3 Commanders make PFF’s top 101 players of the 2022 NFL season
After the NFL draft, the NFL Network releases its annual list of the top 100 players of the previous NFL season. Pro Football Focus has its version of the top 100 players, highlighting the top 101 players of the prior season.
PFF uses its grading scale to determine the top 101 players.
How many Washington Commanders made the 2022 list? PFF has three Commanders ranked in the top 101, and the top-ranked Washington player will surprise you. Also, PFF strangely leaves off two players who should be in anyone’s top 101 players.
The top-ranked Commander is defensive end Montez Sweat, who ranks No. 42.
With Chase Young out for almost all of the season, Sweat was the Commanders’ primary source of edge pressure this season. Sweat accumulated 62 total pressures and 30 defensive stops, earning 83.8-plus PFF grades in both facets of play.
Star receiver Terry McLaurin came in at No. 87:
Yet again, McLaurin had to endure rough quarterback play in a season, and yet again he showed he can produce regardless. McLaurin caught 67.0% of the passes thrown his way in 2022 and led the team’s receivers by a distance with 2.04 yards per route run.
Finally, safety Kam Curl, who missed five games, is ranked No. 93.
Curl was excellent at safety in just 12 games this past season, earning PFF grades of at least 80.0 in three separate areas. He missed only four tackles all year and was a consistent presence in coverage from a variety of different alignments.
Curl proved his value more in the games he missed than in the ones he played. Washington badly missed Curl in the games he was injured.
As for McLaurin, ranking him among the best should be easy. Imagine if he had consistent quarterback play?
Finally, with Sweat, he had a much better season than people realize. Some focus only on sacks and disregard everything else. You shouldn’t. Sweat has improved each season, but he still needs to finish more sacks. Through four seasons, his career high is nine, set in 2020. If Sweat can consistently reach double figures in that category, he’d likely be considered one of the league’s best defensive ends. He is excellent against the run.
The biggest knock on this list is how can you leave off Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne? It cheapens the list a bit when at least one of those two does not make it. They were dominant for much of the 2022 season.