NFL players come from all over the country. There are some states that are hotspots for football talent, and others that you don’t really think of when you think of football players. I am looking at some of the best players from the Northwest determined by Pro Football Focus.
Pro Football Focus is a football analytics company that digs deep into specifics to determine the value of players. PFF determines things like run stop ratio for defenders, and average yards before contact for a running back. It gets into some very obscure and confusing statistics using their formulas. PFF is a great way to look at a player’s value compared to other players though.
It just released its top 101 players from the 2017 season, and I decided to look for the best players from the Northwest. Quick note, it grades the players on their performance in 2017 and does not take into consideration past performance.
There are three players from the Northwest that made the top 101 this year. They are David DeCastro from Bellevue, WA, Ndamukong Suh from Portland, OR and Alex Smith from Bremerton, WA. Respectively they ranked number 17, number 36 and number 92.
DeCastro has been a staple for the Pittsburgh Steelers since he was drafted, and this year he was the second-best run blocker in the NFL. He did not allow a sack the entire season either. He has been steadily improving over the past few years to be one of the best offensive linemen in the entire NFL.
Suh was one of the most disruptive defensive players in college football, and he carried that over to the NFL. This year, for the Miami Dolphins, he was a beast in both the run game and the pass game. Suh can wreak havoc on opposing offenses from the middle of the line like few others are capable of. He has made seven appearances on PFF’s top 101 list as well, so you can see he is consistently a disruptive presence for opposing offenses.
Smith has had a very up and down career since he was drafted first overall by the San Francisco 49ers. This year was one of the better statistical seasons of his career despite his midseason slump. He led the league in passer rating on deep passes with a rating of 131.4 out of 158.3. This is almost 20 points higher than anyone else, showing how much better he was than others this year at slinging it deep.
On a side note, four Seattle Seahawks made the list; Bobby Wagner (#4), Earl Thomas (#66), Doug Baldwin (#80) and Russell Wilson (#93).
And I will break down the top 101 by state:
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