The folks over at Pro Football Focus routinely put out statistics and information in the hopes of giving football fans a better way to understand player and team performances beyond traditional box scores.
All of the analytics and advanced metrics that have come on the scene over the past few years have changed the way a lot of fans consume information, particularly in regards to positions that aren’t necessarily highlighted while watching a live game.
It’s the stuff happening away from the ball. They have found ways to explain how successful those plays and performances are in a lot of cases, although there’s still an element of not knowing exactly the responsibilities on every single play for the guys grading and charting.
But nonetheless, the information still facilitates discussion and intrigue regarding players, teams, and what the future might hold for both.
And just recently, they released an article titled, “NFL welcomes young players on the cusp of elite status for 2018,” which is exactly the kind of article that you want your teams’ players listed.
“A list in which we won’t be surprised if these players aren’t topping the charts in one way or the other at the end of the season,” they wrote to explain the context behind the article.
In this piece, there were 10 guys included and the Kansas City Chiefs had two of them, which made them the only team in the NFL with multiple players listed.
The Chiefs’ players listed were receiver Tyreek Hill and defensive lineman Chris Jones (click here for the full article).
Here’s part of what they had to say about Hill:
“Most recently, Hill put together a career year as the Chiefs’ go-to guy, as he ranked second in passer rating when targeted (130.5) and sixth in yards per route run among wideouts with at least 42 total targets in 2017. He also earned a career-high 83.7 overall grade for his efforts.
Hill’s great long speed is most notable on deep passes, as he led all wide receivers in deep (20-plus air yards) receiving yards (626) and ranked second in catch rate on deep passes (54.2) in 2017. Specifically looking at ‘go’ routes, Hill caught 11-of-22 targets for 562 yards and five touchdowns for a passer rating of 122.9 – a whole 56.5 points above the league average.”
Here’s part of what they had to say about Jones:
“After earning a respectable 84.4 overall grade across 612 defensive snaps as a rookie, Jones improved his overall grade by 3.4 points to rank 12th among qualifying interior defenders at 88.2 in 2017. He also tied for ninth in pass-rush grade (85.2)…
“Jones’ repertoire of pass-rush moves is expansive, as he’s able to win with both power and quickness early and often. Such versatility in his game bodes well for his long-term success at the position.”
There are a handful of other players who could easily be on this list for the Chiefs but it’s still a good sign to have a couple of players who outsiders believe are on the verge of becoming household names and superstars, if they aren’t considered that already.