NFL1000: Ranking the Top 1,000 Players from Week 5

Doug Farrar@@BR_DougFarrar NFL Lead ScoutOctober 13, 2016

NFL1000: Ranking the Top 1,000 Players from Week 5

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    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    The 5-0 Minnesota Vikings are the lone undefeated team remaining in the 2016 NFL season, and our top player in this week’s NFL1000 should give the rest of the league pause. We know that head coach Mike Zimmer’s team has a stellar defense with playmakers at every level—defense is Zimmer’s stock in trade, and he has done a brilliant job in that regard. But it’s quarterback Sam Bradford, acquired by Minnesota after it lost Teddy Bridgewater for the season, who could be the difference when playoff time comes around.

    Bradford’s history is well-known. He was amazing at Oklahoma but struggled to find his feet in a series of restrictive offenses in St. Louis. His move to Philadelphia in 2015 allowed him to start to show the kind of quarterback he could be. And when Vikings general manager Rick Spielman traded two draft picks, including his 2017 first-rounder, for Bradford in early September, the perfect marriage of player and scheme was on.

    Offensive coordinator Norv Turner merged his vertical passing and play-action concepts with ideas Bradford found familiar from his days with Chip Kelly, and Bradford’s efficient showing against the Houston Texans last Sunday in a 31-13 home win was the latest iteration of that perfect match.

    Bradford completed 22 of 30 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns, making fill-in receiver Adam Thielen a star in the process, and he made mincemeat of Houston’s highly regarded secondary with a series of pinpoint passes. Turner has set up a passing game in which Bradford eyes his targets and gets the ball out in a hurry, compensating for Minnesota’s subpar offensive line. The results have been arguably better than what the Vikings would have enjoyed with Bridgewater—also a very good quarterback but not blessed with Bradford’s deep arm.

    Bradford was one of five Vikings to make the top 50 in NFL1000 this week. The others were defensive players (safeties Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo; defensive end Everson Griffen; and linebacker Eric Kendricks), and this Vikings squad looks like the best team in the NFL on both sides of the ball right now.

    The Green Bay offense didn’t look quite as efficient in the Packers' 23-16 home win over the New York Giants on Sunday night, but quarterback Aaron Rodgers' offensive line ranks quite highly in this week’s metrics, with left tackle David Bakhtiari, right guard T.J. Lang and center JC Tretter all in our top 50.

    Tretter’s performance was particularly strong. He had to deal with a Giants interior front, led by Damon Harrison, that has beaten up a lot of centers to this point in the season. He and his linemates availed themselves well. Now, if head coach Mike McCarthy can forward the passing playbook into the 21st century and throw a few designed openings for his receivers into the mix, the Packers might be in good shape.

    The return of quarterback Tom Brady opened up the Patriots' passing game, with tight end Martellus Bennett grabbing three touchdowns in a 33-13 beatdown of the Cleveland Browns. But Bennett isn’t the only New England tight end in our top 50 this week. Rob Gronkowski had the more complete game. He was able to constantly win his battles to establish position on defenders and make catches in every receiving area.

    Something else you’ll notice in this week’s NFL1000: There are two Dallas Cowboys players in the top five, and neither of them is Dak Prescott or Ezekiel Elliott. The rookies both had strong games in their team’s 28-14 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, but guard Zack Martin was dominant in opening gaps for Elliott against Cincinnati’s excellent defensive front, and safety Barry Church was adept both in run support and as a zone defender on shorter passes. The best teams are able to depend on top performances from their less buzzy players, and the Cowboys are starting to resemble such a team.

    Part of Bleacher Report's NFL1000 player-rating methodology that matters 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 what the NFL presents on the field every week, and the NFL1000 goes as deep as any to tell you just what's going on.

    With a 17-person crew of experienced evaluators, we'll comb through the game tapes 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 rising and 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, Alex Kirby, 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 5 of the 2016 NFL season.

    All advanced stats are courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

Methodology

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    Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

    The NFL1000 team of scouts was given a series of important attributes to grade for every player in its positional review. Using a grading scale starting at zero and going up to anywhere from 10 to 40 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 have 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 such as 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 those 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 5

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    We’ve already talked about most everyone in the top five this week, so let’s discuss a few of the big movers in this week’s NFL1000. Tom Brady’s return was the big story for the Patriots last Sunday, but New England’s top-ranked player is Malcom Brown. The tackle got two sacks and four total stops, and he proved to be a real problem for Cleveland’s blockers.

    Atlanta has perhaps the NFL’s most dynamic offense right now, but let’s not overlook its defense. Head coach Dan Quinn is developing good young safeties in Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen. Neal, the team’s first-round pick in 2016, was particularly effective against the Denver Broncos. Neal fills the same role Kam Chancellor does with the Seahawks, the team that used to have Quinn as its defensive coordinator. And in Quinn’s preferred zone-coverage schemes, there must be an enforcer to do everything from stopping short and intermediate completions to blowing up running backs and making slot receivers think twice about the wisdom of those crossing routes. So far, Neal looks like a perfect fit for that coveted role.

    Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy got fat against the Los Angeles Rams' outstanding front seven, rushing 18 times for 150 yards and breaking a lot of ankles along the way. McCoy has long been one of the NFL’s most elusive runners, and he proved in his team's 30-19 win that he’s still got it.

    Several Cardinals helped their team get back on track against the 49ers last Thursday, and the one to watch in future weeks is edge-rusher Markus Golden. It’s relatively easy to generate pressure against the San Francisco offensive line, but Golden put up three sacks, two hurries and seven total stops. His stock has been rising for a while, and this may be his breakout game. We’ll see what the New York Jets have to say about that on Monday Night Football.

    Finally, you may be wondering about Adam Vinatieri's place in the top 20. The veteran made all five of his field-goal attempts, including two from more than 50 yards away, and was responsible for 17 of the Colts' 29 points in their win over the Chicago Bears. He’s perfect on the season with 13 makes in 13 tries, including 10 field goals of 40 yards or more. Without Vinatieri’s foot, one wonders where the Colts would be right now.

    Top 50 Overall from Week 5
    RankPlayerPos.TeamNFL1000 ScoreLWMoving
    1Sam BradfordQBMIN9351
    2Zack MartinOGDAL856
    3Keanu NealSSATL85334
    4Barry ChurchSSDAL83495
    5Malcom BrownDTNE83174
    6David BakhtiariLTGB82NR
    7Eric KendricksILBMIN82224
    8Patrick PetersonCBARI8257
    9Mike IupatiOGARI82214
    10LeSean McCoyRBBUF82154
    11Aaron DonaldDTLA8112
    12Tyron SmithLTDAL81NR
    13Fletcher CoxDTPHI81NR
    14Andrew SendejoSSMIN81146
    15David A. JohnsonRBARI8124
    16T.J. LangOGGB81NR
    17Marcus MariotaQBTEN81704
    18Ryan KalilCCAR81681
    19Adam VinatieriKIND81286
    20Byron JonesFSDAL80598
    21Travis FrederickCDAL8070
    22Tom BradyQBNE80NR
    23Harrison SmithFSMIN8047
    24Cordy GlennLTBUF8026
    25Zach BrownILBBUF8029
    26DeMarco MurrayRBTEN8064
    27Kurt ColemanSSCAR80600
    28JC TretterCGB80NR
    29Aqib TalibCBDEN798
    30Micah HydeCBGB79NR
    31Le'Veon BellRBPIT797
    32Trent WilliamsLTWAS793
    33Everson Griffen4-3 DEMIN79172
    34Trumaine JohnsonCBLA799
    35Patrick ChungSSNE79331
    36Ben RoethlisbergerQBPIT792
    37Quinton DunbarCBWAS79542
    38Ezekiel ElliottRBDAL7921
    39Colton SchmidtPBUF79453
    40T.Y. HiltonWRIND78408
    41Rob GronkowskiTENE78303
    42Von Miller3-4 OLBDEN7813
    43Bryan BulagaRTGB78NR
    44Ricardo AllenFSATL781024
    45Brian Orakpo3-4 OLBTEN78269
    46Dont'a HightowerILBNE78272
    47Andrew LuckQBIND7855
    48Chris ProsinskiFSCHI78NR
    49Kyle JuszczykFBBAL7830
    50Markus Golden3-4 OLBARI78112

Quarterbacks

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    Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images

    The big shock in Week 5 was the ease with which the Atlanta Falcons swept aside the Denver Broncos. A big reason for the Broncos' loss was the inept play of rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch, but the defense didn't execute close to its established standards. Kyle Shanahan's running backs stood out, while his offensive linemen mostly won their matchups when they were matching up against someone who hadn't won a Super Bowl MVP. That brings us to Matt Ryan

    For the second week in a row, Ryan's grade is lower than you likely would have expected. Ryan again reacted to pressure well, but his ball placement and decisions left a lot to be desired. On two early occasions, he forced passes into tight coverage that should have resulted in interceptions for Aqib Talib and Chris Harris. On either side of the Talib throw, he missed Julio Jones downfield for plays that would have resulted in huge gains. 

