There are less than 23 days to the NFL Hall Of Fame Game and the unofficial start of the NFL 2019 season. Still running behind on these posts but today I look at the All-23 Team of the best players that will be 23 years old for the majority of the 2019 season.
Quarterback: Josh Allen (BUF)
Allen is eleventh in the longest passing play in 2018 with a deep pass of a 75 yard touchdown pass against the Jaguars to Robert Foster. he is fourteenth in least amount of sacks.
Runners Up: None
Running Back: Christian McCaffrey (CAR)
McCaffrey is a dual threat back. He leads all running backs in receiving yards (867) and receptions (107). He is second in catch percent (86.3%) for backs with a minimum 32 targets. He is sixth in rushing yards (1,098), fourteenth in rushing TDs (7) and second in receiving TDs among backs (6). He is fourteenth in rushing yards er attempt (5.01) for backs with a minimum 48 attempts.
Runners Up: Nick Chubb (CLE), Joe Mixon (CIN)
Fullback: Chandler Cox (MIA)
His value at Auburn is shown in the 2017 snap counts. Chandler had 504 snaps which compared favorably to running back Kerryon Johnson‘s 566. His final season at Auburn in 2018 Chandler had 2 rushing touchdowns from 1 yard out and 1 receiving touchdown.
Runner UP: Nick Bawden (DET)
Chris Godwin (TB),
Dante Pettis (SF),
Hakeem Butler (ARI)
Chris Godwin was tie for 13th in receiving touchdowns with seven. This from his 2017 draft profile on nfl.com:
Natural hands catcher with strong claws. Will make his money winning 50/50 balls in the red-zone and down the field. Outstanding ball tracker and rarely adjusts to the deep ball prematurely. Waits to begin body adjustment until timing is right. Has plus body control and can rise up and wrestle the throw away from cornerbacks.
Dante Pettis was fifth in yards per reception (17.3) for wide receivers with 24+ receptions. This from his 2018 draft profile:
Natural pass catcher with stick-and-stay hands… Fine-tuned route runner known for his work ethic….Eludes first tackler and hits his top gear quickly
2019 Rookie Hakeem Butler was ninth in receiving yards (1,318) his final college year and fourth in receiving yards per reception (22) for receivers with 24+ receptions. At 6’5″ and 227 lbs Butler was one of the three to four biggest receivers at the combine. This from his draft profile:
Butler’s unique play strength after the catch allows him to win contested deep balls and then plow through tackle attempts to create chunk plays and long touchdowns. … Eight touchdowns of 40-plus yards over last two years.
Runner Ups: Michael Gallup (DAL), Curtis Samuel (CAR)
Chris Herndon (NYJ),
Jace Sternberger (GB)
In his rookie year Herndon was tie for ninth among tight ends for touchdown receptions (4) and was tenth in yards per reception (12.87) among tight ends with 18+ receptions. this is what his 2018 draft profile said:
Dangerous after the catch… Can make first tackler miss ….Blocked in-line and as H-back across formation and in space.
2019 rookie Jace Sternberger is included as the two tight end personnel (1-2) was the second most used personnel formation at 20%. The Texans ran this formation a league high 40%. Sternberger put up outstanding numbers in 2018 in college. Among tight ends he was first in receiving touchdowns (10), second in receiving yards (832) and fourth in yards per reception (17.3) for 12+ receptions.
Runner Ups: Mark Andrews (BAL), Caleb Wilson (ARI)
LT: Cam Robinson (JAX)
LG: Quenton Nelson (IND)
OC: Lamont Gaillard (ARI)
RG: Elgton Jenkins (GB)
RT: Braden Smith (IND)
Cam Robinson has played injured in his rookie year following an ankle injury in week 7. Prior to that he played decent. In week one he held JJ Watt and Jadaveon Clowney in check when they played the Texans. He tore his ACL in week two of the 2018 season and was placed on IR.
Quenton Nelson allowed only 23 pressures on 730 pass-blocking snaps, according to PFF.
2019 rookie Lamont Gaillard is a three year starter with 42 career starts. He won the Georgia “Own the Trenches” award following spring drills in 2017. This on what is regarded as one of the best offensive lines in college football. “Tougher than old brisket and nasty as a finisher” – draft profile nfl.com
Elgton Jenkins is another 2019 rookie. The Packers are working the center out at the guard position. Jenkins allowed only one sack over 762 pass-blocking snaps at center during his junior and senior seasons, per Pro Football Focus. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper had this to say – The No. 1 center prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft, who is also versatile enough to play every position on the line.
Braden Smith the guard was shifted to right tackle after losing three right tackle by week five. His first night at right tackle Smith allowed just one pressure in 83 snaps. Over the season he he allowed just 28 pressures over 520 pass protection snaps. He was named to the Pro Football Writers of America, PFF and NFL.com All-Rookie Teams.
