Pro Football Focus is one of the best resources football fans can access. For $5 a month, you get access to advanced statistics and metrics similar to what NFL Front Offices use. Currently, the site is unveiling their top 100 players from 2014. Keep in mind that these rankings are purely based on on-field performance. These rankings are not voted on and are not opinion based. These are purely nominal rankings, so poor offensive line play and injuries held back some Falcons in this year’s rankings. So far, rankings 100-31 have been released, and three players made the cut.
53: Julio Jones, WR
Julio Jones ranks as PFF’s 53rd best player of 2014, and ranked out as the 6th best receiver in the NFL. This is all pretty impressive considering he had lingering injuries, missed a game and had a QB playing behind a makeshift offensive line. Jones finished the season with 1593 receving yards and 6 TDs, and the amazing thing is we know Julio is capable of so much more. He also finished with a positive grade in the blocking game, further proof that Julio is one of the most balanced receivers in the league.
57: Matt Ryan, QB
Matt Ryan comes in at number 57 overall, 5th among all QBs. With a makeshift offensive line full of injuries and a non-existent run game, Ryan still finished the season with 4694 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Ryan ranks 7th of all active QBs in game winning drives, and when you consider that the youngest player ahead of him is 33, that just shows how clutch Matty Ice is. He also had a 54% accuracy rate on his deep passes, best for all QBs in 2014. If the Falcons can establish a running game and keep their offensive line healthy, the possibilities are endless with Ryan at the helm.
80: Desmond Trufant, CB
In his second year, Desmond Trufant continues to show that he is becoming an elite cornerback in this league. Ranking out 6th overall amongst all corners in the league in your second season is nothing short of sensational. He graded out positively against the run and in coverage, and when considering he played around a weak defense, Trufant could be capable of so much more. Trufant finished with 58 tackles and 3 interceptions, playing the 4th most snaps of any corner in the NFL. We look forward to Trufant building on his sophomore campaign with defensive minded Dan Quinn as the Falcons’ new Head Coach.