Free Agent Prospects

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

UPDATED FOR 2024 Free Agency Class
 
NOTE: This breakdown is being regularly updated.
(players signed, released, and extended have been updated accordingly!)

* Last Updated: 5/13/24 at 9:30pm (8 players 
changed in last 33 days – none that were available this year, though!)

* 🏴‍☠️ CHRISTIAN WILKINS IS A RAIDER! 🏴‍☠️
 

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 approximately 700 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 Season2023 Grade2022 Grade2021 Grade2020 GradeTeam

Michael Pittman

2024EXTENDED through 2026

2629

ABAC+Colts

Mike Williams

2024SIGNED (NYJ)

2728

Low Targets
(Tore ACL)
(only 25 Tgts)

AAB+Chargers
Tee Higgins

2024TAGGED

25B+AAB+Bengals
Brandon Aiyuk202527A+AB+A49ers
Justin Jefferson202526A+A+A+A+Vikings
CeeDee Lamb202526A+A+ABCowboys
Nico Collins202526A+B+B–N/ATexans

Amon-Ra St. Brown

2025EXTENDED through 2028

2529

A+A+AN/ALions
Chris Godwin202529AB+AB+Bucs
Diontae Johnson202529ABB+BSteelers
Jaylen Waddle202627A+AAN/ADolphins
Ja'Marr Chase202626A+AAN/ABengals
Deebo Samuel202630AB+A+A49ers
DK Metcalf202628AB+AASeahawks
Courtland Sutton202630B+BBB+Broncos
George Pickens202625B+BN/AN/ASteelers
Terry McLaurin202631B+AAACommanders

DeVonta Smith

2026EXTENDED through 2028

2730

B+AAN/AEagles
Jakobi Meyers202629BB+B+A

PatriotsRaiders

Christian Kirk202629BB+B+C+Raiders
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 Season2023 Grade2022 Grade2021 Grade2020 GradeTeam

Derrick Henry

2024SIGNED (BAL)

3032

A+A+B+A+Titans

Tony Pollard

2024SIGNED (Titans)

2730

AA+A+BCowboys

AJ Dillon

2024SIGNED (GB)

2627

B+AA+

Low Attempts(only 46 Att)

Packers

Josh Jacobs

2024SIGNED (GB)

2630

B–A+AB+Raiders

Aaron Jones

2024SIGNED (MIN)

2930

B+A+AAPackers

Devin Singletary

2024SIGNED (NYG)

2730

BB+C+C–Panthers
Najee Harris202527AB+BN/ASteelers
Chuba Hubbard202526AAC+N/APanthers
Rhamondre Stevenson202527BAAN/APatriots
Christian McCaffrey202630A+A+A

Low Attempts(only 69 Att)

49ers
Kenneth Walker202625AAN/AN/ASeahawks
Tyler Allgeier202626AA+N/AN/AFalcons
Breece Hall202625ABN/AN/AJets
Isiah Pacheco202626AB+N/AN/AChiefs
Travis Etienne202627AB+N/AN/AJaguars
Brian Robinson202627B+AN/AN/ACommanders
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/RT2023 Grade2022 Grade2021 Grade2020 GradeTeam

Michael Onwenu

2024SIGNED (NE)

2629

LG/RG/RT

(yes..)

(Legit ALL 3)

B | B+ | B–A | B+ | AA+ | A+ | BA | A | B+Patriots

Jermaine Eluemunor

2024SIGNED (NYG)

2931

RTB | B | C+B+ | B+ | B+

Low Snaps(only 266 Snaps)

B– | C+ | BRaiders
Tristan Wirfs202526RTA | B+ | AA | C+ | A+A+ | B+ | AA | B+ | ABucs
Taylor Decker202531LTA | B– | AB+ | B– | AB+ | B– | AA | B+ | A+Lions

Dion Dawkins

20252028

31LTB+ | B– | B+B+ | C+ | AA | B– | AA | B+ | B+Bills
Garett Bolles202533LTB+ | C+ | AB+ | A | AA | B | AA+ | A+ | A+Broncos

