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Five Chargers Named to PFF's Top 101 Players of 2017
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Pro Football Focus announced their top 101 players from the 2017 season.
Not surprisingly, not only were five players from the Los Angeles Chargers on the list, but four were in the top 40. One was even ranked as the fifth best player in the NFL.
Without further ado, here are the five Bolts PFF named, along with why each player was ranked so high:
Number 5 – Casey Hayward
Casey Hayward may be the game’s most underrated player, and has been almost from the get-go in his NFL career. His rookie season was one of the most phenomenal performances we have seen from a rookie, and his expanded role with the Chargers has only seen him take his game to another level. Hayward was the highest-graded corner in football by a distance, with an overall PFF grade of 96.4, more than four points higher than any other player at the position. Hayward allowed just 42.7 percent of balls thrown his way to be caught this season, the best mark among starting corners, while intercepting four passes and breaking up another 15.
PFF Elite Stat: Hayward tied for fourth among cornerbacks with an average of 17.7 cover snaps played per reception allowed, and every player ahead of him was targeted at least 15 times less than he was.
Number 24 – Melvin Ingram
The development of Melvin Ingram into one of the game’s best edge rushers went into overdrive in 2017. Ingram posted his third-consecutive career year, and finally elevated past the 90.0 barrier in overall PFF grading (91.9). He notched 76 total pressures over the regular season, the fifth-most among edge rushers. Ingram got pressure in every single game this season, and had at least three pressures in all but one game.
PFF Elite Stat: Ingram’s pass-rush productivity of 12.3 was ninth among edge defenders.
Number 28 – Joey Bosa
Joey Bosa is one of the game’s most dominant edge rushers already, at the end of just his second NFL season. Bosa had 75 total pressures over the season, the seventh-most among edge defenders and just eight shy of the league lead. He had three relatively anonymous games over the year, but was as good as anybody over the middle of the year, notching eight sacks in six games and collecting 36 additional pressures over those games.
PFF Elite Stat: Bosa ranked seventh among edge defenders with 75 total pressures.
Number 40 – Keenan Allen
The best two wide receivers in the game are Julio Jones and Antonio Brown, but the race is wide open to be the third name on the list, and the Chargers’ Keenan Allen is one of the names in the discussion. Allen was behind those two in yards per route run, but when targeted, he produced a wide receiver rating of 107.3, the seventh-best mark in the league, ahead of both Jones and Brown.
PFF Elite Stat: Allen ranked third among with receivers with 2.55 yards per route run.
Number 67 – Hunter Henry
The Chargers’ tight end line of succession appears to be in a very good place given the performance of Hunter Henry in 2017. Henry played 596 snaps this season and while he only gained 579 receiving yards, he caught 75 percent of passes thrown his way and made some spectacular plays throughout the season as a receiver. Henry also had an excellent grade when blocking for the run, giving him the potential to be the all-around player that Antonio Gates was never able to be.
PFF Elite Stat: Henry ranked second among tight ends with 2.05 yards per route run.