NFL1000: Ranking the Top 1,000 Players from Week 12

Doug Farrar@@BR_DougFarrar NFL Lead ScoutDecember 1, 2016

NFL1000: Ranking the Top 1,000 Players from Week 12

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    Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

    We have some specialization at the top of this week’s NFL1000—three pass-rushers from the AFC West lead our player rankings for Week 12. And it’s hard to argue against any of them.

    Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack has bounced back from a so-so start to the season to post some of the best performances of his career. Against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, he was a one-man demolition crew, becoming the first NFL player to record a sack, an interception, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a touchdown in the same game since Charles Woodson did it for the Green Bay Packers in 2009.

    Mack seems to have no limits when he’s on his game, and he’s the only player in the league to excel at both linebacker and defensive end. No matter where you put him, he’s going to wreak havoc.

    Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller, the second-ranked player on this week’s list, was equally impressive in his team's overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. Miller racked up three sacks, one quarterback hit, six hurries, one batted pass, seven tackles and nine stops. Kansas City's offense is conservative by nature, but Miller forced head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith to defend against a one-man implosion. It was Miller’s best game since Super Bowl 50.

    On the other defense in that matchup, Kansas City's Justin Houston—this week's No. 3-ranked player—was back on the field for his second game of 2016 after a yearlong recovery from ACL surgery. If there was any rust, he didn’t show it. He made life miserable for Denver right tackles Ty Sambrailo and Donald Stephenson. He bull-rushed, he bent the edge, and he harassed Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian ceaselessly.

    Houston matched Miller’s three sacks and six quarterback hurries, and he had an amazing 10 stops on the night. With Houston, Tamba Hali (who ranked 23rd overall this week) and the ever-improving Dee Ford (tied for second-most sacks in the NFL), the Chiefs have one of the most dangerous pass-rushing combos in the NFL.

    The AFC West is the most competitive division in the league this season; Week 12's top three players are big reasons why.

    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 and learn from 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 tape each week to bring you concise, clear evaluations of every player in the NFL. We'll tell you which rookies are rising and which undrafted players are coming out of nowhere to make an impact. We'll tell you which players are 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, Marcus Mosher, Mark Schofield, Duke Manyweather, Ethan Young, Joe Goodberry, Justis Mosqueda, Charles McDonald, Zach Kruse, Derrik Klassen, Jerod Brown, Ian Wharton, Kyle Posey, Mark Bullock, Chuck Zodda and Doug Farrar have watched tape for months to bring you these grades, and we'll be bringing you player grades based on the game action every week.

    Here are the NFL1000 player grades for Week 12 of the 2016 NFL season.

        

    All advanced stats are courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

Methodology

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    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

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

    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 like J.J. Watt and Michael Bennett on the defensive line—how they seamlessly switch from gap to gap. Or how cornerbacks such as Chris Harris 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 he 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 make it as definitive as possible.

Top 50 Overall from Week 12

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    There are always a few surprise names in the top 50. This week’s biggest shocker has to be Cleveland Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun as our eighth-ranked playerand the top cornerback for Week 12.

    On Sunday, Boddy-Calhoun was targeted seven times against the New York Giants and gave up just two receptions for 37 yards. He did allow a touchdown to Dwayne Harris and an 18-yard completion to Roger Lewis on a deep comeback, but other than that, he had things locked down. The undrafted free agent from Minnesota has been logging serious snaps since Week 3 and has shown a lot of improvement lately.

    One thing that should not be surprising: The Tennessee Titans' Marcus Mariota is our top-ranked quarterback and the sixth-ranked player overall. In his second NFL season, Mariota has shown impressive development, especially in the red zone, where he seems just about impossible to stop.

    The deep ball has become a major part of his arsenal. Mariota completed just 15 of 23 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, and four of those completions on six attempts came from passes over 20 yards in the air.

    On those throws, Mariota was good for one of his two touchdowns, 127 yards and a league-leading 149.3 passer rating.  

        

    Top 50 Overall from Week 12
    RankPlayerPos.TeamNFL1000 ScoreLWMoving
    1Khalil Mack4-3 DEOAK86272
    2Von Miller3-4 OLBDEN86NR
    3Justin Houston3-4 OLBKC85633
    4Tyron SmithLTDAL846
    5Justin TuckerKBAL84290
    6Marcus MariotaQBTEN835
    7Jason PetersLTPHI8222
    8Briean Boddy-CalhounCBCLE82232
    9Aaron DonaldDTLA8117
    10Drew BreesQBNO81404
    11Deion JonesILBATL81NR
    12Joe ThomasLTCLE8127
    13Aaron RodgersQBGB8151
    14Whitney Mercilus3-4 OLBHOU81577
    15Joey Bosa3-4 DESD80NR
    16LeSean McCoyRBBUF8087
    17Chris Harris Jr.CBDEN80NR
    18Philip RiversQBSD80NR
    19Taylor DeckerLTDET8067
    20Le'Veon BellRBPIT801
    21Tahir WhiteheadILBDET80858
    22William GayCBPIT80645
    23Tamba Hali3-4 OLBKC80683
    24Jordan ReedTEWAS79369
    25Ezekiel ElliottRBDAL797
    26David BakhtiariLTGB7920
    27David JohnsonRBARI7916
    28Ha Ha Clinton-DixFSGB78234
    29Mike EvansWRTB7865
    30Bryan BulagaRTGB7825
    31Ross CockrellCBPIT78453
    32Cam NewtonQBCAR7834
    33Bradley McDougaldFSTB78285
    34Cordy GlennLTBUF7844
    35Kam ChancellorSSSEA7883
    36Andrew NorwellOGCAR7798
    37Odell Beckham Jr.WRNYG77305
    38Travis KelceTEKC7738
    39Vic Beasley4-3 DEATL77NR
    40Gerald McCoyDTTB77143
    41Ricardo AllenFSATL77NR
    42Derek CarrQBOAK77164
    43Sean Lee4-3 OLBDAL77188
    44Harrison SmithFSMIN7713
    45Mark IngramRBNO77294
    46Ben RoethlisbergerQBPIT77244
    47Antonio BrownWRPIT77251
    48Marcus GilbertRTPIT7740
    49Jake MatthewsLTATL77NR
    50Devin McCourtyFSNE77155

Quarterbacks

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The point of NFL1000 is to look past the numbers and evaluate the individual performances each week. For quarterbacks, this is particularly important because they are connected to every player on the field, they all play in different schemes and the different styles/qualities of the defense impact them more than other positions. There's also a lot of luck involved because the sample sizes for NFL players aren't like the sample sizes of NBA players, for example. 

    As such, it's important for us to consistently evaluate the tape and not be swayed by production that only shows up in the box score. That may lead to repetitive points of view and criticisms that go against wisdom. With that, let's get to Kirk Cousins, again.

    The Washington Redskins signal-caller had a huge game against the Green Bay Packers last week, ranking in the top five at the position. He followed that up by throwing for more than 400 yards, as well as three touchdowns, in a losing effort against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Cousins ranks 10th this week despite throwing for that many yards. He had some strong drives and made some impressive plays.

    He also held the offense back repeatedly during the first half by missing reads on key downs before throwing a pass that should have been intercepted at the start of the third quarter.

    In the fourth, he stockpiled 74 yards and a touchdown on a 15-play drive that essentially ended the game. Those plays gave him positives in the box score but negatives in NFL1000 grading. Cousins can't take the underneath throws over and over again when the defense wants him to take them. At that point, he needed to be more aggressive. His longest completion in that fourth-quarter drive was an 11-yard gain over the middle to tight end Jordan Reed—the worst type of play in that situation.

    Mariota is a quarterback who struggled at the start of the season but is now consistently placing atop the rankings. He's precise on throws downfield, and he is now looking like one of the best deep passers in the NFL.

    New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees just missed out on the top spot. He had one lost fumble deep in his own territory, but there was little he could do about Los Angeles Rams tackle Aaron Donald's instant arrival in the pocket.

    Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers and Cam Newton rounded out the top five as usual suspects. Rodgers is getting more plaudits this week because wide receiver Davante Adams is catching the ball.

        

    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 12
    RankPlayerTeamAccArmPressDecPosOvr
    1Marcus MariotaTEN222115151083
    2Drew BreesNO212015151081
    3Aaron RodgersGB212214141081
    4Philip RiversSD192116141080
    5Cam NewtonCAR162315141078
    6Derek CarrOAK192212141077
    7Ben RoethlisbergerPIT162115151077
    8Ryan TannehillMIA172213141076
    9Dak PrescottDAL152016151076
    10Kirk CousinsWAS181915131075
    11Matthew StaffordDET152116131075
    12Colin KaepernickSF152018121075
    13Trevor SiemianDEN162014151075
    14Eli ManningNYG162015141075
    15Matt BarkleyCHI161914151074
    16Carson PalmerARI162114131074
    17Matt RyanATL161913141072
    18Tom BradyNE141914151072
    19Ryan FitzpatrickNYJ162012141072
    20Tyrod TaylorBUF151915121071
    21Sam BradfordMIN151912121068
    22Blake BortlesJAX131914111067
    23Alex SmithKC141812121066
    24Joe FlaccoBAL142011111066
    25Jameis WinstonTB131813121066
    26Carson WentzPHI121813121065
    27Scott TolzienIND122011111064
    28Jared GoffLA151810111064
    29Russell WilsonSEA121613121063
    30Josh McCownCLE111513121061
    31Andy DaltonCIN13189101060
    32Brock OsweilerHOU11169101056

        

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • None

Running Backs

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    Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

    It was another week and another chance for the league's star running backs to dominate the NFL1000 rankings. In Week 12, the Buffalo Bills' LeSean "Shady" McCoy threw his hat into the mix.

    McCoy has battled some injuries (and a coordinator change early in the season), but when healthy this season, he has been phenomenal. He was excellent Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars and has helped lead the 6-5 Bills back into playoff contention with his all-around game. He had a 75-yard touchdown run, the longest of his career, and he showed it allvision, wiggle and the speed needed to take it the house. 

    Though he's second at the position this week, the Pittsburgh Steelers' Le’Veon Bell is the most complete runner in the NFL. He destroyed a bad Indianapolis Colts defense on Thanksgiving, doing whatever he wanted to defenders in space and finishing with 120 rushing yards, 22 receiving yards and a touchdown. His patience and his inside-running instincts are some of the best in league history. He continues to establish himself as one of the top weapons in the league on a weekly basis.

    David Johnson had only 13 carries because the Arizona Cardinals fell behind early, but he was exceptional in the receiving game. He amassed 103 yards in the air and a touchdown and can basically function as a wide receiver. He has a chance to gain over 1,000 yards in the air by the end of the season, which would be a special accomplishment for any runner.

