Three Bucs Crack PFF50, One Just Misses

With coaching camp getting underway this week, “rankings season” is lastly wrapping up. However simply earlier than the tip, Professional Soccer Focus dropped its “PFF50,” a checklist rating the 50 greatest gamers within the NFL right this moment. Unsurprisingly, the Bucs had been well-represented on the checklist, with three gamers making it.

Brady Leads The Manner For The Bucs

Tom Brady, as anticipated, was Tampa Bay’s highest-ranked participant. He got here in at No. 8, falling behind fellow quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers (No. 3), Patrick Mahomes (No. 5) and Josh Allen (No. 6). Right here’s what PFF’s Sam Monson wrote about Brady:

Final season, at 44 years previous, Brady completed the common season with a 92.0 PFF grade — one of the best amongst NFL quarterbacks. And it was solely Joe Burrow’s Tremendous Bowl run that leapfrogged him forward when together with the playoffs. Brady recorded the second-lowest turnover-worthy play fee and tossed 43 landing passes. Now at virtually 45 years previous, there’s no motive to anticipate something lower than spectacular once more this season.

Brady is coming off of an age-44 season wherein he threw for five,316 yards and 43 touchdowns. He briefly retired this offseason earlier than deciding to return again for his age-45 season – his twenty third within the NFL.

First-Time Professional Bowl Picks Make The High 40

Bucs NT Vita Vea – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

After Brady, the following Buc on the checklist doesn’t seem till No. 36. Vita Vea is Tampa Bay’s second participant within the High 50, coming in because the No. 4 inside defensive lineman. Right here’s what Monson wrote about Vea:

Vea is a strolling embodiment of Invoice Parcells’ “Planet Idea” — there are solely so many human beings which are that massive and able to shifting the best way he does strolling round on Earth. In a league of uncommon athletes, he’s a uncommon athlete, and when he finds his groove, he could make good NFL gamers look overwhelmed. He generated 48 pressures and 27 defensive stops final season.

Vea notched a career-high 4 sacks and made his first Professional Bowl in 2021. He was rewarded properly for it, signing a four-year contract extension in January that runs by way of 2026.

Simply two spots behind Vea is one other Buc who made his first Professional Bowl in 2021. That, after all, is correct deal with Tristan Wirfs, who was additionally an All-Professional in his second NFL season. Right here’s what Monson wrote about Wirfs, who ranked No. 38 on the checklist:

Wirfs was one of many league’s greatest proper tackles the second he stepped foot on an NFL subject, and he solely backed that up in Yr 2. He was the NFL’s highest-graded proper deal with and allowed simply 15 pressures throughout 18 video games (together with the playoffs).

Wirfs, Tampa Bay’s first-round choose in 2020, has been a serious a part of the workforce’s success the final two years. He has allowed pressures on simply 2.5% of his 1,419 pass-blocking snaps over the past two common seasons. That ties him for the second-best mark within the league. The loopy half is, the previous Iowa Hawkeye might solely be scratching the floor. He will be even higher in 12 months three. 

One Buc ‘Simply Missed’ High 50

Bucs S Antoine Winfield, Jr.

Bucs S Antoine Winfield, Jr. – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

On Monday, PFF launched a listing of 10 gamers who “simply missed” the PFF50. And the Bucs had one more participant on that checklist — third-year security Antoine Winfield Jr.

Three safeties — Tennessee’s Kevin Byard, Inexperienced Bay’s Adrian Amos and Baltimore’s Marcus Williams — made the PFF50. Winfield clearly isn’t far off, although, and if he takes the following step in 2022, he might very properly discover himself on the highest 50 checklist subsequent 12 months. Right here’s what Monson wrote in regards to the former College of Minnesota star:

Winfield has appeared skilled past his years because the second he entered the NFL, taking part in like a savvy veteran and making a distinction from Day 1 in Tampa Bay’s secondary. His general PFF grade enhance dramatically in his second season, and he added 10 further defensive stops from his rookie season regardless of taking part in fewer playoff video games. Winfield is an impressive trendy security who has the flexibility to line up throughout Tampa Bay’s protection, and one other 12 months at this stage will possible see him earn a spot on the PFF50.

There’s a lot to like about what Winfield did in the course of the 2020 and 2021 seasons. However, like Wirfs, he will be even higher in 2022. Due to his versatility, Winfield can play anyplace in Bucs’ secondary. Wherever he’s, he performs at a excessive stage. He already made his first Professional Bowl final 12 months. And if he can get his arms on the ball extra usually this 12 months, he’ll attain the following stage of notoriety. In any case, the truth that Winfield, Wirfs and Vea are all inside the prime 60 bodes properly for Tampa Bay’s future. Mike Evans being left off the checklist, nevertheless, is an enormous miss.