The jury is out on whether the Green Bay Packers will get any more players in this year’s NFL Top 100 — well, aside from an assumed Aaron Rodgers appearance, that is — but one other ranking list has a pair of players from the Green and Gold on their list of the top 50 players in the league entering the 2018 season.
That source is Pro Football Focus, which is oft-maligned for their grading system, but which does some truly excellent work in their advanced stats. And those stats say that Rodgers and left tackle David Bakhtiari are among the very best players in the league.
Bakhtiari finished just 91st on the NFL Network list, a stunner for Packers fans who watch him keep Rodgers (and Brett Hundley in 2017) protected week in and week out. PFF, on the other hand, gives the two-time second-team All-Pro a much more reasonable ranking, putting him 33rd on their list.
As PFF notes, Bakhtiari is the best pass-blocking tackle in the NFL, leading the league in pass-blocking efficiency in 2017 after a second-place finish the year before. In fact, PFF’s ranking is reflective of Bakhtiari as the NFL’s best tackle overall, with only two other players at the position showing up on the list at all (Washington’s Trent Williams at 38 and Dallas’ Tyron Smith at 46).
Of course, Rodgers makes his usual appearance near the top of a ranking, slotting in on the edge of the top ten in tenth place — second to Tom Brady among all quarterbacks. Rodgers’ ranking really needs no justification, unless you were to complain that he should have been placed above players like Marshal Yanda, Von Miller, or or Khalil Mack.
Still, it’s nice to see at least one publication recognizing Bakhtiari properly as the best tackle in the NFL, even if the AP and Pro Bowl voters have yet to do so.