    Saints running back Mark Ingram continues to have a solid season on the ground. He destroyed the Rams in a blowout victory and finished with 146 rushing yards, 21 receving yards and two touchdowns (one rushing, one passing). He is one of the most consistent inside runners in the league and has turned himself into a solid NFL starter.

    Theo Riddick has become more than just a pass-catcher for the Detroit Lions. He was solid against the Minnesota Vikings on Thanksgiving, running with a purpose and a physical nature downhill. He is a major reason why the Lions are in position to win the NFC North.

    Spencer Ware was consistent and powerful against a top-five defense, helping the Chiefs get one of the biggest wins of the year on the road in Denver. The San Diego Chargers' Melvin Gordon continued to make his case for Comeback Player of the Year, running right through Houston Texans defenders all game.

        

    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 12
    RankPlayerTeamInOutRecBlkPosOvr
    1LeSean McCoyBUF22181717680
    2Le'Veon BellPIT20191718680
    3Ezekiel ElliottDAL20191618679
    4David JohnsonARI18181918679
    5Mark IngramNO19181717677
    6Theo RiddickDET18181716675
    7Spencer WareKC19171617675
    8Melvin GordonSD19171617675
    9Jordan HowardCHI18181716675
    10Todd GurleyLA17171717674
    11Doug MartinTB18171617674
    12DeMarco MurrayTEN18161717674
    13Chris IvoryJAX17181617674
    14Carlos HydeSF19171616674
    15Tim HightowerNO18171616673
    16Kenneth DixonBAL18161716673
    17Jonathan StewartCAR19171516673
    18Jay AjayiMIA18171616673
    19Devontae BookerDEN18171616673
    20LeGarrette BlountNE19171516673
    21James WhiteNE17171716673
    22Devonta FreemanATL18171616673
    23Rashad JenningsNYG18161616672
    24Latavius MurrayOAK18161616672
    25Lamar MillerHOU18161616672
    26Jeremy HillCIN18151617672
    27Jalen RichardOAK18181515672
    28Isaiah CrowellCLE17151816672
    29Darren SprolesPHI17151816672
    30Wendell SmallwoodPHI18161615671
    31Terrance WestBAL17161616671
    32Derrick HenryTEN18161516671
    33Thomas RawlsSEA17161516670
    34Matt AsiataMIN17151616670
    35Jerick McKinnonMIN16171714670
    36James StarksGB17151616670
    37Kenyon DrakeMIA16171515669
    38Matt ForteNYJ16151616669
    39Peyton BarberTB17151515668
    40Fozzy WhittakerCAR15171515668
    41Fitzgerald ToussaintPIT16161515668
    42Duke JohnsonCLE14161715668
    43Denard RobinsonJAX15171515668
    44Chris ThompsonWAS14161715668
    45Charcandrick WestKC16161515668
    46Rex BurkheadCIN16141516667
    47Jeremy LangfordCHI15151516667
    48Dwayne WashingtonDET16151515667
    49Damien WilliamsMIA15151615667
    50Bobby RaineyNYG15141715667
    51Benny CunninghamLA14151616667
    52Andre EllingtonARI14151616667
    53Tevin ColemanATL16141516667
    54Bilal PowellNYJ15141616667
    55T.J. YeldonJAX15131616666
    56Shaun DraughnSF16141515666
    57Paul PerkinsNYG16141614666
    58Kapri BibbsDEN16141515666
    59Frank GoreIND15141516666
    60Robert TurbinIND15151415665
    61Jonathan WilliamsBUF15141515665
    62Jonathan GrimesHOU15141415664

        

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

Fullbacks

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    Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    Baltimore Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk is the highest-rated player again, which should come as a shock to no one. He helped clear space all game for running backs Kenneth Dixon and Terrance West while also making three catches.

    Atlanta's Patrick DiMarco continues to be one of the more underrated players in the league. He was very good against an athletic Arizona defense, locating defenders and helping establish a physical tone for a pass-first offense. 

    While Aaron Ripkowski is considered a fullback, the Packers use him like a true runner at times despite his limitations. He did have three carries and a touchdown Monday night and has no problem lowering his shoulders on contact. He has turned into a solid NFL starter over the course of the year, despite the Packers' running back struggles and lack of production.

    Houston's Jay Prosch had a good game against the Chargers, helping Lamar Miller build on his big season.

        

    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 12
    RankPlayerTeamBlkRunRecPosOvr
    1Kyle JuszczykBAL451511475
    2Patrick DiMarcoATL451510474
    3Aaron RipkowskiGB431710474
    4Jay ProschHOU45169474
    5Mike TolbertCAR44159472
    6Andy JanovichDEN44159472
    7John KuhnNO44159472
    8Jerome FeltonBUF45148471
    9Jalston FowlerTEN44149471
    10Paul LasikeCHI42159470
    11Anthony ShermanKC44148470
    12James DevlinNE44148470
    13Jamize OlawaleOAK43158470
    14Derek WattSD43158470
    15Zach LineMIN42148468

        

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Michael Burton—insufficient snaps

Wide Receivers

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    In the NFC, two NFC South receivers won the week.

    The first was Tampa Bay Buccaneers wideout Mike Evans, who matched up against cornerback Richard Sherman for most of the day. Evans was able to get open at will against the Seattle Seahawks secondary and shone as he caught eight balls for 104 yards. He was also responsible for both of Tampa Bay's touchdowns. 

    New Orleans' Michael Thomas was the other NFC South receiver to make some noise. The second-round pick from Ohio State exploded Sunday against the Rams with nine catches for 108 yards and two scores. Thomas is an elite route-runner with strong hands and the balance to work the sidelines. His touchdown in double coverage in the end zone was a thing of beauty.

    Chicago Bears receiver Marquess Wilson finally started to look like himself again after being on the PUP list for most of the year. Wilson had eight catches for 125 yards and a score, but he dropped a wide-open touchdown late in the fourth quarter that hurt his overall score. 

    Over in the AFC, while people were resting after their Thanksgiving meals, Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown was putting on a show against the Colts. He caught five passes for 91 yards and three touchdowns in a great display of route running.

    On Sunday night, the Broncos' Emmanuel Sanders was dynamic, catching seven passes for 162 yards and a touchdown. He showed a wide array of skills, including on shorter routes and vertical plays.

        

    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 12
    RankPlayerTeamRouteHandsYACBlkPosOvr
    1Mike EvansTB21221511978
    2Odell Beckham Jr.NYG21191711977
    3Antonio BrownPIT22211312977
    4Emmanuel SandersDEN20211313976
    5Michael ThomasNO21211411976
    6Dontrelle InmanSD20201314976
    7Jamison CrowderWAS20181810975
    8DeAndre HopkinsHOU20191313974
    9Julian EdelmanNE20191313974
    10Quincy EnunwaNYJ19211114974
    11Larry FitzgeraldARI18191215973
    12Dez BryantDAL19171513973
    13Michael CrabtreeOAK18201412973
    14DeSean JacksonWAS18181810973
    15Taylor GabrielATL18181710972
    16Sammy WatkinsBUF20201112972
    17Terrelle Pryor Sr.CLE18201213972
    18Davante AdamsGB18181611972
    19Tyreek HillKC18181512972
    20Brandon MarshallNYJ19201113972
    21Tyrell WilliamsSD18191214972
    22Mike WallaceBAL18181412971
    23Marquess WilsonCHI18181610971
    24Demaryius ThomasDEN18191213971
    25Anquan BoldinDET19201013971
    26Malcolm MitchellNE18201113971
    27Amari CooperOAK20181212971
    28Rishard MatthewsTEN17201312971
    29Julio JonesATL18171412970
    30Kelvin BenjaminCAR17181412970
    31Ted Ginn Jr.CAR1717189970
    32Golden TateDET18181411970
    33Jordy NelsonGB18181411970
    34Kenny BrittLA19181311970
    35DeVante ParkerMIA18201112970
    36Chris HoganNE18181213970
    37Pierre GarconWAS17171611970
    38Corey ColemanCLE18181212969
    39Marquise LeeJAX18171213969
    40Steve Smith Sr.BAL18171113968
    41Justin HunterBUF17191112968
    42Tyler BoydCIN18171212968
    43Randall CobbGB17171510968
    44Will Fuller VHOU17191112968
    45Donte MoncriefIND17181311968
    46Willie SneadNO17171510968
    47Seth RobertsOAK16161116968
    48Jordan MatthewsPHI17181311968
    49Michael FloydARI17161213967
    50Justin HardyATL16181311967
    51Breshad PerrimanBAL15191113967
    52Cole BeasleyDAL19181110967
    53T.Y. HiltonIND17171212967
    54Tavon AustinLA1717159967
    55Kenny StillsMIA18171112967
    56Danny AmendolaNE17171212967
    57Doug BaldwinSEA18171310967
    58Harry DouglasTEN16171114967
    59Mohamed SanuATL16151511966
    60Marquise GoodwinBUF16181112966
    61Terrance WilliamsDAL17151312966
    62Marvin JonesDET16161312966
    63Ty MontgomeryGB15151611966
    64Braxton MillerHOU15171213966
    65Allen HurnsJAX18161112966
    66Allen RobinsonJAX17171112966
    67Adam ThielenMIN17171211966
    68Robby AndersonNYJ17171112966
    69Dorial Green-BeckhamPHI1517169966
    70Travis BenjaminSD15161214966
    71Deonte ThompsonCHI16151312965
    72James WrightCIN17161112965
    73Brandon LaFellCIN16171112965
    74Andrew HawkinsCLE16161113965
    75Bennie FowlerDEN16161212965
    76Phillip DorsettIND16161212965
    77Jarvis LandryMIA17161112965
    78Jalin MarshallNYJ17161112965
    79Tajae SharpeTEN16171112965
    80Kamar AikenBAL16161112964
    81Brandon TateBUF16161112964
    82Eddie RoyalCHI14151610964
    83Chris ConleyKC16161112964
    84Eli RogersPIT16161112964
    85Cobi HamiltonPIT15151114964
    86J.J. NelsonARI1715139963
    87Walter PowellBUF15161112963
    88Albert WilsonKC15151113963
    89Leonte CarrooMIA16161111963
    90Sammie CoatesPIT17141112963
    91Rod StreaterSF16161111963
    92Adam HumphriesTB17171010963
    93Russell ShepardTB16181010963
    94John BrownARI16161110962
    95Devin FunchessCAR15141212962
    96Rashard HigginsCLE15151112962
    97Jordan TaylorDEN16151111962
    98Brandon ColemanNO15171011962
    99Torrey SmithSF14161211962
    100Kendall WrightTEN15141113962
    101Andre RobertsDET1315159961
    102Cecil ShortsTB16161010961
    103Cody CoreCIN14141112960
    104Jordan NorwoodDEN15141111960
    105Keith MumpheryHOU14141112960
    106Chester RogersIND14141112960
    107Andre HolmesOAK14141112960
    108Brice ButlerDAL15151010959
    109Bryce TreggsPHI14151110959
    110Paul RichardsonSEA1613129959
    111Chris HarperSF13131212959
    112Quinton PattonSF13141211959
    113Brittan GoldenARI14141110958
    114Cameron MeredithCHI16111210958
    115Jermaine KearseSEA14151010958
    116Brian QuickLA14141010957
    117Brandin CooksNO16121010957
    118Victor CruzNYG12141111957
    119Jeremy KerleySF14141010957
    120Aldrick RobinsonATL13131110956
    121Philly BrownCAR13121012956
    122Cordarrelle PattersonMIN13141010956
    123Laquon TreadwellMIN13121012956
    124Charles JohnsonMIN12131111956
    125Sterling ShepardNYG14121011956
    126Ryan GrantWAS13121012956
    127Tyler LockettSEA1611109955
    128Josh BellamyCHI13101110953
    129Aaron BurbridgeSF11121011953

        

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Alshon Jeffery—suspension
    • Stefon Diggs—injury
    • Josh Doctson—injury
    • Robert Woods—injury
    • Kevin White—injury
    • A.J. Green—injury
    • Jeremy Maclin—injury
    • Eric Decker—injury
    • Keenan Allen—injury
    • Vincent Jackson—injury
    • Percy Harvin—inactive
    • Nelson Agholor—inactive

Tight Ends

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    In the NFC, Jordan Reed stood out as the top tight end. Playing against Byron Jones, Reed separated his shoulder in the first half and had a sling on his arm at halftime. However, he played through the injury and finished with 10 receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns.