    A rating that won't come as a surprise is that of Tom Brady.

    Brady's return against the Cleveland Browns was supposed to be easier than it was. The veteran quarterback made it seem easy, but the Browns got more pressure on him early than he would have expected. He responded well to that pressure and delivered deep passes with a level of precision that he has rarely shown throughout his career. Maybe a month of rest helped his arm strength? Probably not.

    Brady only had one major negative when he misread a zone coverage and threw the ball straight to a waiting defender underneath. Fortunately for him, the defender couldn't control the ball as Martellus Bennett arrived to disrupt him.

    Brady just beat out Ben Roethlisberger, who had another strong game save for a couple of plays where he put the ball at risk. He was just behind Tennessee's Marcus Mariota, who enjoyed the best performance of his season so far against the Miami Dolphins.

    Mariota has struggled in head coach Mike Mularkey's offense, which stresses vertical passing. Against the Dolphins secondary, he spent more time working the underneath early on before opening up the passing game for more intermediate throws. He had a couple of outstanding passes against pressure to Delanie Walker, one of which went for a touchdown, while also providing huge value as a runner. Mariota was great against pressure all game and avoided the big mistakes that have plagued his season to this point.

    In the same game, Ryan Tannehill rarely had a chance to do anything against pressure.

    Tannehill is receiving a huge amount of criticism for his play, but head coach Adam Gase believes that is misguided. Gase defended Tannehill at length on Monday, via ESPN.com's James Walker:

    I know when we have 18 drop-back passes and he's hit or sacked on nine of them, and then the completions we do have, he's got guys in his face. So I'm supposed to blame [Tannehill] for that? I get a look at the whole picture. I'm calling the plays. I know what it's supposed to look like and it's not looking like that right now as far as what's going on around him. ...

    Everybody wants to blame that position. It's the easy one to do because you can see completion, incompletion, interception. When you hit your back foot and you get sacked, there's not much you can do about it.

    Everything Gase said about Tannehill is completely accurate.

    The veteran quarterback was sacked six times and threw two interceptions against the Titans, but the sacks were unavoidable for the most part, and his first interception hit DeVante Parker in the chest. His second interception came in desperation mode late in the fourth quarter when he was hit as he released deep downfield. 

    Speaking of quarterbacks trapped without offensive weapons, Sam Bradford is thriving with the Minnesota Vikings.

    Bradford isn't necessarily in a good situation now as far as his offense goes, but he has receivers who can catch the ball, which is something he has rarely had in his career. Bradford was by far the NFL's best quarterback in Week 5. He constantly made difficult throws against arriving hits while never putting the ball at risk attacking tight windows. It was one of the best performances from a quarterback in the NFL this season.

    The worst performance of the week also came from this game.

    The Minnesota Vikings defense is an intimidating unit, but that's not a reason to go easy on Brock Osweiler. The $72 million man couldn't make simple plays, instead running himself into pressure, throwing wild passes that had no chance of hitting open receivers. Although he only threw one interception, he had a few more passes that were interceptable and was overall completely erratic all day.

    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 5
    RankPlayerTeamAccArmPressDecPosOvr
    1Sam BradfordMIN232418181093
    2Marcus MariotaTEN171918171081
    3Tom BradyNE221916131080
    4Ben RoethlisbergerPIT192216121079
    5Andrew LuckIND202213131078
    6Dak PrescottDAL172115131076
    7Matthew StaffordDET162114141075
    8Tyrod TaylorBUF152015141074
    9Matt RyanATL161916121073
    10Aaron RodgersGB142214121072
    11Derek CarrOAK162311111071
    12Philip RiversSD161813121069
    13Ryan TannehillMIA162010121068
    14Jameis WinstonTB121813151068
    15Andy DaltonCIN151810141067
    16Brian HoyerCHI151812121067
    17Eli ManningNYG131914101066
    18Joe FlaccoBAL131812131066
    19Carson WentzPHI141812111065
    20Cody KesslerCLE161810111065
    21Ryan FitzpatrickNYJ141710111062
    22Drew StantonARI131810111062
    23Case KeenumLA1618991062
    24Derek AndersonCAR15191071061
    25Charlie WhitehurstCLE141710101061
    26Kirk CousinsWAS131710101060
    27Paxton LynchDEN1117781053
    28Blaine GabbertSF716861047
    29Brock OsweilerHOU714561042

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

Running Backs

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    Since Buffalo fired offensive coordinator Greg Roman, the Bills offense has centered on LeSean McCoy, who has looked fantastic. McCoy dominated the Rams inside the tackles all day long. He is no longer dancing at the line of scrimmage, yet he's still making guys miss with ease and busting off big runs on what feels like every other play.

    David Johnson and Le'Veon Bell continue to battle for the title of most complete running back in the league. Against the 49ers on Thursday night, Johnson just embarrassed one of the NFL's worst run defenses. He was easily the fastest player on the field, and San Francisco had no answer. Bell, meanwhile, continued to look incredible in the game against the Jets. New York linebackers had no chance to cover him out of the backfield in the passing game. He was dominant running routes, many of which came with him flexed out wide, where he got open with relative ease. 

    DeMarco Murray continued to build on his Comeback Player of the Year performance with an exceptional game against the Dolphins. He might be the best off-tackle runner in the NFL right now. Displaying his one-cut ability, he is running through tacklers on seemingly an every-down basis. His violent nature and physical form look to be as locked in as any player in the league on offense. 

    Both Atlanta backs were productive in a big upset win against the Denver Broncos at Mile High. Tevin Coleman was elite in the pass game with 132 yards and a touchdown on four catches. His play speed was eye-opening against one of the fastest defenses in recent memory. Devonta Freeman also continued to be one of the more consistent inside runners, gashing Denver on several big runs.

    Frank Gore doesn't have the physical tools he once possessed, but he was solid against the Bears. He still hits the hole hard, with elite vision to get on the second level quickly. Against Chicago, Gore moved past Jim Brown for ninth place on the all-time rushing leaderboard. He's not an ideal every-down player at his age, but he still gets it done for the Colts.

    Jacquizz Rodgers had an effective game for the Bucs on Monday night. While he started because of injuries to Doug Martin and Charles Sims, he showed that he can be a productive backup or third-down option when Martin returns to the lineup after Tampa Bay's Week 6 bye.

    There were also some guys who struggled over the weekend. Ryan Mathews had a big fumble on a routine outside sweep that essentially cost his team the game. Two of the league's three leading rushers heading into Week 5 saw their production dramatically dip. Isaiah Crowell had a tough time early against the Patriots and was rendered irrelevant in the second half when the Browns found themselves down big. The New York Giants running game is average and soft without Rashad Jennings.

