Five Chargers make PFF’s Top 101 list, QB Philip Rivers snubbed
By Matt Pagels
Pro Football Focus named the Top 101 players from the 2017 NFL season. Five Chargers made the list. Meanwhile, one Charger who should have made it did not.
Pro Football Focus is one of the top sites for player evaluations. Their grading scale comes with fair debate, but they do a decent job in assessing and rating players.
PFF just released its list of Top 101 players of 2017, which credits the best players and performances from both the regular season and playoffs. Five members of the Los Angeles Chargers made the cut.
Cornerback Casey Hayward ranked No. 5 overall. It’s amazing to see a Charger finish in the top five. It’s also amazing to see how far Hayward, a player who doesn’t get much recognition, has come since entering the league.
Here’s what PFF had to say about its top cornerback:
“Casey Hayward may be the game’s most underrated player, and has been almost from the get-go in his NFL career. His rookie season was one of the most phenomenal performances we have seen from a rookie, and his expanded role with the Chargers has only seen him take his game to another level. Hayward was the highest-graded corner in football by a distance, with an overall PFF grade of 96.4, more than four points higher than any other player at the position. Hayward allowed just 42.7 percent of balls thrown his way to be caught this season, the best mark among starting corners, while intercepting four passes and breaking up another 15.”
In 2016, Hayward signed a three-year, $15.3 million deal with the Chargers. It was an absolute steal for GM Tom Telesco and the Chargers. Hayward made the Pro Bowl and was named second-team All-Pro by The Associated Press in both 2016 and 2017. Expect a contract extension in the coming months.
The other four Chargers to make the list were defensive ends Melvin Ingram (No. 24 overall) and Joey Bosa (No. 28 overall), wide receiver Keenan Allen (No. 40 overall) and tight end Hunter Henry (No. 67 overall). Ingram and Bosa became league’s top pass-rushing duo, and both defenders finished with 10 sacks a piece. Allen put up the best numbers of his career and won the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Henry only finished with the third-most receiving yards (579) on the team, but he was arguably the team’s biggest threat on offense behind Allen. He played a huge role in the Chargers winning nine of their final 12 games of the season and should make an even bigger impact in 2018.
They all deserved to be part of PFF’s list. However, quarterback Philip Rivers oddly didn’t make it.
Rivers put up one of his best seasons as a pro. The 36-year-old veteran finished right behind Patriots’ Tom Brady with the second-most passing yards (4,515); it was his fifth consecutive 4,000-plus yard passing season. He tied for fifth with 28 touchdown passes, and his 10 interceptions were the lowest since his 2009 season. Also, he was selected to the Pro Bowl but opted out.
Yeah, he should have been on there.