    Outside of Rob Gronkowski, he's the toughest tight end to match up with in the NFL. Jimmy Graham continued his comeback campaign as the go-to receiver for Seattle. He caught six passes on seven targets for 67 yards and continues to find his role within the Seahawks offense.

    Speaking of Gronkowski, the Patriots receiver left the divisional matchup against the Jets after only seven snaps, severely hampering both the Patriots offense and his grade this week. Travis Kelce continues to be a matchup nightmare for defenses, and his grade would have been even higher this week if not for a few drops. Two tight ends were solid in losing efforts: Tyler Eifert with the Cincinnati Bengals and C.J. Fiedorowicz with the Texans. 

            

    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 12
    RankPlayerTeamRouteHandsYACBlkPosOvr
    1Jordan ReedWAS18221716679
    2Travis KelceKC18191321677
    3Kyle RudolphMIN14181418670
    4Jimmy GrahamSEA18181315670
    5Greg OlsenCAR15191217669
    6Tyler EifertCIN13191318669
    7C.J. FiedorowiczHOU13181220669
    8Vance McDonaldSF15171417669
    9Jack DoyleIND12181220668
    10Will TyeNYG13201415668
    11Vernon DavisWAS16181315668
    12Dion SimsMIA13171318667
    13Martellus BennettNE13171318667
    14Clive WalfordOAK13181218667
    15Cameron BrateTB15171316667
    16Charles ClayBUF13171119666
    17A.J. DerbyDEN13171119666
    18Dwayne AllenIND13171218666
    19Ben KoyackJAX12171120666
    20Ladarius GreenPIT13181217666
    21Hunter HenrySD12191118666
    22Delanie WalkerTEN13181118666
    23Dennis PittaBAL13171118665
    24Lance KendricksLA15171314665
    25John PhillipsNO12161219665
    26Ryan GriffinHOU12171118664
    27Darren WallerBAL12161118663
    28Seth DeValveCLE13171215663
    29Jason WittenDAL16171113663
    30Erik SwoopesIND13161117663
    31Coby FleenerNO14171313663
    32Brandon BostickNYJ12161118663
    33Mychal RiveraOAK12151119663
    34Jesse JamesPIT12141120663
    35Daniel BrownCHI13171214662
    36Gary BarnidgeCLE12161117662
    37Anthony FasanoTEN11141120662
    38Nick O'LearyBUF12141118661
    39Ben BrauneckerCHI13171114661
    40Ryan HewittCIN11151118661
    41Virgil GreenDEN11141119661
    42Stephen AndersonHOU12151117661
    43Neal SterlingJAX12161116661
    44Marqueis GrayMIA13151116661
    45Austin Seferian-JenkinsNYJ12151117661
    46Antonio GatesSD11141119661
    47Jace AmaroTEN11141416661
    48Nick BoyleBAL11141118660
    49Logan PaulsenCHI12151116660
    50Randall TelferCLE11141118660
    51Demetrius HarrisKC11141118660
    52Tyler HigbeeLA12161115660
    53Rhett EllisonMIN12151215660
    54Josh HillNO12151215660
    55Jerell AdamsNYG12151215660
    56Tyler KroftCIN11141117659
    57Alex EllisJAX11141117659
    58James O'ShaughnessyKC11151017659
    59Rob GronkowskiNE12141116659
    60Eric TomlinsonNYJ11141117659
    61David JohnsonPIT11141117659
    62Garrett CelekSF11141315659
    63Jermaine GreshamARI13161013658
    64Ed DicksonCAR11121018657
    65Luke StockerTB11131116657
    66Levine ToiloloATL10131017656
    67Sean McGrathSD11141114656
    68Austin HooperATL11131114655
    69Zach ErtzPHI11131312655
    70Brandon MyersTB11131015655
    71Darren FellsARI12121014654
    72Richard RodgersGB10121016654
    73Eric EbronDET11121014653
    74Brent CelekPHI12121013653
    75Brandon WilliamsSEA10121015653
    76Jared CookGB10111114652
    77Blake BellSF10121014652
    78Trey BurtonPHI10121012650

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Troy Niklas—injury
    • Jacob Tamme—injury
    • Maxx Williams—injury
    • Zach Miller—injury
    • Marcedes Lewis—injury
    • Julius Thomas—injury
    • Jordan Cameron—injury
    • Luke Willson—insufficient snaps

Left Tackles

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    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Tyron Smith of the Cowboys snatched our No. 1 ranking at left tackle in Week 12. Smith has been dominant all season, and he turned in another outstanding performance, displaying an elite pass protection skill set and showing tremendous physicality in the running game versus a physical Washington front seven.

    Philadelphia's Jason Peters claimed the No. 2 ranking with his performance against the Green Bay Packers. With the exception of a pair of penalties and a lone sack allowed, Peters flashed streaks of dominance. Cleveland's Joe Thomas was stout against the Giants and came in at No. 3. 

    Washington's Ty Nsekhe did another excellent job filling in for suspended tackle Trent Williams against Dallas. Nsekhe was impressive in both the running game and pass protection, contributing to an effort in which Washington's offensive line did not surrender a sack to Dallas on 75 offensive snaps. 

              

    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 12
    RankPlayerTeamPassRunPowerAglPosOvr
    1Tyron SmithDAL19221817884
    2Jason PetersPHI20201717882
    3Joe ThomasCLE22171420881
    4Taylor DeckerDET20201616880
    5David BakhtiariGB20191517879
    6Cordy GlennBUF17201815878
    7Jake MatthewsATL20201514877
    8Ty NsekheWAS20181515876
    9Donald PennOAK19191614876
    10Duane BrownHOU17201714876
    11Ronnie StanleyBAL20191414875
    12Taylor LewanTEN19191514875
    13Eric FisherKC18201613875
    14Nate SolderNE19191414874
    15Alejandro VillanuevaPIT19191414874
    16DJ HumphriesARI18191415874
    17Andrew WhitworthCIN18191514874
    18Joe StaleySF18191415874
    19Donovan SmithTB17171714873
    20Russell OkungDEN18191513873
    21Anthony CastonzoIND18181415873
    22Ereck FlowersNYG18181613873
    23Kelvin BeachumJAX18181414872
    24Terron ArmsteadNO18171415872
    25Mike RemmersCAR16191513871
    26Charles Leno Jr.CHI17171414870
    27King DunlapSD17181413870
    28George FantSEA16161316869
    29T.J. ClemmingsMIN16161315868
    30Rodger SaffoldLA17181312868
    31Sam YoungMIA17171312867
    32Ben IjalanaNYJ15151612866
    33Andrew DonnalLA16171113865

           

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Matt Kalil—injury
    • Branden Albert—injury
    • Luke Joeckel—injury
    • Michael Oher—injury
    • Greg Robinson—inactive
    • Trent Williams—suspension

Right Tackles

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Green Bay's Bryan Bulaga was the top performer at right tackle in Week 12, and he has been outstanding all season so far. He was solid in pass protection and as a run-blocker against Philadelphia on Monday Night Football.

    Marcus Gilbert claims the No. 2 ranking in Week 12. He showed tremendous strength, power and explosion at the point of attack as well as great agility and patience in pass protection against Indianapolis. The No. 3-ranked right tackle in Week 12 was the ever-so-steady Ryan Schraeder. He was impressive in the running game and continues to show why Atlanta decided to extend his contract. 

            

    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 12
    RankPlayerTeamPassRunPowerAglPosOvr
    1Bryan BulagaGB21191615778
    2Marcus GilbertPIT19211515777
    3Ryan SchraederATL20201514776
    4Zach StriefNO19201515776
    5Jack ConklinTEN18201515775
    6Mitchell SchwartzKC18201515775
    7Jermey ParnellJAX20191414774
    8Morgan MosesWAS18191614774
    9Ricky WagnerBAL18201514774
    10Marcus CannonNE19191514774
    11Allen BarbrePHI17211514774
    12Doug FreeDAL18201513773
    13Ja'Wuan JamesMIA18201414773
    14Riley ReiffDET18201513773
    15Demar DotsonTB18181416773
    16Bobby HartNYG17181416772
    17Jordan MillsBUF17201513772
    18Donald StephensonDEN17191613772
    19Bobby MassieCHI18181315771
    20Austin HowardOAK17191513771
    21Joe BarksdaleSD18181314770
    22Breno GiacominiNYJ17171613770
    23Ulrick JohnARI17201313770
    24Trenton BrownSF17181413769
    25Joe HaegIND17191313769
    26Jeremiah SirlesMIN17171413768
    27Eric WinstonCIN17181313768
    28Chris ClarkHOU16191313768
    29Bradley SowellSEA16181314768
    30Daryl WilliamsCAR17171412767
    31Trai TurnerCAR15171612767
    32Joe ReitzIND17181312767
    33Austin PasztorCLE15161315766
    34Cedric OgbuehiCIN16161313765
    35Rob HavensteinLA15151413764
    36Ty SambrailoDEN14161310760

                    

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Derek Newton—injury
    • Menelik Watson—injury
    • Garry Gilliam—insufficient snaps
    • Halapoulivaati Vaitai—injury
    • Lane Johnson—suspension

Offensive Guards

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Things started to stabilize at guard last week, and that continued with a few more of the consensus top guards near the top of this week's rankings.

