While I would not argue about LA Rams OLB Leonard Floyd appearing anywhere among the Top 10 in ranking the NFL edge rushers, I’m a bit disappointed over the 24th-place ranking the Steady-Freddie performer has gotten in the latest Pro Football Focus ranking of the top 32 NFL edge rushers. Purely on 2021 quarterback sack leaders, he came in at 18th place.
While there are other players who seemed to get full credit for quarterback pressures, nothing was made over the fact that the LA Rams generated the third-most quarterback sacks in the NFL, and that the race was on for the LA Rams defense as to who would get to the quarterback first.
Meanwhile, the same list has Arizona Cardinals J.J. Watt in 20th place. He played seven games and recorded one quarterback sack in 2021. Cardinals Chandler Jones, who generated one more quarterback sack than Floyd, was gifted 11th place in the rankings. He did get 10.5 quarterback sacks, which was one more than Floyd but had one less quarterback pressure than Floyd. That resulted in a ranking of 11th place? And Leonard Floyd played on a bad wheel all season?
Snubbing LA Rams players is an annual tradition
OLB Khalil Mack, who generated just six quarterback sacks and nine pressures in seven games in 2021, came in at the ninth-overall spot on this list. Seven games played, ninth-overall? The reason? He is considered one of the best overall edge performers.
While I realize that much of the intrigue with off-season rankings is to stir the pot and trigger robust conversations, there is a limit as to how ‘extreme’ any ranking article can go. Floyd was a significant contributor to the LA Rams settling in as the third-best pass rush team, and yet he ranked no higher than 24th?
One more ranking, one more snub. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Is this becoming an annual tradition for Rams players? Play hard. Perform well. Get snubbed? Well, tradition or not, it’s not a very objective way to start off a new NFL season.