scale

    Pass: Pass Protection (Graded out of 25)

    Run: Run-Blocking (Graded out of 25)

    Power: Power (Graded out of 20)

    Agl: Agility (Graded out of 20)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

                  

    Left Tackle Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamPassRunPowerAglPosOvr
    1Tyron SmithDAL19201717881
    2Cordy GlennBUF20201615879
    3Donald PennOAK19211614878
    4Jake MatthewsATL20191515877
    5Duane BrownHOU18201614876
    6Jason PetersPHI19191515876
    7David BakhtiariGB19191515876
    8Andrew WhitworthCIN20191414875
    9Nate SolderNE20181415875
    10Anthony CastonzoIND19191514875
    11Ty NsekheWAS19191415875
    12Taylor DeckerDET19181415874
    13Ronnie StanleyBAL18181416874
    14Joe StaleySF19191513874
    15Eric FisherKC19191513874
    16King DunlapSD18191414873
    17Charles Leno Jr.CHI18171416873
    18Mike RemmersCAR17191514873
    19Andrus PeatNO17201513873
    20Branden AlbertMIA19171315872
    21Russell OkungDEN18181414872
    22Alejandro VillanuevaPIT17191414872
    23Tom ComptonATL17181414871
    24Donovan SmithTB17181612871
    25Kelvin BeachumJAX17191313870
    26D.J. HumphriesARI17171413869
    27Greg RobinsonLA16181313868
    28George FantSEA16171215868
    29T.J. ClemmingsMIN15191412868
    30Ben IjalanaNYJ16161412866
    31Ereck FlowersNYG15171312865

               

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Luke Joeckel—injury
    • Matt Kalil—injury
    • Michael Oher—injury
    • Terron Armstead—injury
    • Taylor Lewan—bye
    • Joe Thomas—bye
    • Trent Williams—suspension

Right Tackles

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    Joe Sargent/Getty Images

    Pittsburgh's Marcus Gilbert claimed our top ranking among right tackles in Week 13. Gilbert showed tremendous strength, power and explosion at the point of attack against New York, and he demonstrated great agility and patience in pass protection, too. After having a breakout season in 2015, Gilbert is establishing himself as a premier offensive tackle in 2016.

    Green Bay's Bryan Bulaga was our No. 2-ranked right tackle in Week 13 and has been outstanding all season. He was strong in pass protection and as a run-blocker against Houston. Bulaga's performance this year ranks among the best offensive tackles in the NFL regardless of left or right designation.

    New Orleans' Zach Strief grabbed our No. 3 ranking in Week 13. Strief has been steady as a pass protector all year, surrendering just one sack to date. Strief gets after it as a run-blocker and plays with edge and the intent to finish every block, giving defenders an added oomph at the end of each play. 

          

    Grading Scale

    Pass: Pass Protection (Graded out of 25)

    Run: Run-Blocking (Graded out of 25)

    Power: Power (Graded out of 20)

    Agl: Agility (Graded out of 20)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

           

    Right Tackle Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamPassRunPowerAglPosOvr
    1Marcus GilbertPIT20201615778
    2Bryan BulagaGB21191515777
    3Zach StriefNO19211514776
    4Demar DotsonTB20191316775
    5Marcus CannonNE19201514775
    6Mitchell SchwartzKC18201515775
    7Ryan SchraederATL18201514774
    8Ricky WagnerBAL18211513774
    9Austin HowardOAK19201513774
    10Bobby MassieCHI18191415773
    11Bobby HartNYG19191315773
    12Morgan MosesWAS18201513773
    13Riley ReiffDET17201513772
    14Donald StephensonDEN17181515772
    15Joe BarksdaleSD17201414772
    16Doug FreeDAL17201413771
    17Trai TurnerCAR17191513771
    18Allen BarbrePHI17191414771
    19Jermey ParnellJAX17181514771
    20Trenton BrownSF17191512770
    21Joe ReitzIND17191413770
    22Ja'Wuan JamesMIA17191413770
    23Eric WinstonCIN18171413769
    24Jordan MillsBUF16191413769
    25Bradley SowellSEA16191313768
    26Jeremiah SirlesMIN16181313767
    27Chris ClarkHOU16181312766
    28Ulrick JohnARI16181312766
    29Joe HaegIND16181312766
    30Breno GiacominiNYJ16171412766
    31Rob HavensteinLA15171312764
    32Cedric OgbuehiCIN16161212763

             

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Daryl Williams—injury
    • Halapoulivaati Vaitai—injury
    • Andre Smith Jr.—injury
    • Garry Gilliam—inactive
    • Derek Newton—injury
    • Jack Conklin—bye
    • Austin Pasztor—bye
    • Lane Johnson—suspension

Offensive Guards

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    San Diego's Orlando Franklin has been one of the league's most inconsistent guards this year, but after a couple of weeks of poor play, he bounced back up near the top of this week's grades. Franklin is a huge reason why Melvin Gordon enjoyed early success this season, and when he is on, he's a force to be reckoned with in the run game.

    His inconsistency likely boils down to wear and tear. Franklin has a lengthy injury record, and if some of those injuries still bother him from time to time, it would explain the stark difference in his week-to-week play.

    Franklin is a hulk of a man who relies on power to win, and when he isn't feeling right, it would make sense that his footwork, which is not his strength, would suffer to the point where it becomes a problem for him in pass protection.

    Franklin will always be strong enough to hold up in a straight line, even if he is banged up. But when he is able to move better, the Chargers can pull and get him to the second level where he can decimate smaller linebackers and defensive backs. He also has enough lateral agility and hip smoothness these days to handle stunts and quicker pass-rushers opposing teams throw his way to try to expose him. 

                 

    Grading Scale

    Pass: Pass Protection (Graded out of 25)

    Run: Run-Blocking (Graded out of 25)

    Power: Power (Graded out of 20)

    Agl: Agility (Graded out of 20)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

     

    Offensive Guard Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamPassRunPowerAglPosOvr
    1Mark GlowinskiSEA16201816777
    2Zack MartinDAL19181715776
    3Marshal YandaBAL19171814775
    4Andy LevitreATL17191814775
    5Ali MarpetTB18161716774
    6Orlando FranklinSD17181814774
    7Richie IncognitoBUF17181814774
    8Germain IfediSEA15191814773
    9Andrew NorwellCAR15181815773
    10Graham GlasgowDET19161714773
    11Lane TaylorGB19141617773
    12Shaq MasonNE16171715772
    13David DeCastroPIT17161616772
    14Zach FultonKC18161714772
    15Kelechi OsemeleOAK16181813772
    16Joe HaegIND16171616772
    17Jahri EvansNO19141714771
    18Ronald LearyDAL15181714771
    19Marshall NewhouseNYG18161614771
    20Jason SpriggsGB18151516771
    21Eric KushCHI15181714771
    22Chris ScottCAR18151714771
    23John MillerBUF16171714771
    24Mike IupatiARI17161615771
    25Kevin ZeitlerCIN17151714770
    26Alex BooneMIN15171615770
    27Xavier Su'a-FiloHOU14181614769
    28Jermon BushrodMIA16151615769
    29Max GarciaDEN15171713769
    30Ted LarsenCHI16171613769
    31Larry WarfordDET15161714769
    32Kevin PamphileTB15171614769
    33Brandon ScherffWAS16151615769
    34Gabe JacksonOAK15161714769
    35Jack MewhortIND16151615769
    36Zane BeadlesSF15161614768
    37Ramon FosterPIT15161614768
    38Vladimir DucasseBAL15161713768
    39Laremy TunsilMIA16151514767
    40Isaac SeumaloPHI14151714767
    41John JerryNYG14161614767
    42Cody WichmannLA16141515767
    43Laurent Duvernay-TardifKC17131415766
    44Senio KelemeteNO14151614766
    45Clint BolingCIN16141514766
    46Shawn LauvaoWAS13161614766
    47Denzelle GoodIND15151613766
    48Chris ReedJAX14161513765
    49Chris ChesterATL13171612765
    50Joshua GarnettSF13151713765
    51Brian WintersNYJ14151514765
    52A.J. CannJAX13161612764
    53Jamon BrownLA14131614764
    54John WetzelARI15131415764
    55James CarpenterNYJ13161612764
    56Stefen WisniewskiPHI14131514763
    57Joe ThuneyNE14121416763
    58Brandon FuscoMIN12151513762
    59Michael SchofieldDEN13121315760
    60Jeff AllenHOU12141512760
    61D.J. FlukerSD12121513759

                 

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • John Greco—injury
    • Spencer Drango—bye
    • Quinton Spain—bye
    • Josh Kline—bye
    • Alvin Bailey—bye
    • Kyle Long—injury
    • T.J. Lang—injury
    • La'el Collins—injury
    • Evan Mathis—injury
    • Justin Pugh—injury
    • Joel Bitonio—injury
    • Kraig Urbik—insufficient snaps
    • Laken Tomlinson—insufficient snaps
    • Denver Kirkland—insufficient snaps
    • Brandon Brooks—insufficient snaps
    • Don Barclay—insufficient snaps
    • Josh Sitton—insufficient snaps
    • Jonotthan Harrison—insufficient snaps
    • Patrick Omameh—insufficient snaps
    • Oday Aboushi—insufficient snaps

Centers

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    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    There was some good center play in Week 13. Two of the more interesting matchups to watch were Travis Frederick on Linval Joseph and Alex Mack on Dontari Poe and the rest of the Chiefs front. Frederick held Joseph at bay all night and had a couple of explosive reps where he dictated Joseph at the line and opened up big holes for Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys running game.

    Mack was especially fun to watch, as he made the Falcons offensive line scheme click. The left side of Mack and Andy Levitre was exceptional, and they complement each other well. Mack’s athleticism and ability to quickly read defenders' movements does so much for Atlanta’s offense, creating giant holes and spacing for Devonta Freeman on the ground. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's zone-blocking scheme is beautiful to watch when executed correctly, and this veteran offensive led by Mack knows it well. 

                   

    Grading Scale:

    Pass: Pass Protection (Graded out of 25)

    Run: Run Blocking (Graded out of 25)

    Power: Power (Graded out of 20)

    Agl: Agility (Graded out of 20)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

             

    Center Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamPassRunPowerAglPosOvr
    1Maurkice PounceyPIT18191716676
    2Travis FrederickDAL18201814676
    3Travis SwansonDET19171815675
    4Alex MackATL18181716675
    5Cody WhitehairCHI16171617672
    6Mitch MorseKC19161516672
    7Rodney HudsonOAK19161615672
    8Ryan GroyBUF18171614671
    9Weston RichburgNYG16181615671
    10Jeremy ZuttahBAL18161714671
    11Corey LinsleyGB19141615670
    12Max UngerNO17151616670
    13Matt SlausonSD18161614670
    14Ryan KellyIND16161517670
    15Greg ManczHOU16171714670
    16David AndrewsNE16171713669
    17John SullivanWAS14181714669
    18Russell BodineCIN16161714669
    19Justin BrittSEA15171515668
    20A.Q. ShipleyARI17151515668
    21Tyler LarsenCAR18151415668
    22Brandon LinderJAX17171215667
    23Matt ParadisDEN17141713667
    24Jason KelcePHI15141516666
    25Nick MangoldNYJ16141614666
    26Spencer LongWAS15141614665
    27Joe HawleyTB16131614665
    28Nick EastonMIN13171316665
    29Daniel KilgoreSF11161714664
    30Anthony SteenMIA14141514663
    31Tim BarnesLA14131514662

          

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Ben Jones—bye
    • Cameron Erving—bye
    • John Greco—injury
    • Gino Gradkowski—injury
    • Mike Pouncey—injury
    • Ryan Kalil—injury
    • Eric Wood—injury
    • JC Tretter—injury
    • Jonotthan Harrison—insufficient snaps
    • Ted Larsen—insufficient snaps
    • Kraig Urbik—insufficient snaps

3-4 Defensive Ends

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    The combined run-defense performances of Denver's Jared Crick and Derek Wolfe stood out this week. They dominated the Jaguars offensive line, and both guys made it difficult to find any room. This wasn't just a case of clogging up running lanes; this duo was defeating blocks and tackling well.

    Besides them, we get the usual suspects in DeForest Buckner, Akiem Hicks and Chris Baker. Watching these big guys defend the run is a pleasure, but Baker and Hicks are difference-makers for their added ability to rush the passer. 

                  

    Grading Scale

    Snap: Snap Explosion (Graded out of 15)

    Rush: Pass Rush (Graded out of 25)

    Run: Run Defense (Graded out of 30)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 20)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

                

    3-4 Defensive End Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamSnapRushRunTklPosOvr
    1DeForest BucknerSF13162217775
    2Akiem HicksCHI13182115774
    3Jared CrickDEN12162216773
    4Derek WolfeDEN13142414772
    5Chris BakerWAS13182014772
    6Ricky Jean-FrancoisWAS12162215772
    7Calais CampbellARI12172114771
    8Ziggy HoodWAS13162015771
    9Corey LiugetSD12132414770
    10Mike DanielsGB13162014770
    11Frostee RuckerARI12162014769
    12Dean LowryGB12181715769
    13Josh MauroARI12161914768
    14Mitch UnreinCHI13161913768
    15Denico AutryOAK12161913767
    16Joey BosaSD13141914767
    17Cornelius WashingtonCHI12161814767
    18Quinton DialSF12151914767
    19Chris JonesKC13161813767
    20Timmy JerniganBAL12132113766
    21Ronald BlairSF12151913766
    22Brent UrbanBAL11161713764
    23Antonio SmithHOU11151912764
    24Stephon TuittPIT12141912764
    25Billy WinnDEN10141814763
    26Rakeem Nunez-RochesKC12131813763
    27Kendall ReyesKC11131913763
    28Ricardo MathewsPIT11141713762
    29Lawrence GuyBAL11121812760
    30Darius PhilonSD10122012761
    31Leger DouzableBUF10121912760
    32Arthur JonesIND9121913760
    33Henry AndersonIND10131712759
    34Christian CovingtonHOU8121812757

                  

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Emmanuel Ogbah—bye
    • Carl Nassib—bye
    • Xavier Cooper—bye
    • Jamie Meder—bye
    • Jurrell Casey—bye
    • Karl Klug—bye
    • DaQuan Jones—bye
    • Cameron Heyward—injury
    • Arik Armstead—injury

4-3 Defensive Ends

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    Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

    The top five names in the league this week at the 4-3 defensive end position should come to no surprise. Khalil Mack of Oakland is on his way to a potential Defensive Player of the Year season in his third year in the league, while Carlos Dunlap of the Cincinnati Bengals once again has proved he is the second-best pass-rushing defensive end in the AFC when he's at his best.

