PFF is releasing their own top 101 players of 2014. Instead of some busted metric where it's voted on by fans or other players or some beat writers' opinion of a player, these are based on actual value and performance.
Per PFF's own criteria:
- This list is based solely on 2014 play. Nothing that happened in previous years or may happen in the future is accounted for. This isn’t about class or talent, it’s about performance throughout 2014.
- This list is created with an All Positions Created Equal mantra. So you won’t see 32 quarterbacks heading the list — even though that is the most valuable position — instead seeing how guys played relative to what is expected from their position. You might disagree with this for doing a Top 101 list, which is your right, but this is how we’ve done it for the past three years and will continue doing it so that every player has a fair shot at getting the respect they deserve.
- A repetition because it’s often the most misunderstood; this is not a list about talent or a lifetime achievement award. It is solely, 100% based on what happened between the opening kickoff of the 2014 regular season and the final snap of the Super Bowl this past February. Anything outside those dates does not matter.
With that being said, Brandon Williams cracked the list at 101. The nose tackle was a rotational player for the Ravens in 2014 but played spectacularly throughout the year. Williams played in all 16 games during the regular season and finished with 46 tackles, 0.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.
This is why I generally love what PFF does. Those stats aren't impressive by any standard, but it is when you consider their metric of defensive stops against the run. PFF notes that his 27 defensive stops against the run were third-most of all the defensive tackles in the league. For a part time player on a Ravens defense that was notoriously bad against the pass, that is one heck of an accomplishment.
Williams will look to make an even bigger impact this season with the departure of Haloti Ngata likely shaking up the line rotation a good deal and with his maturity as a player entering his third season.
It will be interesting to see where other Ravens show up on this list. You can keep checking us out here at Baltimore Beatdown as they release the names and we break it down further.