    Zack Martin bounced back to elite-level play after two average (for him) weeks. Jack Mewhort looked healthier than last week, jumping from 54th to 13th overall. A few of the bigger names are still injured (Justin Pugh, Josh Sitton, Kyle Long, T.J. Lang and Laremy Tunsil, among others), but hopefully a few of those guys are able to make it back in the next couple of weeks. 

    Trai Turner is graded at right guard and right tackle this week as he played significant snaps at both spots this week after filling in at right tackle for an injured starter.

           

    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 12
    RankPlayerTeamPassRunPowerAglPosOvr
    1Andrew NorwellCAR18191815777
    2Richie IncognitoBUF17191815776
    3Zack MartinDAL17191815776
    4Gabe JacksonOAK19181814776
    5Ali MarpetTB16191716775
    6Kelechi OsemeleOAK19171913775
    7Ramon FosterPIT16191814774
    8Quinton SpainTEN18191713774
    9Alex BooneMIN17181715774
    10Brandon ScherffWAS18161715773
    11Eric KushCHI19161714773
    12Marshal YandaBAL19161714773
    13Jack MewhortIND18161715773
    14A.J. CannJAX15191715773
    15Vladimir DucasseBAL18181712772
    16Shaq MasonNE17171615772
    17Andy LevitreATL19151714772
    18Zane BeadlesSF15181616772
    19Adam GettisNYG16171615771
    20Brandon FuscoMIN16171615771
    21John GrecoCLE16171714771
    22David DeCastroPIT16151616770
    23Larry WarfordDET15161715770
    24Kevin ZeitlerCIN18161613770
    25Shawn LauvaoWAS16161813770
    26Mike IupatiARI17161614770
    27Joshua GarnettSF16171713770
    28Ted LarsenCHI17151614769
    29Senio KelemeteNO15171614769
    30Josh KlineTEN17151614769
    31Trai TurnerCAR15161714769
    32Spencer DrangoCLE16151714769
    33Kraig UrbikMIA18141614769
    34Stefen WisniewskiPHI17151614769
    35Xavier Su'a-FiloHOU17141516769
    36Ronald LearyDAL16151614768
    37Chris ChesterATL16161613768
    38D.J. FlukerSD15161614768
    39Jahri EvansNO16161613768
    40Jeff AllenHOU16151911768
    41Isaac SeumaloPHI14171614768
    42Max GarciaDEN17151613768
    43John MillerBUF13181713768
    44Laurent Duvernay-TardifKC16131417767
    45Chris ScottCAR15161613767
    46Brian WintersNYJ16131615767
    47Joe ThuneyNE15141417767
    48Chris ReedJAX13161714767
    49Kevin PamphileTB16151513766
    50Andrus PeatNO13161515766
    51Mark GlowinskiSEA14131616766
    52Clint BolingCIN16131614766
    53John JerryNYG15141613765
    54Denzelle GoodIND14151613765
    55Jason SpriggsGB16121317765
    56Michael SchofieldDEN15131416765
    57Jamon BrownLA14141614765
    58Lane TaylorGB15141415765
    59James CarpenterNYJ14141613764
    60Zach FultonKC15151512764
    61Laken TomlinsonDET13141514763
    62Cody WichmannLA14131415763
    63John WetzelARI14151413763
    64Orlando FranklinSD12151712763
    65Jermon BushrodMIA14131513762
    66Germain IfediSEA12151611761
    67Graham GlasgowDET11141414760

             

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Denver Kirkland—insufficient snaps
    • Kyle Long—Injury
    • T.J. Lang—Injury
    • Laremy Tunsil—DNP
    • Brandon Brooks—DNP
    • Don Barclay—DNP
    • Marshall Newhouse—DNP
    • Josh Sitton—DNP
    • Jonotthan Harrison—Insufficient snaps
    • Patrick Omameh—DNP
    • Justin Pugh—DNP
    • Alvin Bailey—DNP
    • Joel Bitonio—DNP
    • Evan Mathis—DNP
    • Luke Joeckel—DNP
    • La'el Collins—DNP
    • J'Marcus Webb—DNP
    • Chance Warmack—DNP

Centers

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    Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

    Ryan Groy, Jeremy Zuttah and Matt Slauson as top-level centers? This week, that was the case. All three were excellent in pass protection, with just one QB hit allowed between the three. None of these veterans have great feet or lower-body agility, but they win in pass protection with sound hand placement, precise footwork and strong anchors. 

                   

    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 12
    RankPlayerTeamPassRunPowerAglPosOvr
    1Alex MackATL18171717675
    2Mitch MorseKC18171518674
    3Rodney HudsonOAK19171616674
    4Ryan GroyBUF19171714673
    5Jeremy ZuttahBAL19171714673
    6Matt SlausonSD19161615672
    7Matt ParadisDEN18171714672
    8Weston RichburgNYG17161715671
    9Travis FrederickDAL17161715671
    10Russell BodineCIN17161714670
    11Corey LinsleyGB18151714670
    12Max UngerNO15181714670
    13Daniel KilgoreSF17151615669
    14Ben JonesTEN18161316669
    15Joe HawleyTB17151714669
    16Jason KelcePHI16151517669
    17Maurkice PounceyPIT16151615668
    18Cameron ErvingCLE15161516668
    19Travis SwansonDET16151714668
    20Greg ManczHOU16151614667
    21Joe BergerMIN16151614667
    22David AndrewsNE16151613666
    23Brandon LinderJAX14161614666
    24Cody WhitehairCHI15141515665
    25Gino GradkowskiCAR13161614665
    26Nick EastonMIN15131516665
    27Tyler LarsenCAR16141513664
    28Tim BarnesLA15141514664
    29Anthony SteenMIA18141115664
    30Wesley JohnsonNYJ14131614663
    31Spencer LongWAS16121315662
    32Jonotthan HarrisonIND14121613661
    33A.Q. ShipleyARI13131414660
    34Joey HuntSEA12131316660

           

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Ryan Kelly—insufficient snaps
    • Mike Pouncey—DNP
    • Ryan Kalil—DNP
    • Chris Scott—DNP
    • Eric Wood—DNP
    • JC Tretter—DNP
    • Nick Mangold—DNP
    • Ted Larsen—DNP
    • Kraig Urbik—DNP

3-4 Defensive Ends

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    This week started off with great play from 3-4 defensive ends, beginning Thursday with the performance of Washington's Chris Baker—possibly the most underrated player at the position—to Green Bay's Mike Daniels, who ran down the 190-pound Darren Sproles on Monday Night Football.

    With injuries on the lines in Arizona and San Francisco, both Calais Campbell and DeForest Buckner, who was compared often to Campbell in the draft process, have stepped up as the dominant forces on their lines of scrimmage. 

        

    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 12
    RankPlayerTeamSnapRushRunTklPosOvr
    1Joey BosaSD14182417780
    2Calais CampbellARI12172117774
    3Mike DanielsGB14161916772
    4DeForest BucknerSF13172015772
    5Derek WolfeDEN11162315772
    6Chris BakerWAS13172013770
    7Akiem HicksCHI12161914768
    8Ronald BlairSF12171814768
    9Ziggy HoodWAS12161914768
    10Ricky Jean-FrancoisWAS12171814768
    11Stephon TuittPIT12162013768
    12Frostee RuckerARI11161915768
    13Jurrell CaseyTEN11142114767
    14Josh MauroARI11161815767
    15Chris JonesKC11152113767
    16Cornelius WashingtonCHI12161714766
    17Emmanuel OgbahCLE12152012766
    18Jared CrickDEN10132016766
    19Jonathan BullardCHI11161714765
    20C.J. WilsonCHI11151913765
    21Timmy JerniganBAL11132113765
    22Carl NassibCLE12141913765
    23Xavier CooperCLE11131915765
    24Jamie MederCLE9132115765
    25Denico AutryOAK11122114765
    26Kendall ReyesKC9161914765
    27Mike PennelGB11151813764
    28Lawrence GuyBAL10151814764
    29Leger DouzableBUF10131915764
    30Henry AndersonIND11122014764
    31Adolphus WashingtonBUF11131814763
    32Arthur JonesIND10121915763
    33Brent UrbanBAL10141913763
    34Corey LiugetSD10132012762
    35DaQuan JonesTEN10131913762
    36Christian CovingtonHOU9121913760
    37Karl KlugTEN11131712760
    38Billy WinnDEN10121713759
    39Antonio SmithHOU9141712759
    40Ricardo MathewsPIT9121712757

            

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Cameron Heyward—injury
    • Kendall Langford—injury
    • Arik Armstead—injury
    • J.J. Watt—injury
    • Mitch Unrein—injury
    • Quinton Dial—injury

4-3 Defensive Ends

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    Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    It was another monster week by Khalil Mack, who has turned it up in November. He's as dominant as ever, recording one sack, five quarterback hurries and five stops. He closed out the game and secured the Raiders' 35-32 win against the Panthers.

    If you're quick to call young players busts, then you may be surprised to see Vic Beasley Jr. near the top of this list weekly, but he had one of his best performances in a win against Arizona. Beasley has blossomed and has a bright future.

    Another 4-3 defensive end who is having a good month is the Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul. Sure, he's beat up on bad competition, but he's taken care of business. And his ability to bat down passes, defend the run and rush the passer with speed and power keeps him in an elite category. 

            

    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 12
    RankPlayerTeamRushRunSnapTklPosOvr
    1Khalil MackOAK27161916886
    2Vic BeasleyATL26121714877
    3Cameron WakeMIA22131715875
    4Cameron JordanNO22141515874
    5Everson GriffenMIN20141714873
    6Jason Pierre-PaulNYG21141515873
    7Dwight FreeneyATL22131514872
    8Noah SpenceTB21131614872
    9Adrian ClaybornATL20141514871
    10Brandon GrahamPHI20141514871
    11Frank ClarkSEA20141613871
    12Chris LongNE21141314870
    13Andre BranchMIA20131415870
    14David IrvingDAL19141514870
    15Trey FlowersNE20151215870
    16Ezekiel AnsahDET20131613870
    17Robert QuinnLA20131514870
    18Cliff AvrilSEA20131514870
    19Wes HortonCAR19121515869
    20Ryan DavisDAL19131514869
    21Tyrone CrawfordDAL20131513869
    22Sheldon RichardsonNYJ19171213869
    23DeMarcus LawrenceDAL20131414869
    24William HayesLA19141414869
    25Danielle HunterMIN20121514869
    26Olivier VernonNYG20141413869
    27Carlos DunlapCIN22121313868
    28Devin TaylorDET19141413868
    29Kerry HyderDET20131413868
    30Brian RobisonMIN19131414868
    31Muhammad WilkersonNYJ19151115868
    32Cassius MarshSEA18131514868
    33Michael JohnsonCIN18141314867
    34Charles JohnsonCAR20131313867
    35Ethan WestbrooksLA19131413867
    36Kasim EdebaliNO18131513867
    37Darryl TappNO19131314867
    38Marcus SmithPHI18131414867
    39Yannick NgakoueJAX22101511866
    40Jack CrawfordDAL19111414866
    41Connor BarwinPHI18131314866
    42Robert AyersTB19121413866
    43William GholstonTB19131412866
    44Ryan RussellTB18131413866
    45Dante FowlerJAX18131412865
    46Brooks ReedATL18121413865
    47Ryan DelaireCAR18131313865
    48Anthony ZettelDET18121413865
    49Eugene SimsLA19121313865
    50Paul KrugerNO18121314865
    51Romeo OkwaraNYG17131314865
    52Vinny CurryPHI17131314865
    53Kony EalyCAR18111413864
    54Jabaal SheardNE16151212863
    55Will ClarkeCIN17141212863
    56Lorenzo MauldinNYJ19111311862
    57Mario WilliamsMIA16121213861
    58Wallace GilberryCIN15131211859
    59Margus HuntCIN17111111858

             

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Jared Odrick—injury
    • Owa Odighizuwa—insufficient snaps
    • Michael Bennett—injury
    • Mario Addison—injury

Defensive Tackles

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Aaron Donald was phenomenal yet again. He repeatedly took a sledgehammer to the Saints offensive line, including a strip-sack where he reached Drew Brees in under 2.3 seconds. Donald is easily the best defensive tackle in the game, and he brings the pain week in and week out.

