2018 NFL rookie rankings through Week 17 – William Moy
James finishes the season ranked fifth among qualifying safeties in terms of PFF overall grade and he was one of just two safeties (along with Kevin Byard) who graded north of 78.0 in run defense, coverage and as a pass rusher in 2018. James was one of just three safeties this season to record at least 15 run stops while missing no more than three tackles in run defense, he led all safeties with 23 stops in coverage (no other safety even eclipsed 20), and his 30.6% pressure percentage led all safeties who rushed the quarterback at least 25 times this season.
The Ravens’ offense poses a unique challenge to the Chargers – Ben Linsey
Defenses have begun to adjust to the passing attack that has dominated the league in recent years. The Chargers are one of those defenses, opting to employ smaller, hybrid players such as Phillips and James in the box to better cover tight ends and backs out of the backfield rather than larger, traditional linebackers to stuff the run game.
Grading all 32 first rounders after Week 17 – Mark Chichester
We may never know why Derwin James fell to the Chargers with the 17th overall pick, but the team should thank their lucky stars that he did. Over the last 17 weeks, the Florida State product has put together a masterful campaign that may very well end in Defensive Rookie Of The Year honors. In his 16 games, James has proved to be a jack-of-all-trades, and out of his 1027 defensive snaps, he logged 205 on the defensive line, 418 in the box, 166 as a slot cornerback, 22 as a perimeter cornerback and 216 as a free safety. His 19 total quarterback pressures and 40 defensive stops both rank first among first-year players at the position, and he allowed a passer rating of just 71.8 on throws into his primary coverage, which is good for third among rookie safeties with at least 20 targets.
Final list of PFF’s highest-graded quarterbacks in the NFL in 2018 – PFF Analysis Team
Rivers drew some MVP consideration for his efforts in 2018, and rightfully so. He finished the year ranked seventh in big-time throw percentage (5.7%) and sixth in passer rating while under pressure (83.8).
Top 10 10-plus year veterans of the 2018 season – Mark Chichester
The 15th-year signal-caller ended the 2018 season with an elite overall grade of 90.8, the fourth-best grade among quarterbacks this year and Rivers’ best single-season grade since 2010. Philip Rivers was superb from a clean pocket this year, completing 257 of his 352 attempts for 3090 yards, 24 touchdowns and just six interceptions, which generated a passer rating of 115.1 – sixth-best among qualifying quarterbacks.
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