Thursday, January 05, 2017

Marshal Yanda named Best Guard on Pro Football Focus 2016 All-Pro Team

By Sam Monson
January 5, 2017

With the 2016 regular season now in the books, it’s time to reflect on the season that was before we dive into playoff football.

The Pro Football Focus All-Pro team recognizes the best players at each position, with some new wrinkles this season to reflect changes in the official AP All-Pro team.

The AP has come around to PFF’s way of doing things—eliminating the archaic positions of defensive tackle, defensive end, and outside linebacker that threw wildly different players together from different schemes—and instead grouped them as edge defenders, interior defenders, and off-the-ball linebackers.

They have also added a “flex” position on offense and defense, essentially to reflect the changing personnel tendencies in the NFL. That extra offensive player can be another running back, wideout, slot receiver, fullback, or tight end, depending on who was the most deserving player that particular year; the defensive back can be a perimeter corner, slot defender, or safety.

To select this team, our analysts have drawn on all of PFF’s data, including—but not exclusively limited to—the grades, before adding the subjective expertise of our analysis team to individual players. Certain players may have made the team with a lower overall grade than others, but were outstanding in one particular area which we felt warranted the move, or their scheme asked more of them than somebody else.

With those qualifiers in mind, it’s time to reveal Pro Football Focus’ 2016 All-Pro team.

Left guard

First team: Marshal Yanda, Baltimore Ravens, 92.0 (No. 1 G)

Marshal Yanda ended the season with seven starts at left guard and six on the right side, with little discernible difference in his play on either side, executing a midseason switch seamlessly. He didn’t surrender a single sack or hit on the QB all season, and in 899 snaps of action, surrendered just six hurries. Yanda remains the standard by which all NFL guards are measured,
and despite missing time due to injury, he narrowly edges Oakland’s Kelechi Osemele, his former teammate, for the No. 1 spot at left guard. Osemele, for his part, was also excellent, surrendering no sacks and 11 total pressures in his debut season for the Raiders.

Second team: Kelechi Osemele, Oakland Raiders, 88.1 (No. 3 G)

Honorable mention: Josh Sitton, Chicago Bears, 86.2 (No. 8 G)

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