No. 8 — Landon Collins
The second-year safety was the top defensive back on PFF’s list. Eric Weddle of the Baltimore Ravens was next, placing 10th. PFF said Collins “had a very real Defensive Player of the Year case” and pointed out that his 46 defensive stops were eight more than any other safety.
No. 30 — Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
The accolades keep piling up for Rodgers-Cromartie, even though he was forced to move to the slot and his snaps played went down. PFF said DRC had a passer rating against of just 56.6 when targeted.
No. 40 — Janoris Jenkins
PFF called Jenkins’ play in 2016 “dramatically better” than at any time in his career, and that is accurate. The big contract the Giants gave him looked like a gamble on what Jenkins might be rather than what he had been, and he proved the Giants right. No disrespect meant to DRC, but I do have an issue with lists like this ranking Jenkins behind Rodgers-Cromartie. It was “Jackrabbit” who was assigned to follow No. 1 receivers. Not to mention that he played 956 snaps as compared to 734 for DRC.
No. 44 — Damon Harrison
PFF said of Harrison that he is “the best run defender in the league, and if this was a different era, we would be talking about him as one of the most dominant forces in the entire game.”
“Snacks” is definitely a special player. Harrison’s 49 run stops were 10 better than any other defensive tackle, and his run-stop percentage of 15.8 was best among interior defenders by 3.9 percent.
No. 51 — Odell Beckham Jr.
PFF is notoriously anti-Eli Manning, and Sam Monson uses the Beckham placement to take a swipe at the Giants’ quarterback. He writes:
“For receivers to really have dominant seasons, they need help from their quarterback. No dominant receiver was given less help from his than Odell Beckham Jr, who had to suffer through the worst season of Eli Manning’s career.”
No. 71 — Olivier Vernon
PFF noted that Vernon played 78 more snaps than any other edge rusher in the NFL last season. He had 86 quarterback pressures, second-most in the league. Vernon definitely earned his money in the first year of his five-year, $85 million contract.