    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 5
    RankPlayerTeamInOutRecBlkPosOvr
    1LeSean McCoyBUF22191718682
    2David A. JohnsonARI22191717681
    3DeMarco MurrayTEN20191718680
    4Le'Veon BellPIT18181918679
    5Ezekiel ElliottDAL20191717679
    6Devonta FreemanATL19171817677
    7Tevin ColemanATL18162016676
    8Jordan HowardCHI19171716675
    9Eddie LacyGB20171616675
    10Todd GurleyLA19181715675
    11Darren SprolesPHI19171715674
    12Derrick HenryTEN19171616674
    13Jacquizz RodgersTB20161616674
    14Melvin GordonSD19161616673
    15Carlos HydeSF18161716673
    16Giovani BernardCIN16181716673
    17DeAndre WashingtonOAK18151716672
    18Theo RiddickDET15181815672
    19Frank GoreIND18151617672
    20Matt AsiataMIN18151716672
    21James StarksGB17151617671
    22Jalen RichardOAK15171815671
    23Ryan MathewsPHI18151616671
    24Cameron Artis-PayneCAR17171515670
    25Lamar MillerHOU17171515670
    26Jay AjayiMIA17151616670
    27Jerick McKinnonMIN16171615670
    28Matt ForteNYJ17151616670
    29Alfred MorrisDAL17151616670
    30C.J. AndersonDEN17151616670
    31Terrance WestBAL18151515669
    32Isaiah CrowellCLE16151616669
    33Zach ZennerDET17141616669
    34Damien WilliamsMIA15151716669
    35Bobby RaineyNYG15161715669
    36Bilal PowellNYJ15151716669
    37Devontae BookerDEN16151715669
    38Fozzy WhittakerCAR15171515668
    39Alfred BlueHOU17151515668
    40James WhiteNE15151715668
    41Paul PerkinsNYG16151615668
    42Duke JohnsonCLE15151615667
    43Kenyon DrakeMIA15161515667
    44Chris ThompsonWAS14161714667
    45Malcolm BrownLA16141714667
    46LeGarrette BlountNE16141416666
    47Matt JonesWAS15141615666
    48Jeremy HillCIN15151515666
    49Mike GillisleeBUF15151415665
    50Andre EllingtonARI15141514664
    51Buck AllenBAL16141414664
    52Josh FergusonIND15141415664
    53Shaun DraughnSF15141415664
    54Orleans DarkwaNYG14151414663

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Adrian Peterson—injury
    • Ameer Abdullah—injury
    • Doug Martin—injury
    • Latavius Murray—injury
    • Rashad Jennings—injury
    • Jeremy Langford—injury
    • DeAngelo Williams—insufficient snaps
    • Christine Michael—bye
    • Thomas Rawls—bye
    • Jamaal Charles—bye
    • Spencer Ware—bye
    • Mark Ingram—bye

Fullbacks

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    Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

    It wasn't the sexiest week for the fullbacks, but that has come to be expected in the NFL this year. Baltimore's Kyle Juszczyk is the league's most well-rounded fullback and had a great outing against the Redskins, clearing holes for Terrance West all game long.

    Atlanta's Patrick DiMarco is right behind Juszczyk when it comes to all-around play at the fullback position. He excelled against the Broncos in the run game and also added a nice 13-yard catch out of the backfield.

    Green Bay's Aaron Ripkowski might have had the run of the week dragging multiple New York Giants with him on a fullback dive. Oakland's Jamize Olawale also continues to be a versatile player. He had a big first down against the Chargers on a nice run where he broke a tackle and also did a good job as a lead blocker.

    Jerome Felton and Jalston Fowler were very good for the Bills and Titans, respectively, in the run game. They both cleared holes all game long and helped their star runners each eclipse 100 yards with ease.

    One guy who hasn't been as good this year, especially Monday night, is Carolina's Mike Tolbert. He looks a step slower than he has in years past and has been ineffective on the ground. 

    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 5
    RankPlayerTeamBlkRunRecPosOvr
    1Kyle JuszczykBAL451811478
    2Patrick DiMarcoATL451711477
    3Aaron RipkowskiGB43219477
    4Jerome FeltonBUF441710475
    5Jamize OlawaleOAK431810475
    6Keith SmithDAL45169474
    7Zach LineMIN441610474
    8Andy JanovichDEN441610474
    9Michael BurtonDET441510473
    10Derek WattSD441510473
    11Jalston FowlerTEN46158473
    12Paul LasikeCHI44158471
    13Malcolm JohnsonCLE43158470
    14James DevelinNE40159468
    15Mike TolbertCAR40158467
    16Cory HarkeyLA41147466

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Jay Prosch—insufficient snaps
    • Anthony Sherman—bye
    • John Kuhn—bye

Wide Receivers

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The story of Week 4 was Julio Jones and his incredible 300-yard performance against the Carolina Panthers. The Atlanta wide receiver faced a stiffer test as the Falcons traveled to Denver in Week 5, and the talented Broncos secondary largely held him in check. Jones saw six targets Sunday and caught only two passes, as he was matched up against Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib on the majority of his snaps. Things do not get any easier this week as Atlanta travels to the West Coast to take on the Seattle Seahawks.

    Cameron Meredith saw the bulk of the action for the Chicago Bears with the injury to Kevin White, and the wideout made the most of his opportunity. Meredith caught nine passes for 130 yards, and he ran a nice stop-and-go route, getting his defender to fall to the turf on his cut, for a touchdown late in the second quarter. On the other side of the field, Alshon Jeffery turned in a solid effort despite catching only five passes for 77 yards. He ran good routes for most of the day and was a hard worker downfield as a blocker.

    In Minnesota, Stefon Diggs was out because of injury, but Adam Thielen picked up the slack, catching seven passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. He ran some solid routes and showed good ability after the catch. The continued development of the 6'2", 220-pound Cordarrelle Patterson into a wide receiver is impressive to watch. As expected, his quickness is helpful after the catch, but on a few plays, he put his strength on display as he stayed upright and fought for additional yardage.

    On a hitch route against Johnathan Joseph, he made the catch short of the first-down marker, and the defensive back had him wrapped up. However, Patterson was able to drag the defender downfield to pick up additional yardage and the first down. In addition, on his short touchdown reception, he failed to get sufficient separation on his corner route but won the football over the defender in a contested-catch situation.

    On Monday night, Mike Evans and Kelvin Benjamin featured as the Buccaneers and Panthers squared off, and both players turned in solid efforts. Evans and Tampa Bay came out slightly on top, as the Buccaneers wideout hauled in six passes for 89 yards and a touchdown in his team's 17-14 victory. His score came on a beautiful stop-and-go route that got analyst Jon Gruden's attention up in the booth. Benjamin was also steady for the Panthers, as he ran some good routes and showed hand strength at the catch point on a number of contested-throw situations.

    Meanwhile, over in the AFC, T.Y. Hilton put the struggling Colts offense on his back and kept his team's division hopes alive by hauling in 10 catches on 11 targets for 171 yards and a touchdown. With all the controversy swirling around the team, the coaching staff and the direction of the franchise, Hilton managed to stay in sync with quarterback Andrew Luck and silence the doubters for at least a week, as he brought in the go-ahead score on a 35-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter.

    Sammie Coates made his living out of the bunch formation against the Jets defense Sunday. His pure speed allowed him to get behind the defense many times, and that forced it to give him a huge cushion underneath, which he then happily took advantage of. Still, his inconsistent hands have kept him from transforming into a true reliable deep threat to complement Antonio Brown, and multiple drops plagued him in this game as well to continue that trend.

    For the second week in a row, Jets wideout Brandon Marshall put on a great show in a losing effort against a tough opponent. He brought in eight catches for 114 yards and a touchdown, and he could've been even more productive if not for a few off-target throws from Ryan Fitzpatrick (and at least one drop on his own). Marshall excels at getting vertical and finding open spots in coverage down the field, and that's what he did against Pittsburgh. But it was not enough to keep up with the high-powered Steelers offense.

    Julian Edelman's production declined this past week with Tom Brady making his return to the Patriots offense, as Cleveland's defense did its best to take away the shifty and (usually) sure-handed receiver. The opponent wasn't the only reason for this, however. Edelman's chemistry with Brady was good but not great. The throws to Edelman that seemed automatic in years past sometimes seemed more difficult because of a couple of drops. It's something they'll be working on a lot during and after practice now that Brady is allowed to be in the building again.

    Lastly, in Oakland, Amari Cooper had the kind of game people have been expecting from the second-year receiver, bringing in six catches for 138 yards and a touchdown, and he would've snagged another one in the back of the end zone if it weren't for a pass-interference penalty on the San Diego secondary. On a day when his counterpart, Michael Crabtree, was struggling, Cooper did what great players do and was there when his team needed him most. He made several crucial catches in a close win over a division rival.