Penei Sewell

2026EXTENDED through 2029

2529

LT/RTA+ | A+ | AA | A | B+A | A | BN/ALions

Jordan Mailata

2026EXTENDED through 2028

2932

LTA | A | AA | B+ | B+A+ | A+ | AN/AEagles
Braden Smith202630RTA | A+ | BB+ | B+ | B+A | A+ | BA | A | B+Colts
Christian Darrisaw202627LTA | B+ | A+A+ | A+ | AB | A | C+N/AVikings
Bernhard Raimann202629LTA | B+ | AB+ | B+ | BN/AN/AColts
Kolton Miller202631LTA | B+ | AA | A | AA | B+ | AB+ | C– | ARaiders
Zach Tom202627RTA | B+ | B+B– | C– | AN/AN/APackers
Rashawn Slater202627LTA | C | A

Low Snaps(only 175 Snaps)

A | A | AN/AChargers
Kaleb McGary202631RTB+ | A | BA+ | A+ | B–C+ | B | DC+ | B– | C–Falcons
Taylor Moton202632RTB+ | B– | AB | C– | AA | B | AA | B+ | APanthers
Braxton Jones202627LTB | B– | BB+ | A | BN/AN/ABears
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/RG2023 Grade2022 Grade2021 Grade2020 GradeTeam

Kevin Dotson

2024EXTENDED through 2026

2831

LG & RGA+ | A+ | B–B– | C | AC+ | C | AB– | C– | A+Rams

Robert Hunt

2024SIGNED (CAR)

2833

RGA | B+ | B+B+ | B+ | B+B– | B– | B–B– | B+ | B–Dolphins

Michael Onwenu

2024SIGNED (NE)

2629

LG/RG/RT

(yes..)

(Legit ALL 3)

B | B+ | B–A | B+ | AA+ | A+ | BA | A | B+Patriots
Quinn Meinerz202526RGA | A+ | B–A | A | B–B– | C+ | B–N/ABroncos
Samuel Cosmi202526RG / RTA | A | B+B | B | B–B+ | A | C+N/ACommanders
Tevin Jenkins202527LG & RGB+ | B+ | B–A | A | B–

Low Snaps(only 160 Snaps)

N/ABears
Trey Smith202526RGB+ | B+ | B–B | B | BB+ | B+| C+N/AChiefs
Wyatt Teller202631RGB+ | B+ | BB | B | B–A | A+ | BA+ | A+ | C+Browns
Isaac Seumalo202632LG & RGB | B | B–B+ | B | A

Low Snaps(only 168 Snaps)

C | D | ASteelers
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 Season2023 Grade2022 Grade2021 Grade2020 GradeTeam
Connor Williams202427A+ | A+ | BA | A+ | BB+ | B+ | AB | B | B–Dolphins
Drew Dalman202526A | A+ | DB– B | C–

Low Snaps(only 68 Snaps)

N/AFalcons
Creed Humphrey202526A | A | AA+ | A+ | AA+ | A+ | AN/AChiefs
David Andrews202533B | A | DB+ | A | B–A | A | AB– | B | C–Patriots
Ethan Pocic202631B | B | BA | A | BB– | B+ | FC+ | C | CBrowns
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 Season2023 Grade2022 Grade2021 Grade2020 GradeTeam
Pat Freiermuth202526B–B+B+N/ASteelers
George Kittle202632A+AA+A49ers
Mark Andrews202630AAA+ARavens
Dallas Goedert202631B+B+A+AEagles
David Njoku202630B–B+B

Low Targets(only 29 Tgts)

Browns
Kyle Pitts202625B–B+AN/AFalcons
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 Season2023 Grade2022 Grade2021 Grade2020 GradeTeam

Antoine Winfield

2024EXTENDED through 2027

2630

A+ | 61.1%A | 28.4%A+ | 70.7%B– | 69.3%Bucs

Xavier McKinney

2024SIGNED (GB)

2630

A+ | 41.1%C– | 57.9%B+ | 71.2%B | 37.4%Giants

Kevin Byard

2024SIGNED (Bears)

3133

B+ | 46.1%A+ | 53.3%B– | 44.4%A | 52.4%Eagles

DeShon Elliott

2024SIGNED (PIT)

2729

B+ | 62.0%B– | 42.4%B– | 49.5%B– | 63.7%Dolphins

Geno Stone

2024SIGNED (CIN)

2527

B | 70.1%B | 65.1%

Low Snaps(only 219 Snaps)

Low Snaps(only 2 Snaps)

Ravens

Kamren Curl

2024SIGNED (LAR)

2527

B– | 38.8%A | 26.0%B | 33.8%B– | 20.2%Commanders

Kyle Dugger

2024EXTENDED through 2027

2832

C | 33.2%A | 10.9%B | 10.2%C+ | 9.6%Patriots
Rudy Ford202429B | 51.6%B+ | 69.5%C–

(but was a CB!)

Low Snaps(only 47 Snaps)

Packers
Jevon Holland202525A+ | 51.2%B– | 69.8%A | 71.9%N/ADolphins
Jabrill Peppers202529A+ | 44.4%B+ | 10.6%

Low Snaps(Tore ACL)

C+ | 15.7%Patriots
Julian Love202527B+ | 41.2%B | 49.1%C– | 29.7%C– | 62.9%Seahawks
 
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 Season2023 Grade2022 Grade2021 Grade2020 GradeTeam

L'Jarius Sneed

2024TRADED & SIGNED (TEN)

2732

B | F | A | 2.3%B+ | B– | B+ | 49.4%C+ | C+ | C– | 59.2%B+ | D | A | 41.7%

ChiefsTitans

Isaiah Oliver

2024SIGNED (Jets)

2728

B– | F | A | 84.3%A | D | B+ | 75.1%

Low Snaps(only 168 Snaps)

C | D | C | 49.3%49ers
Adoree Jackson202428F | F | C | 14.5%B+ | A | C– | 9.6%B+ | C+ | A | 6.0%

Low Snaps(only 155 Snaps)

Giants

Tavierre Thomas

2024SIGNED (TB)

2829

B+ | F | A | 86.1%B | B+ | B 95.4%A | A | B | 91.1%

Low Snaps(only 204 Snaps)

Texans

Isaiah Simmons

2024SIGNED (NYG)

2627

B | A+ | B– | 17.2%B– | C+ | B | 45.6%D | D | BC | B– | B+Giants
Nick McCloud

2024*TENDERED (Right of First Refusal)

26B+ | B+ | A | 8.0%B– | C– | C+ | 24.6%

Low Snaps(only 14 Snaps)

N/AGiants
Charvarius Ward202526A | D | A+ | 1.1%A | D | A | 0.6%B– | D | B– | 1.5%C+ | B | C+ | 2.6%49ers
Michael Carter202526A | B+ | A | 85.1%B+ | F | A | 90.4%D | C– | C | 79.0%N/AJets

Taron Johnson

2025EXTENDED through 2027

2932/span>

A | F | A+ | 74.2%B | F | A 75.9%B | C | B+ | 82.1%C | F | C | 85.7%Bills
DJ Reed202529A | C | A | 1.5%B+ | B+ | A | 0.6%A | C– | A | 2.4%B+ | F | A | 17.7%Jets
AJ Terrell202526B+ | B– | B | 2.8%C+ | C | C | 5.6%A | B+ | A | 7.2%C | F | B | 5.7%Falcons
Dee Alford202527B | C | A | 80.0%C+ | F | A | 85.4%N/AN/AFalcons
Nate Hobbs202526B | C | C+ | 65.0%C | F | B | 15.9%A | B | B+ | 83.9%N/ARaiders
Isaiah Rodgers202527

Didn't Play(Gambling Suspension)