    In the NFC, two of the top three pass-rushers hailed from Minnesota, as the Vikings pass rush almost single-handedly kept the team in a close game against the Dallas Cowboys. Everson Griffen is a known commodity, but Danielle Hunter, a second-year 22-year-old, now has 9.5 sacks on the year. The superathlete only posted 4.5 sacks in his entire college career at LSU.

    Athleticism matters, as is proved by the second-half bounce-back year by Cameron Jordan, who was struggling early on with the New Orleans Saints, and Brandon Graham, who is on pace for a career year as a 28-year-old end.

    Kerry Hyder of Detroit and Vic Beasley of Atlanta, the two soaring stars of this year's NFL at the position, continued their dominant 2016. And Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks returned to the field in the first time in over a month. 

                 

    Grading Scale

    Rush: Pass Rush (Graded out of 25)

    Run: Run Defense (Graded out of 25)

    Snap: Snap Explosion (Graded out of 20)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 20)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

                  

    4-3 Defensive End Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamRushRunSnapTklPosOvr
    1Khalil MackOAK23151616878
    2Carlos DunlapCIN26151413876
    3Danielle HunterMIN21151616876
    4Cameron JordanNO22141615875
    5Everson GriffenMIN20141616874
    6Brandon GrahamPHI21141515873
    7Kerry HyderDET21131515872
    8Michael BennettSEA20141515872
    9Vic BeasleyATL21131514871
    10Kony EalyCAR21131415871
    11Olivier VernonNYG22131414871
    12Cliff AvrilSEA21131613871
    13Frank ClarkSEA21131514871
    14Noah SpenceTB20131614871
    15Cameron WakeMIA20141513870
    16Dwight FreeneyATL20131514870
    17Ezekiel AnsahDET21131513870
    18Brian RobisonMIN20131514870
    19Darryl TappNO19131515870
    20Jason Pierre-PaulNYG20131514870
    21Ryan DelaireCAR18141514869
    22Benson MayowaDAL20131414869
    23DeMarcus LawrenceDAL20121514869
    24Muhammad WilkersonNYJ18161314869
    25Devin TaylorDET19141414869
    26William HayesLA20131414869
    27Cassius MarshSEA20131414869
    28Jabaal SheardNE20131215868
    29Chris LongNE22121313868
    30Wes HortonCAR18131415868
    31David IrvingDAL19131414868
    32Armonty BryantDET19131414868
    33Romeo OkwaraNYG19131414868
    34William GholstonTB19121415868
    35Trey FlowersNE19151213867
    36Connor BarwinPHI19131413867
    37Marcus SmithPHI19131413867
    38Vinny CurryPHI18131414867
    39Robert AyersTB19121414867
    40Margus HuntCIN19151212866
    41Will ClarkeCIN19141312866
    42Dante FowlerJAX17161312866
    43Andre BranchMIA18141313866
    44Brooks ReedATL19111414866
    45Charles JohnsonCAR19121413866
    46Matt LongacreLA19131313866
    47Ryan RussellTB18131314866
    48Jack CrawfordDAL17131413865
    49Anthony ZettelDET18131412865
    50Ethan WestbrooksLA20111412865
    51Paul KrugerNO19121214865
    52Kerry WynnNYG18121314865
    53Ben GarlandATL18121313864
    54Eugene SimsLA19111313864
    55Tyrone CrawfordDAL18121312863
    56Michael JohnsonCIN18131211862
    57Mario WilliamsMIA16141112861
    58Sheldon RichardsonNYJ17121110858

                 

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Yannick Ngakoue—insufficient snaps
    • Jared Odrick—inactive
    • Lorenzo Mauldin—injury
    • Adrian Clayborn—injury
    • Robert Quinn—injury
    • Mario Addison—injury

Defensive Tackles

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Aaron Donald finishes at the top of the defensive tackle rankings once again. He didn't blow up the stat sheet this week, but he had another dominant showing versus the Patriots offensive line. He was getting pressure in the short passing game, disrupting longer pass drops and routinely showing strong gap discipline. Donald has been one of the most consistently great players in the NFL this year, and this week was no different.

    Marcell Dareus had one hell of a game against a tough Raiders offensive line. Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson can be overwhelming at times, yet Dareus was consistently able to control the line of scrimmage versus the run. Dareus is at the top of his game now; he and Kyle Williams aren't at fault for the Bills' current defensive woes. 

    Gerald McCoy and Malik Jackson had excellent games rushing the passer this week. McCoy made D.J. Fluker look silly on a handful of occasions, including a devastating spin move that led to an incomplete pass. Jackson had his way with a weak Broncos interior this week. He was a menace as a pass-rusher, moving Paxton Lynch off his spot and making life difficult for the rookie. He's turning into the impact interior pass-rusher the Jaguars expected him to be when they signed him in August.

                

    Grading Scale

    Snap: Snap Explosion (Graded out of 25)

    Rush: Pass Rush (Graded out of 25)

    Run: Run Defense (Graded out of 25)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 15)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

                  

    Defensive Tackle Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamSnapRushRunTklPosOvr
    1Aaron DonaldLA20182014779
    2Gerald McCoyTB19192012777
    3Marcell DareusBUF17152213774
    4Geno AtkinsCIN19171812773
    5Malik JacksonJAX18191712773
    6Malcom BrownNE17162011771
    7Nick FairleyNO17171812771
    8Leonard WilliamsNYJ18181612771
    9Sheldon RankinsNO16161813770
    10Fletcher CoxPHI18141912770
    11Kyle WilliamsBUF17151911769
    12Sen'Derrick MarksJAX17161712769
    13Damon HarrisonNYG16142012769
    14Linval JosephMIN16151812768
    15Brandon WilliamsBAL16141812767
    16Star LotuleleiCAR17161611767
    17Terrell McClainDAL16151712767
    18Michael BrockersLA16151712767
    19Alan BranchNE16141911767
    20Johnathan HankinsNYG17151612767
    21Jarran ReedSEA16151811767
    22Vernon ButlerCAR15151712766
    23T.Y. McGillIND16151612766
    24Dominique EasleyLA17171411766
    25Ndamukong SuhMIA17151611766
    26Vincent ValentineNE15161711766
    27Deon SimonNYJ17161511766
    28Cullen JenkinsWAS16151612766
    29Grady JarrettATL17141611765
    30Kawann ShortCAR16151512765
    31Letroy GuionGB16141612765
    32Javon HargravePIT17131612765
    33Corey PetersARI14161611764
    34Eddie GoldmanCHI16151511764
    35Haloti NgataDET15151611764
    36Tyrunn WalkerDET15151611764
    37Hassan RidgewayIND15141612764
    38Abry JonesJAX16141611764
    39Jordan HillJAX16141611764
    40Bennie LoganPHI16131711764
    41Ahtyba RubinSEA15151611764
    42Michael PierceBAL16111712763
    43Maliek CollinsDAL15161411763
    44Zach KerrIND16141511763
    45Cam ThomasLA14131712763
    46David OnyemataNO14151611763
    47Beau AllenPHI15141611763
    48Clinton McDonaldTB16141511763
    49DeShawn WilliamsCIN16161310762
    50Cedric ThorntonDAL14141512762
    51D.J. ReaderHOU15111712762
    52Tony McDanielSEA14151610762
    53Akeem SpenceTB14141611762
    54Jonathan BabineauxATL14151510761
    55Sylvester WilliamsDEN15141411761
    56Khyri ThorntonDET16141311761
    57Domata PekoCIN14131511760
    58Dontari PoeKC15141311760
    59Earl MitchellMIA15141410760
    60Tom JohnsonMIN14151311760
    61Tyeler DavisonNO13121612760
    62Destiny VaeaoPHI14121512760
    63Pat SimsCIN13141411759
    64Rakeem Nunez-RochesKC14151211759
    65Jay BromleyNYG14131411759
    66Courtney UpshawATL13121510757
    67Kyle LoveCAR14131310757
    68A'Shawn RobinsonDET14131310757
    69Vince WilforkHOU13111511757
    70Jordan PhillipsMIA13121411757
    71Tyson JacksonATL13121311756
    72Rodney GunterARI13111410755
    73Shamar StephensMIN13131210755
    74Dan WilliamsOAK13141110755
    75Ra'Shede HagemanATL12111410754
    76Adam GotsisDEN13131110754
    77Jihad WardOAK14121110754
    78Glenn DorseySF1413119754
    79David ParryIND11131210753
    80Justin EllisOAK13131010753
    81Damion SquareSD12101410753

              

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Danny Shelton—bye
    • Al Woods—bye
    • Sharrif Floyd—injury
    • Darius Latham—injjury
    • Stacy McGee—injury
    • Will Sutton—injury
    • Steve McLendon—injury
    • Paul Soliai—inactive
    • Mike Purcell—insufficient snaps
    • Kenny Clark—insufficient snaps
    • John Jenkins—inactive

3-4 Outside Linebackers

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    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Week 13 was a good reminder that age is just a number. Older 3-4 outside linebackers littered the top of the week's rankings.

    James Harrison (age 38) was dominant against the Giants; Tamba Hali (33) produced one of his top pass-rushing grades of the season; Trent Cole (34) looked disruptive in his return from injured reserve; Terrell Suggs (34) was unblockable for long stretches against the Dolphins; and Julius Peppers (36) tallied a sack for the third straight game. The calendar says December, but these veterans are showing no signs of slowing down to end the season. 

    Among the other standouts in Week 13 were Whitney Mercilus, who beat Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari for a sack and two important third-down run stops; and Shane Ray, who enjoyed one of his best all-around games of the year during the Broncos' win over the Jaguars.

    Ryan Kerrigan had the top pass-rushing grade of the week, while rookie Leonard Floyd tied for the NFL lead in sacks in Week 13 with two, including one that resulted in a safety.

     

    Grading Scale

    Rush: Pass Rush (Graded out of 25)

    Run: Run Defense (Graded out of 25)

    Cvg: Coverage (Graded out of 15)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 25)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

     

    3-4 Outside Linebacker Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamRushRunCvgTklPosOvr
    1James HarrisonPIT26131219878
    2Whitney MercilusHOU2315921876
    3Shane RayDEN22141021875
    4Tamba HaliKC2612920875
    5Ryan KerriganWAS27121018875
    6Von MillerDEN22131020873
    7Trent ColeIND21151019873
    8Melvin IngramSD24131018873
    9Terrell SuggsBAL2612917872
    10Leonard FloydCHI2511919872
    11Justin HoustonKC2212920871
    12Julius PeppersGB2314818871
    13Shaq LawsonBUF2015919871
    14Lorenzo AlexanderBUF2114918870
    15Shaquil BarrettDEN1915919870
    16Chandler JonesARI23111018870
    17Markus GoldenARI2212919870
    18Trent MurphyWAS23111018870
    19Datone JonesGB2015917869
    20Nick PerryGB1815919869
    21Matt JudonBAL2212918869
    22Ahmad BrooksSF22111018869
    23DeMarcus WareDEN2112918868
    24Kyle EmanuelSD19131017867
    25Ufomba KamaluHOU1913917866
    26Jerry HughesBUF2012916865
    27Clay MatthewsGB2011917865
    28Za'Darius SmithBAL2111916865
    29Willie YoungCHI2012916865
    30Anthony ChickilloPIT1912917865
    31Pernell McPheeCHI1912917865
    32Erik WaldenIND2012916865
    33Frank ZomboKC19111017865
    34Chris LandrumSD2012916865
    35Preston SmithWAS1912917865
    36Elvis DumervilBAL2011916864
    37Dee FordKC18111017864
    38Alex OkaforARI2010916863
    39Jarvis JonesPIT1711918863
    40Akeem AyersIND16111016861
    41Jayrone ElliottGB1711817861
    42Albert McClellanBAL17101016861
    43Akeem DentHOU1612916861
    44Eli HaroldSF1891015860
    45Bud DupreePIT1511916859
    46Tank CarradineSF179915858
    47Curt MaggittIND1410915856

     

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Sam Acho—insufficient snaps
    • Joe Schobert—bye
    • Jamie Collins—bye
    • Corey Lemonier—bye
    • Cam Johnson—bye
    • John Simon—injury
    • Jadeveon Clowney—injury
    • Robert Mathis—injury
    • Lavar Edwards—injury
    • Arthur Moats—insufficient snaps
    • Aaron Lynch—injury
    • Derrick Morgan—bye
    • Brian Orakpo—bye
    • David Bass—bye
    • Kevin Dodd—bye
    • Aaron Wallace—bye

4-3 Outside Linebackers

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    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    There is a familiar name at the top of this week's rankings. Seahawks stud K.J. Wright put on a show against the Panthers on Sunday Night Football.

    Wright is the unheralded star of the Seahawks defense. On Sunday night, the sixth-year veteran did it all. He was stout against the Panthers' rushing attack. The Panthers linemen could not properly deal with how quickly and violently Wright attacked the line of scrimmage. He shined in pass coverage, too, and did not allow anyone in his vicinity to get open. Above all else, Wright forced a fumble early on in the game that further built on the interception fellow linebacker Mike Morgan had on the first play of the game.

    Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr and Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David both failed to play to their talent levels, but aside from those two, most of what happened this week has been seen plenty of times before.