        

    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 5
    RankPlayerTeamRouteHandsYACBlkPosOvr
    1T.Y. HiltonIND22221510978
    2Brandon MarshallNYJ22221410977
    3Amari CooperOAK21201610976
    4Travis BenjaminSD21201510975
    5Cameron MeredithCHI18181514974
    6Brandon LaFellCIN20211212974
    7Larry FitzgeraldARI18191214972
    8Mike WallaceBAL20201310972
    9Demaryius ThomasDEN19191212971
    10Emmanuel SandersDEN19191311971
    11Terrelle Pryor Sr.CLE18201212971
    12Randall CobbGB18171512971
    13DeAndre HopkinsHOU19201310971
    14Adam ThielenMIN18181313971
    15Danny AmendolaNE19171313971
    16Chris HoganNE21171410971
    17Tyrell WilliamsSD18201410971
    18Jeremy KerleySF18191411971
    19Sammie CoatesPIT21171311971
    20Julian EdelmanNE19161511970
    21Alshon JefferyCHI18171313970
    22A.J. GreenCIN19181410970
    23Antonio BrownPIT2020129970
    24Robert WoodsBUF18181212969
    25Terrance WilliamsDAL18181311969
    26Odell Beckham Jr.NYG18171312969
    27Quincy EnunwaNYJ16191411969
    28Mike EvansTB18181311969
    29Steve Smith Sr.BAL17191211968
    30Kelvin BenjaminCAR17171213968
    31Jaelen StrongHOU17181212968
    32Kenny BrittLA16161413968
    33DeVante ParkerMIA17181410968
    34Michael CrabtreeOAK20161310968
    35Andrew HawkinsCLE18181210967
    36Cole BeasleyDAL17171311967
    37Anquan BoldinDET15161314967
    38Tavon AustinLA17161411967
    39Jarvis LandryMIA18171112967
    40Jordan MatthewsPHI16171312967
    41Pierre GarconWAS17181211967
    42Marquise GoodwinBUF18171210966
    43Eddie RoyalCHI17171211966
    44Marvin JonesDET17161212966
    45Quan BrayIND18161211966
    46Brian QuickLA16161411966
    47Cordarrelle PattersonMIN17171211966
    48Seth RobertsOAK17161212966
    49Rishard MatthewsTEN18171210966
    50Jamison CrowderWAS17171310966
    51Mohamed SanuATL16151312965
    52Jordan NorwoodDEN18161111965
    53Golden TateDET16161311965
    54Jordy NelsonGB17161211965
    55Dontrelle InmanSD16171112965
    56Vincent JacksonTB16171112965
    57DeSean JacksonWAS18171110965
    58Breshad PerrimanBAL15171112964
    59Philly BrownCAR14161114964
    60Davante AdamsGB17161111964
    61Chester RogersIND17161210964
    62Malcolm MitchellNE16161211964
    63Markus WheatonPIT15171310964
    64John BrownARI17141112963
    65Julio JonesATL16141212963
    66Tyler BoydCIN16171110963
    67Jarius WrightMIN15161112963
    68Andre HolmesOAK15161112963
    69Dorial Green-BeckhamPHI16151310963
    70Quinton PattonSF16161111963
    71Tajae SharpeTEN17161110963
    72Ricardo LouisCLE15161210962
    73Braxton MillerHOU16151111962
    74Kenny StillsMIA17151110962
    75Sterling ShepardNYG15161111962
    76Adam HumphriesTB16161110962
    77Andre JohnsonTEN16161011962
    78Jaron BrownARI17131012961
    79Cody LatimerDEN15141112961
    80Bennie FowlerDEN15161011961
    81Will Fuller VHOU16151110961
    82Charles JohnsonMIN15151111961
    83Nelson AgholorPHI15151111961
    84Josh HuffPHI15161110961
    85Kamar AikenBAL16141110960
    86Brice ButlerDAL14141112960
    87Michael FloydARI16131011959
    88Ted Ginn Jr.CAR14141111959
    89Lucky WhiteheadDAL13131014959
    90Matthew SlaterNE14141210959
    91Charone PeakeNYJ14141111959
    92Taylor GabrielATL14131111958
    93Walter PowellBUF15141010958
    94Robby AndersonNYJ15141010958
    95Darrius Heyward-BeyPIT14131111958
    96Griff WhalenSD13141111958
    97Torrey SmithSF16131010958
    98Josh BellamyCHI14141010957
    99Cody CoreCIN13141110957
    100Rashard HigginsCLE13141110957
    101Phillip DorsettIND13141110957
    102Bradley MarquezLA14131011957
    103Johnny HoltonOAK13131012957
    104Rod StreaterSF15131010957
    105Marc MarianiTEN13141110957
    106Justin HardyATL13131011956
    107Devin FunchessCAR13131011956
    108Alex EricksonCIN13141010956
    109Jordan TaylorDEN13131011956
    110Andre RobertsDET13131011956
    111Trevor DavisGB13131011956
    112Pharoh CooperLA14131010956
    113Russell ShepardTB13131011956
    114Aldrick RobinsonATL13131010955
    115Justin HunterBUF13131010955
    116Jordan PaytonCLE13101310955
    117Jeff JanisGB13131010955
    118Mike ThomasLA13131010955
    119Laquon TreadwellMIN13131010955
    120Victor CruzNYG14121010955
    121Ryan GrantWAS13131010955

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Kevin White—injury
    • Dez Bryant—injury
    • Stefon Diggs—injury
    • Cecil Shorts—injury
    • Josh Doctson—injury
    • Brandin Cooks—bye
    • Willie Snead—bye
    • Michael Thomas—bye
    • Brandon Coleman—bye
    • Doug Baldwin—bye
    • Jermaine Kearse—bye
    • Tyler Lockett—bye
    • Paul Richardson—bye
    • Allen Robinson—bye
    • Allen Hurns—bye
    • Rashad Greene—bye
    • Marqise Lee—bye
    • Jeremy Maclin—bye
    • Chris Conley—bye

Tight Ends

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    Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

    Familiar faces stay atop the ranking for another week, with Carolina's Greg Olsen, Dallas' Jason Witten, Washington's Jordan Reed and Chicago's Zach Miller remaining above the fray.

    Olsen had a monster game for the Panthers on Monday Night Football, catching nine passes for 181 yards. He was also a solid contributor as a blocker, making a number of key blocks to spring runners on the edges or on the inside when serving as a lead blocker.

    Witten continues to be a consistent target for rookie signal-caller Dak Prescott and even showed some ability after the catch with an impressive run where he displayed a powerful stiff arm.

    Reed did not turn in a big game for Washington on paper but ran solid routes throughout the day and was effective as a blocker. His numbers were likely down on the day because of the weather conditions, with wind gusts above 30 mph making passing difficult in Baltimore.

    Minnesota's Kyle Rudolph, who's enjoying a strong season, fell back a bit this week. He struggled to get consistent separation on his routes and only caught two passes for 15 yards. But he continued to be a strong blocker, particularly on short-yardage plays.

    In case we haven't said it enough already, Brady was back on the field.

    His return meant big things for New England's Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett against the Browns, and the legendary quarterback wasted no time getting them the football. Bennett racked up three touchdowns, including two thrown inside the red zone. The Browns left him incredibly wide-open on one of them, and he was able to walk across the goal line.

    While Gronkowski didn't get into the end zone against Cleveland, he had the more complete game by controlling the line of scrimmage to his side of the formations and getting open on a variety of routes all over the field against the Browns defense.

    Speaking of dynamic duos at the tight end position, Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry are turning into a formidable pair of weapons for the San Diego offense (that is, as long as Gates is healthy enough to stay on the field). With both grabbing a touchdown pass against Oakland on Sunday, they continue to be some of the most consistent parts of a Chargers offense that has been otherwise underwhelming.

    Finally, Jesse James is starting to make a name for himself in Pittsburgh, and with all the dangerous weapons at Ben Roethlisberger's disposal, the last thing opposing defensive coordinators need is another threat to catch the football.

    That's what the Steelers offense found in James, who had six catches for 43 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's game. He did an excellent job up front against that physical Jets defensive line, using leverage and great fundamentals to get movement at the line of scrimmage. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley found multiple ways to get him the football, including unique screen passes, and he showed what he can do with the ball in his hands after the catch as well.