    Tampa Bay's Gerald McCoy had a strong game against Seattle's beleaguered offensive line. Sehawks guard Germain Ifedi was light work for the four-time Pro Bowler, as he lived in the backfield all game long. McCoy finished with two sacks, six hurries and two stops.

    Javon Hargrave had his best game of the season against the Colts on Thanksgiving. He was facing the Colts' backup center, and he took advantage of the opportunity. Hargrave shut down the A-gaps and applied steady interior pressure, including with a diving sack on quarterback Scott Tolzien. 

            

    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 12
    RankPlayerTeamSnapRushRunTklPosOvr
    1Aaron DonaldLA21201914781
    2Gerald McCoyTB19202011777
    3Ndamukong SuhMIA18171913774
    4Javon HargravePIT19162012774
    5Marcell DareusBUF18171812772
    6Nick FairleyNO19171712772
    7Alan BranchNE17161912771
    8Sheldon RankinsNO18171811771
    9Johnathan HankinsNYG18171712771
    10Damon HarrisonNYG17142013771
    11Grady JarrettATL19161810770
    12Kyle WilliamsBUF17161812770
    13Kawann ShortCAR17141913770
    14Geno AtkinsCIN18171711770
    15Haloti NgataDET17151912770
    16Fletcher CoxPHI17161812770
    17Malik JacksonJAX17181512769
    18Linval JosephMIN18141812769
    19Leonard WilliamsNYJ17171612769
    20Dontari PoeKC17151712768
    21Rakeem Nunez-RochesKC17141812768
    22Malcom BrownNE16161712768
    23Glenn DorseySF17141812768
    24Star LotuleleiCAR16151712767
    25Eddie GoldmanCHI15161712767
    26Danny SheltonCLE17141712767
    27Maliek CollinsDAL17141612766
    28Tyson AlualuJAX16151612766
    29Tom JohnsonMIN17161511766
    30Darius LathamOAK16151612766
    31Bennie LoganPHI15141911766
    32Brandon WilliamsBAL15131812765
    33Michael PierceBAL16111912765
    34Cedric ThorntonDAL15151711765
    35Terrell McClainDAL15131812765
    36Kenny ClarkGB16141612765
    37Akeem SpenceTB16141711765
    38Corey PetersARI15141612764
    39Letroy GuionGB16151511764
    40Clinton McDonaldTB14151612764
    41Courtney UpshawATL16151312763
    42Tyrunn WalkerDET16141511763
    43D.J. ReaderHOU15141611763
    44Dominique EasleyLA17141312763
    45Earl MitchellMIA15141611763
    46Vincent ValentineNE15141611763
    47Destiny VaeaoPHI15141611763
    48Tony McDanielSEA15141611763
    49Jonathan BabineauxATL14141512762
    50Stefan CharlesDET15141610762
    51Michael BrockersLA16141411762
    52David OnyemataNO14131711762
    53Steve McLendonNYJ16131511762
    54Jihad WardOAK16131511762
    55Jarran ReedSEA16131511762
    56Jay BromleyNYG15141510761
    57Dan WilliamsOAK14121612761
    58Stacy McGeeOAK13151511761
    59Ahtyba RubinSEA13151412761
    60John JenkinsSEA15141510761
    61Al WoodsTEN13121712761
    62Sen'Derrick MarksJAX15141311760
    63Jordan PhillipsMIA16131410760
    64Beau AllenPHI14131610760
    65Mike PurcellSF14121611760
    66A'Shawn RobinsonDET15141310759
    67Justin EllisOAK15121411759
    68Cullen JenkinsWAS16131310759
    69Kyle LoveCAR13111611758
    70Domata PekoCIN14131410758
    71Shamar StephensMIN14131410758
    72Rodney GunterARI14121410757
    73Tyson JacksonATL14121311757
    74Vince WilforkHOU14121410757
    75Austin JohnsonTEN14111510757
    76Sylvester WilliamsDEN14131210756
    77Hassan RidgewayIND14131210756
    78Sheldon DayJAX14121310756
    79Damion SquareSD14121310756
    80Paul SoliaiCAR12111510755
    81Cam ThomasLA14111210754
    82Pat SimsCIN12101410753
    83Tyeler DavisonNO13121110753
    84T.Y. McGillIND12121110752
    85David ParryIND1110109747

           

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Brandon Mebane—injury
    • Caraun Reid—injury
    • Sharrif Floyd—injury
    • Khyri Thornton—injury
    • Zach Kerr—inactive
    • Daniel McCullers—insufficient snaps
    • Ra'Shede Hageman—inactive
    • Leon Orr—inactive
    • Abry Jones—inactive
    • Corbin Bryant—inactive
    • Vernon Butler—inactive
    • Deon Simon—insufficient snaps

3-4 Outside Linebackers

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    Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

    Sunday Night Football in Denver was the time and the place for the best 3-4 outside linebacker play of the 2016 season. Von Miller and Justin Houston put on a show with three sacks apiece and the position's best overall grades of the year. Yet lost in the greatness of Miller and Houston was how well the other 3-4 outside linebackers played, most notably Tamba Hali, DeMarcus Ware and Shane Ray. Everyone will remember SNF for its wild ending, but it was also a clinic in how the position should be played. 

    Five of the top six 3-4 outside linebackers in Week 12 came from Denver or Kansas City. The loner in the group was Houston's Whitney Mercilus, who quietly put together his best game of the 2016 season. He didn't have a sack, but he lived in San Diego's backfield Sunday—both as a pass-rusher and a run defender.

    Save for the SNF group and Mercilus, it was a quiet week for 3-4 outside linebackers. Only 14 players graded at 70 or above, while 24 produced grades at 64 or lower.

         

    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 12
    RankPlayerTeamRushRunCvgTklPosOvr
    1Von MillerDEN27181221886
    2Justin HoustonKC2818922885
    3Whitney MercilusHOU2517922881
    4Tamba HaliKC2418921880
    5DeMarcus WareDEN2416920877
    6Shane RayDEN23141118874
    7Terrell SuggsBAL2512919873
    8Ahmad BrooksSF2116919873
    9Nick PerryGB2313920873
    10Julius PeppersGB2512917871
    11Elvis DumervilBAL23121018871
    12James HarrisonPIT22131018871
    13Melvin IngramSD2412917870
    14Jadeveon ClowneyHOU2114918870
    15Ryan KerriganWAS2212918869
    16Chandler JonesARI2113918869
    17Jerry HughesBUF1914918868
    18Datone JonesGB2311918869
    19Lorenzo AlexanderBUF2212917868
    20Corey LemonierCLE21101018867
    21Derrick MorganTEN20101018866
    22Jamie CollinsCLE1514919865
    23Shaquil BarrettDEN2011917865
    24Jarvis JonesPIT1714917865
    25Eli HaroldSF2012916865
    26Kyle EmanuelSD17121018865
    27Matt JudonBAL19121016865
    28Shaq LawsonBUF1912916864
    29Trent MurphyWAS19111016864
    30Bud DupreePIT1812917864
    31Brian OrakpoTEN18111016863
    32Markus GoldenARI2310715863
    33Willie YoungCHI1912816863
    34Pernell McPheeCHI1712917863
    35Albert McClellanBAL16111018863
    36Jerry AttaochuSD2110816863
    37Akeem AyersIND17121016863
    38Anthony ChickilloPIT1811916862
    39Jayrone ElliottGB1810917862
    40Chris LandrumSD1810916861
    41Tank CarradineSF1712816861
    42Alex OkaforARI1811816861
    43Robert MathisIND1810916861
    44Sam AchoCHI1611916860
    45Frank ZomboKC1711915860
    46David BassTEN1810915860
    47Cam JohnsonCLE1612915860
    48Erik WaldenIND1710717859
    49Lavar EdwardsIND169915857
    50Preston SmithWAS169915857
    51Arthur MoatsPIT1591015857

           

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Za'Darius Smith—injury
    • Leonard Floyd—injury
    • John Simon—injury
    • Dee Ford—injury
    • Tourek Williams—insufficient snaps
    • Aaron Lynch—injury
    • Kevin Dodd—inactive

4-3 Outside Linebackers

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    Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

    All of the big boys came to play this weekend. The top of this week's list looks like an All-Star listing. The best players at the position gave it their best effort, and their defenses were better for it.

    While almost all of the best players at the position had excellent performances, Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee claimed the No. 1 spot. Lee stole the spotlight on the NFL's biggest non-postseason stage: Thanksgiving Day.

    His efforts, particularly in the running game, kept Washington's offense from scoring as many points as it should have. Against what had been an improving Washington rushing attack, Lee patrolled the line of scrimmage and seldom let anyone sneak by him. Not only that, but Lee found runners behind the line of scrimmage too. He was a dominant force who pushed Washington into passing the ball a bit more than it probably would've liked to. 

    Once again, Bruce Irvin of the Raiders had himself quite a day. Every few games, Irvin's menacing pass-rushing skills show up. This week, against a crippled Panthers offensive line, Irvin unleashed himself. He constantly put pressure on Cam Newton in the pocket and made the reigning MVP as uncomfortable as possible. Irvin showed up as a run defender too after a slightly rough start in that area. But as the game picked up, he amped up his play and did his job to contain the Panthers' perimeter rushing.

