Jonathan Allen ranked as one of PFF’s top interior defenders from the 2022 NFL season
Pro Football Focus is a unique metric for grading NFL players. While some will argue much of PFF’s grading is subjective. As many players have noted, PFF analysts don’t know a player’s responsibility for any given play.
PFF recently released its top 25 interior defenders for the 2022 NFL season. Chris Jones of Kansas City topped the list, and he should have. Aaron Donald didn’t finish No. 1 for the first time since 2015, partly because he missed six games.
The Washington Commanders have a pair of dominant interior defenders in Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, both of who made the Pro Bowl in 2022.
Where were they on this list? Allen came in at No. 10, which feels low. Allen is dominant every week against the run and the pass.
Allen posted another pass-rush grade above 80.0, which has kept him inside the top 10 at his position in that category in each of the past three seasons. Allen has also provided strong value as a run defender, tying for the most tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage against the run (16) among defensive tackles.
It’s hard to justify nine defensive tackles better than Allen.
Well, if you disagree with Allen’s ranking, Payne’s will make you furious. He didn’t even make the top 25.
Let’s think about this for a minute. Payne recorded 11.5 sacks in 2022, third in the NFL for defensive tackles. His 18 tackles for loss were No. 5 in the NFL and second for defensive tackles behind Jones, who had 20. There were weeks when Payne was unblockable. Yet PFF says he’s not a top-25 interior defender for 2022?
It may be time for PFF to reevaluate some of its grading scales.
Meanwhile, it’s too bad Washington can’t use Payne’s PFF grade at the negotiating table. Regardless of what PFF thinks, Payne is about to get paid.