        

    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 5
    RankPlayerTeamRouteHandsYACBlkPosOvr
    1Rob GronkowskiNE17201520678
    2Greg OlsenCAR17201518676
    3Jason WittenDAL15191519674
    4Martellus BennettNE15201418673
    5Dennis PittaBAL16211317673
    6Jordan ReedWAS16191517673
    7Jesse JamesPIT18191217672
    8Charles ClayBUF15191317670
    9C.J. UzomahCIN15191317670
    10Dwayne AllenIND15191415669
    11Antonio GatesSD15191217669
    12Zach MillerCHI15161318668
    13Hunter HenrySD15201116668
    14Crockett GillmoreBAL13181218667
    15C.J. FiedorowiczHOU14181316667
    16Delanie WalkerTEN14171317667
    17Tyler KroftCIN13171217665
    18Gary BarnidgeCLE15171116665
    19Kyle RudolphMIN14151119665
    20Cameron BrateTB15151217665
    21Vernon DavisWAS13151417665
    22Lance KendricksLA14151217664
    23Will TyeNYG13171216664
    24Jacob TammeATL14161116663
    25Zach ErtzPHI15161214663
    26Anthony FasanoTEN12151218663
    27Jack DoyleIND13161116662
    28Dominique JonesMIA13161017662
    29Brandon MyersTB14141018662
    30David JohnsonPIT12151216661
    31Nick O'LearyBUF12141018660
    32Geoff SwaimDAL12131019660
    33John PhillipsDEN12141117660
    34Jeff HeuermanDEN13131018660
    35Ryan GriffinHOU13141017660
    36Dion SimsMIA12151116660
    37Kellen DavisNYJ12131118660
    38Mychal RiveraOAK13151016660
    39Richard RodgersGB14141114659
    40Jerell AdamsNYG12141017659
    41Brandon BostickNYJ11141216659
    42Logan PaulsenCHI11131018658
    43Ryan HewittCIN12141016658
    44Austin Seferian-JenkinsNYJ12151015658
    45Phillip SupernawTEN12131017658
    46Jermaine GreshamARI13131015657
    47Austin HooperATL13131015657
    48Levine ToiloloATL11131017657
    49Khari LeeDET11131017657
    50Brent CelekPHI11131017657
    51Trey BurtonPHI13141113657
    52Garrett CelekSF14131014657
    53Tyler HigbeeLA12131015656
    54MyCole PruittMIN11131016656
    55Hakeem VallesARI12131014655
    56Darren WallerBAL10131016655
    57Ed DicksonCAR11131015655
    58Randall TelferCLE11141014655
    59Connor HamlettCLE11141014655
    60Gavin EscobarDAL10131016655
    61Blake BellSF12131014655
    62Niles PaulWAS10131016655
    63Erik SwoopeIND10131015654
    64Marqueis GrayMIA10131015654
    65Sean McGrathSD11131113654
    66Justin PerilloGB10131014653
    67AJ DerbyNE10131014653
    68Clay HarborDET12131011652

             

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Troy Niklas—injury
    • Eric Ebron—injury
    • Jared Cook—injury
    • Rhett Ellison—injury
    • Larry Donnell—injury
    • Luke Stocker—injury
    • Coby Fleener—bye
    • Josh Hill—bye
    • Jimmy Graham—bye
    • Luke Willson—bye
    • Julius Thomas—bye
    • Marcedes Lewis—bye
    • Travis Kelce—bye

Left Tackles

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    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Week 5's top performer at left tackle was Green Bay's David Bakhtiari. As mentioned a few weeks back in the intro, Bakhtiari may not be well-known, but he has started to establish himself as an elite pass protector. On Sunday night, he put out clinic tape against the Giants.

    The 6'4", 300-pound tackle displays excellent balance, weight distribution and is consistently able to create leverage with his hands to anchor in the pass protection. Bakhtiari is able to take the necessary sets that allow him to be in position to win. He also did a good job running his feet on contact and opening sole huge running lanes, specifically when the Packers asked him to "angle drive" block on the front side of the outside zone.

    The Packers rewarded Bakhtiari with a big contract extension in September, and his performance has put the NFL on notice of why. Dallas Cowboys All-Pro tackle Tyron Smith was back in the starting lineup after missing Weeks 3 and 4. There would be no easing back in to things, as Smith and the Cowboys had the Bengals Week 5. But the dominant Smith showed no rust and played a clean game with the exception of one questionable holding call where he reached the edge defender within two steps on an outside zone play.

    Trent Williams and Cordy Glenn both turned in physically dominant performances against Baltimore and Los Angeles, respectively. There are moments in Glenn's game when he flashes Willie Roaf-like moments. (I know, big words here.) 

                  

    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 5
    RankPlayerTeamPassRunPowerAglPosOvr
    1David BakhtiariGB21191618882
    2Tyron SmithDAL20181718881
    3Cordy GlennBUF20191716880
    4Trent WilliamsWAS19191617879
    5Jason PetersPHI18181816878
    6Joe ThomasCLE20161419877
    7Russell OkungDEN18201515876
    8Taylor LewanTEN18181615875
    9Joe StaleySF17191516875
    10Jake MatthewsATL19171614874
    11Nate SolderNE18181515874
    12Donald PennOAK17181714874
    13Jared VeldheerARI17191514873
    14Andrew WhitworthCIN16181615873
    15Taylor DeckerDET17171515872
    16Anthony CastonzoIND17171515872
    17Alex LewisBAL17161515871
    18Charles Leno Jr.CHI16161515870
    19King DunlapSD17161514870
    20Duane BrownHOU16171414869
    21Alejandro VillanuevaPIT16161415869
    22Mike RemmersCAR17161413868
    23Donovan SmithTB15161514868
    24Greg RobinsonLA14151614867
    25Chris ClarkHOU15161313865
    26Ryan CladyNYJ14151314864
    27Ereck FlowersNYG12141413861
    28Billy TurnerMIA13141414863
    29T.J. ClemmingsMIN12141312859

                    

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Ronnie Stanley—injury
    • Michael Oher—injury
    • Laremy Tunsil—injury
    • Branden Albert—injury
    • Matt Kalil—injury
    • Cyrus Kouandjio—insufficient snaps
    • Kelvin Beachum—bye
    • Eric Fisher—bye
    • Bradley Sowell—bye
    • Terron Armstead—bye
    • Andrus Peat—bye

Right Tackles

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    Dylan Buell/Getty Images

    Green Bay's Bryan Bulaga was the top performer among right tackles in Week 5. Against the New York Giants, he did it all. He was stout in pass protection versus the likes of Jason Pierre-Paul and Oliver Vernon, only surrendering two hurries in 45 pass attempts and opening up running lanes as Green Bay churned out 147 yards on the ground.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers' stout right tackle, Marcus Gilbert, left Week 4's Sunday night game against the Chiefs with an injury and was inactive for Week 5. His backup versus the Chiefs was Ryan Harris, who also suffered an injury late in the KC game. The Steelers turned to third-year man Chris Hubbard, who filled in admirably at right tackle against a talented New York Jets front seven in Week 5.

    Every so often, offensive line fans get treated in a way only true hogs can appreciate, and that happened this weekend when Ravens All-Pro right guard Marshal Yanda saw significant snaps at right tackle. It is always fun when he has to slide out because he's a natural at the position. Yanda played tackle at Iowa and went on to be a third-round draft pick in 2007. In 2014, there was a stretch when he saw significant time at right tackle against Cleveland, New England and Pittsburgh. 

    Lane Johnson is a storyline the NFL1000 has been keeping up with over the previous five weeks, as he faced a 10-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. On Tuesday, the NFL announced it upheld Johnson's suspension, so the Eagles will be without his services for the next 10 weeks.

    Even though left tackles generally get the glory, right tackles are just as important. Quarterbacks don't want a less talented player covering that side when guys such as Von Miller, J.J. Watt and Khalil Mack are bearing down.

