NFL1000: Ranking the Top 1,000 Players from Week 7

Doug Farrar@@BR_DougFarrar NFL Lead ScoutOctober 27, 2016

NFL1000: Ranking the Top 1,000 Players from Week 7

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    Aqib Talib (No. 21)
    Aqib Talib (No. 21)Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images

    The balance of power is shifting in the NFL.

    Over the last decade, we've all heard about how it's a quarterback-driven league and offense rules the day. That's been predominantly true. But you may have noticed that more defenses are playing at a dominant level this season, while offenses are lagging behind. There's no better example of that than the Sunday night game between the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks, which ended in a 6-6 tie as two great defenses shut down two formerly great offenses.

    Through seven weeks, the metrics are bearing this out. Football Outsiders has five teams below minus-20 percent in defensive DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average). Click here for a full explanation of that stat—defensive DVOA is a positive when it's negative. Last year, only the Denver Broncos finished the season under minus-20 percent. In 2014, no teams hit that mark. In 2013, only the Seahawks did it, and in 2012, only the Chicago Bears pulled it off. You get the idea.

    Better defense may be one of many reasons for the NFL's recent ratings decline, but for hardcore football wonks, great defense is also a relief after years of hyperinflated offensive performances. Our NFL1000 rankings also reflect this trend. Last week, 13 safeties made our top 50, which was justified—safety play in the NFL has improved in both quality and diversity of late.

    This week, there are two cornerbacks in the top five and three in the top 15. It's no surprise that two of those cornerbacks—Aqib Talib (who leads all players this week) and Chris Harris Jr. (14th overall)—are ranked so highly. They've both been great all season, and they were particularly so against the Houston Texans' imploding passing game on Monday Night Football.

    But let's look at the other side of the field in that game and put the spotlight on Texans cornerback A.J. Bouye, an undrafted fourth-year player who has moved around Houston's defensive back depth chart throughout his career.

    Against Denver's passing offense, Bouye played tough, allowing six catches on 10 targets for just 38 yards. On the season, he's allowed 17 catches on 32 targets for 137 yards, no touchdowns and a 64.2 opposing quarterback rating. Could he join the likes of Richard Sherman and Josh Norman as lightly regarded defenders who became spectacular? So far, the signs are good.

    We're seeing the consistent ascent of other relatively unheralded players. This week, Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham, Arizona Cardinals strong safety Tony Jefferson and San Diego Chargers linebacker Denzel Perryman are among those names near the top. The Eagles have several defensive players in the top 50 this week. It's a well-deserved honor after coordinator Jim Schwartz's gang obliterated Minnesota's offense and pulled the Vikings from the pantheon of the undefeated.

    We're about halfway through the 2016 season, and those stories are the ones that rule the roost. Defense is making a serious comeback, and the game is better for it—even if it isn't as flashy.

    Bleacher Report's NFL1000 player-rating methodology, in part, looks at our grades from week to week (as you, dear reader, can) and susses 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 league presents on the field every week, and the NFL1000 goes as deep as any to tell you what's going on.

    Our 17-person crew of experienced evaluators combs 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 struggling 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 7 of the 2016 NFL season.

        

    All advanced stats are courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

Methodology

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    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    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 received specific positional assignments based on their proven fields of expertise. 

    We observe and grade every NFL player with snaps in offensive and defensive roles 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 Calais Campbell and Michael Bennett on the defensive line—how they seamlessly switch from gap to gap. Or how cornerbacks such as Chris Harris Jr. 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 we'll grade him 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 make it as definitive as possible.

Top 50 Overall from Week 7

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    Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

    For years, the rightful narrative surrounding the Chargers was as follows: The team could not put adequate pieces around Philip Rivers and thus left too much of a burden on its franchise quarterback.

    But San Diego's front office has drafted intelligently on the defensive side of the ball over the last few seasons, and it's starting to pay off. Not just with stars such as Melvin Ingram and rookie Joey Bosa, but with linebackers Denzel Perryman and Jatavis Brown.

    This week's Scouting Notebook featured Brown, and he's been in or near the top 50 for most of the season. Rivers may have the teammates on the other side of the ball to make it to the postseason for the first time since 2013...if his team can climb the rest of the AFC West, the best division in football.

    Speaking of defense, the Kansas City Chiefs have the usual number of players in our top 50; safeties Ron Parker and Eric Berry, cornerback Marcus Peters and linebacker Ramik Wilson all feature this week after they helped knock off the New Orleans Saints last Sunday. And the Chargers and Chiefs are looking up at the division's two best teams, the Oakland Raiders and Broncos, respectively. Oakland is getting things done on the offensive side of the ball, but only kicker Sebastian Janikowski is in the top 50 this week.

