Bears PFF grades: Best and worst performers from 2022 season

The Chicago Bears wrapped their 2022 season with a 3-14 record and a 10-game losing streak. But they did land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, which is just one reason why this offseason is gearing up to be an exciting one.

Pro Football Focus has handed out player grades for those who took a snap for the Bears this season, and we’re taking a look at those who received the highest marks (minimum 85 snaps) through the 2022 season.

There were a few surprises — and then some not surprises — in terms of the highest- and lowest-graded players, both on offense and defense. Here’s a look:

Top 5 offense

AP Photo/Ben VanHouten

  • RG Teven Jenkins – 80.7

  • LT Braxton Jones – 75.4

  • RB Khalil Herbert – 72.5

  • QB Justin Fields – 70.2

  • WR Darnell Mooney – 69.2

The Bears’ highest-graded offensive players were offensive linemen Teven Jenkins and Braxton Jones, who were arguably the most reliable guys in the trenches this season. Khalil Herbert was the highest-graded skill position player, where he thrived in Luke Getsy’s scheme. Herbert had 129 carries for 731 yards and four touchdowns. Justin Fields was the team MVP, where he carried the offense this season. Fields completed 60.4% of his passes for 2,242 yards with 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He was explosive on the ground with 160 carries for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns. Darnell Mooney, whose season was cut short due to injury, rounds out the top five. Mooney had 40 catches for 493 yards and two touchdowns.

Bottom 5 offense

Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

  • RB Trestan Ebner – 52.5

  • TE Ryan Griffin – 52.7

  • WR Dante Pettis – 53.3

  • C Lucas Patrick – 55.9

  • FB Khari Blasingame – 59.6

Rookie Trestan Ebner was the lowest-graded offensive player among those who qualify. Ebner had 24 carries for 54 yards (2.3 average) and two catches for eight yards. Ryan Griffin didn’t find much success in his reserve role this season. He had four catches for 26 yards. Dante Pettis found himself in a bigger role than many expected this season. He had 19 catches for 245 yards and three touchdowns. Lucas Patrick was the team’s lowest-graded offensive lineman this season. He played both guard positions before moving to center in Week 7, where he exited with a season-ending injury. Khari Blasingame rounds out the bottom five. He served a key role in Chicago’s top-ranked rushing attack.

Top 5 defense

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  • S Eddie Jackson – 76.2

  • CB Harrison Hand – 73.1

  • LB Matt Adams – 69.6

  • S Jaquan Brisker – 67.8

  • LB Jack Sanborn – 64.5

Eddie Jackson was the Bears’ highest-graded defensive player, and it comes as no surprise. He’s had a resurgence in Matt Eberflus’ defense — until his season was cut short due to injury. Jackson had 80 tackles, including one for loss, four interceptions, two forced fumbles and six pass breakups in 12 games. Harrison Hand saw increased reps due to injuries at cornerback down the stretch. Hand had 11 tackles, one pass breakup and one forced fumble in four games. Matt Adams was Chicago’s highest-graded linebacker of the season. He had 26 tackles, including two for loss, and one forced fumble in 10 games. Jaquan Brisker was the defense’s highest-graded rookie, and there’s an argument to be made he was the team’s best first-year player. Brisker totaled 104 tackles, including five for loss, four sacks, one interception, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Undrafted rookie Jack Sanborn rounds out the top five on defense. He was one of the most pleasant surprises this season, and his future is bright. Sanborn totaled 64 tackles, including five for loss, two sacks and a fumble recovery.

Bottom 5 defense

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

  • DT Angelo Blackson – 35.2

  • DT Mike Pennel – 45.8

  • DT Justin Jones – 45.8

  • DE Dominique Robinson – 45.9

  • CB Jaylon Jones – 48.5

It’s no surprise that four of the five lowest-graded players are defensive linemen. Angelo Blackson was the lowest of the four. Blackson had 22 tackles, including one for loss, and one pass breakup. Mike Pennel totaled 26 tackles, including two for loss, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery. Justin Jones is arguably the only defensive lineman worth keeping on the roster, but even he didn’t earn a strong grade. Jones totaled 52 tackles, including 12 for loss, three sacks, four pass breakups and a fumble recovery. Rookie Dominique Robinson was the lowest-graded edge rusher of the group. He totaled 30 tackles, including two for loss, 1.5 sacks and two pass breakups. Undrafted rookie Jaylon Jones saw increased action this season due to injuries at cornerback. Jones totaled 47 tackles, two pass breakups and a forced fumble.

Other Notables

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

  • RB David Montgomery – 67.9

  • TE Cole Kmet – 67.6

  • CB Jaylon Johnson – 62.9

  • LB Nicholas Morrow – 54.0

David Montgomery was a key piece in Chicago’s top-ranked rushing attack. Montgomery 210 carries for 801 yards (4.0 average) and five touchdowns.  He added 34 catches for 316 yards and a score. Cole Kmet had a breakout year in the worst passing offense in the league. Kmet 50 catches for 544 yards (a team high) and seven touchdowns. Jaylon Johnson was once again the Bears’ best cornerback. Johnson, whose season was cut a couple game short, had 35 tackles, including one for loss, seven pass breakups, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery but no interceptions. Nicholas Morrow was one of the Bears’ key free agent additions. He started at middle linebacker and moved to the weak side once Roquan Smith was traded. Morrow 116 tackles, including 11 for loss, one interception and two pass breakups.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire