Free Agent Prospects

(a guide to promising players available this year, and beyond!)

NOTE: This breakdown is being regularly updated.
(players signed, released, and extended have been updated accordingly!)
→ last update: 12/4/22 12:30pm Pacific Time
Free Agency has slowed down a lot, and by now most 2022 prospects have been picked up, but we’ll continue to update!
 

Free Agency.
The time of year where teams get an opportunity to upgrade your weakest positions with good players.
In the Draft you take players who did well against college players.
In Free Agency you go after players who have done well against NFL players.

This offseason, there will be over 750 players entering Free Agency.
But who are the best players slated to hit free agency this year, and over the next few years?
To determine that, we did an extensive breakdown of every single position in the NFL.

Below each position, the age and grade cut-offs used are shown, with the rationale for each explained.
If a player wasn’t much of a contributor in a given year, his grade was ignored to avoid small sample bias.
Highlighting his row will reveal how many snaps he played in his “low snap” years.
If a player missed a season due to injury, highlighting his row will reveal the injury.

And now… let’s look at who the BEST players are set to hit Free Agency in the next few years.

Available

 
The year they will be available as a free agent.
The year represents the first season you would have them if you brought them in.
– Example: “2023” would mean the 2023 Season would be your first season with them.

 

Age in 1st Season

 
How old they would be in their first season with you.
“Age in 1st Season” was determined so that we’d know how old they’d be in their 1st Season with us
— age was calculated based on how old they’d be in September of that season (when the season starts).
Age is of course useful to know for projecting performance decay, as well as injury susceptibility.
 

Grade

 
The player’s Overall PFF Grade, translated to actual letter grades to make them easier to understand as their numbers follow a curve. 
Previous analysis was done to resolve this, but suffice to say that an “A” Grade was strongly correlated to Pro Bowl / All-Pro level performance.
PFF’s number scale isn’t traditional, with them having stated that 60.0 is “average” on their scale (where this would be a D– in traditional grading scales).
Nonetheless, once you figure out their scale, it is incredibly consistent.
 
Some positions will have a “Grade Key” listed above their table if either additional grades are mentioned (ex: Man Coverage Grade), or if something like “% of Snaps as a Slot CB” is being reported for that position as well. 
Defensive Ends are the only position where the ‘Overall Grade’ was replaced with Pass Rush Grade – a nod to the pass game’s dominance in the modern NFL.
 

Team

 
Teams were included in case you’d like to find players from teams that run similar schemes to yours.
For example, in 2022 the Raiders hired Patrick Graham as their Defensive Coordinator.
He previously coached the New York Giants.
So Giants players could be picked up and contribute significantly faster, due to their familiarity with the system.
 
The Raiders saw in 2021 just how incredibly useful prior experience with a coach was, as their DC Gus Bradley brought in numerous players he’d had before, who came in and immediately contributed.
— For example, Denzel Perryman (LB) came in and played so well he went to his first Pro Bowl.
— Casey Hayward (CB) came in and immediately played (and graded out) like a top corner in the league.
— Even KJ Wright (LB) was able to miss all of training camp and still contribute meaningfully, due to playing for the Seahawks who (like Gus Bradley) ran a Cover 3 system.
NameAvailableAge in 1st Season2021 Grade2020 Grade2019 Grade2018 GradeTeam

Allen Robinson

2022SIGNED (Rams)

29B–A+AABears

Chris Godwin

2022Tagged → SIGNED (Bucs)

29AB+A+ABucs
Will Fuller202228

Low Targets(only 4 Tgts)

A+B+ADolphins

Russell Gage

2022SIGNED (Bucs)

26B+B+B–

Low Targets(only 10 Tgts)

Falcons

Jakobi Meyers

2022*Tendered: 2nd Rd

2526

B+AC+N/APatriots

Davante Adams

2023
TRADED!
Traded to RAIDERS, then Extended!

3029

A+A+A+A+

PackersRaiders!
Welcome, baby!

Tyreek Hill

2023
TRADED!
KC → MIA
(then Extended!)

2928

A+AAA+

ChiefsDolphins.
BYE Tyreek! ✌🏼

AJ Brown

2023
TRADED!
TEN → PHI
(then Extended!)

2630

AA+AN/AEagles

DK Metcalf

2023EXTENDED through 2026 (Seahawks)

2528

AAB+N/ASeahawks

Hunter Renfrow

2023EXTENDED through 2024 (Raiders)

2729

AB+B+N/ARaiders

Deebo Samuel

2023EXTENDED through 2025 (49ers)

2730

A+AAN/A49ers

Terry McLaurin

2023EXTENDED through 2025 (Commanders)

2831

AAA+N/ACommanders

Brandin Cooks

2023EXTENDED through 2024 (Texans)

29AAB–ATexans

Diontae Johnson

2023EXTENDED through 2024 (Steelers)

2729

B+BB–N/ASteelers
Marquise Brown202326BB+B+N/ARavens

Cooper Kupp

2024EXTENDED through 2026 (Rams)

