We are getting closer and closer to real football again, which means that it is time to start the player rankings conversations. Today we examine the top five overall (team) pass rush grades using our new individual player grade system that we developed in recent months.
How the Grade System Works
The Football Scout 365 process and philosophy are predicated on the connection between advanced metrics and on-field play. The numbers can sometimes tell a different story than the film, and that is where our situational analysis plays a pivotal role in interpreting individual and team performance.
Positional Group Grades
In recent weeks, we have graded and ranked the top individual players by tier groups. Today's analysis covers the offensive line as a whole. By using the individual player grades, we can get an average grade by position group. The average grade will indicate the teams that possess the highest graded players at each position. Because we believe that certain position groups are only as good as the sum of the whole.
Positional Grades Using a Philosophical Holism Approach
Using a philosophical holism (the whole is greater than the sum of its parts) style to grading a position group will help us identify where the strengths and weaknesses reside at each position.
Some Average Grade Characteristics To Consider From Years Past
Teams with a 6 grade or higher are playoff-caliber teams, while those at 7 or above are considered Super Bowl Contenders. Using the same premise for each position group, we can identify championship-caliber on non-championship caliber position groups. *Subject to change
The Teams Whose Pass Rush Project At The Top Of The NFL In 2021
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Team Grade: 7.86
The Bucs return elite-level pass rusher Vita Vea in the middle of their defense with Ndamukong Suh to bolster the interior. Edge Rushers Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett are two-tier one, level three defenders who combined to accumulate 124 of the Bucs 340 total pressures in 2020 and a combined 19 sacks.
Washington Football team
Team Grade: 7.71
The Washington Football Team enter the 2021 NFL season with a DL bookended by near elite-level defender Chase Young, who will climb to an elite level in due time, and Montez Sweat, a tier-one level three player who could ascend to near-elite level in 2021. With 255 total pressures as a group in 2020, the Football Team didn't reach the potential we project them to achieve in 2021. Washington's defensive front is capable of 300 pressures and 60 sacks in 2021.
Team Grade: 7.57
The Steelers lost Bud Dupree in free agency this offseason to the Titans, but they still have all-pro edge player T.J. Watt. Watt is in the elite grade level of pass rushers, paired with Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt, who are tier one, level three players.
Team Grade: 7.40
Aaron Donald led the NFL in pressures, and depending on where you employ your data, Donald had between 67 to 97 total pressures. Donald has opened the door for guys like Leonard Floyd to pick up ten sacks in 2020. As Donald goes, so will the Rams DL.
New York Jets
Team Grade: 7.33
Under new GM Joe Douglas and Head Coach Robert Saleh, the Jets added to their pass rush in free agency by snagging Sheldon Rankins, Vinny Curry, and Carl Lawson. The Jets already have young up-and-coming players, Quinnen Williams, Folorunso Fatukasi, making this one of the most intriguing defensive fronts in 2021.