With the NFL on hiatus for a few weeks and still a few days away from watching players report to training camps across the nation, most media outlets have taken on the never-easy task of ranking players left and right.
This week, Pro Football Focus released the first entry of their five-part unveiling of the Top 50 NFL players for the upcoming 2023 season. The first installment, covering players ranked 41st through 50th, included two Baltimore Ravens.
While not getting into any nitty-gritty details, Sam Monson wrote that while "no single number or grade dictates this list, the grading--along with PFF's wins above replacement (WAR) metric--has been used as a foundation while leaning toward the most recent season."
After running the algorithm, and perhaps adding some personal touches, the folks over PFF ranked Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews as the no. 50 player in the NFL, with quarterback Lamar Jackson slotting in the no. 41 position.
"No. 41 - QB Lamar Jackson - Injuries in each of the last two seasons keep him this low on the list, but a healthy Lamar is still one of the league’s most dominant weapons. He was in the middle of his best-graded season since his unanimous MVP year when injury took him down last season, and now we get to see what he can achieve in an offense that will be more prepared to let him spread the ball around in the passing game."- Sam Monson, Pro Football Focus
Considering that PFF didn't release any honorable mentions, Jackson's no. 41 rank is the second-best among quarterbacks in the 41-through-50 clip beating uber-veteran Aaron Roders of the New York Jets.
Last year, according to PFF, Jackson (85.2) posted the fifth-best offensive-play PFF Grade among players at his position only trailing Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Jalen Hurts. Jackson only had the 14th-best passing PFF Grade, although he clocked in second in the rushing PFF Grade only trailing Josh Allen.
"No. 49 - TE Mark Andrews - With little in the way of elite wide receivers in Baltimore over the past few seasons, Mark Andrews has been the team’s No. 1 receiver and excelled in that role. Travis Kelce is the only tight end in football with more targets, catches, yards and touchdowns over the last three seasons."- Sam Monson, Pro Football Focus
Nearly wrapping up the top 50 was Ravens' tight end and top pass-catcher Mark Andrews. No other tight ends made it to the group of 10 players released on Monday by PFF, but that actually makes sense.
Andrews, at the very least, is currently a top-3 player at his position depending on how you rank Travis Kelce, Geroge Kittle, and the Ravens superstar.
That was, in fact, how those three players ranked in PFF Grades last year, with Kelce leading the way followed by Kittle and Andrews. Andrews, though, got a much better grade than the other two players in run plays, and he ranked only behind Kelce in pass-blocking actions.
With these two Ravens already ranked in PFF's Top 50, it's hard to project any other player making it to the list but there are still some viable options such as C Tyler Linderbaum (6th-best PFF Grade at C), S Kyle Hamilton (1st), and G Kevin Zeitler (7th).