    That leaves the defending Super Bowl champs with the most players in Week 7's top 50: They have six—five on defense (cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr., safeties Darian Stewart and T.J. Ward, linebacker Brandon Marshall and running back C.J. Anderson).

    Two other teams had five players in the top 50; the Eagles made that mark after their impressive win over the Vikings, and the Cardinals did the same with several great individual performances in that ugly Sunday night tie against the Seahawks.

        

    Top 50 Overall from Week 7
    RankPlayerPos.TeamNFL1000 ScoreLWMoving
    1Aqib TalibCBDEN88249
    2Aaron RodgersQBGB86367
    3David JohnsonRBARI8510
    4A.J. BouyeCBHOU85565
    5Philip RiversQBSD8534
    6Nigel Bradham4-3 OLBPHI84907
    7Trent WilliamsLTWAS848
    8Landon CollinsSSNYG8456
    9Fletcher CoxDTPHI84294
    10Bobby WagnerILBSEA83118
    11Joe ThomasLTCLE83177
    12Tony JeffersonSSARI83257
    13Le'Veon BellRBPIT8336
    14Chris Harris Jr.CBDEN83200
    15Ron ParkerFSKC82154
    16Mitchell SchwartzRTKC82111
    17Harrison SmithFSMIN82NR
    18Taylor LewanLTTEN82108
    19Kevin MinterILBARI82198
    20Chandler Jones3-4 OLBARI8153
    21Deone BucannonILBARI81148
    22Jason PetersLTPHI8113
    23Earl ThomasFSSEA8137
    24Melvin Ingram3-4 OLBSD8191
    25Jamie CollinsILBNE81NR
    26Dominique Rodgers-CromartieCBNYG81302
    27Julio JonesWRATL8078
    28Denzel PerrymanILBSD80354
    29Tyrod TaylorQBBUF8017
    30Jordan HicksILBPHI80357
    31Sebastian JanikowskiKOAK80856
    32Sam KochPBAL80313
    33Brandon MarshallILBDEN7994
    34Jimmy SmithCBBAL79199
    35Darian StewartFSDEN7970
    36T.J. WardSSDEN79681
    37C.J. AndersonRBDEN79209
    38Eric BerrySSKC7950
    39Ha Ha Clinton-DixFSGB7998
    40Drew BreesQBNO791
    41Jerrell FreemanILBCHI79196
    42David BakhtiariLTGB796
    43Morgan MosesRTWAS79112
    44Aaron DonaldDTLA793
    45K.J. Wright4-3 OLBSEA79969
    46Marcus PetersCBKC7916
    47Rodney McLeodFSPHI7919
    48Ramik WilsonILBKC79NR
    49Darrelle RevisCBNYJ79120
    50Antoine BetheaSSSF79773

Quarterbacks

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    Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

    Matthew Stafford's career has enjoyed a resurgence under Jim Bob Cooter. The Detroit Lions offensive coordinator took over midway through the 2015 season, and Stafford's numbers started to turn around. Cooter helped his quarterback by simplifying the offense and relying heavily on shorter throws. His receivers could create yards after the catch, which eased the pressure on Stafford to make tough plays.

    As NFL media is wont to do, Stafford's slightly above-average play this season is being overblown. He has played consistently good football, but his major errors remain prominent even if opponents aren't taking advantage of them regularly. This week, he's seventh among quarterbacks but has a relatively low rating of 74 (it was a bad week for quarterbacks).

    A bad throw on the second drive of the game that hit Washington cornerback Bashaud Breeland in the helmet hurt his rating. Had Breeland not slipped just before the ball arrived, he would have had an easy interception. Stafford then enjoyed fumble luck in the fourth quarter after carrying the ball like LeSean McCoy. Worse still, when playing with a three-point lead late in the game, he led a deep safety to the ball on a deep shot for what should have been an interception and a run back for the defender.

    Stafford has improved, but he's also been lucky while benefiting from a quarterback-friendly scheme with wide receivers who can make adjustments to his misplaced passes.

    San Francisco 49ers signal-caller Colin Kaepernick also made a lot of mistakes in his game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the Bucs failed to capitalize on most of them. Despite the loss, Kaepernick proved he's a better quarterback than Blaine Gabbert for the second week in a row. He offers more upside as a runner because he is more consistent with regard to knowing when to run and when to try to find an open receiver. He clearly doesn't fit in head coach Chip Kelly's spread-out offense, but if you want to use a heavy-package, run-inclined system that will allow Kaepernick to throw off play action from under center regularly, he will be an intriguing free agent in the offseason.

    Aaron Rodgers tops the rankings this week with another outstanding performance. The Green Bay Packers quarterback even overcame Randall Cobb's problems catching the ball in the end zone. The wide receiver failed to to secure two of Rodgers' better throws. Tyrod Taylor is in the top five for the second week in a row, as he continues to throw the ball with more accuracy than he had earlier in the season.