                   

    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 5
    RankPlayerTeamPassRunPowerAglPosOvr
    1Bryan BulagaGB20191616778
    2Lane JohnsonPHI20191516777
    3Marshal YandaBAL18191616776
    4Ryan SchraederATL18181616775
    5Morgan MosesWAS18191515774
    6D.J. HumphriesARI17171517773
    7Trenton BrownSF16181814773
    8Demar DotsonTB17181614772
    9Doug FreeDAL17191514772
    10Jack ConklinTEN17181614772
    11Ty NsekheWAS17171515771
    12Daryl WilliamsCAR18161515771
    13Riley ReiffDET16181614771
    14Cameron FlemingNE18171613771
    15Vadal AlexanderOAK16171515770
    16Rob HavensteinLA17171514770
    17Bobby MassieCHI17171514770
    18Jeremiah SirlesMIN17171414769
    19Derek NewtonHOU16181414769
    20Chris HubbardPIT17171315769
    21Cedric OgbuehiCIN14171515768
    22Ben IjalanaNYJ16171414768
    23Jordan MillsBUF15171513767
    24Ricky WagnerBAL16161413766
    25Austin PasztorCLE16161314766
    26Joe HaegIND15161413765
    27Bobby HartNYG15151314764
    28Ja'Wuan JamesMIA14151413763
    29Chris HairstonSD14151413763
    30Ty SambrailoDEN13141313760

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Marcus Gilbert—injury
    • Donald Stephenson—injury
    • Andre Smith Jr.—injury
    • Marcus Cannon—injury
    • Marshall Newhouse—injury
    • Matt McCants—injury
    • Menelik Watson—injury
    • Joe Barksdale—injury
    • Joe Reitz —insufficient snaps
    • Austin Howard—insufficient snaps
    • Denver Kirkland —insufficient snaps
    • Jermey Parnell—bye
    • Mitchell Schwartz—bye
    • Zach Strief—bye
    • Garry Gilliam—bye

Offensive Guards

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    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Cowboys right guard Zack Martin has been one of the best at his position since he came into the league out of Notre Dame in the first round of the 2014 draft, but watching him beat up Cincinnati's defensive line in Week 5 was a special treat. Martin has the perfect combination of agility, technique and sheer nastiness, and it was all on display in a 28-14 Dallas win in which rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot thrashed the Bengals for 134 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Most of that would not have happened without Martin's efforts, and it's no surprise that he's our top-ranked guard this week. 

    The Atlanta Falcons are seeing a ton of success on offense right now, and the offensive line has been a huge part of that. Its synergy is largely unmatched and has been a pleasant surprise given the addition of Alex Mack this offseason. Andy Levitre, Mack and Chris Chester have all been around the block, and it's clear their experience and fit in coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme is a perfect recipe for Atlanta.

    On the other hand, the Los Angeles Rams have had one of most dysfunctional interiors from a communication standpoint. There has been way too much confusion with line calls, resulting in missed assignments and drive-killing plays. While injuries and poor performances have made the right side a revolving door at times, the Rams have some kinks to work out before they see success on offense. 

                    

    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 5
    RankPlayerTeamPassRunPowerAglPosOvr
    1Zack MartinDAL21231816785
    2Mike IupatiARI22181916782
    3T.J. LangGB22181816781
    4Andrew NorwellCAR18191816778
    5Brandon BrooksPHI17191618777
    6Ronald LearyDAL17201715776
    7Trai TurnerCAR17181915776
    8Chris ChesterATL17191815776
    9Kyle LongCHI19181616776
    10Alex BooneMIN18171617775
    11Josh SittonCHI16191716775
    12Marshal YandaBAL17181716775
    13Justin PughNYG18171716775
    14Ramon FosterPIT19161814774
    15Andy LevitreATL18181714774
    16Brandon ScherffWAS18151816774
    17John MillerBUF17181715774
    18Kelechi OsemeleOAK16181815774
    19John JerryNYG19161715774
    20Richie IncognitoBUF17181714773
    21Ali MarpetTB15191616773
    22Jack MewhortIND17161715772
    23Andrew TillerSF17181713772
    24Allen BarbrePHI16181516772
    25Kevin ZeitlerCIN16171814772
    26Joe ThuneyNE18151517772
    27Lane TaylorGB18161516772
    28Gabe JacksonOAK16171715772
    29Evan MathisARI18161615772
    30Ryan JensenBAL16181714772
    31Joel BitonioCLE16151617771
    32Quinton SpainTEN15191614771
    33Graham GlasgowDET17161714771
    34James CarpenterNYJ18161614771
    35Kevin PamphileTB15171715771
    36David DeCastroPIT17151516770
    37Jamon BrownLA16161714770
    38D.J. FlukerSD16151714769
    39Denzelle GoodIND16161713769
    40Clint BolingCIN14161616769
    41Jeff AllenHOU15161714769
    42Brent QvaleNYJ16151516769
    43Zac KerinMIN16161515769
    44Laken TomlinsonDET14181614769
    45John WetzelARI16171415769
    46Darrion WeemsDEN15171713769
    47Shawn LauvaoWAS15161714769
    48Josh KlineTEN15161614768
    49John UrschelBAL14161714768
    50Larry WarfordDET15171712768
    51Earl WatfordARI16151613767
    52Jermon BushrodMIA14141616767
    53Alvin BaileyCLE16131516767
    54Orlando FranklinSD14161713767
    55Rodger SaffoldLA15151613766
    56Michael SchofieldDEN14141516766
    57Shaq MasonNE14151514765
    58Max GarciaDEN14151613765
    59Xavier Su'a-FiloHOU13151613764
    60Zane BeadlesSF14141315763
    61Dallas ThomasMIA13121415761

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Brian Winters—injury
    • Brandon Fusco—injury
    • Luke Joeckel—injury
    • Senio Kelemete—injury
    • La'el Collins—injury
    • Chance Warmack—injury
    • Laurent Duvernay-Tardif—bye
    • Zach Fulton—bye
    • Tim Lelito—bye
    • Jahri Evans—bye
    • A.J. Cann—bye
    • Patrick Omameh—bye
    • Mark Glowinski—bye
    • Germain Ifedi—bye

Centers

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    Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

    Three centers separated themselves from the pack this week. The most impressive was Carolina's Ryan Kalil. Kalil showed off impressive strength and power at the point of attack, as the Panthers interior dominated a depleted Buccaneers defensive line.

    Travis Frederick lived up to his his reputation as a mauler in the run game, and he opened up gigantic holes for Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. JC Tretter isn't as big of a name as Kalil or Frederick, but he led one of most dominant pass-protection performances I have seen from an interior offensive line. Aaron Rodgers had clean pockets. I only counted one rep where Tretter was beat, an impressive feat against a solid Giants front. 

                 

    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 5
    RankPlayerTeamPassRunPowerAglPosOvr
    1Ryan KalilCAR20191917681
    2Travis FrederickDAL19211816680
    3JC TretterGB22181816680
    4Alex MackATL18191816677
    5Cody WhitehairCHI20181517676
    6Travis SwansonDET19181716676
    7Jason KelcePHI19171617675
    8A.Q. ShipleyARI19181715675
    9Nick MangoldNYJ19171814674
    10Spencer LongWAS17191715674
    11Ben JonesTEN18191615674
    12Ryan KellyIND18161716673
    13Eric WoodBUF17181715673
    14Maurkice PounceyPIT18161715672
    15Rodney HudsonOAK16171815672
    16David AndrewsNE18161714671
    17Mike PounceyMIA16151716670
    18Daniel KilgoreSF18151615670
    19Jeremy ZuttahBAL16161714669
    20Russell BodineCIN15171615669
    21Greg ManczHOU17161514668
    22Matt ParadisDEN15171614668
    23Evan SmithTB16151516668
    24Joe BergerMIN14171713667
    25Weston RichburgNYG16151514666
    26John GrecoCLE13161714666
    27Joe HawleyTB14161614666
    28Wesley JohnsonNYJ16141415665
    29Matt SlausonSD14151515665
    30Tim BarnesLA13151613663

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Cameron Erving—injury
    • Corey Linsley—injury
    • Brandon Linder—bye
    • Justin Britt—bye
    • Max Unger—bye
    • Mitch Morse—bye

3-4 Defensive Ends

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    Without J.J. Watt, it's clear who the best 3-4 defensive end is in the NFL: Calais Campbell in Arizona. He may not put up the biggest numbers, but he's a consistent, high-effort player who continues to disrupt defenses.