     

    Grading Scale

    Cvg: Coverage (Graded out of 25)

    Run: Run Defense (Graded out of 25)

    Rush: Pass Rush (Graded out of 15)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 25)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

     

    4-3 Outside Linebacker Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamCvgRunRushTklPosOvr
    1K.J. WrightSEA2120721675
    2Bruce IrvinOAK18191120674
    3Nigel BradhamPHI1920720672
    4Vontaze BurfictCIN2120718672
    5Thomas DavisCAR1719721670
    6Telvin SmithJAX18181018670
    7Vincent ReyCIN1919718669
    8Mike MorganSEA2017718668
    9Sean LeeDAL1817916666
    10Damien WilsonDAL1619718666
    11Jonathan CasillasNYG1619718666
    12Karlos DansbyCIN1717718665
    13Josh BynesDET1716719665
    14Myles JackJAX1717718665
    15Anthony BarrMIN1817915665
    16Dannell EllerbeNO1617917665
    17Lavonte DavidTB1718717665
    18De'Vondre CampbellATL1417719663
    19Kyle Van NoyNE1715916663
    20Cory LittletonLA1516719663
    21Devon KennardNYG1417817662
    22Antwione WilliamsDET1615717661
    23Rob NinkovichNE1516915661
    24Craig RobertsonNO1715815661
    25Jordan JenkinsNYJ1616716661
    26Malcolm SmithOAK1516717661
    27Philip WheelerATL1516716660
    28Shaq ThompsonCAR1416717660
    29Dan SkutaJAX1516716660
    30Neville HewittMIA1616715660
    31Shea McClellinNE1615716660
    32Mike CatapanoNYJ1416816660
    33Mychal KendricksPHI1616715660
    34Spencer PaysingerMIA1616814660
    35Keenan RobinsonNYG1415717659
    36Mark BarronLA1513717658
    37Darron LeeNYJ1215718658
    38Chad GreenwayMIN1612716657
    39Stephone AnthonyNO1316715657

     

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Paul Worrilow—insufficient snaps
    • Sean Weatherspoon—insufficient snaps
    • Justin Durant—insufficient snaps
    • DeAndre Levy—injury
    • Koa Misi—insufficient snaps
    • Jelani Jenkins—insufficient snaps
    • Donald Butler—insufficient snaps
    • Jonathan Freeny—insufficient snaps
    • Daryl Smith—insufficient snaps
    • Jaylon Smith—injury
    • Josh Forrest—injury

Inside Linebackers

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Luke Kuechly is still dealing with the effects of a concussion that has forced him out of action in recent weeks. With him gone, there isn't a bona fide star at linebacker in the league. The inside linebackers who fall just behind Kuechly each show inconsistencies in their games, and when they do, you'll see surprising performances and shakeups.

    That's the case for Week 13, as a couple of young inside linebackers find themselves atop the board for their performances Sunday. Denver Broncos linebacker Todd Davis has had an up-and-down season but was a player I was excited about in the preseason. On Sunday, against a poor Jaguars team, Davis looked explosive and aggressive. 

    Joe Thomas, who began the season as Green Bay's coverage backer, had his best game Sunday as well against the Houston Texans. He rushed the passer with aggression, showed better mental processing skills versus the run and was able to use his athleticism in coverage at all levels of the field. The Packers are in the hunt for a playoff spot, and performances like the one from Thomas are surely welcome.

    Anthony Hitchens might be the surprise performer of the week. Hitchens isn't known for his coverage, yet he was highly effective on Thursday Night Football. The Cowboys defense has played much better than many expected, and Hitchens' performance is another example of a team that's outperforming expectations.

    I was excited about Ramik Wilson's play for the Chiefs over the last month-and-a-half. We may have to pump the brakes on that one. Wilson has struggled mightily for multiple weeks, lacking any of the downhill aggression, closing speed or hand usage that made him an immediate upgrade inside. The Chiefs can't make a switch now, but Wilson is close to spending his January exposed in the playoffs.

     

    Grading Scale

    Pass: Pass Defense (Graded out of 25)

    Run: Run Defense (Graded out of 35)

    Rush: Pass Rush (Graded out of 15)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 15)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

     

    Inside Linebacker Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamPassRunRushTklPosOvr
    1Todd DavisDEN21291111678
    2Joe ThomasGB20291111677
    3Lawrence TimmonsPIT21271011675
    4Anthony HitchensDAL20281110675
    5Brandon MarshallDEN20271011674
    6Edwin JacksonIND18291011674
    7Nick KwiatkoskiCHI18281111674
    8Jordan HicksPHI18291010673
    9Paul PoslusznyJAX17291011673
    10Brian CushingHOU1729911672
    11Bobby WagnerSEA18271010671
    12Eric KendricksMIN1728911671
    13Dont'a HightowerNE17271011671
    14Jake RyanGB17271011671
    15C.J. MosleyBAL16271110670
    16Korey ToomerSD16271011670
    17Derrick O. JohnsonKC1827910670
    18D'Qwell JacksonIND17261011670
    19Mike HullMIA17251011669
    20Zach OrrBAL1628109669
    21Benardrick McKinneyHOU16261110669
    22Will ComptonWAS1727910669
    23Corey NelsonDEN1824911668
    24Preston BrownBUF1726811668
    25Su'a CravensWAS16261010668
    26Ryan ShazierPIT1726109668
    27Antonio MorrisonIND1625911667
    28Nick BelloreSF1725811667
    29Kevin MinterARI1625119667
    30John TimuCHI1526911667
    31Kelvin SheppardNYG1526811666
    32Deion JonesATL1724910666
    33Perry RileyOAK1725810666
    34Rey MaualugaCIN1524911665
    35Mason FosterWAS172598665
    36Max BulloughHOU1624910665
    37Deone BucannonARI1524109664
    38Kwon AlexanderTB1724107664
    39Gerald HodgesSF1624810664
    40Denzel PerrymanSD1425910664
    41David HarrisNYJ1524810663
    42A.J. KleinCAR182289663
    43Michael WilhoiteSF1622810662
    44Zach BrownBUF1621810661
    45Kiko AlonsoMIA152189659
    46Alec OgletreeLA162098659
    47Ramik WilsonKC142286656

     

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Chris Kirksey—bye
    • Demario Davis—bye
    • Avery Williamson—bye
    • Wesley Woodyard—bye
    • Sean Spence—bye
    • Luke Kuechly—injury
    • Danny Trevathan—injury
    • Blake Martinez—injury
    • Jatavis Brown—injury
    • Tahir Whitehead—insufficient snaps
    • Nate Stupar—insufficient snaps
    • Cory James—insufficient snaps
    • Stephen Tulloch—insufficient snaps
    • Joshua Perry—insufficient snaps
    • Jerrell Freeman—suspension

Cornerbacks

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Denver's Chris Harris Jr. is the cream of the crop. He's patient, he's feisty, he's aware, and when they throw it his way, he finds a way to force an incompletion. Harris allowed three catches on nine targets for 25 yards. He also broke up a pass, intercepted another and had two run stops. Hands down, Denver has the best group of corners in the league.

    Malcolm Butler gave up a long pass on a double move once the game was decided, but before that, he was having a fantastic day in coverage. For a corner under 6'0", he is one of the most physical guys I have seen this year. The Patriots mix up their coverages quite a bit, and Butler can lay the wood.

    The Chiefs got Marcus Peters back, and his presence was felt. The difference when he matched up against Julio Jones was apparent. In one coverage, had the ball not been tipped, Peters jumped Jones' route and likely would've had an interception. He jumped another post route from Atlanta's receivers but dropped the interception. On the day, Peters gave up three of six catches for 46 yards.

    Darrelle Revis doesn't have explosiveness or lateral quickness these days. Sean Smith of the Raiders looks like a box safety playing corner and moves like one too. He was targeted six times and gave up four catches, all going for first downs.

    Patrick Peterson and Josh Norman were tasked with covering a talented corps of receivers. Peterson was one of the most successful cornerbacks this week despite Washington's impressive depth, as he limited Kirk Cousins' success to just one completion on four targets. The cherry on top for Peterson was an interception in the second half that ended the Redskins' comeback bid.

    Norman shadowed Larry Fitzgerald more in the second half than earlier in the game, but he split time all over the field. As usual, he competed with a high motor and showed great physicality in coverage. He was not only beaten several times in coverage, but he was also run over once by Jermaine Gresham on a tackle attempt and another time in the run game by Cardinals guard Mike Iupati.

    Cowboys corner Brandon Carr had played well in relief of Mo Claiborne as the defense's No. 1 corner until Week 13. In 45 coverage snaps versus Minnesota, Carr allowed nine of 12 targets to be completed for eight first downs. He was credited with three blown coverages, second behind Tramaine Brock of the 49ers for the most this week.

     

    Grading Scale

    Cvg: Coverage (Graded out of 30)

    React: Reaction/Recovery (Graded out of 30)

    Slot: Slot (Graded out of 20)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 10)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

     

    Cornerback Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamCvgReactSlotTklPosOvr
    1Chris Harris Jr.DEN2626188987
    2Casey HaywardSD2425166980
    3Jalen RamseyJAX2324166978
    4Patrick PetersonARI2221187977
    5Tavon YoungBAL2322167977
    6Bradley RobyDEN2223176977
    7Aqib TalibDEN2223166976
    8Johnathan JosephHOU2322166976
    9Malcolm ButlerNE2321176976
    10Marcus PetersKC2024166975
    11T.J. CarrieOAK2122176975
    12Darius SlayDET2120186974
    13Eric RoweNE2221166974
    14Eli AppleNYG2021186974
    15Jimmy SmithBAL2221165973
    16Stephon GilmoreBUF2221156973
    17Richard ShermanSEA2020186973
    18A.J. BouyeHOU2222164973
    19Logan RyanNE2120167973
    20Ross CockrellPIT2220166973
    21Artie BurnsPIT2121166973
    22Darryl MorrisIND2022165972
    23William GayPIT2120166972
    24Josh ShawCIN2021165971
    25Terrance MitchellKC2021165971
    26Byron MaxwellMIA2021165971
    27Josh NormanWAS1921184971
    28Dre KirkpatrickCIN2120164970
    29Trumaine JohnsonLA1819176969
    30Xavier RhodesMIN1919175969
    31DeShawn SheadSEA1818167968
    32Adam JonesCIN2119154968
    33Cyrus JonesNE1820155967
    34Janoris JenkinsNYG1718175966
    35Darqueze DennardCIN1718147965
    36Rashaan MelvinIND1818155965
    37Vontae DavisIND1818155965
    38Bashaud BreelandWAS1718165965
    39Jalen CollinsATL1817155964
    40Tracy PorterCHI1617175964
    41Nevin LawsonDET1717165964
    42Aaron ColvinJAX1717165964
    43Dominique Rodgers-CromartieNYG1817155964
    44Bryce CallahanCHI1616175963
    45Delvin BreauxNO1617165963
    46Tyvon BranchARI1615175962
    47Chris MiltonIND1716155962
    48Daryl WorleyCAR1616155961
    49Lamarcus JoynerLA1615165961
    50Kendall FullerWAS1516165961
    51Vernon HargreavesTB1515166961
    52Robert AlfordATL1516146960
    53Captain MunnerlynMIN1416165960
    54Brent GrimesTB1514165959
    55Darrelle RevisNYJ1615154959
    56Shareece WrightBAL1415155958
    57Jerraud PowersBAL1614154958
    58Nickell Robey-ColemanBUF1515154958
    59James BradberryCAR1315156958
    60Jeremy LaneSEA1514155958
    61Ladarius GunterGB1514155958
    62Trae WaynesMIN1514155958
    63Sterling MooreNO1414156958
    64Alterraun VernerTB1415146958
    65Buster SkrineNYJ1514155958
    66Quinton DunbarWAS1515145958
    67Orlando ScandrickDAL1415145957
    68Quandre DiggsDET1415145957
    69Leonard JohnsonCAR1414155957
    70Rashard RobinsonSF1414137957
    71Daryl RobertsNYJ1414155957
    72Nolan CarrollPHI1415145957
    73Robert McCainCAR1315145956
    74Quinten RollinsGB1315136956
    75Prince AmukamaraJAX1314155956
    76David AmersonOAK1315144955
    77Brian PooleATL1313145954
    78Anthony BrownDAL1413135954
    79Damarious RandallGB1214145954
    80Kareem JacksonHOU1315143954
    81Steven NelsonKC1314135954
    82Sean SmithOAK1214145954
    83Marcus CooperARI1213145953
    84Trevor WilliamsSD1213145953
    85Mike JordanLA1214135953
    86Bobby McCainMIA1213145953
    87Cre'von LeBlancCHI1313134952
    88Jimmie WardSF1212135951
    89Jalen MillsPHI1213134951
    90Leodis McKelvinPHI1211145951
    91Kevon SeymourBUF1211135950
    92Brandon CarrDAL1211135950
    93Tony LippettMIA1211135950
    94Craig MagerSD1211125949
    95Charles JamesHOU1110135948
    96E.J. GainesLA1111125948
    97Tramaine BrockSF1010135947
    98B.W. WebbNO1011125947

     

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Jason McCourty—bye
    • Perrish Cox—bye
    • Brice McCain—bye
    • Joe Haden—bye
    • Jamar Taylor—bye
    • Tramon Williams—bye
    • Briean Boddy-Calhoun—bye
    • Desmond Trufant—injury
    • Terence Newman—insufficient snaps
    • Sam Shields—injury
    • Morris Claiborne—injury
    • Jason Verrett—injury
    • Brandon Flowers—injury

Free Safeties

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    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    Lions safety Glover Quin is the surprise name at the top of the free safety rankings this week. Against a potent Saints passing attack, Quin was all over the field making plays. He started well in the first quarter, buzzing down to a spot route, taking it away from Drew Brees and forcing him to check down to the flat.

