CLEMSON in the NFL

(USA TODAY Sports photo)
(USA TODAY Sports photo)

Three Tigers make NFL top players list


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Two Tigers made the top-20 and three were on the list overall of the NFL's top-101 players according to Pro Football Focus.

NFL offensive player of the year DeAndre Hopkins was ranked No. 2 overall by the outlet, behind Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

"It clearly didn’t matter where he lined up, where he was targeted or whether he had to fight for the ball or not, Hopkins was in a class of his own this season," PFF analyzed, "and it all led to the NFL’s highest overall (92.0) and receiving grade (92.2) at the position. His 115 catchable targets without a drop not only set the PFF record, but it also crushed the previous record of 60 held by Randall Cobb that he set back in 2016."

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett checked in at No. 17 overall, bringing up his grade from 83.6 to 91 season-to-season (fifth-highest pass rush grade in the league at 86.7). He tallied 36 hurries, 11 hits and six sacks in 2018.

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson made the list for the first time in his first full season at No. 77.

"Deshaun Watson came into this season surrounded by uncertainty due to his season-ending ACL injury last year," PFF said, "but he played a full 16 games this season and finished with the 12th-best grade (82.6) out of 39 qualifying quarterbacks. Watson made the best of one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines en route to a playoff berth, and that can’t be overstated. He led the NFL in total pressured dropbacks (281) and passer rating under pressure (88.2)."

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