    Maybe the most athletic of this group is Jadeveon Clowney, and you wouldn't expect him to be a good run defender, but that's exactly what he does best. One player who deserves some spotlight after two good performances is Tennessee's Karl Klug. He's a high-motor, buzzword specialist, but the guy make plays as a run defender and pass-rusher. His natural leverage, work ethic and burst make him hard to block.

                 

    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 5
    RankPlayerTeamSnapRushRunTklPosOvr
    1Calais CampbellARI11212116675
    2Jadeveon ClowneyHOU14142513672
    3Chris BakerWAS11171816668
    4Cornelius WashingtonCHI12171714666
    5Mike DanielsGB11171814666
    6Quinton DialSF10152015666
    7Jurrell CaseyTEN11181812665
    8Karl KlugTEN13191611665
    9Adolphus WashingtonBUF11171912665
    10Akiem HicksCHI10161814664
    11Jonathan BullardCHI10161715664
    12Jared CrickDEN10131816663
    13Ronald BlairSF10161714663
    14Ziggy HoodWAS10161813663
    15Timmy JerniganBAL10141913662
    16Mitch UnreinCHI8161715662
    17Derek WolfeDEN11151713662
    18Antonio SmithHOU12171512662
    19Dean LowryGB9161614661
    20Arik ArmsteadSF10151515661
    21Matt IoannidisWAS8141815661
    22Christian CovingtonHOU10121913660
    23Stephon TuittPIT10142010660
    24Ricky Jean FrancoisWAS8141814660
    25Cameron HeywardPIT12121712659
    26Angelo BlacksonTEN9141812659
    27Jamie MederCLE7141813658
    28DaQuan JonesTEN10131712658
    29Corey LiugetSD9141315657
    30Carl NassibCLE10141512657
    31Xavier CooperCLE10131612657
    32Frostee RuckerARI9141512656
    33Leger DouzableBUF8131712656
    34Kendall LangfordIND8121812656
    35Taylor HartSF8141612656
    36Tony Jerod-EddieSF7131614656
    37Henry AndersonIND8141611655
    38Billy WinnDEN9121512654
    39Lawrence GuyBAL7121711653
    40Denico AutryOAK8121512653
    41Ricardo MathewsPIT8111611652
    42Darius PhilonSD7131211649

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • J.J. Watt—injury
    • DeForest Buckner—injury
    • Robert Nkemdiche—inactive
    • Allen Bailey—bye
    • Jaye Howard—bye
    • Chris Jones—bye

4-3 Defensive Ends

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Sacks aren't the end-all, be-all for primary pass-rushers, such as 4-3 defensive ends, but when someone has a breakout game in that statistic, one is to assume it is reflective of his pass-rushing talent.

    Last year, Vic Beasley of the Atlanta Falcons recorded four sacks after being selected as the team's first-round pick. This past week against the Denver Broncos, Beasley was able to register 3.5 sacks in a single game. Throughout NFL1000's five-week run, we've noted that Beasley had one of the quicker first steps leaguewide, but up until last Sunday, he was unable to translate that into sacks, the currency of the position.

    It wasn't until Beasley went toe-to-toe with rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch, who held on to the ball a little long all game, and a banged-up offensive line, that his potential flashed on a national stage. The only other 4-3 defensive end this week to record two or more sacks was Brian Robison of the Minnesota Vikings, who may have the best pass-rushing pair in the league between he and Everson Griffen.

    The Houston Texans eventually started lining up an extra offensive lineman as a wing player on Griffen's side to attempt to slow him down. The Texans' sixth offensive lineman failed, and the Vikings eventually won 31-13.

    The other major story from this week was the return of DeMarcus Lawrence for the Dallas Cowboys. After serving a four-game suspension, Lawrence returned to Dallas' defensive line rotation, though not as a starter. Lawrence was initially used on third downs but started seeing more and more reps throughout the team's matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, when it was apparent the Bengals had no way to stop Lawrence's threat as a pass-rusher.

    The breakout of Beasley and Lawrence gives this position group more depth, from a somewhat disappointing unit so far this season. If just a few more names, such as Dallas' Randy Gregory, Los Angeles' Robert Quinn and Detroit's Ezekiel Ansah, can come back full force, the 4-3 defensive ends leaguewide will be in better shape at the top end.

    The Seahawks might have the best group of pass-rushers in the league too, and their bye week kept them off this list. 

                             

    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 5
    RankPlayerTeamRushRunSnapTklPosOvr
    1Everson GriffenMIN23161914779
    2DeMarcus LawrenceDAL23171713777
    3Vic BeasleyATL20151813773
    4Brian RobisonMIN16171517772
    5Jabaal SheardNE18171613771
    6Dwight FreeneyATL18151515770
    7Ryan DavisDAL18151316769
    8Adrian ClaybornATL18161314768
    9Derrick ShelbyATL15161515768
    10Brandon GrahamPHI16141615768
    11Charles JohnsonCAR14171416768
    12Lavar EdwardsCAR16171414768
    13Carlos DunlapCIN19131414767
    14Sheldon RichardsonNYJ16161315767
    15Jack CrawfordDAL17131514766
    16Benson MayowaDAL17151314766
    17Danielle HunterMIN16161512766
    18Jason Pierre-PaulNYG16161413766
    19Ethan WestbrooksLA17151313765
    20Cameron WakeMIA17131513765
    21Brooks ReedATL13151415764
    22Marcus SmithPHI14141514764
    23Chris LongNE15141414764
    24Kony EalyCAR14151314763
    25Kerry HyderDET16151213763
    26Noah SpenceTB14151314763
    27Howard JonesTB16141412763
    28Andre BranchMIA13181212762
    29Olivier VernonNYG16141411762
    30Brandon CopelandDET14151214762
    31William GholstonTB14141314762
    32Trey FlowersNE14161312762
    33Tyrone CrawfordDAL15131214761
    34Devin TaylorDET17131212761
    35Armonty BryantDET17131212761
    36Eugene SimsLA15141312761
    37Romeo OkwaraNYG15151113761
    38Muhammad WilkersonNYJ14151213761
    39Connor BarwinPHI14151312761
    40Davonte LambertTB14141313761
    41Kerry WynnNYG14141213760
    42Vinny CurryPHI14131214760
    43Mario WilliamsMIA16121212759
    44Shilique CalhounOAK13141311758
    45Matt LongacreLA14131113758
    46Khalil MackOAK10151312757
    47Channing WardTB14131112757
    48Mario AddisonCAR12131212756
    49Michael JohnsonCIN12131212756
    50Terrence FedeMIA12141112756
    51Lorenzo MauldinNYJ14121211756
    52Anthony ZettelDET15111210755
    53Margus HuntCIN13131110754
    54Morgan FoxLA14111111754
    55Will ClarkeCIN12121111753
    56Jason JonesMIA149119750

                         

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Ezekiel Ansah—injury
    • Robert Quinn—injury
    • Robert Ayers—injury
    • Randy Gregory—suspension
    • Jared Odrick—bye
    • Dante Fowler—bye
    • Yannick Ngakoue—bye
    • Cameron Jordan—bye
    • Darryl Tapp—bye
    • Paul Kruger—bye
    • Michael Bennett—bye
    • Cliff Avril—bye
    • Frank Clark—bye
    • Cassius Marsh—bye

Defensive Tackles

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    This week in defensive tackle play was a little bit unusual compared to the first quarter of the season. Two big names, Ndamukong Suh and Geno Atkins, struggled in games against the Titans and Cowboys, respectively. Tennessee and Dallas have two of the premier rushing attacks in the league, and Suh and Atkins had issues against their offensive lines this weekend.

    No need to put too much stock into their performances this week, as even the best will falter occasionally.

    Kawann Short had a satisfactory performance against Tampa Bay, but he wasn't his usual dominant self. He performed better than Suh and Atkins in their respective games, but he's played better in the past.