        

    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 7
    RankPlayerTeamAccArmPressDecPosOvr
    1Aaron RodgersGB232413161086
    2Philip RiversSD212216161085
    3Tyrod TaylorBUF192316121080
    4Drew BreesNO202015141079
    5Tom BradyNE202013151078
    6Andrew LuckIND182113121074
    7Matthew StaffordDET142315121074
    8Ryan TannehillMIA162014121072
    9Geno SmithNYJ172112121072
    10Andy DaltonCIN161911151071
    11Trevor SiemianDEN161913131071
    12Matt RyanATL181813121071
    13Carson PalmerARI152013121070
    14Eli ManningNYG151913131070
    15Alex SmithKC151812141069
    16Jameis WinstonTB151813131069
    17Derek CarrOAK15219121067
    18Russell WilsonSEA16189141067
    19Brian HoyerCHI151712131067
    20Sam BradfordMIN161910111066
    21Cody KesslerCLE151714101066
    22Colin KaepernickSF131913111066
    23Marcus MariotaTEN151811101064
    24Ryan FitzpatrickNYJ151711111064
    25Kirk CousinsWAS141711101062
    26Joe FlaccoBAL1420891061
    27Carson WentzPHI13161191059
    28Matt BarkleyCHI14161091059
    29Case KeenumLA12181181059
    30Landry JonesPIT12168101056
    31Blake BortlesJAX1216981055
    32Kevin HoganCLE11161081055
    33Brock OsweilerHOU1116991055

        

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Dak Prescott—bye
    • Tony Romo—bye/injury
    • Cam Newton—bye

Running Backs

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    Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    The two highest-graded runners for Week 7 just happen to be the top two running backs in the league in my opinion: Arizona's David Johnson and Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell.

    No. 31 in Arizona was superb Sunday night against an elite Seahawks defense. He continues to show it all on a weekly basis, both as a runner and as a dominant pass-catcher. The most notable part of Johnson's game against Seattle was his physically relentless nature. 

    Bell was incredible against the New England Patriots, even without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He is the best inside runner in the NFL, combining elite vision with his special instincts. It enables him to find the smallest holes and create something out of nothing. He was also dominant in the passing game—as usual.

    It was a good week for some of the best inside runners in the NFL. Denver's C.J. Anderson was very good Monday night, rushing for 107 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. New England's LeGarrette Blount and Cincinnati's Jeremy Hill both had bounce-back games. Blount might have some of the more underrated feet in the league. DeMarco Murray continues to carry the Tennessee Titans offense and might be the steal of the offseason.

    Meanwhile, Jay Ajayi threw his name in the record books with back-to-back 200-yard games. While his offensive line deserves a lot of credit, Ajayi was physical Sunday, as he ran through arm tackles and played with an edge on every carry. Despite his lack of top-end speed (4.57-second 40-yard dash), his initial burst and vertical nature allow him to be efficient gaining yards.

    One interesting development is the return of Jamaal Charles, who has struggled to get much going and only saw two snaps against the Saints. It's a combination of not being 100 percent healthy and no longer being the best running back on his own team. That's just the nature of the NFL; losing your job to injury is a common business practice.

        

    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 7
    RankPlayerTeamInOutRecBlkPosOvr
    1David JohnsonARI22201918685
    2Le'Veon BellPIT21201818683
    3C.J. AndersonDEN22181617679
    4Spencer WareKC20171817678
    5DeMarco MurrayTEN20171717677
    6LeGarrette BlountNE21181517677
    7Jeremy HillCIN20181616676
    8Jay AjayiMIA21181516676
    9Devonta FreemanATL19171816676
    10Tevin ColemanATL19181616675
    11Melvin GordonSD19171617675
    12Isaiah CrowellCLE19171616674
    13Devontae BookerDEN19181615674
    14Jacquizz RodgersTB19171616674
    15Chris ThompsonWAS16181816674
    16Ty MontgomeryGB18171815674
    17Frank GoreIND19141717673
    18Todd GurleyLA17161717673
    19Latavius MurrayOAK18171616673
    20Giovani BernardCIN17181516672
    21Matt ForteNYJ18151716672
    22Christine MichaelSEA18161616672
    23Ryan MathewsPHI17151717672
    24Lamar MillerHOU18171515671
    25Matt AsiataMIN17141717671
    26LeSean McCoyBUF17151616670
    27Jerick McKinnonMIN16171516670
    28Mark IngramNO17141617670
    29Darren SprolesPHI17161615670
    30James WhiteNE15171715670
    31Bilal PowellNYJ15171615669
    32Tim HightowerNO16171515669
    33Ka'Deem CareyCHI16141616668
    34Duke Johnson Jr.CLE16151615668
    35Robert TurbinIND16141615667
    36Chris IvoryJAX17141515667
    37Damien WilliamsMIA16151515667
    38Jordan HowardCHI17141415666
    39Alfred BlueHOU16151415666
    40Benny CunninghamLA15161514666
    41Jalen RichardOAK16151415666
    42DuJuan HarrisSF16141515666
    43Mike DavisSF16141515666
    44Justin ForsettDET15141615666
    45Mike GillisleeBUF16141415665
    46Arian FosterMIA14131616665
    47Rashad JenningsNYG15141515665
    48Alex CollinsSEA16141514665
    49Shaun DraughnSF15141614665
    50Zach ZennerDET16131515665
    51Andre EllingtonARI14151415664
    52Terrance WestBAL15141415664
    53Paul PerkinsNYG14151514664
    54DeAndre WashingtonOAK15151414664
    55Matt JonesWAS15141415664
    56Charcandrick WestKC14151414663
    57Travaris CadetNO14131515663
    58Wendell SmallwoodPHI15141414663
    59T.J. YeldonJAX15131414662
    60Bobby RaineyNYG13141514662

        

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Carlos Hyde—injury
    • Thomas Rawls—injury
    • DeAngelo Williams—injury
    • Adrian Peterson—injury
    • Eddie Lacy—injury
    • Ameer Abdullah—injury
    • Theo Riddick—injury
    • Doug Martin—injury
    • Jamaal Charles—insufficient snaps
    • Jonathan Stewart—bye
    • Ezekiel Elliott—bye

Fullbacks

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    Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    It was a quiet and uneventful week for the fullbacks.

    Aaron Ripkowski was solid against the Bears on Thursday, especially because the Packers had a lot of turnover at running back. Jamize Olawale was good for the Raiders both as a lead blocker and as a runner. He has become one of the more versatile players at the position and has allowed offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave to do a lot of different things on offense because he can run the football. He is probably one of the more underrated players most casual fans have never heard of.

    A couple of old-school blockers, New England's James Develin and Atlanta's Patrick DiMarco, were solid as usual. Both cleared the way for big running games from the offense. Minnesota's Zach Line continues to improve even without the threat of Adrian Peterson behind him. The Cleveland Browns running attack has slowed a little, but the recently released Malcolm Johnson was still one of the better blockers. He was solid against the Bengals.

        

    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 7
    RankPlayerTeamBlkRunRecPosOvr
    1Andy JanovichDEN461610476
    2Aaron RipkowskiGB441711476
    3Jamize OlawaleOAK431810475
    4James DevelinNE45169474
    5Zach LineMIN43179473
    6Patrick DiMarcoATL45159473
    7John KuhnNO44169473
    8Jerome FeltonBUF45159473
    9Malcolm JohnsonCLE421511472
    10Kyle JuszczykBAL43159471
    11Jay ProschHOU44149471
    12Derek WattSD44158471
    13Michael BurtonDET44148470
    14Anthony ShermanKC43158470
    15Jalston FowlerTEN44147469
    16Cory HarkeyLA40158467

        

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Mike Tolbert—bye
    • Keith Smith—bye

Wide Receivers

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    On the NFC side, Julio Jones continued his impressive 2016 season, catching nine passes for 174 yards in Atlanta's overtime loss to the Chargers. The wideout ran some impressive routes and was dominant at the catchpoint.

    The questions surrounding Green Bay's offense were silenced for one week, as both Davante Adams and Randall Cobb turned in solid performances. Cobb had two early miscues that cost Green Bay two touchdowns (a drop and a missed toe drag) but rebounded after that with 11 receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown.

    Michael Thomas continues his standout rookie campaign, as the former Ohio State Buckeye caught 10 passes for 130 yards in the Saints' loss to the Chiefs. 

    In the AFC, Jarvis Landry continues to turn in complete game after complete game for the Miami Dolphins offense, and this past week was no different. His five receptions for 78 yards, his ability to make plays after the catch and his high-energy blocking on the perimeter put him near the top of the rankings.

    Meanwhile, Jacksonvile Jaguars wideout Marqise Lee had a field day against the Raiders secondary and took advantage of tight coverage against teammate Allen Robinson to make plays in the passing game, including after the catch. He finished with seven catches on eight targets for 107 yards.

        

    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 7
    RankPlayerTeamRouteHandsYACBlkPosOvr
    1Julio JonesATL22231412980
    2Jarvis LandryMIA21191413976
    3Marqise LeeJAX21201510975
    4Mike EvansTB20201214975
    5Mike WallaceBAL21201410974
    6Davante AdamsGB20191313974
    7A.J. GreenCIN21201311974
    8Julian EdelmanNE20191213973
    9Michael CrabtreeOAK22221010973
    10Seth RobertsOAK20171314973
    11Travis BenjaminSD19181611973
    12Golden TateDET18191412972
    13T.Y. HiltonIND20191410972
    14Kenny StillsMIA21191310972
    15Amari CooperOAK18191312971
    16Larry FitzgeraldARI18181214971
    17Tyrell WilliamsSD19201310971
    18Demaryius ThomasDEN20181112970
    19Randall CobbGB18181213970
    20Jeremy MaclinKC19181212970
    21Michael ThomasNO18171412970
    22Brandon MarshallNYJ20171212970
    23Antonio BrownPIT1920139970
    24Tajae SharpeTEN20191210970
    25Jamison CrowderWAS18181213970
    26Emmanuel SandersDEN20181111969
    27Cobi HamiltonPIT19171113969
    28Anquan BoldinDET16171214968
    29DeAndre HopkinsHOU20171210968
    30Marquise GoodwinBUF18161410967
    31Terrelle PryorCLE18171211967
    32Quincy EnunwaNYJ17171212967
    33Brandon LaFellCIN18171111966
    34Rashard HigginsCLE17181210966
    35Allen RobinsonJAX18161211966
    36Tyreek HillKC16171410966
    37Brian QuickLA18151212966
    38Cordarrelle PattersonMIN18161211966
    39Odell Beckham Jr.NYG17161212966
    40Victor CruzNYG17161212966
    41Doug BaldwinSEA18161112966
    42Adam HumphriesTB16161312966
    43Michael FloydARI17161112965
    44Mohamed SanuATL17161211965
    45Alshon JefferyCHI17161112965
    46Marvin JonesDET17161112965
    47Arrelious BennJAX16171310965
    48Chris ConleyKC17171210965
    49Tavon AustinLA17151311965
    50Adam ThielenMIN17151113965
    51Brandin CooksNO17151311965
    52Willie SneadNO17151212965
    53Darrius Heyward-BeyPIT19161110965
    54Breshad PerrimanBAL16151113964
    55Kamar AikenBAL18151210964
    56Andrew HawkinsCLE17171110964
    57Andre RobertsDET14181112964
    58Jaelen StrongHOU17161012964
    59Danny AmendolaNE16161211964
    60Chris HoganNE18151012964
    61Andre HolmesOAK15151213964
    62Russell ShepardTB15161212964
    63Justin HardyATL16151112963
    64Cameron MeredithCHI17151111963
    65Will FullerHOU17161110963
    66Chester RogersIND18151110963
    67Kenny BrittLA16151112963
    68DeVante ParkerMIA16171110963
    69Dontrelle InmanSD17161110963
    70Jermaine KearseSEA17151111963
    71Jeremy KerleySF16161111963
    72DeSean JacksonWAS17151210963
    73Pierre GarconWAS16151112963
    74J.J. NelsonARI16151111962
    75Chris MooreBAL15151112962
    76Tyler BoydCIN16161110962
    77Devin StreetIND18151010962
    78Allen HurnsJAX16161110962
    79Stefon DiggsMIN16141112962
    80Sterling ShepardNYG16151111962
    81Nelson AgholorPHI16151111962
    82Josh HuffPHI15141212962
    83Torrey SmithSF16151111962
    84Quinton PattonSF15161111962
    85Jordan NorwoodDEN15141112961
    86Jordy NelsonGB14141113961
    87Rashad GreeneJAX15151210961
    88Malcolm MitchellNE15141211961
    89Robby AndersonNYJ15151210961
    90Jordan MatthewsPHI15141112961
    91Griff WhalenSD14151211961
    92Tyler LockettSEA15151111961
    93Cecil ShortsTB14141113961
    94Rishard MatthewsTEN15161110961
    95Ricardo LouisCLE16151110961
    96Brittan GoldenARI15141111960
    97Justin HunterBUF14151210960
    98Brandon TateBUF1516119960
    99Josh BellamyCHI15141111960
    100Jeff JanisGB15141111960
    101Mike ThomasLA14141112960
    102Charles JohnsonMIN15141111960
    103Brandon ColemanNO14141112960
    104Charone PeakeNYJ15141210960
    105Johnny HoltonOAK13131312960
    106Dorial Green-BeckhamPHI15141111960
    107Aaron BurbridgeSF14141112960
    108Freddie MartinoTB14141112960
    109Andre JohnsonTEN14161011960
    110Aldrick RobinsonATL14141111959
    111Deonte ThompsonCHI14141111959
    112Trevor DavisGB14141111959
    113Braxton MillerHOU15141110959
    114Bradley MarquezLA14141111959
    115Roger LewisNYG14141111959
    116Paul RichardsonSEA14141111959
    117Rod StreaterSF14141111959
    118Ryan GrantWAS14141111959
    119De'Anthony ThomasKC14141110958
    120Albert WilsonKC1514119958
    121Walt PowellBUF14141010957
    122Bennie FowlerDEN14131110957
    123Kendall WrightTEN14131110957
    124James WrightCIN14131010956
    125Jordan TaylorDEN13131011956
    126Sammie CoatesPIT13131110956
    127Alex EricksonCIN13131010955

        

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Jaron Brown—injury
    • Eddie Royal—injury
    • Kevin White—injury
    • Vincent Jackson—injury
    • Josh Doctson—injury
    • John Brown—insufficient snaps
    • Kelvin Benjamin—bye
    • Ted Ginn Jr.—bye
    • Devin Funchess—bye
    • Dez Bryant—bye
    • Terrance Williams—bye
    • Cole Beasley—bye

Tight Ends

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    Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Vernon Davis saw the bulk of work for Washington with Jordan Reed out for the second straight week and turned in a solid performance. He caught six passes on six targets for 79 yards and was serviceable in the blocking game.

    In London, the Los Angeles Rams' Lance Kendricks was also impressive, catching seven passes for 55 yards, running some solid routes and pairing well with fellow tight end Tyler Higbee as a blocker.

    While the Saints and Seahawks offenses struggled Sunday night, Jimmy Graham contributed well to Seattle's effort and had one incredible chip block on an edge-rusher before releasing, which was emblematic of his night as a blocker. 

    Rob Gronkowski tops the list of tight ends for the second straight week, as he helped control the line of scrimmage against the Pittsburgh Steelers and pulled in four receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown in New England's win, contributing to the vertical passing game and opening up space for his teammates to take advantage of their own matchups.

    Finally, one week after missing blocks in a couple of key passing situations against Houston, Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle more than made up for it by abusing the middle of the Titans defense. He hauled in a TD catch on double-move route in the red zone to put the Colts up for good in the fourth quarter.

    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 7
    RankPlayerTeamRouteHandsYACBlkPosOvr
    1Rob GronkowskiNE17191521678
    2Antonio GatesSD20191316674
    3Vernon DavisWAS15161420671
    4Jack DoyleIND17191216670
    5Lance KendricksLA14171320670
    6Martellus BennettNE15171319670
    7Jimmy GrahamSEA15161320670
    8Gary BarnidgeCLE15191217669
    9Delanie WalkerTEN16191216669
    10Travis KelceKC15171217667
    11Kyle RudolphMIN14161219667
    12Dennis PittaBAL16181214666
    13Jesse JamesPIT14161119666
    14Tyler EifertCIN14171117665
    15C.J. FiedorowiczHOU14181116665
    16Levine ToiloloATL12151120664
    17Charles ClayBUF15171115664
    18Zach MillerCHI13151218664
    19Will TyeNYG12151219664
    20Clive WalfordOAK14141218664
    21Zach ErtzPHI13151119664
    22Hunter HenrySD14151118664
    23Cameron BrateTB13151218664
    24Jacob TammeATL12151119663
    25Ryan GriffinHOU13161117663
    26Brent CelekPHI12151119663
    27Virgil GreenDEN13141118662
    28Clay HarborDET12151218662
    29Khari LeeDET11141120662
    30Tyler HigbeeLA12151118662
    31Coby FleenerNO13141118662
    32Josh HillNO12141119662
    33Vance McDonaldSF13141217662
    34Ifeanyi MomahARI11161118662
    35Jermaine GreshamARI12151117661
    36Logan PaulsenCHI11141119661
    37John PhillipsDEN12131119661
    38MarQueis GrayMIA12141019661
    39Rhett EllisonMIN11141119661
    40Luke StockerTB11141119661
    41Anthony FasanoTEN14141116661
    42Niles PaulWAS12141118661
    43Tyler KroftCIN11161017660
    44Richard RodgersGB11141118660
    45Stephen AndersonHOU11141118660
    46Julius ThomasJAX12161214660
    47Marcedes LewisJAX13141017660
    48Demetrius HarrisKC13141116660
    49Kellen DavisNYJ11131119660
    50Trey BurtonPHI11151117660
    51David JohnsonPIT13151115660
    52Garrett CelekSF12141117660
    53Brandon MyersTB11141118660
    54Austin HooperATL11141117659
    55Nick O'LearyBUF12141017659
    56Ben BrauneckerCHI11141117659
    57C.J. UzomahCIN12141116659
    58Justin PerilloGB11141117659
    59Larry DonnellNYG12131117659
    60Brandon BostickNYJ11131118659
    61Xavier GrimblePIT14141114659
    62Jerell AdamsNYG11141116658
    63Brandon WilliamsSEA11141116658
    64Phillip SupernawTEN12131017658
    65Darren FellsARI11141115657
    66Crockett GillmoreBAL11141016657
    67Ryan HewittCIN12141015657
    68Jeff HeuermanDEN11131017657
    69Sean McGrathSD11131115656
    70Randall TelferCLE11141014655
    71Dominique JonesMIA10131016655
    72Mychal RiveraOAK10141114655
    73Darren WallerBAL11131014654
    74Erik SwoopesIND10131015654
    75Chase CoffmanIND10131014653
    76Connor HamlettCLE10131013652
    77James O'ShaughnessyKC10131013652
    78Beau BrinkleyTEN10131013652

