For the second year in a row, only one player from the Cleveland Browns made Pro Football Focus’ list of the Top 101 players from the 2016 season: LT Joe Thomas. Their annual rankings last year came out in May, but PFF announced that from now on, they will be unveiled shortly after the conclusion of the season.
Thomas’ ranking did slip, as he was ranked 12th in 2015 but dropped to 38th in 2016. PFF pats him on the back for still managing to rank as high as he did despite a “down” season by his standards:
38. Joe Thomas, LT, Cleveland Browns (12)
It says something about the excellence of Joe Thomas that he can have a relative down year and still rank this high on the list. Thomas saw a dip in both pass-blocking and run-blocking grades this season, but was still among the best players at his position, allowing a total of 34 QB pressures over the season, getting flagged only four times. Thomas didn’t have a single poor game, and his consistency was remarkable when blocking for the sequence of QBs the Browns rolled through in 2016 — none of whom help their offensive line out.
Best performance: Week 17 vs. Steelers, 84.0 grade
Key stat: Browns RB Isaiah Crowell averaged 7.3 yards per carry on rushes that went either side of Thomas’ blocks this season.