    Later on, Quin read a tight end running down the seam perfectly. He broke down on the route and landed a big hit as the ball arrived, forcing it out and breaking up the pass. On a deep shot to Brandin Cooks, Quin looked beaten but managed to recover and dived at full stretch to get his hand on the ball and break up the pass. A few series later, he made a great read on a deep ball to Cooks, intercepting the pass.

    Mike Mitchell of the Steelers also had a strong week facing a tough Giants passing attack. While he had a quiet start to the game, he did a good job of staying on top of Odell Beckham Jr. and negating much of his threat. In the second half, the Giants began to force the ball to Beckham, but Mitchell didn't back down.

    In the third quarter, he read a crossing route from Beckham perfectly. In the fourth quarter, Mitchell had another pass breakup. Once again, he read a route from Beckham, driving down from his deep zone and arriving just before the ball. A few series later, he nearly had an interception, once again breaking down on a crossing route to Beckham.

     

    Grading Scale

    Cvg: Coverage (Graded out of 30)

    Rec: Recovery (Graded out of 30)

    Slot: Slot/LB (Graded out of 10)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 20)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

     

    Free Safety Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamCvgRecSlotTklPosOvr
    1Glover QuinDET2525516879
    2Mike MitchellPIT2525615879
    3Byron JonesDAL2524615878
    4Earl ThomasSEA2525515878
    5Lardarius WebbBAL2424516877
    6Ha Ha Clinton-DixGB2423616877
    7Harrison SmithMIN2324616877
    8George IlokaCIN2423516876
    9Steven TerrellSEA2424415875
    10D.J. SwearingerARI2322615874
    11Tre BostonCAR2323416874
    12Darian StewartDEN2323515874
    13Darius ButlerIND2322516874
    14Devin McCourtyNE2223516874
    15Marcus GilchristNYJ2321516873
    16Ricardo AllenATL2123515872
    17Corey GrahamBUF2221615872
    18Jairus ByrdNO2321515872
    19T.J. GreenIND2222415871
    20Ron ParkerKC2221515871
    21Deon BushCHI2120516870
    22Jeff HeathDAL2120516870
    23Duron HarmonNE2122415870
    24Reggie NelsonOAK2120515869
    25Justin SimmonsDEN1919616868
    26Rodney McLeodPHI1821615868
    27Dwight LowerySD2020515868
    28Tashaun GipsonJAX2019515867
    29Will BlackmonWAS1919516867
    30Maurice AlexanderLA2019514866
    31Michael ThomasMIA1918615866
    32Vonn BellNO2019514866
    33Antoine BetheaSF1819615866
    34Isa-Abdul QuddusMIA1819515865
    35Bradley McDougaldTB1819515865
    36Andrew AdamsNYG1919414864
    37Corey MooreHOU1817415862

     

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Ibraheim Campbell—bye
    • Rashad Johnson—bye
    • Kevin Byard—bye
    • Adrian Amos—inactive
    • Clayton Geathers—inactive
    • Nat Berhe—inactive
    • Kentrell Brice—insufficient snaps
    • Andre Hal—insufficient snaps

Strong Safeties

21 of 23

    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Chiefs star safety Eric Berry was born in Atlanta and spent much of his time there while undergoing cancer treatment a few years ago. He returned there this weekend and put on a strong performance against the Falcons. His play over the course of the game was solid, but he had two highlight plays that put him over the top. Both were interceptions, with the first coming in the second quarter.

    He was playing in a deep zone while reading a deep over route from Falcons receiver Taylor Gabriel. Berry read the route and spotted quarterback Matt Ryan beginning his throwing motion. He jumped the route and made the interception in front of Gabriel. But he wasn't content with just the pick. He eluded tacklers and worked through traffic to return it for a touchdown.

    Berry's second interception was just as important. Late in the fourth quarter, the Falcons scored a touchdown and were looking to convert a two-point attempt to put them up by three. Berry read a crossing route from the far side of the field and got his eyes in the backfield. As soon as Ryan released the ball, Berry jumped it and made the pick. Just like before, Berry wasn't content with the stop and had a free run all the way back, turning the interception into two points, which eventually became the game-winning ones.

    The Giants' Landon Collins continued his impressive sophomore season this week. A Steelers offense that contains Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown can put a lot of stress on a safety, but Collins stood up to the test for the most part. He had a couple of pass breakups, the first coming on a crossing route by Steelers wide receiver Eli Rogers. Collins broke down quickly from his deep zone and landed a hit as the ball arrived. The hit caused Rogers to drop the pass and allowed Collins to get the Giants off the field on third down.

    Similarly, Collins broke down on a crossing route from a tight end in the second quarter. This time, he was closer to the play and managed to undercut the route, getting his hand on the ball to break up the pass. Collins did have one mistake in coverage, however. Late in the third quarter, he bit down on a fake bubble screen, allowing a tight end to run past him in the process. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is too good to miss out on that type of opportunity and threw the ball over Collins to the tight end for a touchdown.

        

    Grading Scale

    Cvg: Coverage (Graded out of 25)

    Rec: Recovery (Graded out of 25)

    Slot: Slot/LB (Graded out of 20)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 20)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

        

    Strong Safety Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamCvgRecSlotTklPosOvr
    1Eric BerryKC22221515680
    2Sean DavisPIT20201615677
    3Quintin DempsHOU20191616677
    4Landon CollinsNYG19201615676
    5Barry ChurchDAL19191616676
    6Keith TandyTB21191515676
    7T.J. WardDEN19191516675
    8Jahleel AddaeSD19191515674
    9Kam ChancellorSEA18181616674
    10Morgan BurnettGB18181615673
    11Andrew SendejoMIN18181615673
    12Harold Jones-QuarteyCHI18171516672
    13Shawn WilliamsCIN18181515672
    14Mike AdamsIND18171516672
    15Tony JeffersonARI17181515671
    16Karl JosephOAK17171516671
    17James IhedigboBUF16171516670
    18Jaylen WatkinsPHI16171516670
    19Corey WhiteBUF17161515669
    20Daniel SorensenKC16171515669
    21T.J. McDonaldLA17171415669
    22Bacarri RamboMIA17171415669
    23Kenny VaccaroNO17171415669
    24Eric WeddleBAL17161415668
    25Tavon WilsonDET17161415668
    26Johnathan CyprienJAX17161415668
    27Patrick ChungNE16171415668
    28Keanu NealATL16161415667
    29Will ParksDEN16151416667
    30Miles KillebrewDET16161415667
    31Rontez MilesNYJ16161415667
    32Malcolm JenkinsPHI16161415667
    33Adrian PhillipsSD16161415667
    34Duke IhenachoWAS16161514667
    35Eddie PleasantHOU16151415666
    36Nate AllenOAK16151415666
    37Jaquiski TarttSF15161415666
    38Clayton FejedelemCIN14151416665
    39Rafael BushDET15151415665
    40Donte WhitnerWAS15151415665
    41Michael GriffinCAR13151214660

        

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Derrick Kindred—bye
    • Da'Norris Searcy—bye
    • Daimion Stafford—bye
    • Kurt Coleman—inactive
    • J.J. Wilcox—inactive
    • Calvin Pryor—inactive
    • Chris Conte—inactive
    • Robert Golden—insufficient snaps

Kickers

22 of 23

    Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

    While Stephen Gostkowski has struggled at times this year, his Week 13 effort was one of his strongest of the season, though it still does not match the heights seen by Dan Bailey in Week 1 or Justin Tucker in Week 12. Gostkowski was perfect on the day, including connections on two 45-yard attempts and a 48-yarder en route to a New England victory over the Rams.