A | C | A+ | 2.5%B | D | B– | 2.9%

Low Snaps(only 51 Snaps)

Eagles
Kader Kohou202526C+ | F | C+ | 64.1%B | C+ | B+ | 53.9%N/AN/ADolphins
DaRon Bland202627A+ | B+ | A+ | 10.8%B | F | A+ | 72.7%N/AN/ACowboys
Jack Jones202628B | F | A | 10.8%B | F | A+ | 72.7%N/AN/ARaiders
Greg Newsome202626B | B+ | B | 51.6%B | C– | A | 41.2%B– | B+ | C+ | 14.8%N/ABrowns
Patrick Surtain202626B | C | B | 2.6%A+ | A | B+ | 0.3%B– | C+ | C | 1.8%N/ABroncos
Tariq Woolen202627B– | A+ | C– | 1.0%B | D | A | 0.5%N/AN/ASeahawks
Martin Emerson202626B– | F | A | 1.9%B+ | B | B | 1.3%N/AN/ABrowns
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 Season2023 Grade2022 Grade2021 Grade2020 GradeTeam

Chris Jones

2024SIGNED (Chiefs)

3035

A | C | A+A+ | A | A+A | B– | A+A+ | B– | A+Chiefs

Arik Armstead

2024SIGNED (JAX)

3030

A | C | A+C+ | C | C+A | B– | AB+ | A | B–49ers

DJ Reader

2024SIGNED (DET)

3032

A | B+ | AA+ | B+ | AA | A | BB | B | CBengals

Maurice Hurst

2024SIGNED (CLE)

2930

A | A | B+

Missed Season(Torn Bicep)

Low Snaps(only 41 Snaps)

A | C+ | ABrowns

Grover Stewart

2024SIGNED (IND)

3033

B+ | A | C+B | B | C–B+ | B | B–B– | B | CColts

Leonard Williams

2024SIGNED (SEA)

3033

B+ | B | B+A | B+ | B+B+ | B– | B–A | A | BGiants

Christian Wilkins

2024SIGNED (RAIDERS)

2832

B+ | B | B+A+ | A | B+A | A | BB | B+ | C

DolphinsTHE RAIDAS!!!

Chris Wormley202429

Low Snaps(only 46 Snaps)

B+ | A | C+B– | B | C

Low Snaps(only 148 Snaps)

Steelers

DaQuan Jones

2024SIGNED (BUF)

3234

A+ | A | AB+ | C+ | B+B– | C | BB– | C+ | B–Panthers
Matt Ioannidis202430

Zero Snaps(remained unsigned!)

B– | C+ | BC+ | C– | B+

Low Snaps(only 81 Snaps)

Commanders

Derrick Brown

2025EXTENDED through 2028

2731

A+ | A+ | AA | A | AC+ | C | BC | D | B+Panthers
Alim McNeill202525A+ | A | B+B | C | BC | C– | C+N/ALions

Christian Barmore

2025EXTENDED through 2028

2630

A | B– | AB | F | AC+ | F | B+N/APatriots

DeForest Buckner

2025EXTENDED through 2026

3133

A | C+ | A+A | B | AB | C– | AA+ | B | A+Colts
Milton Williams202526B | B | CB+ | B+ | CF | F | CN/AEagles
Kenny Clark202529B | C | B+B– | D | B+B+ | D | AB+ | B | BPackers
BJ Hill202529B– | C+ | B–B– | C+ | CB | B | B–B+ | B+ | BBengals
Harrison Phillips202529C | B– | DB+ | B+ | CA | A | CC | D | C+Bills
Zach Allen2026B | B– | BB+ | B– | BC | F | C+D | F | C–

Low Snaps(only 144 Snaps)

Broncos
Andrew Billings202631B– | C– | B+B+ | B+ | B–

Low Snaps(only 72 Snaps)

Skipped Season(Covid Opt-Out)

