On Monday, Pro Football Focus released their full “PFF50” list, designed to rank the top 50 players in the NFL going into the 2021 NFL season. Four Green Bay Packers earned spots: wide receiver Davante Adams (5th), quarterback Aaron Rodgers (10th), cornerback Jaire Alexander (14th) and left tackle David Bakhtiari (15th). Running back Aaron Jones was given credit as an honorable mention who just missed the list.
While PFF was clear they did not take positional value into account, it’s worth noting that Adams, Alexander and Bakhtiari were the highest-ranked players in their respective positions, while Rodgers was the third-ranked quarterback behind the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and Buccaneers’ Tom Brady. Hey, maybe Derek Carr was right when he said Adams is “the best receiver.”
Only one team has more players on the PFF50 list than the Green Bay Packers: the New Orleans Saints with five. For reference, no Detroit Lion made the list while the Chicago Bears had two players (pass-rusher Khalil Mack and receiver Allen Robinson) and the Minnesota Vikings had three players (running back Dalvin Cook, safety Harrison Smith and linebacker Eric Kendricks) recognized.
Last season, the only Packers on the list were Adams, Bakhtiari and defensive tackle Kenny Clark, who missed this PFF50 after making the cut heading into both the 2020 and 2019 seasons. Clark is currently ranked as PFF’s eighth-best interior defensive lineman going into the 2021 season, with their team noting “Clark is really the only nose tackle who can be discussed in the same vein as Vita Vea when it comes to putting pressure on the quarterback.” Rodgers, after making PFF’s top-50 every year since they began the program, returned to the PFF50 after missing the list prior to the 2020 season in which he won the league MVP.
A few players worth keeping an eye on, in regards to making the PFF50 team next season, are pass-rusher Za’Darius Smith, their 13th-ranked edge defender, young defenders Darnell Savage and Rashan Gary, who they named as potential third-year breakout players, and offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins, who made the Pro Bowl last season and has played all five offensive line positions with the team.
Overall, PFF50’s rankings of Packers players show us what we’ve already seen in games: The team has a good collection of high-end talent on the roster. The questions of the franchise moving forward do not revolve around adding high-end talent but managing the contractual situations of Adams, Rodgers and Alexander while hoping that Bakhtiari makes a full recovery from his late-season knee injury.