3134

A+AB+ARams
Justin Jefferson202425A+A+N/AN/AVikings
Tee Higgins202425AB+N/AN/ABengals
CeeDee Lamb202425ABN/AN/ACowboys

Stefon Diggs

2024Extended in 2022 (Bills)

30AA+AABills
Corey Davis202430BA+BB+Jets
Calvin Ridley202428C+AB+BJaguars
Chase Claypool202426B–B+N/AN/ABears
Michael Pittman202426AC+N/AN/AColts
Kendrick Bourne202429B+B+B–B–Patriots
Jerry Jeudy202425BB–N/AN/ABroncos
Darnell Mooney202426B+BN/AN/ABears
Brandon Aiyuk202426B+AN/AN/A49ers
Mike Evans202431B+B+A+ABucs
Tyler Boyd202429B+B+B+ABengals
Age Restriction: would be ≤ 29 Years Old in their 1st Season with us
– historical analysis showed this as the age when performance started to drop off. This is likely due to Wide Receivers being very reliant on athleticism.

Grade Restriction: must have averaged around B+ or better over the past couple-few seasons
– WR is one of the most valuable positions on the team. As such, it is worth investing in higher-graded players.


NameAvailableAge in 1st Season2021 Grade2020 Grade2019 Grade2018 GradeTeam

James Conner

2022SIGNED (Cardinals)

27AB–B+B+Cardinals
Damien Harris202326A+A+

Low Attempts(only 4 Att)

N/APatriots
David Montgomery202326BAB–N/ABears
Josh Jacobs202325AB+A+N/ARaiders
Kareem Hunt202328

Low Attempts(only 78 Att)

B+

Low Attempts(only 44 Att)

ABrowns
James Robinson202325B–B+N/AN/AJets
AJ Dillon202426A+

Low Attempts(only 46 Att)

N/AN/APackers
Jonathan Taylor202425A+AN/AN/AColts
Antonio Gibson202426C+AN/AN/ACommanders
Clyde Edwards-Helaire202425C+B+N/AN/AChiefs
Austin Ekeler202429B+AA+AChargers
Age Restriction: would be ≤ 27 Years Old in their 1st Season with us
– historical analysis (including here) showed this as the age when performance started to drop off. This is likely due to Running Backs being not just very reliant on athleticism, but also their bodies simply breaking down from the sheer physicality of the position.

Grade Restriction: must have averaged around B+ or better over the past couple-few seasons
– Nowadays many teams use multiple Running Backs. If you’re going to give a RB snaps, they need to be productive with it because – unlike the offensive line – there’s only 1 RB in a given play. At the B+ range, it was found that RB’s could also be had for as little as $6-8 Million (3.0 to 4.0% of the Cap when salaries were researched).
 
 

Offensive Tackles 

 
Grade Key:
(Overall | Run Blocking Grade | Pass Blocking Grade)
NameAvailableAge in 1st SeasonLT/RT2021 Grade2020 Grade2019 Grade2018 GradeTeam

La'el Collins

2022SIGNED (Bengals)

29RTA | A+ | B+

Missed SeasonHip Surgery

A+ | A+ | B+B+ | B+ | BCowboys

Morgan Moses

2022SIGNED (Ravens)

31RTB | B+ | B–A | A+ | BB– | C | BC+ | B– | BJets
Eric Fisher202231LTB | B+ | CA | B+ | B+C+ | D | B+B+ | B | B+Colts
Daryl Williams202230RTB– | C | B+A | A | AC– | F | C+

Low Snaps(only 56 Snaps)

Bills

Trent Brown

2022SIGNED (Patriots)

29RTA | B | AB | C+ | B+B | C+ | AB | B– | BPatriots

Terron Armstead

2022SIGNED (Dolphins)

29LTA | B– | A+A+ | A | A+A | B– | A+A+ | A | A+Saints

Cornelius Lucas

2022SIGNED (Commanders)

31RTB+ | B | B+A | C | AB+ | C+ | B+C+ | C | C+Commanders
Elgton Jenkins202327LTA | A | AB– | C+ | AB | B– | B+N/APackers

Rob Havenstein

2023EXTENDED through 2025 (Rams)

3134

RTA | A | B+A | A | AD | D | DA+ | A+ | B+Rams
Jack Conklin202329RTA | A+ | C+A | A | AA | A | B+B– | B– | BBrowns
Orlando Brown202327LT & RTB+ | B– | B+A | B+ | AB+ | C | AB– | C | B+Chiefs
Mike McGlinchey202329RTB | C+ | BA | A+ | C–B– | B– | BB+ | A | B–49ers
Isaiah Wynn202326LTB+ | A | BA | A | B+B | C | B+N/APatriots
Tyron Smith202433LTA+ | A+ | A+

Low Snaps(only 154 Snaps)

A | B– | AA | B | A+Cowboys
Michael Onwenu202426LG/RG/RT

(yes..)

(Legit ALL 3)

A+ | A+ | BA | A | B+N/AN/APatriots
Tristan Wirfs202425RTA+ | B+ | AA | B+ | AN/AN/ABucs
Donovan Smith202431LTA | B | AB | B+ | BB | C | AB– | D | BBucs
Jonah Williams202426LTA | A | BB | D | B+

Missed SeasonTorn Labrum

N/ABengals
Laremy Tunsil202430LT

Low Snaps(only 262 Snaps)

B+ | C | A+B+ | B | A+B+ | B | ATexans
Mekhi Becton202425LT

Low Snaps(only 48 Snaps)

B+ | B+ | B+N/AN/AJets
Age Restriction: would be ≤ 32 Years Old in their 1st Season with us
– historical analysis showed this as the age when performance started to drop off. Though there are exceptions in the league, most often at this age injuries started to appear unpredictable and sporadic across the Offensive Line, which is not only not good for reliability, but it’s also not good for chemistry (important on the OL).

Grade Restriction: must have averaged around B+ or better over the past couple-few seasons
– One key thing to remember about the Offensive Line is that it’s less about having elite players across it, and more about having consistently solid players.  
On the OL it’s been shown to be wiser to have solid performers across it, rather than having 1 or 2 elite spots, but tissue paper elsewhere. Defenses simply avoid your strengths, and punch holes (and enter) through your weak spots.

At the B+ range, it was found that Tackles could also be had for $12-15 Million (6.1 to 7.6% of the Cap when salaries were researched).
The Tackle market has gotten severely inflated to unreasonable proportions in recent years. As such, the position has become one where the wiser move is to draft them, and for the 4-5 years they’re on a rookie contact, take the significant savings to upgrade other, more valuable and unique positions (like WR, CB, Safety). There are 5 Offensive Linemen. Paying one $25 Million does you no good when your opponent will just attack your $3 Million one instead.

Guards 

 
Grade Key:
(Overall | Run Blocking Grade | Pass Blocking Grade)
NameAvailableAge in 1st SeasonLG/RG2021 Grade2020 Grade2019 Grade2018 GradeTeam

Connor Williams

2022SIGNED (Dolphins)

25LGA | A | AB | B | B–C | C | C+C | C– | C+Cowboys

Laken Tomlinson

2022SIGNED (Jets)

30LGB+ | B+ | B+A | A | C+C+ | C | BB– | C+ | B+49ers

Alex Cappa

2022SIGNED (Bengals)

27RGB+ | B | BB | C+ | BC+ | C | C

Low Snaps(only 106 Snaps)

Bucs

Brandon Scherff

2022SIGNED (Jaguars)

30RGB+ | B+ | B+A | A | AB+ | A | B+B+ | C+ | ACommanders

Ted Karras

2022SIGNED (Bengals)

29LG/RGB+ | B– | AB– | C+ | B–C+ | B– | C–

Low Snaps(only 171 Snaps)

Patriots
Ereck Flowers202228LGB+ | C+ | AB– | C– | B+C+ | C | BB– | C+ | C+Commanders

Quenton Nelson

2023EXTENDED through 2026 (Colts)

2731

LGB | B | CA+ | A+ | AA+ | A+ | AA | A | AColts
Wes Schweitzer202330LG/RGA | A+ | B–B | B– | BC– | C– | C–B– | C+ | BCommanders
Chris Lindstrom202427RGA | A+ | B–A | A | BB– | B– | C+N/AFalcons
Ali Marpet202431LGA | A+ | AA+ | A+ | B+B+ | B– | AB+ | B | ABucs
Matt Feiler202432LGB+ | A | C+B– | C | BB+ | B– | AB | B– | BChargers
Michael Onwenu202426LG/RG/RT

(yes..)

(Legit ALL 3)

A+ | A+ | BA | A | B+N/AN/APatriots
Age Restriction: would be ≤ 32 Years Old in their 1st Season with us
– historical analysis showed this as the age when performance started to drop off. Though there are exceptions in the league, most often at this age injuries started to appear unpredictable and sporadic across the Offensive Line, which is not only not good for reliability, but it’s also not good for chemistry (important on the OL).

Grade Restriction: must have averaged around B+ or better over the past couple-few seasons
– One key thing to remember about the Offensive Line is that it’s less about having elite players across it, and more about having consistently solid players.  
On the OL it’s been shown to be wiser to have solid performers across it, rather than having 1 or 2 elite spots, but tissue paper elsewhere. Defenses simply avoid your strengths, and punch holes (and enter) through your weak spots.
 
At the B+ range, it was found that Guards could also be had for $6-8 Million (3.0 to 4.0% of the Cap when salaries were researched).
 
 

Centers 

 
Grade Key:
(Overall | Run Blocking Grade | Pass Blocking Grade)
NameAvailableAge in 1st Season2021 Grade2020 Grade2019 Grade2018 GradeTeam

JC Tretter

2022RETIRED!

31A | B+ | AA | B | AB+ | C+ | A+N/ABrowns

Brian Allen

2022SIGNED (Rams)

26A | A+ | C+C | B– | F

Low Snaps(only 37 Snaps)

N/ARams

Brandon Linder

2023RETIRED!

