Football analytics site Pro Football Focus has released its list of the top 50 NFL free agents for 2019, and three Kansas City Chiefs are on it: linebacker Dee Ford, cornerback Steven Nelson and center Mitch Morse.
Ford was listed ninth.
The high end from Ford this past season was special. He racked up 78 total pressures and had a 91.0 pass-rushing grade. The worry is that his next best season had only 53 pressures and a 66.9 pass-rushing grade.
Nelson was listed 39th.
While he still gives up too many big plays, Nelson turned into a playmaker himself in 2018. He managed 10 pass breakups and four picks while allowing a catch rate of only 53.1 percent in his coverage. In a weak corner class, Nelson is trending up at the right time.
Morse was right behind Nelson at 40th.
Morse has never been anything special as a pass blocker, but his work in pass protection would be an upgrade for many teams. He earned an 81.2 pass-blocking grade and allowed only four pressures on 443 pass-blocking snaps this past season. While he’s never played anywhere other than center in the NFL, he has the body type to play guard as well.
Six of the top ten players are EDGE defenders — five of them listed before Ford: DeMarcus Lawrence, Dallas Cowboys (1st), Trey Flowers, New England Patriots (3rd), Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles (4th), Jadeveon Clowney, Houston Texans (6th) and Frank Clark, Seattle Seahawks (8th).
Nelson was the fifth cornerback on the list, behind Ronald Darby, Eagles (10th), Bryce Callahan, Chicago Bears (23rd), Kareem Jackson, Texans (28th) and Jason McCourty, Patriots (30th).
But Morse was listed second only to center Matt Paradis of the Denver Broncos, who came in at 15th.
How you feel about this list will probably depend on whether you consider PFF to be a purveyor of smokin’-hot-gospel. If PFF is right that Ford is the sixth-best EDGE rusher available in free agency, maybe it will be easier to sign him to a team-friendly long-term deal than we imagine. On the other hand, if Morse is indeed the second-best center available in free agency, maybe it makes sense to let him walk allowing Austin Reiter to take his spot.
Which Chief listed do you want to see return the most?
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