NFL.com's Top 25 Free Agents and beyond

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NFL.com's Top 25 Free Agents and beyond

Postby DeadRinger » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:03 pm

1
DeMarcus Lawrence
DE
Cowboys
Don't worry about his sack number dropping to 10.5. Lawrence backed up his breakout 2017 (14.5 sacks) with another season as a top-five pass rusher, solidifying his place as one of the league's best players.

2
Le'Veon Bell
RB
Steelers
This ranking isn't a prediction of how much guaranteed money Bell will earn. It's a reflection of his status as one of the transcendent players this century at his position -- and the fact that he's still just 26 years old.

3
Jadeveon Clowney
OLB
Texans
Using the franchise tag to retain Clowney makes too much sense for Houston, even if Clowney won't be thrilled about it.

4
Grady Jarrett
DT
Falcons
A 25-year-old game-wrecker from the interior who has improved every year. There's little chance the Falcons will let Jarrett get away.

5
Trey Flowers
DE
Patriots
While Flowers isn't a prototypical pure pass rusher from the outside, he can do everything well from a variety of positions, the perfect Swiss Army Knife for a modern defense. And he's already been the most disruptive presence on a Super Bowl championship team.

6
Earl Thomas
S
Seahawks
Thomas would be even higher on this list if not for two of his previous three seasons being marred by injury. He has maintained his high level of play as a potential future Hall of Famer and isn't yet 30 years old.

7
Dee Ford
OLB
Chiefs
At a position where speed kills, Ford's first step is among the best in football. The Chiefs might use the franchise tag on him to make sure his monster breakout season can be repeated.

8
Frank Clark
DE
Seahawks
In many years, Clark would be the best pass rusher available. He isn't as complete a player as the guys above, but 32 sacks and 66 QB hits over the last three years speaks for itself.

9
Landon Collins
S
Giants
After getting some Defensive Player of the Year consideration in 2016, Collins' hard-hitting style has made less of an impact lately. And his 2018 campaign ended after Week 13, when he hit IR and underwent shoulder surgery.

10
C.J. Mosley
LB
Ravens
Inside linebackers don't get paid in free agency, although Mosley could be an exception. A four-time Pro Bowler, Mosley is known for his smarts and his leadership.

11
Anthony Barr
LB
Vikings
The skill set and splash plays didn't always add up to excellent overall production, although his contract year went well. It's a bit of a concern that a great defensive coach like Mike Zimmer didn't consistently get more out of him.

12
Sheldon Richardson
DT
Vikings
Richardson started out his season like a man on fire before settling into another campaign that made his employers probably want just a little bit more. He's been stuck on the "prove-it contract" cycle for years.

13
Ronald Darby
CB
Eagles
A torn ACL will hurt Darby's value, but he's still the class of a soft cornerback crop of free agents.

14
Tyrann Mathieu
S
Texans
It's unclear why safeties like Honey Badger didn't get paid well last offseason. There's an even better crop of free agents at the position this time around.

15
Lamarcus Joyner
S
Rams
The Rams valued Joyner enough to use the franchise tag on him last year. There just aren't enough tough, versatile safeties who can cover slot receivers around.

16
Teddy Bridgewater
QB
Saints
Teddy's underwhelming Week 17 start was more about a rag-tag backup Saints offensive line that didn't protect Bridgewater than anything else. He showed enough in the 2018 preseason to compete for a starting job somewhere.

17
Preston Smith
LB
Redskins
If everyone thinks Smith is underrated, is he still underrated? Pro Football Focus' No. 8-ranked 3-4 outside linebacker in 2018 should get a contract of someone rated quite highly.

18
Ndamukong Suh
DT
Rams
If he plays another game or two like the one he did in the Wild Card Round, Suh's price tag could skyrocket.

19
K.J. Wright
LB
Seahawks
Instinctive as a run-stopper and excellent in coverage, Wright looked good late in the season after missing 11 games with a lingering knee injury.

20
Za'Darius Smith
OLB
Ravens
PFF credited Smith with 10 sacks, 17 QB hits and 33 hurries in the regular season, which is monster production for someone with 690 snaps. He plays with laudable fury.

21
Ezekiel Ansah
DE
Lions
One of the toughest players to evaluate in free agency. The Lions spent hefty franchise-tag money on a guy with just 662 snaps combined over the last two years.

22
Daryl Williams
OT
Panthers
Good tackles are so hard to find in free agency that Williams, a second-team All Pro in 2017, should still inspire plenty of interest despite missing nearly all of this season with a knee injury.

23
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
S
Redskins
The Packers' opinion of Clinton-Dix and his so-so time in Washington might have him pegged as just an above-average starting safety, but that should be worth something on the open market.

24
Brandon Graham
DE
Eagles
This ranking may look disrespectful for a player of Graham's caliber, but the track record of betting on soon-to-be 31-year-old pass rushers in free agency is rough.

25
Matt Paradis
C
Broncos
He's consistently been one of the highest-graded centers in football since the Broncos selected him in the sixth-round of the 2014 draft. He missed the last seven games of 2018 with a broken right fibula.


Notable omissions (in alphabetical order):

Kwon Alexander, LB, Buccaneers
Randall Cobb, WR, Packers
Tevin Coleman, RB, Falcons
Stephen Gostkowski, K, Patriots
Jordan Hicks, LB, Eagles
Mark Ingram, RB, Saints
Kareem Jackson, CB, Texans
Ja'Wuan James, OT, Dolphins
Eric Reid, S, Panthers
Bradley Roby, CB, Broncos
Rodger Saffold, OG, Rams
Terrell Suggs, OLB, Ravens
Golden Tate, WR, Eagles
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