31C+ | C+ | B–A | A | A+B+ | B+ | AA | B+ | AJaguars
Age Restriction: would be ≤ 32 Years Old in their 1st Season with us
– historical analysis showed this as the age when performance started to drop off. Though there are exceptions in the league, most often at this age injuries started to appear unpredictable and sporadic across the Offensive Line, which is not only not good for reliability, but it’s also not good for chemistry (important on the OL).

Grade Restriction: must have averaged around B+ or better over the past couple-few seasons
– One key thing to remember about the Offensive Line is that it’s less about having elite players across it, and more about having consistently solid players.  
On the OL it’s been shown to be wiser to have solid performers across it, rather than having 1 or 2 elite spots, but tissue paper elsewhere. Defenses simply avoid your strengths, and punch holes (and enter) through your weak spots.
 
At the B+ range, it was found that Centers could also be had for $5-8 Million (2.5 to 4.0% of the Cap when salaries were researched).
 
 
NameAvailableAge in 1st Season2021 Grade2020 Grade2019 Grade2018 GradeTeam

Anthony Firkser

2022SIGNED (Falcons)

2728

DA

Low Targets(only 21 Targets)

Low Targets(only 20 Targets)

Titans
Mike Gesicki202327BAC

Low Targets(only 31 Targets)

Dolphins
Dalton Schultz202327AC+

Low Targets(only 2 Targets)

Low Targets(only 16 Targets)

Cowboys

Darren Waller

2024EXTENDED through 2026 (Raiders)

3235

B–A+A

Low Targets(only 6 Targets)

Raiders
TJ Hockenson202427B–B+CN/AVikings
Hunter Henry202429B+BB+A+Patriots
Age Restriction: would be ≤ 32 Years Old in their 1st Season with us
– historical analysis showed this as the age when performance started to drop off. This is likely due to the position not being overly reliant on athleticism, but rather technique and being able to use your larger body effectively enough to either get open, or secure blocks. 
As Jason Witten used to say, “The secret is in the dirt” 
– meaning, it all starts with your feet and how your technique will allow you to get open and secure blocks, even if you’ve lost (or simply lack) athleticism.

Grade Restriction: must have averaged around B+ or better over the past couple-few seasons
– The Tight End position is one whose market is severely depressed. It’s also a position almost unimaginably dominated by the Top 3-5 players – it’s not a very deep talent pool in general, and particularly so when considering what the position has become (where being a receiving threat is essentially non-negotiable). 
At the B+ range, it was found that TE’s could also be had for as little as $7-9 Million (3.5 to 4.5% of the Cap when salaries were researched).
 
 

Safeties 

 
Grade Key:
(Overall | % Snaps as a Free Safety)
NameAvailableAge in 1st Season2021 Grade2020 Grade2019 Grade2018 GradeTeam

Marcus Maye

2022SIGNED (Saints)

28C– | 34.8%A | 51.1%B+ | 66.2%A | 79.9%Jets

Marcus Williams

2022SIGNED (Ravens)

25A | 88.9%A | 84.2%A+ | 83.6%B+ | 85.8%Saints
Minkah Fitzpatrick202326C | 79.4%A | 77.9%A | 77.3%C | 17.6%Steelers

Amani Hooker

2023EXTENDED through 2025 (Titans)

2528

A | 60.7%B– | 51.5%B– | 72.5%N/ATitans
Jordan Poyer202332A | 57.4%B+ | 47.6%B+ | 47.3%B– | 46.3%Bills

Derwin James

2023EXTENDED through 2026 (Chargers)

2731

A | 33.9%

Missed SeasonTorn Meniscus

A | 4.3%A+ | 21.0%Chargers
Jimmie Ward202332A | 54.9%B+ | 47.5%A | 70.6%C– | 42.8%49ers
Adrian Amos202330B+ | 54.7%A+ | 54.9%A | 42.6%A | 62.8%Packers
Vonn Bell202328B+ | 33.6%B | 21.8%C+ | 53.1%B+ | 28.8%Bengals
Mike Edwards202327B+ | 40.0%A | 70.9%C– | 56.8%N/ABucs
Marcus Epps202327B+ | 64.2%B+ | 61.1%B– | 90.0%N/AEagles
John Johnson202429B | 72.2%A+ | 34.2%D | 38.7%A | 42.8%Browns
Xavier McKinney202426B+ | 71.2%B | 37.4%N/AN/AGiants
Jordan Fuller202426B+ | 63.0%C+ | 63.6%N/AN/ARams
 
Age Restriction: would be ≤ 32 Years Old in their 1st Season with us
– historical analysis showed this as the age when performance started to drop off. Safety is a position where a lack of athleticism can be masked, with the cerebral aspects of the position tending to matter more. We’ve seen some great cornerbacks over the years transition to Safety as they lost a step or two, and put their ball skills + what they’d learned about offenses over the years to use – but no longer at just the boundaries of the field.

Grade Restriction: must have averaged around B+ or better over the past couple-few seasons
– Safety is arguably the most undervalued position currently from a market standpoint. Many people don’t seem to be aware that it actually has one of the highest WARs (Wins Above Replacement) of any position in the NFL – meaning, having a good one is absolutely indispensable. And if we look back at the Patriots defenses, in their
2 decades of dominance they consistently had good Safeties over the years, even as other positions fluctuated throughout. 
 