Taven Bryan (JAX),
Poona Ford (SEA)
Rookie Taven Bryan had 1 sack, 13 solo tackles, 3 tackles for loss and 2 quarterback hits and 12 pressures on just 29% of the defensive snaps.
Rookie Poona Ford had 13 solo tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 quarterback hits on 23% of the defensive snaps. Pro Football Focus ranked him as fifth in run-stopping percentage among interior defenders.
Myles Garrett (CLE),
Takkarist McKinley (ATL)
In 2018 Myles Garret was fifth in QB Hits (29) and sixth in sacks (13.5). He made the 2017 NFL All-Rookie Team and was selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl.
In his two year NFL career over 31 games Takkarist McKinley has recorded 13 sacks, 25 quarterback hits, and 14 tackles for loss. Those are decent numbers but over the last two seasons 50 players have put up similar numbers or better.
Leighton Vander Esch (DAL)
Rashaan Evans (TEN)
Raekwon McMillan (MIA)
Elijah Lee (SF)
Leighton Vander Esch had 102 solo tackles in 2018 which was second most in the league.
Rashaan Evans had a hamstring injury his 2018 rookie year causing him to miss the preseason. He did not get a defensive snap until the third game of the regular season. So he was learning real-time. Evan played 47 percent of Tennessee’s defensive snaps in 2018 and finished with 53 tackles. However he came on strong toward the end where he made 31 of his 53 tackles in the last six games. Thirty-three of his fifty-three tackles were solo tackles. Here we see that Pro Football Focus ranked Evans high towrds the end of the season.
Rashaan Evans has been one of the top linebackers in the NFL over the final few weeks of the season. pic.twitter.com/bhsXbw0xro
— PFF (@PFF) December 30, 2018
Raekwon McMillan had the second most solo tackles out of the 23 year old linebackers for 2019 with 69. He had 105 tackles his 2018 rookie season which was sixth most among rookie linebackers. He also had the sixth most solo tackles among rookie linebackers. Raekwon had two forced fumble and one fumble recovery. PFF rated McMillan sixth among all linebackers against the run and no NFL linebacker had more run stops over the final four weeks.
Elijah Lee had the third most solo tackles in 2018 among the upcoming 2019 season 23-year-old linebackers with 54. That was out of 65 total tackles. He also had 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 2 passes defended, 1 sack and 1 quarterback hit. That was on just 44% of the defensive snap counts. Pro Football Focus ranked him fifth among NFC West linebackers in slot coverage for yards per snap allowed with just 1.52 yards.
Donte Jackson (CAR)
Marshon Lattimore (NO)
Rookie Donte Jackson had four interceptions, nine passes defended, one forced fumble, one sack, sixty-three solo tackles and one quarterback hit. At the 2018 combine Jackson was in a three way tie for the fastest forty out of all players (4.32). Over the last five years Jackson is one of only ten defensive backs that in their rookie year had 3+ interceptions, 5+ passes defended and 50+ solo tackles.
In his 2017 rookie year Marshon Lattimore made the NFL All-Rookie Team, made the Pro Bowl and was selected AP Defensive Rookie of the Year. In the 2018 regular season Lattimore had 2 interceptions, 12 passes defended, 4 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, 49 solo tackles and a tackle for loss. In the playoffs he added another two interceptions. In his final college year and first year starting Lattimore was targeted 35 times and credited with 14 passes defensed, including four interceptions. at his 2017 combine Lattimore was in the top three among cornerbacks for the forty (4.36), vertical jump (38.5) and broad jump (11′).
Derwin James (LAC)
Minkah Fitzpatrick (MIA)
In his 2018 rookie season Derwin James made the NFL All-Rookie Team, the First-Team All Pro and the Pro Bowl. He recorded 3 interceptions, 13 passes defended, 3.5 sacks, 75 solo tackles, 105 total tackles, 4 tackles for loss and 6 quarterback hits. Only six rookies in NFL history recorded numbers like that.
Minkah Fitzpatrick had nine passes defended and two interceptions his 2018 rookie year. He returned one interception 50 yards for a touchdown. Fitzpatrick played all over the secondary in 2018 to fill holes due to injury or performance. His former head coach, Nick Saban, at the Senior Bowl last year said he thought Fitzpatrick would best be utilized at free safety.
There we have the all 23 -year-old team. The teams that have players are as follows:
One Player – ATL, BUF, CLE, DAL, LAC, NO, NYJ, SEA, TB, TEN
Two Players – ARI, CAR, GB, IND, JAX, SF
Three Players – MIA
Zero Players – NWE, CIN, BAL, PIT, HOU, OAK, DEN, KAN, NYG, WAS, PHI, MIN, CHI, DET, LAR