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Troy Niklas—injury
    • Eric Ebron—injury
    • Jared Cook—injury
    • Luke Willson—injury
    • Jordan Reed—injury
    • Greg Olsen—bye
    • Ed Dickson—bye
    • Jason Witten—bye

Left Tackles

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    Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 7's top performer at left tackle was Washington Redskins All-Pro tackle Trent Williams, who has been on a dominant tear all season. That didn't change against the Detroit Lions. Unfortunately, Williams went down to a knee injury on the second-to-last play of the game, and his availability moving forward is unclear.

    There aren't many positives or signs of consistency from the Browns, but trust Joe Thomas to be just that—positive and consistent. He turned in another high-caliber performance against the Bengals. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk cited a source Sunday who said Cleveland was shopping Thomas for a second-round pick, but Browns head coach Hue Jackson put that to rest in a recent press conference.

    Thomas would be a huge upgrade for many teams, especially contenders. We broke down the Seattle Seahawks O-line in a recent piece, and it would be intriguing to see Thomas go to Seattle and upgrade the unit.

    David Bakhtiari of the Green Bay Packers also turned in another solid performance versus the Bears, although Leonard Floyd's movement and elusiveness caused a few issues in pass protection at times.

    Taylor Lewan of the Tennessee Titans has been playing good football. Solid in both pass protection and physical in the run game, he even caught a touchdown versus the Colts. PFF has Lewan as its highest-graded offensive tackle, although based on my game-tape evaluation, others have performed better.

    Week 7 also saw the return of Jake Long, who signed with the Vikings near the middle of October and saw his first significant game action in more than two years.

    Long played 13 snaps, all in crucial situations. He gave up two sacks and one hurry in pass protection and looked like he didn't have his legs under him in the running game. Long's performance proves that it doesn't matter who you are or what you've done in the past—it's difficult to practice for two days and then line up Sunday and expect to make an impact on the offensive line.

    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 7
    RankPlayerTeamPassRunPowerAglPosOvr
    1Trent WilliamsWAS17201920884
    2Joe ThomasCLE20191620883
    3Taylor LewanTEN18201620882
    4Jason PetersPHI19181818881
    5David BakhtiariGB18171719879
    6Cordy GlennBUF19181617878
    7Andrew WhitworthCIN19181616877
    8Taylor DeckerDET19181516876
    9Duane BrownHOU17191615875
    10Eric FisherKC18191515875
    11Donald PennOAK18191614875
    12Terron ArmsteadNO19161616875
    13Joe StaleySF17191515874
    14Ereck FlowersNYG17181516874
    15Russell OkungDEN19171415873
    16Nate SolderNE18171515873
    17Greg RobinsonLA18181613873
    18Jake MatthewsATL16181615873
    19Ryan CladyNYJ19161415872
    20Donovan SmithTB16171714872
    21King DunlapSD17161416871
    22Jared VeldheerARI16181514871
    23Branden AlbertMIA18171414871
    24Tony HillsNO17171414870
    25Alejandro VillanuevaPIT17151416870
    26Jake FisherCIN17161415870
    27Alex LewisBAL17161414869
    28Charles Leno Jr.CHI16151416869
    29Kelvin BeachumJAX16161513868
    30Anthony CastonzoIND15161414867
    31Jake LongMIN14161513866
    32T.J. ClemmingsMIN14161313864
    33Bradley SowellSEA15161212863

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Matt Kalil—injury
    • Ronnie Stanley—injury
    • Mike Reemers —bye
    • Michael Oher—bye
    • Tyron Smith—bye

Right Tackles

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    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Kansas City's Mitchell Schwartz is our top performer among right tackles in Week 7 after an outstanding performance against the Saints. Schwartz was effective switching up his pass sets, which kept Cam Jordan off balance all game.

    Washington's Morgan Moses turned in another all-around stout performance both in pass protection and in the running game against the Detroit Lions, which is starting to be the norm.

    New Orleans Saints veteran Zach Strief continues to be impressive. He is steady in pass protection and tries to maul defenders in the running game.

    Green Bay's Bryan Bulaga continued his clean play against the Bears on Thursday Night Football, while the Eagles started rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai for second straight week in place of standout tackle Lane Johnson, who served the second game of his 10-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

    The Houston Texans' Derek Newton suffered a horrific injury on Monday Night Football against the Denver Broncos. Twelve plays into the game, he exploded into his pass set, and his legs gave out from underneath him. He bent all the way back, tearing both patella tendons. The cart was brought out, and team doctors put Newton in a double aircast.

