Chalk up one more accolade for Cowboys phenom Micah Parsons. The reigning Defensive Rookie of the Yr goals to construct on his lights-out 2022, and he’ll accomplish that ranked because the top linebacker in the league, in line with CBS Sports activities.
To create the listing, Jordan Dajani checked out not solely the stats compiled by every participant so far, but in addition Professional Soccer Reference/Stathead’s Approximate Worth, PFF grades, plus a guess on how the participant will carry out shifting ahead.
Parsons comes out on high of the listing at his place, touchdown simply forward of final 12 months’s chief, the Rams’ Bobby Wagner. Indianapolis’s Darius Leonard, San Francisco’s Fred Warner, and Demario Davis of the Saints spherical out the highest 5.
Of Parsons, Dajani writes:
“Parsons is flexible, sensible, and instinctive. You don’t do what he did in his rookie season when you aren’t a star.”
Micah Parsons this season:
⭐️ 0 TDs allowed in protection (284 snaps)
⭐️ 88.7 PFF Grade (1st amongst all LBs)
⭐️ 93.0 pass-rushing grade (Greatest in NFL) pic.twitter.com/Lq7G9IVzuU
— PFF (@PFF) January 5, 2022
“The Penn State product ranked No. 6 within the NFL in sacks and No. 8 in complete pressures… Versatility is required on the linebacker place, and his versatility is the explanation why Parsons is available in at No. 1 on our listing.”
However wait, some eagle-eyed observers could also be questioning. What about T.J. Watt, final season’s Defensive Participant of the Yr? What about Von Miller? Joey Bosa?
These gamers, in addition to others formally listed as linebackers, truly make a different list entirely. In the present day’s shapeshifting defenses blur the road greater than ever between conventional linebacker and defensive edge rusher, with many players- together with Parsons final season- shifting forwards and backwards with often-confusing fluidity.
For the needs of the CBS Sports activities rankings, “edge defenders embody defensive ends and pass-rushing linebackers.” The gamers are sorted primarily based on the place nearly all of their snaps have been performed in 2021; 3-4 move rushers went with edge-rushing linemen.
Parsons stayed with the linebackers, although Dajani admits:
“We thought of if Parsons ought to even be included on this listing since he performed a good quantity of pass-rusher final season, however the backside line is that Parsons is a good linebacker who can put on a number of totally different hats on protection.”
for the oldsters who say Micah Parsons is an edge
there have been 4 video games the place he performed principally edge solely due to accidents, and the remainder of the video games he was predominantly an off-ball linebacker
Micah Parsons is a linebacker who can play edge defender pic.twitter.com/rcjJlM00MS
— Eric Keen 📊🏈 (@PFF_Eric) June 19, 2022
“Parsons truly completed No. 12 amongst linebackers in 2021 with a PFF protection grade of 70 in 295 protection snaps. In the event you return and watch him play all through his rookie season, you’ll not solely see a gifted pass-rusher, however linebacker that may learn and react rapidly. A defender who can blow up display screen performs and make takedowns within the open area.”
That potential to play each linebacker and edge rusher- and do each at an exceptionally excessive level- was the most important revelation of the Cowboys’ 2021 season.
And earlier than the group had even packed up their lockers following their wild-card playoff loss to the 49ers, Dallas coaches knew they’d wish to attempt to do extra of the identical with Parsons in 2022.
“The largest factor he’s going to should get accustomed to is the modifications folks make for him,” Mike McCarthy stated again in January. “He’s a focusing on problem for an offense. That potential to maneuver him round. Any participant on this league will attest to this. Upon getting success, folks will research the movie and have a plan for you.”
When you’ve got the goal of a No. 1 rating in your jersey, it turns into even tougher to repeat that success.