    One of the only "top" players at the position to have a poor Week 12 showing was Vontaze Burfict of the Bengals. He had a hand in a few big plays here and there, but for the most part, Burfict was lumbering around. He looked largely disinterested, especially when asked to make plays in space. His effort picked up some in the second half, but it was still not nearly what it needed to be for an NFL player of his caliber. Hopefully this does not continue next week.

           

    Grading Scale

    Cvg: Coverage (Graded out of 25)

    Run: Run Defense (Graded out of 25)

    Rush: Pass Rush (Graded out of 15)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 25)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

          

    4-3 Outside Linebacker Rankings Week 12
    RankPlayerTeamCvgRunRushTklPosOvr
    1Sean LeeDAL2021921677
    2Bruce IrvinOAK18191221676
    3Anthony BarrMIN16191321675
    4K.J. WrightSEA2021721675
    5Telvin SmithJAX1822820674
    6De'Vondre CampbellATL2119720673
    7Thomas DavisCAR1919919672
    8Nigel BradhamPHI1820721672
    9Chad GreenwayMIN2017919671
    10Devon KennardNYG1819917669
    11Lavonte DavidTB1717920669
    12Jonathan CasillasNYG1919717668
    13Josh BynesDET1816720667
    14Darron LeeNYJ1618818666
    15Myles JackJAX1715918665
    16Vincent ReyCIN1618717664
    17Damien WilsonDAL1617718664
    18Mark BarronLA1419916664
    19Rob NinkovichNE1517917664
    20Craig RobertsonNO1518718664
    21Kevin Pierre-LouisSEA1618717664
    22Philip WheelerATL1516818663
    23Cory LittletonLA1517718663
    24Shaq ThompsonCAR1616717662
    25Kyle Van NoyNE14161016662
    26Donald ButlerMIA1617716662
    27Mychal KendricksPHI1617716662
    28Daryl SmithTB1616717662
    29Dannell EllerbeNO14151016661
    30Karlos DansbyCIN1516716660
    31Justin DurantDAL1416717660
    32Mike CatapanoNYJ1615815660
    33Jordan JenkinsNYJ1616715660
    34Vontaze BurfictCIN1416715658
    35Jelani JenkinsMIA1715812658
    36Malcolm SmithOAK1514716658
    37Shea McClellinNE1514715657
    38Keenan RobinsonNYG1515714657
    39Neville HewittMIA1315715656

             

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Paul Worrilow—insufficient snaps
    • Sean Weatherspoon—insufficient snaps
    • Andrew Gachkar—insufficient snaps
    • DeAndre Levy—injury
    • Zaviar Gooden—insufficient snaps
    • Dan Skuta—insufficient snaps
    • Arthur Brown—insufficient snaps
    • Koa Misi—insufficient snaps
    • Stephone Anthony—insufficient snaps
    • Jaylon Smith—injury

Inside Linebackers

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    We’ve been talking up Atlanta rookie inside linebacker Deion Jones all season, and Jones had what may have been his best game against the Cardinals last Sunday. Jones didn’t show up in the stat sheet in some incredible way—three solo tackles—but the tape showed a guy in control of his game and his opponent. 

    One issue with smaller linebackers like Jones is how well they face up against the run. Well, Jones broke through to stop running back David Johnson on a first-quarter, goal-line stand and later stuffed Johnson for a one-yard loss.

    But it was his near-interception of Carson Palmer's pass late in the third quarter that will really blow you away. Johnson started at the line of scrimmage reading run, diagnosed the deep throw to Michael Floyd and somehow trucked 15 yards downfield in the blink of an eye. As the ball came in, Jones jumped two feet off the ground to deflect the pass and nearly came down with it. It was an extreme effort and the kind of play we’re getting used to from Jones. That’s why he’s our top inside linebacker this week.

    Meanwhile, the Panthers got an object lesson in great vs. good when Luke Kuechly was sidelined with a concussion and A.J. Klein was in his place.

    It’s not that Klein was bad—he had a good game with five tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a pass defensed. And maybe it’s not fair to compare him to Kuechly, who has the NFL’s best combination of instincts and athleticism at his position. But with Klein, you could see him pull up and hesitate on certain plays for just a split second, whereas Kuechly would crash through and dominate. In the NFL, a split second is all it takes. That’s the difference between good and great.

    San Francisco's close loss to Miami was most notable for Colin Kaepernick's strong performance, but inside linebacker Nick Bellore had quite a game himself. Bellore lined up in the traditional inside linebacker positions with Michael Wilhoite and Gerald Hodges, but he also served as the lone inside man when the 49ers went nickel and also stood up at the line in various defensive tackle gaps. He was less dynamic in pass coverage but did a nice job on a few designed blitzes, and he was good on his tackling targets in space.

    On the downside, there was what the Redskins had to deal with in the Cowboys offense on Thanksgiving night. Mason Foster, Will Compton and Su'a Cravens were routinely overpowered and befuddled by Dallas' lethal combination of quick-strike passes, option looks, misdirection plays and straight-up old-school bullyball. It was a stark reminder to the rest of the league's linebacker corps just how difficult Dallas' attack is to stop.

    The matchup between the Texans and Chargers was filled with impressive play from inside linebackers. On both sides, the inside linebackers were facilitators and playmakers off whom the rest of the defense could feed. The Chargers players, though, were especially on their game. Denzel Perryman, a blossoming star at linebacker, and Korey Toomer, a former Raiders castoff, made it tough for the Texans to accomplish anything at the second level. The duo worked in unison to shut down a number of run plays while also doing their part in the passing game.

    Though they did not face each other, both the Ravens' and the Steelers' linebacker duos were menacing this week. To no surprise, Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was the best of the bunch. He caused mayhem for the Colts on Thanksgiving and negated what little chance they had of moving the ball without Andrew Luck.

    From the other AFC North squad, it was Zach Orr who had the more impressive performance for the Ravens. C.J. Mosley posted his usual good-not-great game, but Orr had quite a day in run defense, often doing an excellent job of filling the lanes that his defensive line provided for him.

               

    Grading Scale

    Pass: Pass Defense (Graded out of 25)

    Run: Run Defense (Graded out of 35)

    Rush: Pass Rush (Graded out of 15)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 15)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

                 

    Inside Linebacker Rankings Week 12
    RankPlayerTeamPassRunRushTklPosOvr
    1Deion JonesATL2331912681
    2Tahir WhiteheadDET2230913680
    3Eric KendricksMIN19281111675
    4Jordan HicksPHI17281212675
    5Ryan ShazierPIT1930812675
    6Denzel PerrymanSD1831812675
    7Wesley WoodyardTEN2130711675
    8Zach OrrBAL1830911674
    9Clay MatthewsGB18261311674
    10Benardrick McKinneyHOU18281011673
    11Paul PoslusznyJAX1829911673
    12Korey ToomerSD1830712673
    13Nick BelloreSF18271111673
    14Dont'a HightowerNE1831711673
    15Brian CushingHOU1729811671
    16Kwon AlexanderTB17251211671
    17C.J. MosleyBAL1828711670
    18Zach BrownBUF1827811670
    19Christian KirkseyCLE1828711670
    20Derrick JohnsonKC1829710670
    21A.J. KleinCAR1627911669
    22Anthony HitchensDAL1826811669
    23Max BulloughHOU2025711669
    24Rey MaualugaCIN2025710668
    25Joe L. ThomasGB1724129668
    26David HarrisNYJ1825712668
    27Kevin MinterARI1725811667
    28Deone BucannonARI2121910667
    29Alec OgletreeLA1724119667
    30Gerald HodgesSF1328812667
    31Sean SpenceTEN1727710667
    32Preston BrownBUF1922811666
    33Danny TrevathanCHI1527711666
    34Lawrence TimmonsPIT1527711666
    35Bobby WagnerSEA1527711666
    36Avery WilliamsonTEN1326911665
    37Ramik WilsonKC1625710664
    38Brandon MarshallDEN1723710663
    39Todd DavisDEN1821710662
    40Michael WilhoiteSF1325810662
    41D.J. AlexanderKC1523710661
    42Kiko AlonsoMIA1620711660
    43Audie ColeMIN1422810660
    44Nick KwiatkoskiCHI1521710659
    45Mason FosterWAS1620710659
    46Kelvin SheppardNYG122389658
    47Cory JamesOAK1520710658
    48D'Qwell JacksonIND1517810656
    49Su'a CravensWAS1617710656
    50Antwione WilliamsDET131889654
    51Will ComptonWAS151878654
    52LaRoy ReynoldsATL121978652
    53Edwin JacksonIND141499652

              

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • NaVorro Bowman—injury
    • Ray-Ray Armstrong—injury
    • Jerrell Freeman—suspension
    • Sean Weatherspoon—injury
    • Luke Kuechly—injury
    • Blake Martinez—injury
    • Jake Ryan—injury
    • Stephen Tulloch—insufficient snaps
    • Demario Davis—insufficient snaps
    • Sio Moore—insufficient snaps
    • Antonio Morrison—insufficient snaps
    • Manti Te'o—injury

Cornerbacks

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Denver’s Chris Harris has been one of the most consistent corners in the league. Sunday night against Kansas City was no different. Harris was targeted eight times, giving up three catches for eight yards. He was only beaten once in coverage all game and also had some nice tackles, including a tackle for loss. 

    On the other side, it was another night to forget for Phillip Gaines. Playing outside in the Chiefs' base defense and in the slot on obvious passing downs, Gaines surrendered six catches for 209 yards. Three of those catches went for over 20 yards, including a touchdown and another penalty. If not for a couple of passes he was able to break up, Gaines' grade would have been one of the worst of the week.

    The Steelers' starting corners combined to give up four catches on 10 targets for 41 yards. Ross Cockrell had a sack, and William Gay broke up a pass himself, had a sack and an interception. Pittsburgh continues to get good play out of its corners, and that is reflected with the duo being ranked third and fourth, respectively, this week.

    Darrelle Revis is clearly not the same player he once was. He went from being rarely thrown at to being the main target for offenses. This week, Revis gave up four of six targets for 41 yards and two touchdowns—neither of which he was in position to make a play on—a couple of first downs and a key 20-plus-yard reception to Julian Edelman.

    Week 12 proved to be a challenging one for several highly paid NFC cornerbacks. With stars like Mo Claiborne and Desmond Trufant sidelined due to injury, the conference struggled to produce above expectations. The only NFC corners who finished in the top 10 this week were Xavier Rhodes and Robert Alford.

    Rhodes played well on Thanksgiving against the Detroit Lions, limiting his assignment to three receptions and two first downs. The duo of Marvin Jones and Golden Tate can torture less disciplined cornerbacks with their superb route running and timing of their breaks, but Rhodes showed awareness and control; he was in proper positioning to compete at the catch point throughout the game.

    Alford had a solid outing, as well. Without Desmond Trufant as a buffer, Alford was targeted seven times, allowing just two receptions. Both went for first downs, and one was a blown coverage, but the positives from his performance outweighed the misstep. Alford is a tough competitor with plus-quickness on underneath routes.