A very good Safety not only acts as a great eraser, but it gives you a lot of flexibility and leeway in your play call as you not only can trust that the route distribution and offensive concept will be diagnosed properly, but that exchanges with the Corners and Linebackers will be clean, appropriate, and resistant to manipulation.
 
At the B+ range, it was found that Safeties could also be had for as little as $6-9 Million (3.0 to 4.5% of the Cap when salaries were researched).
– Safety is definitely a position worth spending your savings from elsewhere, to bring in the cream of the crop.
 
 
WHY REPORT THE % OF SNAPS AS A FREE SAFETY?
Schemes.
In the NFL, there are 2-High Systems, and 1-High Systems.
Recently, PFF found that in recent years, only 15% of the time that a team showed one shell before the play, did they actually switch to another after the snap.
Thus, by figuring out what % of Snaps a Safety played at FS, we can safely gauge how often they were asked to fulfill different roles.

Teams that run a lot of Cover 3 and Cover 1 (1-High Systems) would have a Safety with a lot of snaps at Free Safety, since in these systems roles are clearly defined.
 
Conversely, teams that run a lot of Cover 2 and Cover 4 (etc.) would have Safeties who never really spent a lot of snaps filling one role very much, as in these 2-High Systems roles are not as clearly defined, and their Safeties are asked to go from playing the deep field on one play, to dropping down to defend the run the next play, to actually playing the slot on yet the next play.
 
Thus, if your Defensive Coordinator runs a 1-High System and:
– you’re looking for a FS, you’d want to look for Safeties with a high % of Snaps as a Free Safety
– else, if you’re looking for a SS, then you’d want to look for Safeties with only a low-to-moderate – say, 10-40% of snaps as a Free Safety

 

 

If your Defensive Coordinator runs a 2-High System, then it’s simpler:
– Look for Safeties with a lot of experience playing different roles. Thus, you’d prefer Safeties with only moderate snaps (say, up to 40%) at Free Safety, since that’d mean they didn’t exclusively play that role but instead, played many different roles… which is exactly what you need from a Safety in a 2-High System.
 
 

Cornerbacks 

 
Grade Key:
(Overall | Man Coverage Grade | Zone Coverage Grade | % Snaps as a Slot CB)
NameAvailableAge in 1st Season2021 Grade2020 Grade2019 Grade2018 GradeTeam

JC Jackson

2022SIGNED (Chargers)

26A | A+ | B+ | 11.7%B | F | A | 9.6%B– | B | C+ | 20.2%B+ | A+ | C– | 20.5%Patriots

Desmond King

2022SIGNED (Texans)

27D | F | F | 13.7%B– | F | B | 73.3%B | C– | B+ | 84.9%A+ | B | A+ | 84.4%Texans

DJ Reed

2022SIGNED (Jets)

25A | C– | A | 2.4%B+ | F | A | 17.7%

Low Snaps(only 125 Snaps)

C– | D | B | 47.8%Seahawks

Carlton Davis

2022SIGNED (Bucs)

25B– | F | A | 6.1%B– | B– | B– | 4.6%B | C– | A | 7.6%C | C– | C | 6.5%Bucs

Charvarius Ward

2022SIGNED (49ers)

26B– | D | B– | 1.5%C+ | B | C+ | 2.6%B | F | B– | 2.7%

Low Snaps(only 140 Snaps)

Chiefs
Rashad Fenton202326A | C+ | A | 14.7%B | A | B | 40.2%

Low Snaps(only 166 Snaps)

N/AFalcons

Denzel Ward

2023EXTENDED through 2027 (Browns)

26A | B | B+ | 1.2%B+ | A | B– | 1.0%B | D | B+ | 8.4%A | A | B+ | 7.3%Browns
Jamel Dean202326B+ | B– | A | 4.2%A | C | A+ | 3.0%B+ | D | A | 7.8%N/ABucs
Rock Ya-Sin202327B | A | B– | 3.4%F | F | C– | 1.5%B– | F | B– | 4.1%N/AColts
Emmanuel Moseley202327B | F | B+ | 0.8%C | B | F | 10.6%B | F | B+ | 8.1%N/A49ers
Jaire Alexander202327

Low Snaps(only 219 Snaps)

A+ | A | A+ | 2.2%B+ | D | A | 6.6%B+ | A | C+ | 22.9%Packers
Jonathan Jones202329

Low Snaps(only 224 Snaps)

A | A | B– | 61.8%B+ | C+ | B+ | 68.5%C+ | C | B– | 72.1%Patriots
Ronald Darby202430C | D | C | 1.8%B+ | B– | B+ | 4.0%F | F | F | 1.6%B | B+ | C+ | 0.9%Broncos
L'Jarius Sneed202427C+ | C+ | C– | 59.2%B+ | D | A | 41.7%N/AN/AChiefs
Chidobe Awuzie202429A | B– | A+ | 5.7%D | F | C+ | 3.5%B+ | C+ | B | 3.8%C+ | B– | C+ | 2.9%Bengals
AJ Terrell202425A | B+ | A | 7.2%C | F | B | 5.7%N/AN/AFalcons
Kendall Fuller202429A | B– | B+ | 21.1%B– | C– | B | 5.5%C | F | C | 62.9%B | D | A | 68.9%Commanders
Adoree Jackson202428B+ | C+ | A | 6.0%

