With Week 17 of the NFL season in the books, it is time to look at the best performers at each position from last week. It should be a mix of usual suspects and random one-game wonders. If a player is not on the list, it does not mean that the individual did not have a great game. Not all positions are created equal. Prior performance has no bearing on this list. With that said, let’s look at the best 11 offensive players and best 11 defensive players from Week 17.
You can find the NFL Week 16 Team of the Week here.
An asterisk (*) indicates a player that would earn a spot on the All-Pro team through 17 weeks.
Quarterback: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
Burrow makes it back to back weeks after another strong performance. He is now the only quarterback in NFL history to have back-to-back 400-yard, four-touchdown and zero-turnover games. He has launched into MVP consideration, and he has helped the Bengals to their first division crown since 2015. On Sunday, Burrow threw for 446 yards and four touchdowns, both marks leading all passers in Week 17.
If the season ended today, Aaron Rodgers would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Running Back: Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks
It was a close call between Najee Harris and Penny, but Penny gets the nod. Harris had one touchdown and 188 rushing yards while Penny romped for 170 yards and a pair of touchdowns on slightly better efficiency. Penny has 135 yards in three of his last four games after having just 78 yards previously. Over a 16-game season, Penny would be on pace for 1,924 yards and 20 touchdowns in that stretch.
If the season ended today, Jonathan Taylor would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Wide Receiver: D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks
Metcalf found the end zone three times in the Seahawks’ victory over the Detroit Lions. It was his third multi-touchdown game of the season, but his first since Week 8. Metcalf had a relatively paltry 63 yards on the afternoon, but the three touchdowns stole the show in a weaker week at the wide receiver position. Amon-Ra St. Brown could have nabbed the spot, but Metcalf’s extra touchdown earned him the spot.
If the season ended today, Cooper Kupp would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Wide Receiver: Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers*
Adams finished second in the week in receiving yards, and he tacked on yet another touchdown. He hauled in 11 of 13 targets including a trio of contested catches. He contributed to seven first downs. Rodgers had a passer rating of 135.9 when targeting Adams. He also set the Packers’ single-season receptions record, breaking his record of 115. He should be well on his way to a second consecutive All-Pro selection.
If the season ended today, Adams would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Wide Receiver: Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
Previously Appeared: Week 7
Chase became just the 15th player in NFL history to have 266 receiving yards in a game. He is one of five players in that group to score three touchdowns, joining Tyreek Hill from last season. Chase had more yards after the catch than any other receiver had before or after the catch in Week 17. It is one of the greatest efforts by a wide receiver in NFL history.
If the season ended today, Justin Jefferson would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Tight End: Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Gronkowski had seven catches on 10 targets, earning 115 yards. While he did not score as Noah Fant did, he did find a way to help his team to a victory. Gronkowski contributed to five first downs, and he forced a pair of missed tackles. He secured his only contested catch. Tom Braddy had a 108.3 passer rating when targeting Gronkowski. It was Gronkowski’s second 100-yard game of the season.
If the season ended today, Mark Andrews would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Left Tackle: Rashawn Slater, Los Angeles Chargers
Previously Appeared: Week 9
Slater was the number one graded offensive lineman in Week 17. He finished second in run-blocking grade and third in pass-blocking in one of the most well-rounded games of the season. All told, he ended with a 94.8 grade, edging out Ben Bredeson by 0.1 for the top spot. Slater may not be the All-Pro left tackle, but he has had a sensational rookie season.
If the season ended today, Trent Williams would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
The Joel Bitonio Award for Best Left Guard: Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts
Previous Appeared: Week 13
Left guard was the weakest of the Week 17 bunch, but Nelson gets the nod here. He posted an overall grade of 81.4. As a run-blocker, he was solid but unspectacular with a 74.4 grade. He was an excellent pass-blocker, earning an 88.8 grade. While the Colts did end up losing, Nelson was far from the reason why they lost.
If the season ended today, Bitonio would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Center: Brian Allen, Los Angeles Rams
Allen was the top-graded center, nudging Dan Feeney’s up-and-down performance for the New York Jets. He did not allow pressure in 37 pass-blocking reps, earning an 84.9 pass-blocking grade. He was equally adept as a run-blocker, working to the tune of an 82.6 grade. As a whole, he ended with an 83.8 grade, the 13th best among all offensive linemen in Week 17.
If the season ended today, Creed Humphrey would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
The Zack Martin Award for Best Right Guard: Chris Lindstrom, Atlanta Falcons
Previously Appeared: Week 16
Lindstrom makes it back-to-back weeks with another strong performance. Unlike last week, he was more balanced. He was one of the more well-rounded players of the week, earning an 80.0 or better in both aspects of blocking. As a pass protector, he earned an excellent 86.3 grade while surrendering no pressure. He had a solid day as a run-blocker, earning an 81.6 grade.
If the season ended today, Martin would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Right Tackle: Dennis Kelly, Green Bay Packers
Right tackle was weak this week, and each contender had some warts. Kaleb McGary was the top-graded right tackle, but he had a disastrous pass-blocking performance. Larry Borom and Tom Compton also had less than flawless pass-blocking games. This leaves Kelly. He had a 77.6 pass-blocking grade, but he did not allow any pressure. He had a 70.4 run-blocking grade. As a whole, his 75.1 grade is one of the lowest by a Team of the Week player this season.
