PFF ranks Watt as top performer in 2012

PFF ranks Watt as top performer in 2012
May 5, 2013, 5:15 pm
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J.J. Watt had what was quite possibly the best season any defensive lineman has ever had in the NFL.

And the guys at ProFootballFocus took notice.

PFF, which grades players on a play-by-play basis, ranked Watt as the their top player on 2012. Last year, he was ranked 54th.

Here's what PFF had to say about Watt this season:

"Breaking all sorts of records at his position, Watt is the owner of the highest PFF grade we’ve ever given out and was that rarest of defender who, no matter what you did, you simply had to account for. A force of nature in the run game and a quarterback’s nightmare while rushing the passer, we may never see a season as staggeringly excellent as what Watt produced."

It's important to keep in mind that PFF, doesn't take into account the importance of position or importance of a player to their respective team. PFF's top-ranked quarterback is Peyton Manning at No. 7, one spot behind Eagles offensive guard Evan Mathis.

But for Watt, PFF is a great way to put a number on his value. The regular statistics are incredible enough, but his 105.6 grade (including the playoffs) shows that he's just an overwhelming player on a play-by-play basis.

Watt wasn't the Texans' only player on the top 101 player. In fact, he wasn't the only Texans' player in the top 10. Andre Johnson comes in at No. 9 and was the top-ranked wide receiver. He was undranked in 2011.

"Our top-ranked wide receiver in 2012, Johnson had many speculating he was on the slide after he missed so much of 2011 and got off to a slow start (numbers-wise) in 2012," PFF writes about Johnson. "But that was simply a byproduct of the Texans running so much, with Johnson incredibly productive all year long and still proving too much to handle for defensive backs trying to slow him down."

Duane Brown came in at No. 13. He was up from 65th a year ago. Brown had a positive grade in 15 of 18 games in 2012. He was the top-ranked offensive tackle on the list.

Antonio Smitih came in on the list at No. 72 after being unranked in 2011. Smith called 2012 his best year in the NFL.

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