Low Snaps(only 155 Snaps)

B+ | C+ | A | 10.1%B+ | C– | B+ | 9.1%Giants
Cameron Dantzler202425B+ | C+ | B | 4.7%B | B– | C+ | 1.0%N/AN/AVikings
Shaquill Griffin202429B+ | D | A | 3.9%C+ | F | B+ | 2.2%A | F | A | 2.8%D | F | C+ | 3.8%Jaguars
Isaiah Rodgers202426B | D | B– | 2.9%

Low Snaps(only 51 Snaps)

N/AN/AColts
Kenny Moore202430B– | D | B+ | 66.9%B+ | D | A | 67.3%B+ | F | A | 53.1%B | F | B | 64.8%Colts
Jerry Jacobs202426B– | D | B– | 2.2%N/AN/AN/ALions
Age Restriction: would be ≤ 29 Years Old in their 1st Season with us
– historical analysis showed this as the age when performance started to drop off. Similar to Wide Receivers, this is likely due to the position being very reliant on athleticism.

Grade Restriction: must have averaged around B– or better over the past couple-few seasons
– In recent years a couple of things have become clearer: CB play has a tendency to be volatile from year to year (necessitating the drop from B+ to B–, otherwise some known quantities like Marlon Humphrey and Kenny Moore would’ve been missed), but also, similar to the Offensive Line, it’s better to have consistently solid players in your secondary rather than 1 Elite piece. 
 
Just like with the Offensive Line, opposing teams don’t tend to go after your strongest piece – instead, they simply find ways to isolate and attack your weakest links. There are countless ways to scheme offensive players into favorable situations against your weaker defenders, even if as a defense your intent is to stick your strongest CB against their best WR. What this has revealed is that the best approach is not to build a fence with one single 20 ft high section and then a bunch of 2 ft pieces, but rather to build a fence that’s consistently 10 ft high across the whole thing.
 
At the B– range, it was found that CB’s could also be had for as little as $6-8 Million (3.0 to 4.0% of the Cap when salaries were researched).

– Slot CBs in particular are currently still very affordable (even as you get into the A range for them), which is great in the modern NFL considering that offenses increasingly are figuring out how to isolate their best WRs against your worst DB – which was typically your Slot CB in the past. We’ve even seen great CB’s like Jalen Ramsey have to learn the slot in recent years, due to this “weakest link” philosophy NFL offenses are getting better and better at exploiting. Rather than have to go against him, they’d just scheme their best WR into situations where he was matched up against a Slot CB.

 

WHY REPORT THE % OF SNAPS AS A SLOT CB?
Simple. In case your team is looking for a Slot Cornerback, of course.
Otherwise, without being familiar with every single team, it can be easy to overlook players with Slot CB experience.
It can also help explain some changes in performance – for example, Desmond King has always been a Slot CB. 
In 2021 however he was asked to play outside – something he’d never done in the NFL – and it went terribly for him, as we can see with his 2021 grade.
Thus, without deeper context like this, all we’d have seen is a really bad grade for him and thought something was amiss.
 
 
NameAvailableAge in 1st Season2021 Grade2020 Grade2019 Grade2018 GradeTeam

Folorunso Fatukasi

2022SIGNED (Jaguars)

27C | C– | C+A | A+ | C+A

Low Snaps(only 3 Snaps)

Jets

Derrick Nnadi

2022SIGNED (Chiefs)

26D | D | DB+ | A | C–B– | B | DB– | A | DChiefs

Harrison Phillips

2022SIGNED (Vikings)

26A | A | CC | D | C+

Low Snaps(only 77 Snaps)

C+ | C+ | C–Bills
Sheldon Richardson202231C+ | C | CB | B– | B–B+ | B+ | B–B | B | B–Vikings

DJ Jones

2022SIGNED (Broncos)

27B+ | B– | B–C | C– | C+B– | B– | CC– | C | D49ers

Shy Tuttle

2022SIGNED (Saints)

26B+ | B+ | DB+ | A | DB+ | B | BN/ASaints

BJ Hill

2022SIGNED (Bengals)

26B | B | B–B+ | B+ | BB+ | A | C–B | B | BBengals
Malcom Brown202228F | F | C–B+ | A | C+B– | B | C+C | C | C–Jaguars

Matt Ioannidis

2022SIGNED (Panthers)

28C+ | C– | B+

Low Snaps(only 81 Snaps)

B | C+ | AB | C | BCommanders

Tim Settle

2022SIGNED (Bills)

25B– | C | B+B | C | B+B– | C– | B–

Low Snaps(only 135 Snaps)

Commanders

DaQuan Jones

2022SIGNED (Bills)

