PFF: Top 101 players from the 2017 NFL season (3 Rams)

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    from PFF: Top 101 players from the 2017 NFL season

    Top 101 appearances: 4

    The best player in football this season when you include the postseason was Aaron Donald, whose unrivaled pass-rushing skills also earned him PFF’s best pass-rusher award. Donald generated 91 total pressures, which led the entire league, and he did that while rushing from an interior alignment (where pressure is harder to generate) and missing two games over the season.

    Needless to say, Donald had the league’s best pass-rushing productivity score of 14.8, and in the playoffs he had one of the most spectacular halves of football you will ever see, generating 10 total pressures before the Falcons completely changed their gameplan at the half to try and take his influence out of the game. Donald’s dominance changes games, and he rightfully takes his place atop the PFF Top 101 for the second time in his career.

    PFF Elite Stat: Donald led all interior defenders with 91 pressures in the regular season. That figure was so dominant that Geno Atkins, who ranked second with 70 pressures, was closer to eighth-highest Fletcher Cox (50) than he was to Donald.

    Top 101 appearances: New entry

    There may have been no greater beneficiary of the coaching regime change with the Rams than Todd Gurley, who came back from looking lost a season ago to being a viable MVP candidate. Gurley led the league in overall PFF grade among running backs at 91.9, one of just two backs to creep over the 90.0 barrier. He only missed out on the rushing title because of being rested in Week 17 when the Rams had little to play for. He gained 2.15 yards per route run over the season, parlaying 76 targets into 788 receiving yards.

    PFF Elite Stat: Gurley ranked fifth among running backs with 2.15 yards per route run this season, more than doubling his mark in this metric from 2016.

    Top 101 appearances: New entry

    The play of Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner has improved each year of his NFL career, but 2017 was the true breakout season that showcased elite ability. His overall PFF grade of 90.3 was the third-best mark among safeties, but also more than 10 grading points better than his previous NFL high of the season before. Joyner’s coverage was excellent, and he had three picks and five pass breakups while allowing just 42.9 percent of targets sent his way to be caught.

    PFF Elite Stat: Joyner was ranked fifth among safeties with at least 400 cover snaps with only 49 yards after the catch allowed during the regular season.

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