If the season ended today, Tristan Wirfs would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Interior Defensive Line: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams*
In a shocking turn of events, Donald was the number one interior player in Week 17. This is his eighth appearance in the Team of the Week, breaking his tie with Bitonio. He earned a 90.9 overall grade, dominating against the run (84.7 grade) and the pass (79.3 grade). He ended up with three pressures, three stops, and a forced fumble.
If the season ended today, Donald would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Interior Defensive Line: Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs
Jones racked up six pressures in the Chiefs’ loss to the Bengals, turning two of them into sacks. He totaled four stops, and he had a strong performance as a run defender. He had an overall grade of 81.3, but his best subsection was his 82.9 run-defense grade. As a pass rusher, Jones earned a 74.4 grade, a solid mark on the day.
If the season ended today, Cameron Heyward would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Edge Defender: Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints
PFF credits Jordan with four sacks on four pressures. This is unsustainable, but it is good enough to earn a spot in the Team of the Week. He had a solid 79.8 overall defensive grade with strong performances against the run, as a tackler, and as a pass-rusher. Jordan posted six stops on the afternoon, helping the Saints inch closer to a playoff spot.
If the season ended today, Myles Garrett would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Edge Defender: T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers*
Officially, Watt ended with 4.0 sacks and a pair of batted passes. Since 1999, only Justin Houston and Shaun Phillips have matched both of those marks. It was one of the most dominant performances by a player at any position in the NFL this season. Watt has locked up his first (of likely many) Defensive Player of the Year awards. He is up to 21.5 sacks with a juicy matchup against the Baltimore Ravens next week.
If the season ended today, Watt would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Linebacker: Krys Barnes, Green Bay Packers
Barnes was PFF’s top-graded linebacker in Week 17 for good reason. In coverage, he allowed just two yards on four targets. He batted down a pair of passes, and he allowed a 56.3 passer rating. As a whole, he had three defensive stops and earned a massive 91.1 coverage grade. All told, Barnes had a 92.3 grade on Sunday Night Football.
If the season ended today, De’Vondre Campbell would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Linebacker: Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys*
For the sixth time, Parsons makes the Team of the Week. This week, the Defensive Rookie of the Year had seven pressures on 25 pass-rush snaps. While he did not record a sack, the seven pressures were helpful for the Cowboys’ defense. The enigmatic rookie had a 90.4 pass-rush grade and an 85.4 coverage grade en route to a 91.3 overall grade.
If the season ended today, Parsons would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Cornerback: Artie Burns, Chicago Bears
Last week, Burns lost his spot during Monday Night Football. Despite the best efforts from A.J. Green and Ahkello Witherspoon, Burns holds them off. Burns was second in coverage grade (92.6) as he allowed zero receptions on two targets. He turned both targets into pass-break-ups en route to a 39.6 passer rating allowed. He had an easy matchup with Mike Glennon under center for the New York Giants, but he produced.
If the season ended today, Jalen Ramsey would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Cornerback: Darious Williams, Los Angeles Rams
Williams played a major role in the Rams’ comeback win over the Ravens. He earned a 79.7 grade off the strength of his coverage (79.9) and tackling (79.5). Williams notched a pair of pass deflections, and he only allowed three yards after the catch on eight total targets. He posted a defensive stop, and he was competent against the run.
If the season ended today, AJ Terrell would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Safety: Chuck Clark, Baltimore Ravens
Previously Appeared: Week 3
Staying at M&T Bank Stadium, Clark had a dominant game. He victimized Matthew Stafford for a pick-six, accounting for the Ravens’ only touchdown on Sunday. He also intercepted a deep ball, flashing his range. It was an Ed Reed-like performance for the inconsistent safety. While he spent the first month of the season as an All-Pro candidate, he has had a run of average play before earning a 91.8 grade.
If the season ended today, Kevin Byard would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Safety: Kyle Dugger, New England Patriots
Dugger was the highest-graded defensive player regardless of position in Week 17. He earned a ridiculous 93.5 grade, bolstered by a stellar 92.6 grade in coverage. Dugger also had an 80.7 grade as a tackler. He notched a stop and an interception in a strong back-end performance for the Patriots. In coverage, he allowed a 0.0 passer rating.
If the season ended today, Marcus Williams would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Defensive Back: D.J. Reed, Seattle Seahawks
To round out the squad, Reed slides into spot No.22. Across 63 snaps, Reed posted a 92.2. His grade was second to Dugger, just beating out Clark, among defensive backs. Reed earned a 92.8 grade while in coverage, picking off a pair of passes. He also knocked away, and he allowed just 8.5 yards per reception. When targeted, Reed allowed a 21.9 passer rating.
If the season ended today, J.C. Jackson would earn the author’s All-Pro vote.
Be sure to check out our NFL Team of the Week every week for the remainder of the season.
Follow Ryan Potts on Twitter @MrSplashMan19
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images