    Our thoughts are with Derek as we hope for a speedy and full recovery from such a terrible injury. 

    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 7
    RankPlayerTeamPassRunPowerAglPosOvr
    1Mitchell SchwartzKC21191619782
    2Morgan MosesWAS19201617779
    3Zach StriefNO19201715778
    4Bryan BulagaGB19191616777
    5Demar DotsonTB18181617776
    6Riley ReiffDET16201715775
    7Marcus CannonNE19181515774
    8Jack ConklinTEN18201613774
    9Ryan SchraederATL17181616774
    10Ben IjalanaNYJ18171615773
    11Austin PasztorCLE17201514773
    12Ja'Wuan JamesMIA17201514773
    13Donald StephensonDEN18161615772
    14Chris HubbardPIT17171615772
    15Jermey ParnellJAX17181515772
    16Austin HowardOAK17171614771
    17Rob HavensteinLA17191513771
    18Ricky WagnerBAL18171415771
    19Trenton BrownSF16171713770
    20Bobby HartNYG16161416769
    21Joe ReitzIND15191513769
    22Halapoulivaati VaitaiPHI16171513768
    23Chris ClarkHOU15171513767
    24Joe BarksdaleSD14171514767
    25Garry GilliamSEA16161314766
    26Bobby MassieCHI16151414766
    27Jordan MillsBUF15161413765
    28Cedric OgbuehiCIN15161314765
    29Jeremiah SirlesMIN13171413764
    30Shon ColemanCLE14171312763
    31D.J. HumphriesARI13161313762

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Andre Smith Jr.—injury
    • Menelik Watson—injury
    • Vadal Alexander—injury
    • Marcus Gilbert—injury
    • Marshall Newhouse—injury
    • Derek Newton—insufficient snaps
    • Lane Johnson—suspension
    • Doug Free—bye
    • Mike Remmers—bye
    • Daryl Williams—bye

Offensive Guards

10 of 22

    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    The guard list saw a lot of turnover this week, and part of that is because the impressive interiors of the Cowboys and Panthers were on bye.

    Another reason: wear and tear. Some of the veterans with more tread on the tires have hit a wall physically. The average age of the top five graded guards this week was just over 25, the lowest of the season by far, and none of the top five are over 26.

    Only two guards in the top 20 are over 29 (John Greco and Ramon Foster). Several of the older guard starters (Chris Chester, Orlando Franklin, Shawn Lauvao and Jahri Evans) with injury histories saw significant decline in their play.

    It's something to keep an eye on moving forward.

    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 7
    RankPlayerTeamPassRunPowerAglPosOvr
    1Kevin ZeitlerCIN17191816777
    2Xavier Su'a-FiloHOU16201815776
    3Joe ThuneyNE17191518776
    4David DeCastroPIT19151717775
    5Lane TaylorGB19171616775
    6Laremy TunsilMIA17191517775
    7John GrecoCLE16191715774
    8Ramon FosterPIT19161814774
    9Josh KlineTEN18181615774
    10Clint BolingCIN16181716774
    11Gabe JacksonOAK18171715774
    12Ali MarpetTB16181716774
    13Brandon BrooksPHI18161616773
    14Rodger SaffoldLA19151715773
    15Kelechi OsemeleOAK16181814773
    16Brian WintersNYJ18161715773
    17Brandon ScherffWAS17171715773
    18Eric KushCHI16181715773
    19Max GarciaDEN16181714772
    20Andy LevitreATL16171715772
    21Mike IupatiARI18171713772
    22Jermon BushrodMIA15181715772
    23Ryan JensenBAL17151715771
    24A.J. CannJAX18151714771
    25Tim LelitoNO16181614771
    26Laurent Duvernay-TardifKC17161416770
    27Richie IncognitoBUF17151714770
    28Quinton SpainTEN16161714770
    29Kyle LongCHI16171416770
    30Larry WarfordDET16171713770
    31Michael SchofieldDEN15181515770
    32T.J. LangGB16151615769
    33Zane BeadlesSF16161614769
    34Denzelle GoodIND16151714769
    35Graham GlasgowDET17151614769
    36Kevin PamphileTB15161714769
    37Parker EhingerKC16161713769
    38Jeff AllenHOU15161714769
    39Cody WichmannLA18141515769
    40D.J. FlukerSD14161714768
    41Patrick OmamehJAX16161613768
    42Brandon FuscoMIN16151614768
    43Justin PughNYG16141615768
    44Allen BarbrePHI15151417768
    45Joe HaegIND14151516767
    46Spencer DrangoCLE15151614767
    47Orlando FranklinSD15151613766
    48Shaq MasonNE13161614766
    49James CarpenterNYJ