    Malcom Brown had a phenomenal game against the Cleveland Browns. Per ESPN, he was credited with four tackles (three solo), two sacks and two quarterback hits. He also had a handful of quarterback pressures as he finished as the top defensive tackle in this week's NFL1000. His teammate Alan Branch had a solid showing against Cleveland as well.

    The Atlanta Falcons' Grady Jarrett continues to prove he was undervalued as a fifth-round pick in the 2015 NFL draft. Jarrett played a great game against Matt Paradis—the Denver Broncos' underrated center. His move from 3-technique to nose tackle was questioned in the preseason, but his natural leverage, sound technique and explosive athleticism has helped him thrive in his new position.

    Denver's Sylvester Williams struggled mightily against Alex Mack, ending up on the ground several times.

    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 5
    RankPlayerTeamSnapRushRunTklPosOvr
    1Malcom BrownNE19212215683
    2Aaron DonaldLA21192015681
    3Fletcher CoxPHI21211914681
    4Leonard WilliamsNYJ19172114677
    5Kawann ShortCAR19182013676
    6Alan BranchNE17182114676
    7Kyle WilliamsBUF17182014675
    8Linval JosephMIN17162214675
    9Ndamukong SuhMIA19161914674
    10Grady JarrettATL18162014674
    11Terrell McClainDAL18181714673
    12Brandon WilliamsBAL17162013672
    13Steve McLendonNYJ17162013672
    14Tom JohnsonMIN19181613672
    15Johnathan HankinsNYG18171614671
    16Geno AtkinsCIN18171614671
    17Letroy GuionGB16162013671
    18Danny SheltonCLE14152214671
    19Brandon MebaneSD18161713670
    20Star LotuleleiCAR17161714670
    21Kenny ClarkGB17151913670
    22Dominique EasleyLA20161512669
    23Ra'Shede HagemanATL17151912669
    24Maliek CollinsDAL17151912669
    25Javon HargravePIT16151615668
    26Cedric ThorntonDAL16171712668
    27Michael PierceBAL16151912668
    28Damon HarrisonNYG17161513667
    29Bennie LoganPHI16171612667
    30Corbin BryantBUF15161713667
    31Caraun ReidSD17141712666
    32Vince WilforkHOU16151712666
    33Shamar StephensMIN16151613666
    34Tyson JacksonATL14141713664
    35Hassan RidgewayIND16141612664
    36Stacy McGeeOAK16141612664
    37Justin EllisOAK14151711663
    38Domata PekoCIN16141512663
    39Will SuttonCHI16141611663
    40Jay BromleyNYG15161412663
    41Paul SoliaiCAR15141611662
    42D.J. ReaderHOU15141512662
    43Zach KerrIND17151410662
    44Haloti NgataDET15141611662
    45Beau AllenPHI17151410662
    46Courtney UpshawATL15131611661
    47Jihad WardOAK14151412661
    48Dan WilliamsOAK15141214661
    49Jonathan BabineauxATL15141312660
    50A'Shawn RobinsonDET14131512660
    51Jordan PhillipsMIA16131411660
    52Akeem SpenceTB14161310659
    53Pat SimsCIN14151311659
    54David ParryIND14141311658
    55Julius WarmsleyMIA14131310656
    56Cullen JenkinsWAS16121110655
    57Rodney GunterARI14121310655
    58Sylvester WilliamsDEN1411129652
    59Adam GotsisDEN11121210651
    60Mike PurcellSF131299649

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Vincent Valentine—injury
    • Eddie Goldman—injury
    • Sharrif Floyd—injury
    • Michael Brockers—injury
    • Gerald McCoy—injury
    • Clinton McDonald—injury
    • Vernon Butler—injury
    • Al Woods—inactive
    • Marcell Dareus—inactive
    • Austin Johnson—insufficient snaps

3-4 Outside Linebackers

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    Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Four players tied for the Week 5 top OLB grade, and one was—of course—Von Miller. He's now produced the top grade at the position for four straight weeks. Miller had one sack—extending his streak to five games with at least a half-sack to start 2016—and he was dominant at times against the run. But Miller must share the Week 5 top spot with three other worthy OLBs: Brian Orakpo, Markus Golden and Joey Bosa.  

    The Dolphins couldn't block Orakpo, who finished Tennessee's win in Miami with two sacks and three tackles for losses. There was a three-play stretch late in the game in which Orakpo produced two sacks and a pressure by simply beating the offensive tackle with speed around the edge. Meanwhile, Golden finished tied for the week's best grade in both pass rush and run defense. He sacked Blaine Gabbert two times and contributed directly to a number of Arizona's run stops Thursday night.

    The newcomer of the week has to go to Joey Bosa, who looked like a star in the making during his debut against the Raiders. The third overall pick had two sacks and a tackle for loss in only 27 total snaps. All the important attributes he showed Sunday—the athleticism, bend and hand usage—are at the core of every All-Pro pass-rusher.

    Other notables include Lorenzo Alexander and Willie Young, who both produced 3.0 sacks in Week 5. 

    One outside linebacker printing himself money this season is Nick Perry. A Packers first-round pick in 2012, Perry is finally healthy—and the results speak for themselves. He has consistently graded out as a top outside linebacker, and he has 4.5 sacks after four games. The Packers brought him back on a one-year deal for 2016, but if he continues producing at his current level, Perry can start asking for blank checks this offseason.

    One final note: The top four players in sacks after five weeks are all 3-4 outside linebackers. Alexander leads the way with 7.0, Miller has 6.5, and Orakpo and Golden both have 6.0. Stats aren't everything to the NFL1000 process, but the goal of any pass rush is to get the quarterback on the ground.

    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 5
    RankPlayerTeamRushRunCvgTklPosOvr
    1Von MillerDEN20211020778
    2Brian OrakpoTEN22181120778
    3Markus GoldenARI2221919778
    4Joey BosaSD2222918778
    5Melvin IngramSD20181318776
    6Lorenzo AlexanderBUF21171119775
    7Willie YoungCHI22171019775
    8Shane RayDEN19201018774
    9Nick PerryGB1918920773
    10Preston SmithWAS18171120773
    11Terrell SuggsBAL19171019772
    12Whitney MercilusHOU19171019772
    13Shaquil BarrettDEN18181019772
    14Chandler JonesARI18181018771
    15Alex OkaforARI18161218771
    16Derrick MorganTEN1916919770
    17Kyler FackrellGB19151019770
    18Clay MatthewsGB18171117770
    19Erik WaldenIND18171018770
    20Jarvis JonesPIT17171019770
    21Joe SchobertCLE17171118770
    22Trent MurphyWAS17171018769
    23Kyle EmanuelSD16171118769
    24Arthur MoatsPIT18151118769
    25Anthony ChickilloPIT1816919769
    26James HarrisonPIT18171017769
    27Datone JonesGB1817918769
    28John SimonHOU16181117769
    29Jerry HughesBUF19171114768
    30Sam AchoCHI16151118767
    31Za'Darius SmithBAL1517918766
    32Aaron LynchSF16161017766
    33Julius PeppersGB1715918766
    34Ryan KerriganWAS1815917766
    35Lerentee McCrayBUF1516919766
    36Akeem AyersIND14161117765
    37Elvis DumervilBAL1715916764
    38David BassTEN1417917764
    39Cam JohnsonCLE1416918764
    40Curt MaggittIND1616916764
    41Jayrone ElliottGB1614917763
    42Kevin DoddTEN1614917763
    43Robert MathisIND1614917763
    44Emmanuel OgbahCLE1515917763
    45Dekoda WatsonDEN1514917762
    46Eli HaroldSF1615816762
    47Jerry AttaochuSD1615915762
    48Ahmad BrooksSF16131016762
    49Brennan ScarlettHOU1416817762
    50Tank CarderCLE14141116762
    51Corey LemonierCLE1414917761
    52Christian JonesCHI1415816760
    53Tourek WilliamsSD1315816759

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Tank Carradine—injury
    • Leonard Floyd—injury
    • Pernell McPhee—injury
    • Justin Houston—injury
    • DeMarcus Ware—injury
    • Shaq Lawson—injury
    • Matt Judon—inactive
    • Tamba Hali—bye
    • Dee Ford—bye
    • Frank Zombo—bye
    • Dezman Moses—bye

4-3 Outside Linebackers

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    Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports