If J.J. Watt was confused why he was the No. 35 player in the NFL Top 100 after playing just three games last season, he'll be utterly flabbergasted by his spot in the Pro Football Focus Top 50.
"I played 3 games… this list is a joke," Watt tweeted in response the NFL Top 100. The folks at Pro Football Focus agree with Watt's peers; he's their No. 2 overall player for 2017.
The Houston Texans' seventh-year defensive end had four-straight seasons with at least 10 sacks between 2012-16 — including two with 20.5 — but had just 1.5 sacks in three games in 2016 before suffering a season-ending back injury.
The top-overall player is Los Angeles Rams' defensive tackle Aaron Donald. The 6-foot-1, 285-pounder has been a dominant force entering the league in 2014, registering 116 tackles and 28 sacks in three seasons. He tied for the league lead with 17 tackles for loss last year.
Donald and Watt are two of 12 defensive linemen in the top 50 (five ends and seven tackles). Seven defensive tackles are the most of any position, narrowly edging quarterback (six). There are five players apiece at cornerback, defensive end and wide receiver. Every offensive and defensive position is represented — center is the only one with fewer than two players.
The Dallas Cowboys have the most players (five), followed by the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks (four) and Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos and New York Giants (three). Twenty-five teams are represented. Those without a player: Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans.
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