30B– | C | BB– | C+ | B–A | A | B–C+ | B– | CPanthers
Kingsley Keke202225C+ | F | B+B | C– | BC+ | B– | DN/APackers

Henry Anderson

20222023

3132

Low Snaps(only 35 Snaps)

B– | B+ | C+C– | C | C–B+ | B+ | B–Patriots

Stephon Tuitt

2023RETIRED

30

Missed Season"Knee Injury"
(believed to be Meniscus)

B+ | C– | AA+ | B+ | A+A | A+ | BSteelers
DeShawn Williams202330C– | F | BA | B | BN/AN/ABroncos
Dre'Mont Jones202326C– | D | BB+ | C+ | AB– | D | BN/ABroncos
David Onyemata202330A | A | B+A+ | B+ | AC– | C | C+A | B+ | ASaints
Fletcher Cox202332B– | D | B+B+ | B | BA | B– | AA+ | A | A+Eagles
Dalvin Tomlinson202329B+ | B– | B+B+ | B | B+A | A | C+B+ | A | C–Vikings
Poona Ford202327B+ | B | BA | B+ | C+B+ | A | DA+ | A+ | CSeahawks
Chris Wormley202329B– | B | C

Low Snaps(only 148 Snaps)

B– | B+ | DB– | B | C+Steelers
Greg Gaines202329B– | B– | C+

Low Snaps(only 201 Snaps)

Low Snaps(only 183 Snaps)

N/ARams

Grady Jarrett

2023Extended until 2026!

30B– | C | B–A | B– | AA+ | A | A+A+ | A | A+Falcons
Javon Hargrave202330B– | F | A+C | F | AA | A | AA | A | BEagles
Shelby Harris202433C | C+ | CA+ | B+ | AA | B | B+A+ | A | BBroncos
Zach Sieler202428A | A | AB | B– | B–

Low Snaps(only 118 Snaps)

Low Snaps(only 17 Snaps)

Dolphins
Christian Wilkins202428A | A | BB | B+ | CC+ B– | CN/ADolphins
Chris Jones202430A | B– | A+A+ | B– | A+A+ | B+ | A+A+ | B+ | A+Chiefs
DJ Reader202430A | A | BB | B | CA+ | A | B+B+ | A | CBengals
Dexter Lawrence202426B | C– | B+A | B+ | B+B+ | B+ | C+N/AGiants

Derek Wolfe

2024RETIRED

34

Missed Season(Hip Labrum Injury)

B | A+ | FB– | B– | B–B+ | A | C–Ravens
Grover Stewart202430B+ | B | B–B– | B | CB– | B | C–D | B– | DColts
Leonard Williams202430B+ | B– | B–A | A | BB | B+ | B–A | B+ | BGiants
Jeffery Simmons202427B | C+ | B+A | A | B–B | B+ | C+N/ATitans
Quinnen Williams202426C+ | C | BA | A | AB– | B+ | C–N/AJets
Ed Oliver202426B | C | B+F | F | B+B– | C+ | C+N/ABills
Age Restriction: would be ≤ 32 Years Old in their 1st Season with us
– historical analysis showed this as the age when performance started to drop off. Similar to Tight Ends, the position isn’t overly reliant on athleticism, but rather being able to use your larger body in smarter ways through good technique.

Grade Restriction: must have averaged around B– or better over the past couple-few seasons
– At DT, it’s more about having no glaring weakness in your front than it is having elite pieces throughout. 
This also helps your team avoid the big market inflation that Lines (OL and DL) have experienced in recent years.
It’s much easier to scheme a defensive lineman out of existence in a game than it is a DB. 
The secondary flows. The line however typically has very tight, restricted gap assignments.
In the secondary, your flat defender is expected to fall off if he suspects he’s being vertically stretched (ex: Smash concept).
On the defensive line however, you’re expected to strictly maintain your gap integrity.

This rigidity is essentially how linemen are schemed out of existence. 
And we’ve seen this actually play out over and over in recent years.
Analytics companies like PFF have been ahead on this, in discovering that it appears to be better to have a strong secondary, than a strong defensive line.
If we take a step back and think about the football of this, it makes sense, too.
On a quick pass, your defensive lineman has zero chance of influencing the play.
On a quick pass, your DB can still influence the play. They can even intercept the ball by diagnosing and jumping the route.
 
At the B– range, it was found that DT’s could also be had for as little as $7-8 Million (3.5 to 4.0% of the Cap when salaries were researched).
 
 

Defensive Ends 

 
NOTE:
“Grade” for Defensive Ends is their Pass Rush Grade.
See below the table for the rationale (but, basically, it’s a nod to the passing game being king in the modern NFL).
NameAvailableAge in 1st Season2021 Grade2020 Grade2019 Grade2018 GradeTeam

Za'Darius Smith

2022SIGNED (Ravens)

30

~Missed Season(Back Surgery)

A+A+APackers

Randy Gregory

2022SIGNED (Broncos)

29AAB–

Low Snaps(only 66 Snaps)

Cowboys

Trey Flowers

2022SIGNED (Dolphins)

29CB+AALions

Maxx Crosby

2023Extended!
Until 2026!

