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4 Saints rank in PFF’s Top 50 player list

I would expect a couple of these names to be a bit higher after next season.

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NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Four New Orleans Saints players ranked in Pro Football Focus’s most recent list of Top 50 players, as they released the top 31-50 best players going into 2021 for the annual ranking.

According to the article, the ranking is a projection of what PFF thinks will be the Top 50 players in 2021 and not a reaction to the 2020 season. And positional value is not considered, so the running backs actually have a fighting chance at top spots.

Coming in at No. 48 was safety Marcus Williams.

“Williams has four straight seasons of solid PFF grades, and two of those years were outstanding seasons with a mark of 88.2 or better. He is a complete safety who can defend the run as well as make an impact in coverage.”

Four spots under him at No. 44 was wide receiver Michael Thomas. PFF is expecting Can’t Guard Mike to have a shake-back season, after being hurt for much of the 2020 season.

“Before last season, Thomas put up three straight elite overall PFF grades above 90.0. His rookie season generated a mark of 86.0 and featured over 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns. Thomas is one of the best receivers in the game coming off a season in which injuries painted a false picture of the player we know him to be. We should expect a bounce-back performance in 2021, even without Brees under center in New Orleans.”

Left tackle Terron Armstead came in directly after MT at No. 43.

“The Saints veteran has three straight PFF pass-blocking grades of at least 85.0, and he teams those elite pass-blocking grades with very good numbers in the run game more often than not.”

Last but not least was running back Alvin Kamara placing in at No. 39. This was a bit lower than expected after a largely successful campaign in 2020, not to mention the fact that the folks over at PFF are typically huge fans of the multi-faceted back. The departure of Drew Brees may have an effect on their perception of him going into next year.

“Over the last five years, Kamara is one of only two running backs — Austin Ekeler being the other — who have averaged more than 2.0 yards per route run (2.15). He is an elite receiving threat who is also one of the hardest players to tackle with the ball in his hands — however it arrives there.”

It seems likely that right tackle Ryan Ramczyk would place in the top 30 moving forward. Other possible candidates would be Demario Davis or Cameron Jordan.

It should be interesting to see how these players are viewed in respect to their ranking after the 2021 season.

To view the full article on spots 31-50, click here.

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