Analysis Around the League

Aaron Donald lands at #1, ahead of Patrick Mahomes, in PFF’s top 50

Stats time! The PFF50 is finally here and the listing has been released. The listing of the NFL’s 50 best players as we look ahead to the 2020 NFL season.

Who had the greatest season? The best statistics? Regardless of the position, it is about how good they are. A guard, CB, WR, or even a RB has just as good of a chance to appear on this list as a QB does.

And the winner is… Aaron Donald from the Los Angeles Rams.

Statistically, he is the best player in the NFL, and only the fact that his position doesn’t impact a game as much as a QB or even a WR does is incredible. He remains at the top of the list for the fourth-straight year.

Here’s what PFF declared about Donald and his abilities from the interior of the defensive line:

“Since entering the league, Donald owns the best pressure rate, the best pass-rush win rate (factoring in wins at the line that don’t result in pressures), the best PFF pass-rushing grade and the most total pressures. He has done all this from an interior alignment on the defensive line, where pressure is harder to come by than on the edge. The gap between Donald and the next-best interior player is bigger than it is between any other player and the rest of his peers…”

While all 32 teams are represented in the list, surprisingly the Rams only representative on the list is Aaron Donald.

The reigning Super Bowl champions though have five players on Pro Football Focus’ list of the top-50 NFL players heading into the 2020 season. No teams have more players on the list than the Kansas City Chiefs. And the first one to appear on the list is Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes.

There is a good reason to this second place. Patrick Mahomes is one of a kind, he has done things people have never seen before, his vision of the field and ability to reverse a whole game is absurd. Last season, even in games in which at the fourth quarter people thought lost, he always found the strength, determination, and leadership to make a special winning play. Since Mahomes entered the league, his PFF passing grade on third-and-long is an astonishing 91.4, and his passer rating is 125.3 —the best in the league.

Mahomes wasn’t the only Chiefs player on the list. Kansas City saw four others make the list. Chris Jones was slotted at No. 16, Travis Kelce was surprisingly at No. 19, Tyreek Hill at No. 22, and right tackle Mitchell Schwartz at No. 23.

Who knows if Mahomes would have landed the first spot of the list had he not missed a few games last season… It is only a matter of time, which gives good hope for the 2020 season.

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