26A+C–B–N/ARaiders
Marcus Davenport202326ABB+C+Saints

Bradley Chubb

2023DEN → MIA
(then extended!)

2732

FAB–B+Dolphins
Yannick Ngakoue202328B–B+AARaiders
Andrew Van Ginkel202328BB+DN/ADolphins
Nick Bosa202426A+BAN/A49ers
Jonathan Greenard202427A+C+N/AN/ATexans
Rashan Gary202426A+C+C–N/APackers
Danielle Hunter202429A

Missed SeasonNeck Injury

ABVikings
Carl Lawson202429

Missed SeasonTore Achilles

AC+AJets
Romeo Okwara202429

Low Snaps(only 188 Snaps)

AC–DLions
Brian Burns202426B+A+BN/APanthers
Josh Allen202427BB+BN/AJaguars
Chase Young202425BAN/AN/ACommanders
Montez Sweat202427B–ACN/ACommanders
Age Restriction: would be ≤ 30 Years Old in their 1st Season with us
– historical analysis showed this as the age when performance started to drop off. This is likely due to Defensive Ends being relatively reliant on athleticism if they want to affect the passing game. While technique can help extend a player’s career (at basically any position), on the edge there seems to still be some baseline level of athleticism that simply can’t be negotiated away.

Grade Restriction: must have averaged a Pass Rush Grade around B+ or better over the past couple-few seasons
– The modern NFL is all about the passing game. Score quickly (pass) and make it hard for them to keep up (pass defense).
Focusing on Pass Rush also proves to be cap efficient, since you can get a good pass rush specialist for a lot less if they have deficiencies in the run game. In the modern game though, this tends to be an acceptable exchange, given just how much more you want to stop the pass than the run anyway.
 
At the B+ range, it was found that DE’s could also be had for as little as $10-11 Million (5.0 to 5.6% of the Cap when salaries were researched).
– NOTE that the grade filter here was Pass Rush Grade, not Overall Grade as with other positions. This is a nod to the passing game being the dominant factor in the NFL nowadays, with the running game increasingly becoming an afterthought. 
 
If you’re looking for a DE with a B+ Overall Grade, the cost tends to balloon quickly (quickly hitting $15-18+ Million).
But that would require favoring run defense too, despite this not being very influential in the modern game. 
The Raiders in 2021 were able to make the playoffs after going all in on pass rush – with Maxx Crosby and bringing in Yannick Ngakoue (whose run defense is abysmal) for $13 Million/year. They gave up on insisting on keeping at least 1 run defender in like Clelin Ferrell. 
The Raiders defensive line only proceeded to absolutely destroy offensive lines the whole season. Offenses couldn’t figure out who to block.
 
 

Linebackers 

 
Grade Key:
(Overall | Run Defense Grade | Coverage Grade)
NameAvailableAge in 1st Season2021 Grade2020 Grade2019 Grade2018 GradeTeam
Alexander Johnson202230A | A+ | C+B– | B– | CA+ | A+ | B+N/ABroncos

Bobby Wagner

2022SIGNED (Rams)

32B | A | C+A | A+ | BB+ | A | C+A+ | A+ | A+Seahawks

Kyle Van Noy

2022SIGNED (Eagles)

3132

B+ | C+ | AC | C | DA | A+ | B+B– | C+ | C+Patriots

Kyzir White

2022SIGNED (Eagles)

26B– | C+ | B–D | F | CB– | C+ | B–

Low Snaps(only 142 Snaps)

Chargers
Nick Kwiatkoski202229

Low Snaps(only 67 Snaps)

B– | D | B+B+ | B– | B

Low Snaps(only 112 Snaps)

Raiders

Jaylon Smith

2022SIGNED (Giants)

2829

B– | F | AD | F | C+B | A | CA | B+ | AGiants
Denzel Perryman202330C | B– | C–A | A+ | B+C | B– | DB | B– | C+Raiders
Lavonte David202333A | B+ | AA | A | AA+ | B+ | A+B+ | B | ABucs
TJ Edwards202327B+ | A | BB– | C+ | C+

Low Snaps(only 112 Snaps)

N/AEagles
Eric Kendricks202432C | F | B+A | C+ | A+A+ | A+ | AC+ | B– | C+Vikings
Deion Jones202429F | F | FB | C | BA | C | AB+ | B+ | B+Browns
Shaq Thompson202430B+ | C+ | B+F | C– | FB– | B– | CB | B+ | CPanthers
Age Restriction: would be ≤ 32 Years Old in their 1st Season with us
– historical analysis showed this as the age when performance started to drop off. This is likely due to Linebackers not being overly reliant on athleticism, as intelligence can keep them in good position in the pass game, and quickly get them to the right spot in the run game. Strength itself doesn’t appear to fall off with age (at least NFL ages, where 30’s is old) – what tends to fall off is agility and reaction times.

Grade Restriction: must have averaged around B– or better over the past couple-few seasons 
At the B– range, it was found that LB’s could also be had for as little as $5-7 Million (2.5 to 3.5% of the Cap when salaries were researched).