Pro Football Focus tries to rank and quantify the NFL in a way that can be helpful and at times perplexing. Much of the service counts formations that NFL teams deploy and what players get what reps, all very useful information. The more subjective content comes from their grades that determine what players performed well in games, and what players performed poorly.
This week PFF put out their list of Worst NFL Players at Every Position (not a very creative title) and five Redskins made the list. Repeat: PFF thinks five Redskins players are the worst at their position in the entire NFL. That's a lot. The Redskins are the only team with five players on the list, and the next closest team - Cleveland - had three players named the worst.
Without further ado, the players named worst at their position by PFF: C Kory Lichtensteiger, ILB Perry Riley, ILB Keenan Robinson, S Dashon Goldson and S Trenton Robinson. Below is an excerpt from PFF on each player:
- Lichtensteiger - "Even though he’s out with an injury, there was just no way to leave Lichtensteiger off of this team after his historically bad start to the season."
- Riley - "Among all inside linebackers, Riley ranks dead last in run stop percentage thanks to just four run stops in 134 snaps (3.0 percent). He’s hardly better in coverage, allowing an eighth-worst 1.23 yards per cover snap."
- K. Robinson - "It has a lot to do with his almost hilariously-bad missed tackle rate to start this season. Robinson has missed 15 tackles this season, 12 of them in the run game."
- Goldson - "Goldson is here thanks to equal struggles in coverage and run defense. Coverage-wise, Goldson grades out at 43.4, which is 82nd among 85 safeties in the NFL. He’s missed 12 tackles, including eight against the run, compared to 13 run stops. No safety in football has a lower run defense grade than Goldson’s 29.7."
- T. Robinson - "Robinson is just the tiniest bit better than Goldson. His coverage grade of 43.9 ranks 81st out of 85 safeties, and his run defense grade of 33.1 is the second worst. He’s missed two less tackles (so he still 10 missed tackles), but he’s only made eight run stops. So, there is one thing that Goldson beats him at. Still, not good; especially for the Redskins, whose entire midfield made this team."
One more quote from PFF, this on having two linebackers make the list: "It’s a mix of depressing and terrifying that both of the Redskins’ inside linebackers made this team."
Well then, what to make of all this. Few would argue Riley has not struggled all year, so his inclusion is no surprise. In fact, it appears the Redskins coaches are finally planning to sit Riley in favor of Will Compton. After that? The Redskins secondary has been a disaster, as the team has given up more than 400 yards per game in its last four games. Goldson, once a Pro Bowl caliber talent years ago in San Francisco, came to the Redskins as part of a salary dump trade from Tampa, and cost just a 6th round pick. His play has not been stellar, though his physicality and leadership are obviously not qualities that fit into PFF's formula. Robinson is a replacement level player, and his play has been about on par with that expectation.
Keenan Robinson, however, is the team's third leading tackler and last week picked off Tom Brady for only his second INT of the year. Is Robinson having his best season? No. Is he the worst linebacker in the NFL? Absolutely not. Lichtensteiger is a similar case. He may never make the Pro Bowl but Redskins coaches and teammates value Lichtensteiger for his play and his smarts.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.