Ahead of the quickly approaching start to the NFL season, Pro Football Focus has released an updated top 50 players list, which draws on its own grading system. Two players with Utah ties made the cut, thanks to their performance on a number of measures.
“No single number or grade dictates this list, but the grading along with PFF’s wins above replacement metric has been used as a foundation while weighting toward the most recent season,” PFF wrote.
Fred Warner, who played at BYU before being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2018, was the first player with Utah ties to appear on the list. He came in at No. 30, right behind fellow linebacker Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys.
“Warner wasn’t as dominant in 2021 as in the year before, but he still remains an elite player at the position and one of the best coverage linebackers in the game,” PFF wrote.
Warner was also recently named to a list of top NFL players under age 25, which was put together by Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports.
“He makes his presence felt all over the field, totaling a whopping 504 tackles since 2018,” Benjamin wrote.
Marcus Williams, who signed with the Baltimore Ravens this offseason, also made PFF’s top 50 list, coming in at No. 45. He played for the University of Utah in college before being drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2017.
PFF praised Williams, a safety, for being remarkably consistent during his time with the Saints, but noted that he could face new challenges with the Baltimore Ravens this season. “In 2022, we will get to see him in a Ravens system that asks a little more from its safeties,” the article said.
One notable player with Utah ties who did not make PFF’s latest top 50 list is Bobby Wagner, who will play for the Los Angeles Rams this year. Wagner came in at No. 8 in June 2021, but had lower PFF grades throughout last season.