    On the other end of the spectrum were the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers cornerbacks. Each team’s respective unit has consistently struggled due to their youth. It’s normal for first- and second-year corners to take time to find their footing, but the pressure has gotten the best of the developing talent for those teams.

              

    Grading Scale

    Cvg: Coverage (Graded out of 30)

    React: Reaction/Recovery (Graded out of 30)

    Slot: Slot (Graded out of 20)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 10)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

             

    Cornerback Rankings Week 12
    RankPlayerTeamCvgReactSlotTklPosOvr
    1Briean Boddy-CalhounCLE2426167982
    2Chris Harris Jr.DEN2423177980
    3William GayPIT2224187980
    4Ross CockrellPIT2423166978
    5Byron MaxwellMIA2324155976
    6Xavier RhodesMIN2221186976
    7Dre KirkpatrickCIN2223165975
    8Johnathan JosephHOU2223165975
    9Casey HaywardSD2422155975
    10Robert AlfordATL2120186974
    11Adam JonesCIN2221166974
    12Trevor WilliamsSD2223155974
    13Darius SlayDET1921186973
    14Eric RoweNE2221165973
    15Alterraun VernerTB2020186973
    16Bashaud BreelandWAS2021185973
    17A.J. BouyeHOU1921167972
    18Logan RyanNE2120165971
    19Dominique Rodgers-CromartieNYG1918196971
    20D.J. HaydenOAK2219165971
    21Richard ShermanSEA1918187971
    22Ronald DarbyBUF1920166970
    23Tony LippettMIA1921165970
    24Eli AppleNYG1919185970
    25Artie BurnsPIT2019166970
    26Patrick PetersonARI1818177969
    27Nickell Robey-ColemanBUF1819176969
    28Jamar TaylorCLE1919166969
    29Delvin BreauxNO1819176969
    30Kevon SeymourBUF1819166968
    31Aqib TalibDEN1919165968
    32Brent GrimesTB1818194968
    33Josh NormanWAS1718177968
    34Stephon GilmoreBUF1818166967
    35Lamarcus JoynerLA1817185967
    36Corey WhiteBUF1718166966
    37Marcus PetersKC1818165966
    38Janoris JenkinsNYG1718175966
    39Shareece WrightBAL1917155965
    40Brandon CarrDAL1818155965
    41Bradley RobyDEN1817165965
    42Sean SmithOAK1819154965
    43Tavon YoungBAL1819153964
    44Rashaan MelvinIND1916155964
    45Aaron ColvinJAX1717165964
    46Trumaine JohnsonLA1717165964
    47Trae WaynesMIN1617166964
    48Buster SkrineNYJ1717165964
    49Tyrann MathieuARI1716165963
    50Prince AmukamaraJAX1616166963
    51Vernon HargreavesTB1517166963
    52Patrick RobinsonIND1715165962
    53Darius ButlerIND1616165962
    54Captain MunnerlynMIN1516175962
    55Jalen CollinsATL1617145961
    56Brian PooleATL1514167961
    57Orlando ScandrickDAL1615165961
    58Kareem JacksonHOU1715155961
    59Daryl RobertsNYJ1616155961
    60Neiko ThorpeSEA1517146961
    61Jerraud PowersBAL1615155960
    62Bryce CallahanCHI1415166960
    63Perrish CoxTEN1515165960
    64Quinten RollinsGB1415165959
    65Jalen RamseyJAX1514156959
    66Kenneth AckerKC1516145959
    67Bobby McCainMIA1714154959
    68Darrelle RevisNYJ1615145959
    69T.J. CarrieOAK1514165959
    70Nevin LawsonDET1514155958
    71Damarious RandallGB1514146958
    72Nolan CarrollPHI1414156958
    73Jimmie WardSF1514146958
    74Brice McCainTEN1415155958
    75Marcus CooperARI1415145957
    76Cre'von LeBlancCHI1315155957
    77Jalen MillsPHI1416144957
    78Rashard RobinsonSF1314156957
    79James BradberryCAR1414145956
    80Daryl WorleyCAR1314146956
    81Leonard JohnsonCAR1413155956
    82Joe HadenCLE1415144956
    83Quandre DiggsDET1414136956
    84Sterling MooreNO1313165956
    85Tracy PorterCHI1314145955
    86Tramaine BrockSF1414135955
    87Trevin WadeNYG1313145954
    88Antwon BlakeTEN1314135954
    89Malcolm ButlerNE1413134953
    90Jeremy LaneSEA1213145953
    91Jason McCourtyTEN1412135953
    92Robert McCainCAR1213126952
    93Phillip GainesKC1312135952
    94Ladarius GunterGB1212135951
    95Vontae DavisIND1211135950
    96Leodis McKelvinPHI1113134950
    97Craig MagerSD1212134950
    98Kendall FullerWAS1213124950
    99E.J. GainesLA1011145949
    100B.W. WebbNO1211134949
    101LeShaun SimsTEN1111135949
    102Anthony BrownDAL1112115948
    103D.J. WhiteKC1111125948
    104Antonio HamiltonOAK1010125946
    105Darqueze DennardCIN109125945

              

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Jimmy Smith—injury
    • Jason Verrett—injury
    • Brandon Flowers—injury
    • Desmond Trufant—injury
    • Sam Shields—injury
    • DeShawn Shead—injury
    • Morris Claiborne—injury

Free Safeties

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    Dylan Buell/Getty Images

    Buccaneers safety Bradley McDougald had a solid outing against the Seahawks this week. He made two flash plays in the fourth quarter, both critical to the Buccaneers sealing an upset victory. On a third down late in the game, the Seahawks looked to hit receiver Tyler Lockett to convert and keep the drive alive. McDougald read the play perfectly, however, breaking on it quickly and landing a huge hit on Lockett, separating the ball from the receiver and saving the first down.

    His second big play sealed the game. The Seahawks again looked to Lockett, this time on a route down the seam. McDougald read the route the whole way, staying on top of it and breaking on the ball as soon as it was thrown. McDougald beat Lockett to the catch point and came away with the interception.

    Broncos safety Darian Stewart had an uncharacteristic performance this week against the Chiefs. Stewart has been one of the better safeties this year and was set to be the top free agent on the market at the end of the season. But before the game, the Broncos gave him a new contract.

    Stewart's performance following that new contract was his worst of the season, as he spent most of the game missing tackles. He missed two tackles in the backfield—one in the second quarter after he burst through the line of scrimmage untouched, and the other in overtime on a similar play. He filled in well on a run play in the third quarter but again missed a tackle. A few series later, Stewart read a screen play perfectly, breaking down on it and avoiding the blockers to get to the running back. But again, Stewart missed the tackle and gave up extra yards.

    The biggest missed tackle, however, came in overtime. He broke down on an underneath route to tight end Travis Kelce on third down but missed the tackle again, allowing Kelce to pick up the first down and get the Chiefs even closer for a game-winning field goal. Kelce picked up 16 yards on the play when Stewart could have stopped him after about five. The Chiefs kicked the field goal on the next play, as it bounced in off the upright. Who knows what might have happened if the kick had to travel an extra 10 yards.

        

    Grading Scale

    Cvg: Coverage (Graded out of 30)

    Rec: Recovery (Graded out of 30)

    Slot: Slot/LB (Graded out of 10)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 20)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

        

    Free Safety Rankings Week 12
    RankPlayerTeamCvgRecSlotTklPosOvr
    1Ha Ha Clinton-DixGB2424616878
    2Bradley McDougaldTB2424616878
    3Ricardo AllenATL2424516877
    4Harrison SmithMIN2324616877
    5Devin McCourtyNE2423616877
    6Mike MitchellPIT2423616877
    7Lardarius WebbBAL2323715876
    8D.J. SwearingerARI2323615875
    9Justin SimmonsDEN2223616875
    10Dwight LowerySD2322616875
    11Byron JonesDAL2223615874
    12Glover QuinDET2124516874
    13Isa Abdul-QuddusMIA2323515874
    14Tre BostonCAR2221615872
    15Ron ParkerKC2121616872
    16Jairus ByrdNO2221516872
    17Rodney McLeodPHI2123515872
    18Steven TerrellSEA2220616872
    19Andrew AdamsNYG2220516871
    20Jeff HeathDAL2120516870
    21Duron HarmonNE2120516870
    22Reggie NelsonOAK2020616870
    23Kevin ByardTEN2120516870
    24George IlokaCIN2120515869
    25Andre HalHOU2120515869
    26Vonn BellNO2021515869
    27Robert BlantonBUF2020515868
    28Michael GriffinCAR1919616868
    29Adrian AmosCHI2020515868
    30T.J. GreenIND2020515868
    31Michael ThomasMIA2119515868
    32Antoine BetheaSF2019615868
    33Corey GrahamBUF2019515867
    34Ed ReynoldsCLE2020415867
    35Marcus GilchristNYJ1919515866
    36Rashad JohnsonTEN1919416866
    37Will BlackmonWAS1920415866
    38Tashaun GipsonJAX1918415864
    39Maurice AlexanderLA1918514864
    40Darian StewartDEN1919512863

        

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Clayton Geathers—inactive
    • Earl Thomas—inactive
    • Ibraheim Campbell—insufficient snaps
    • Kentrell Brice—insufficient snaps
    • Cody Davis—insufficient snaps
    • Nat Berhe—insufficient snaps

Strong Safeties

20 of 22

    Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

    Bacarri Rambo, who the Dolphins signed Oct. 25, had a strong performance this week. He started off the game on a big play, breaking down from his single deep safety assignment to land a big hit on an underneath route, forcing a fumble that a teammate recovered. On the next series, Rambo lined up over the slot receiver, read the out route from the slot perfectly, broke on it to undercut the throw and got his hand on the ball to break up the pass.

    J.J. Wilcox continues to fill in well for the injured Barry Church in Dallas. The Cowboys safety faced a tough challenge against a talented Washington offense that boasts one of the top tight ends in the game in Jordan Reed. Washington will often dump the ball off to Reed on a checkdown and allow him to avoid or break tackles to pick up yards after the catch.

    But Wilcox didn't allow it. He set the tone in the first quarter, breaking down on a pass to Reed in the flat. He made a strong tackle just after the ball arrived, keeping the gain to a minimum and stopping any chance of Reed picking up yards after the catch.

    Wilcox also made two flash plays. First was a play that came from film study. Washington likes to run a play with three receivers running deep clearing routes from one side of the field while a fourth receiver or a tight end runs a crossing route underneath it. It's the team's version of a 3rd-and-long screen pass. Wilcox had seen the play before, as he instantly recognized the route and broke from the far side of the field down to the crossing route, landing a huge hit as the ball arrived to break up the pass.

