Earlier this year, I posted something eerily similar to what I’m writing now. Pro Football Focus names J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Deshaun Watson, and DeAndre Hopkins, to its Top 100 list. That was for the 2018 season. It’s now 2019. Check the facts, dummy. And so PFF is quenching the undeniable content thirst of the offseason by posting the same sort of list, but this time it’s for the Top 50 players entering 2019. Both Watt and Hopkins are on the list.
Here’s what PFF had to say:
33.) EDGE J.J. Watt, Houston Texans
After injuries limited him to fewer than 250 defensive snaps in 2016 and 2017, Watt played 1,000-plus snaps for the first time since 2015 this past season. And while the results didn’t mirror his four-year (2012-15) dominance that made him a household name, Watt still earned an impressive 90.6 overall grade, an 88.7 run-defense grade and an 89.7 pass-rush grade on the year.
Watt’s efforts landed him the No. 19 spot on PFF’s list of the top 101 players from the 2018 season:
“Watt was back to his utterly dominant self this year. He was once again named a PFF All-Pro, and his 78 pressures were the second-most among edge defenders. Watt ended the 2018 regular season with at least three quarterback pressures in 14 straight games, which is the longest active streak by four games.”
9.) WR DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
It’s a two-man race between Jones and Hopkins for top NFL receiver entering the 2019 season, and we at PFF have opted for the latter. Hopkins’ two-year receiving grades bests that of Jones by 0.2 grade points, and Hopkins also finished ahead of Jones in PFF’s new WAR metric (3.24) and receiving grade (92.1) in 2018. The 27-year-old Texans standout is only getting started.
From PFF’s Mike Renner in his article crowning the Texans wideout as the 2018 PFF Offensive Player of the Year:
“There’s really nothing Hopkins can’t do as a wide receiver. He ranked top-10 in touchdowns (11), deep receiving yards (387) and broken tackles (12). Hopkins was everything and then some in his first full season with Watson at the helm. Still only 26 years old, Hopkins is going to be putting up big numbers for a long time in Houston.”
You can read the rest of their list here.