In 2015 and 2016, LT Joe Thomas was the only member of the Cleveland Browns to be listed on Pro Football Focus’ Top 101 players list. This year, Thomas did not crack the list due to injury, but that didn’t leave the team empty-handed. DE Myles Garrett ranked No. 82, while LG Joel Bitonio ranked No. 90.
Here is what they said about Garrett:
82. Myles Garrett, Edge, Cleveland Browns (NEW)
The No. 1 overall pick had an impressive rookie campaign, even if injury limited him to perhaps a smaller role over the season than the Cleveland Browns would have been hoping. When Myles Garrett was on the field, he was dominant, generating 37 total pressures from 300 passing snaps. Garrett’s pass-rush productivity of 10.2 was top-20 among edge defenders. PFF Elite Stat: Garrett was third among rookie edge defenders in total pressures (37) and pass-rush productivity (10.2).
And then about Bitonio:
90. Joel Bitonio, G, Cleveland Browns (Two previous appearances)
The Cleveland Browns‘ offensive line looked like it had the potential to be one of the best in the game heading into the season, and while that didn’t quite pan out, Joel Bitonio was excellent all season. Bitonio allowed 24 total pressures over 16 games but was blocking for a quarterback that invited more pressure than most. His run-blocking and pass protection were both good enough to earn top-20 PFF grades among guards. PFF Elite Stat: Bitonio tied for 19th in pass-blocking efficiency (97.1) among guards with at least 170 pass-blocking snaps in 2017.
Around the AFC North, the Cincinnati Bengals had three players ranked, the Pittsburgh Steelers had five players ranked, and the Baltimore Ravens had one player ranked. PFF also listed the Top 10 players who didn’t make their list, and Thomas was among them. They acknowledged that he was the top left tackle before his injury, but he just played too few games:
Thomas’ run as one of three players to make every PFF 101 finally comes to a close. There were some that still wanted him in considering how dominant he still was in seven games. His numbers extrapolated out to a full season would have made him the No. 1 tackle in the NFL, but no player has ever made the PFF 101 on so few games.