    Later on, Wilcox blew up a run, charging up to the line of scrimmage on a safety blitz late in the play clock. Washington didn't have time to adjust its blocking assignments, and Wilcox blew up the run play by taking on the lead blocker and shoving him back. His teammates came in behind him to make the tackle on the running back to complete the play.

        

    Grading Scale

    Cvg: Coverage (Graded out of 25)

    Rec: Recovery (Graded out of 25)

    Slot: Slot/LB (Graded out of 20)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 20)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

        

    Strong Safety Rankings Week 12
    RankPlayerTeamCvgRecSlotTklPosOvr
    1Kam ChancellorSEA20201616678
    2Bacarri RamboMIA20191516676
    3Keanu NealATL19191516675
    4J.J. WilcoxDAL20191515675
    5Eric BerryKC19201515675
    6Malcolm JenkinsPHI19191516675
    7Jahleel AddaeSD19181616675
    8Da'Norris SearcyTEN19191516675
    9Tony JeffersonARI19191515674
    10Morgan BurnettGB19181516674
    11Eric WeddleBAL18181516673
    12Kenny VaccaroNO19181515673
    13Calvin PryorNYJ18191515673
    14Rontez MilesNYJ18181516673
    15Josh ShawCIN18181416672
    16T.J. WardDEN18171516672
    17Landon CollinsNYG17171616672
    18Jaylen WatkinsPHI17181516672
    19Andrew SendejoMIN18171515671
    20Patrick ChungNE17171516671
    21Karl JosephOAK17171516671
    22Kurt ColemanCAR18161515670
    23Clayton FejedelemCIN17161516670
    24Miles KillebrewDET16171516670
    25Sean DavisPIT18171415670
    26Jaquiski TarttSF16171516670
    27Chris ConteTB17171416670
    28Kavon FrazierDAL17171316669
    29Johnathan CyprienJAX17161515669
    30T.J. McDonaldLA16171515669
    31Adrian PhillipsSD16161516669
    32Duke IhenachoWAS17161515669
    33James IhedigboBUF16161515668
    34Deon BushCHI16171415668
    35Tavon WilsonDET17161415668
    36Quintin DempsHOU15171515668
    37Mike AdamsIND16161416668
    38Daniel SorensenKC16171415668
    39Matt ElamBAL16161415667
    40Derrick KindredCLE16161415667
    41Rafael BushDET17161414667
    42Eddie PleasantHOU16161415667
    43Donte WhitnerWAS17151415667
    44Jonathan MeeksBUF15151415665

        

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Shawn Williams—inactive
    • Barry Church—inactive
    • Daimion Stafford—inactive
    • Harold Jones-Quartey—insufficient snaps
    • Will Parks—insufficient snaps
    • Robert Golden—insufficient snaps

Kickers

21 of 22

    Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    Baltimore's Justin Tucker is having a career year to this point, with Week 12 being one of the top games he has ever turned in. His performance is up there with Dan Bailey's Week 1 game as one of the best showings by a kicker this year. Tucker made all four of his field-goal attempts, including kicks from 52, 54 and 57 yards, and tossed in an extra point for good measure. He is now a perfect 27-of-27 on the season on field goals and still has not missed an extra point in his career. While Tucker had some struggles from distance in recent years, he is on top of his game and a joy to watch.

    Detroit's Matt Prater had some Thanksgiving heroics while continuing his strong 2016 campaign. He had some challenging early years with Denver, but he's been rock-solid the past two seasons for Detroit and is an asset because of his accuracy from distance. According to PFF, Prater made nearly 78 percent of his 44 field-goal attempts from 50 yards or more. As the Lions look to continue challenging for a playoff berth, they can trot out their kicker in close games and know he can deliver.

    Philadelphia's Caleb Sturgis, Atlanta's Matt Bryant and the always dependable Dallas Cowboy Dan Bailey fill out the remaining spots in the top five. Sturgis is having the best year of his young career, and while it is too early to say if the improvements are permanent, he has been consistent for the Eagles this year and is also connecting on long kicks at the best rate of his career. Bryant, the 41-year-old veteran, rarely does anything flashy, but he is proving his 2015 season is the outlier and not the new normal.

    The only question surrounding Bailey at this point is whether a team would choose him or Tucker with a game on the line this year, as the two of them have separated from the pack as the top kickers in the league thus far.

    There are several odd names at the bottom of this week's list, starting with Washington kicker Dustin Hopkins, who continues his recent struggles. Hopkins is not showing any consistent mechanical flaws, which is both good news and bad news. On the plus side, there is not a specific underlying issue affecting his kicks on a regular basis. On the downside, his issues are inconsistent, and he is showing more variation in his mechanics than is ideal. Hopkins may take a couple of weeks to get sorted out, but he still has some of the best raw talent in the league.

    Also near the bottom are veterans Robbie Gould and Adam Vinatieri, who are likely making quick stops in this neck of the woods before returning to strong performances. More concerning are the continued struggles of Cincinnati's Mike Nugent and Buffalo's Dan Carpenter, who are turning in below-average seasons. Carpenter continues to deal with issues on extra points, and there is now enough statistical data to show there is something affecting him on these kicks that does not affect him on field goals. Meanwhile, Nugent has struggled everywhere, particularly from long distance (0-of-3 from 50 yards or more this season).

        

    Grading Scale

    Pwr: Kick Power (Graded out of 40)

    Acc: Kick Accuracy (Graded out of 40)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 10)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

        

    Kicker Rankings Week 12
    RankPlayerTeamPwrAccTklPosOvr
    1Justin TuckerBAL36405384
    2Matt PraterDET32355375
    3Caleb SturgisPHI33345375
    4Matt BryantATL31345373
    5Dan BaileyDAL32335373
    6Wil LutzNO31345373
    7Chandler CatanzaroARI33315372
    8Ryan SuccopTEN31335372
    9Mason CrosbyGB31335372
    10Andrew FranksMIA31325371
    11Sebastian JanikowskiOAK31325371
    12Cairo SantosKC31325371
    13Chris BoswellPIT32305370
    14Jason MyersJAX32295369
    15Kai ForbathMIN30315369
    16Phil DawsonSF30315369
    17Brandon McManusDEN31305369
    18Greg ZuerleinLA31295368
    19Steven HauschkaSEA31295368
    20Nick NovakHOU30295367
    21Connor BarthCHI30285366
    22Nick FolkNYJ32265366
    23Cody ParkeyCLE30275365
    24Stephen GostkowskiNE31255364
    25Roberto AguayoTB32215361
    26Josh LamboSD29235360
    27Graham GanoCAR32195359
    28Robbie GouldNYG31205359
    29Mike NugentCIN29215358
    30Adam VinatieriIND29215358
    31Dan CarpenterBUF30195357
    32Dustin HopkinsWAS30195357

        

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • None

Punters

22 of 22

    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    It was a rather dismal week for punters overall, with just eight posting grades at or above 70. There wasn't a specific consistent issue across the NFL, but like Week 11, Week 12 of the 2016 season is going to go down as one of the more disappointing campaigns for the punter group as a whole.

    However, let's start with the good. Sam Koch of the Ravens is in the top spot—though still only grading out at 73, several points lower than the best punter typically scores in a given week. Koch showed his typically strong directional game, booming a 63-yarder in the process. However, Koch's hang time was below average this week, representing the one weak point in his game and holding him back from a higher score.

    The second-ranked punter is somewhat of a shock, as Matt Wile, in his first-ever NFL game, tied Koch's grade. Wile showed a massive leg, kicking just two punts on the week, but making the most of his limited action with distances of 57 and 59 yards. Surprisingly, Atlanta waived Wile on Tuesday.

    Rounding out the top five are Minnesota's Jeff Locke, Kansas City's Dustin Colquitt and Dallas' Chris Jones, all of whom showed the same pattern of strong hang time and distance but only average ball placement. Locke has shown a stronger leg this year than he has in the past and continued that trend, while Colquitt and Jones performed better than their averages going into this week. Just below the top five are some of the big names, with Los Angeles' Johnny Hekker, Oakland's Marquette King and Seattle's Jon Ryan occupying the next three spots. All of them are likely to move back into the upper echelon in Week 13.

    At the bottom of the list, Tennesee's Brett Kern continues a disappointing 2016 campaign after a phenomenal 2015, posting the worst score of the week and coming in below average in all aspects of the game. He showed a big leg last year with strong directional ability, but this year, he has struggled to hit his stride and has been slightly below average thus far. He has the talent to bounce back but seems to be out of rhythm and not connecting the same way he did in 2015.

    Washington's Tress Way, Cincinnati's Kevin Huber, Arizona's Drew Butler and Chicago's Pat O'Donnell all struggled as well, with the first three finding themselves near the bottom rather often this year, though O'Donnell has been adequate for a Bears team that has used his services a lot.

    Surprisingly, Thomas Morstead, the top punter of the first half of 2016, finds himself just outside the bottom five. He had two uncharacteristic touchbacks this week that drove down his accuracy score, though his power and hang time were in line with how he has performed throughout the rest of the year. Look for a bounce-back performance from the Saints punter next week.

        

    Grading Scale

    Dist: Kick Distance (Graded out of 20)

    Hang: Kick Hang Time (Graded out of 20)

    Acc: Kick Accuracy (Graded out of 45)

    Tkl: Tackling (Graded out of 5)

    Pos: Positional Value (Graded out of 10)

    Ovr: Top Possible Score of 100

        

    Punter Rankings Week 12
    RankPlayerTeamDistHangAccTklPosOvr
    1Sam KochBAL1712383373
    2Matt WileATL1919293373
    3Jeff LockeMIN1817313372
    4Dustin ColquittKC1618313371
    5Chris JonesDAL1519303370
    6Johnny HekkerLA1715323370
    7Marquette KingOAK1416343370
    8Jon RyanSEA1312393370
    9Brad WingNYG1411383369
    10Riley DixonDEN1415343369
    11Bryan AngerTB1618283368
    12Jordan BerryPIT1319293367
    13Ryan AllenNE1412353367
    14Pat McAfeeIND1216323366
    15Jacob SchumGB1615293366
    16Shane LechlerHOU1514303365
    17Drew KaserSD1814273365
    18Donnie JonesPHI1313333365
    19Brad NortmanJAX1412323364
    20Britton ColquittCLE1214323364
    21Lachlan EdwardsNYJ1216303364
    22Sam MartinDET1217283363
    23Matt DarrMIA1113333363
    24Bradley PinionSF1314303363
    25Andy LeeCAR1316283363
    26Colton SchmidtBUF1015313362
    27Thomas MorsteadNO1615253362
    28Tress WayWAS817303361
    29Kevin HuberCIN169293360
    30Drew ButlerARI1112283357
    31Pat O'DonnellCHI1210283356
    32Brett KernTEN1012263354

        

    Notable Omissions/Not Graded This Week

    • Matt Bosher—injury
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