    Gostkowski's primary issue this year has been inconsistent balance and a flatter swing plane, but he appears to be showing a more upright motion that benefited him this week. Repetition will be key as he looks to build momentum for a deep playoff run. 

    Matt Prater had another strong week for the Lions in what is his best season as a pro to date. He has been consistent this year and has made clutch kicks in several games as well.

    Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski, Washington's Dustin Hopkins and Seattle's Steven Hauschka join Prater and Gostkowski atop the leaderboard. Janikowski has been below average for much of the year, and Hopkins has struggled in recent weeks as well. But both turned in performances with strikes from distance, with Janikowski making three from 40-49 yards and Hopkins drilling a 53-yarder. Hauschka is having one of the best years of his career and was perfect for the week, though he didn't have any long-distance attempts to challenge him.

    Houston's Nick Novak had the toughest week of any kicker, slipping and missing an extra point due to cold and slick conditions. While conditions must be taken into account in grading, players must also account for them in order to adjust their technique or equipment to overcome issues, especially on kicks such as this. Novak is in line with his career accuracy numbers at this point, so he'll likely return to the middle of the pack in the future.

    Kansas City's Cairo Santos, Philadelphia's Caleb Sturgis, San Diego's Josh Lambo and Tampa Bay rookie Roberto Aguayo also struggled this week. The three veterans have been strong this year, though I noted several weeks ago that Sturgis was due for a regression, which is begining to happen.

    Aguayo is the most concerning. After three weeks without any misses, he once again missed in back-to-back weeks and is not putting up the numbers required by NFL kickers in today's game. While rookie struggles can happen, Aguayo's 31-yard miss against the Chargers is the kind that will leave significant questions he will need to address in the final four weeks of the season. Otherwise, he will likely face competition in camp next summer.

        

    Grading Scale

    Pwr: Kick Power (Graded out of 40)

    Acc: Kick Accuracy (Graded out of 40)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 10)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

        

    Kicker Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamPwrAccTklPosOvr
    1Stephen GostkowskiNE32383376
    2Matt PraterDET34353375
    3Sebastian JanikowskiOAK32373375
    4Dustin HopkinsWAS33363375
    5Steven HauschkaSEA31383375
    6Adam VinatieriIND32373375
    7Matt BryantATL34343374
    8Justin TuckerBAL33343373
    9Randy BullockPIT31333370
    10Brandon McManusDEN31323369
    11Wil LutzNO31313368
    12Dan CarpenterBUF31313368
    13Connor BarthCHI30323368
    14Jason MyersJAX32303368
    15Dan BaileyDAL31303367
    16Greg ZuerleinLA31303367
    17Kai ForbathMIN28333367
    18Andrew FranksMIA31293366
    19Phil DawsonSF30303366
    20Nick FolkNYJ31293366
    21Mike NugentCIN30275365
    22Mason CrosbyGB31283365
    23Robbie GouldNYG30283364
    24Graham GanoCAR31273364
    25Chandler CatanzaroARI29263361
    26Roberto AguayoTB31233360
    27Josh LamboSD30233359
    28Caleb SturgisPHI30223358
    29Cairo SantosKC31203357
    30Nick NovakHOU29183353

        

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Chris Boswell—injury
    • Cody Parkey—bye
    • Ryan Succop—bye

Punters

23 of 23

    Michael Thomas/Getty Images

    Punting superstar Johnny Hekker is the best punter for Week 13, with booming distance and outstanding ball placement carrying him to the top spot. Hekker has been one of the NFL's top punters for the last several years, and weeks like this are common for him, as he features every attribute a coach desires at the position. He is one of the elite punters in the NFL and put up a strong performance this past week.

    Tampa Bay's Bryan Anger occupies the second spot, as his strong leg vaults him near the top in power categories, though his directional abilities continue to be just slightly above average. Anger likely has the strongest and most consistent leg in the league, but he does lack the top-end accuracy of punters such as Hekker, Indianapolis' Pat McAfee and Oakland's Marquette King. This is still one of the strongest years of his career, and he contniues to have a good season heading into the final quarter. Rounding out the top five are Carolina's Michael Palardy—who is filling in capably for Andy Lee—Dallas' Chris Jones and Kansas City's Dustin Colquitt.

    However, this week was not so much about what happened at the top, but rather how the bottom fell out for many NFL punters. Ten punters scored below 60—the highest number this year, including two below 50—in performances that would not have been acceptable at the college level, let alone in the NFL. The Bears' Pat O'Donnell occupies the bottom spot, as tough conditions in Chicago led to a difficult outing for a punter who has established himself as a capable NFL starter. O'Donnell will likely return to form next week, but this was a challenging week for him.

    Jeff Locke of the Vikings, who had shown stronger-than-expected leg strength throughout much of the year, struggled in Week 13, as did rookie Lachlan Edwards, who continues to lack consistency and is likely not a long-term solution for the Jets.

    Brad Wing also had a rare down week in 2016 for the Giants, and Buffalo's Colton Schmidt and San Diego's Drew Kaser continued up-and-down years as they look to gain some consistency heading into Week 14.

        

    Grading Scale

    Dist: Kick Distance (Graded out of 20)

    Hang: Kick Hang Time (Graded out of 20)

    Acc: Kick Accuracy (Graded out of 45)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 5)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

        

    Punter Rankings Week 13
    RankPlayerTeamDistHangAccTklPosOvr
    1Johnny HekkerLA2015383379
    2Bryan AngerTB1818313373
    3Michael PalardyCAR1414383372
    4Chris JonesDAL1220333371
    5Dustin ColquittKC1718303371
    6Matt BosherATL1318323369
    7Shane LechlerHOU1712334369
    8Pat McAfeeIND1716303369
    9Riley DixonDEN1515323368
    10Tress WayWAS1518293368
    11Kevin HuberCIN1515293365
    12Sam MartinDET1415303365
    13Jacob SchumGB1213343365
    14Jon RyanSEA1017323365
    15Brad NortmanJAX1515283364
    16Thomas MorsteadNO714363363
    17Jordan BerryPIT714363363
    18Matt DarrMIA1013333362
    19Marquette KingOAK1016293361
    20Sam KochBAL813333360
    21Bradley PinionSF715293357
    22Drew ButlerARI616283356
    23Donnie JonesPHI611333356
    24Ryan AllenNE1012273355
    25Drew KaserSD89313354
    26Colton SchmidtBUF610303352
    27Brad WingNYG1112233352
    28Lachlan EdwardsNYJ1211213350
    29Jeff LockeMIN213283349
    30Pat O'DonnellCHI411263347

        

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Brett Kern—bye
    • Britton Colquitt—bye
    • Andy Lee—injury

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