PFF ranks Packers OLB Rashan Gary as NFL’s 49th best player entering 2022

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Slowly but surely, Rashan Gary is starting to get recognized not only as one of the NFL’s top edge rushers but one of the best overall players in the game. Pro Football Focus ranked the Green Bay Packers edge rusher at 49th overall on their list of 50 best players in the NFL right now.

Last season, Gary posted career-highs of 9.5 sacks, 28 quarterback hits, and 47 tackles. After playing less than 50 percent of the snaps in his first two seasons, Gary saw an expanded role after Za’Darius Smith missed basically the entire season with a back injury.

Gary capitalized on the opportunity as his PFF stats were much more telling of his dominance. According to their data, Gary finished with the eighth highest pass-rushing grade among edge rushers during the regular season and ranked second behind Las Vegas’ Maxx Crosby in pressures. Crosby came in just behind Gary in PFF’s best players ranking at number 50.

So far, PFF has only revealed players 50-31. Adrian Amos is the other Packers player to receive a ranking thus far.

Gary is deserving of a ton of credit for his level of play in 2021. He started to live up to his first-round selection and is now considered a budding star about to enter the fourth year of his rookie contract. Those who questioned Gary’s 12th overall selection are no longer scratching their heads about the pick.

PFF’s Sam Monson wrote: “Gary was a raw prospect who had immense physical tools when the Packers drafted him in the first round, and last year, he realized all that potential in a major way. He recorded a 90.1 PFF pass-rushing grade while racking up 81 pressures over the course of the season and improving as the year went on. He could be even better in 2022.”

Green Bay will continue to lean on Gary as he comes into his own. His emergence as a premier pass rusher allowed them to release Za’Darius Smith during the offseason to clear necessary cap space. Gary is set to start the 2022 season opposite Preston Smith.

Due to how important rushing the passer has become over the years, the Packers will have to emphasize reaching a long-term deal with Gary. If he can have another season like he did in 2021, Gary will be a very rich man in the near future.

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PFF ranks Packers S Adrian Amos as NFL's 40th best player entering 2022