RaidersBears

Jonathan Allen202631C | F | AA | B– | AA | D | A+A | C+ | ACommanders
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 Season2023 Grade2022 Grade2021 Grade2020 GradeTeam

Josh Allen

2024EXTENDED through 2028

2732

A+ABB+Jaguars

Bryce Huff

2024SIGNED (PHI)

2629

A+

Low Snaps(only 191 Snaps)

BCJets

Danielle Hunter

2024SIGNED (HOU)

2931

AAA

Missed SeasonNeck Injury

Vikings

AJ Epenesa

2024SIGNED (BUF)

2628

B+BCBBills

Chase Young

2024SIGNED (NO)

2526

B+C+BA49ers

Brian Burns

2024EXTENDED through 2028

2631

B+BB+A+Panthers

Josh Uche

2024SIGNED (NE)

202427

B–A+C

Low Snaps(only 179 Snaps)

Patriots

Marcus Davenport

2024SIGNED (DET)

2829

Low Snaps(only 118 Snaps)
(High Ankle Sprain)

B+ABVikings
Trey Hendrickson202530A+A+AABengals
Haason Reddick202531B+A+B–A

EaglesJETS

Josh Sweat202528B+AB+B+Eagles
Charles Omenihu202528BB+AC+Chiefs
Micah Parsons202627A+A+A+N/ACowboys
TJ Watt202631A+BA+A+Steelers
Joey Bosa202631A

Low Snaps(only 165 Snaps)

* Torn Groin

A+A+Chargers
Greg Rousseau202626B+AB–N/ABills
Sam Williams202627B+B+N/AN/ACowboys
Arden Key202630B+B+AC+Titans
Jaelan Phillips202627BA+CN/ADolphins
John Franklin-Myers202630B–B+B+B+

JetsBroncos

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 Season2023 Grade2022 Grade2021 Grade2020 GradeTeam

Frankie Luvu

2024SIGNED (WAS)

2831

A | B+ | B–B+ | A+ | DA | A | C+C+ | B | FPanthers

Patrick Queen

2024SIGNED (PIT)

2528

B+ | C+ | B+B | C+ | B–F | D | FF | F | FRavens

Sione Takitaki

2024SIGNED (NE)

2931

B | B– | BB– | B– | C+

Low Snaps(only 285 Snaps)

B | A+ | DBrowns

Josey Jewell

2024SIGNED (CAR)

2933

B– | C+ | C+B | A | C+

Low Snaps(only 82 Snaps)

B– | B– | B–Broncos

Jerome Baker

2024SIGNED (SEA)

2728

B– | C– | B+A | B | BC | F | B–C– | F | CDolphins

Leighton Vander Esch

2024RETIRED!

27RETIRED!

B– | B | C+B | C | B+C+ | C+ | CD | C | FCowboys

Drue Tranquill

2024EXTENDED through 2026

2932

B | D | BB– | F | AC+ | F | B+

Low Snaps(only 5 Snaps)

Chiefs
Jahlani Tavai202529A+ | A+ | AB+ | B | B+

Low Snaps(only 57 Snaps)

F | F | FPatriots
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah202525B+ | B | BB– | C | B+A | A | B–N/ABrowns

Foyesade Oluokun

2025EXTENDED through 2028

3034

B+ | B | B+B | B– | B–F | F | DC– | C– | DJaguars
Dre Greenlaw202528B | B | B+A | A | A

Low Snaps(only 113 Snaps)

C | C– | B–49ers
Nick Bolton202525B | A | CB+ | A | B+B | B+ | C–N/AChiefs
David Long202528B | A+ | FB+ | A+ | C+B– | C | B–D | C+ | FTitans
TJ Edwards202630A | A | B+A | A | AB+ | A | BB– | C+ | C+Bears
Kaden Elliss202631*
B+ | A | C+A | A | B–

Low Snaps(only 192 Snaps)

Low Snaps(only 5 Snaps)

Falcons
Ja'Whaun Bentley202630B– | B– | CA | A | B+B– | B | C–D | F | C+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 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).