||05-14-2014 10:34 PM
PFF's top 101 of 2013 (Broncos)
2013 PFF top 100 (as voted on):
#100 - T.J. Ward, S, Denver Broncos (97th in 2012)
Ward would finish 2013 as our third-ranked safety overall, but our voters clearly felt it was a bigger priority for safeties to excel in coverage. That is why Ward, who had the highest run defense grade of any man at his position, saw others overtake him here. Thatís not to say Ward was poor in that area with his +4.8 coverage grade indicating he more than held his own covering the shorter and intermediate areas, just that it wasnít his specialty.
Key Stat: 29 defensive stops in the run game were five more than any other safety.
#68 - Von Miller, ER, Denver Broncos (4th in 2012)
The crazy thing about Miller? He got this high just playing in nine games, thatís how good he was in those games. Missing the early part of the season through suspension and late part through injury, it was all about Weeks 7 to 16 for the Bronco who still picked up his customary best grade for a 4-3 outside linebacker thanks to his fantastic pass rushing and impact plays against the run. His explosion off the snap and ability to get off blocks (and often avoid them altogether) makes him as destructive a player as there is in the league.
Key Stat: Picked up 41 quarterback disruptions in just nine games.
#64 - Chris Harris Jr, CB, Denver Broncos (64th in 2012)
The Broncos were dealt a severe blow when Harris went down halfway through the Divisional Playoff victory against the San Diego Chargers. They lost their best and most versatile cover corner who was having another stellar year. With the rare ability to cover outside receivers on early downs and switch to defending the two-way release of slot weapons in nickel and dime packages, Harris earns a repeat spot on this list.
Key Stat: Allowed just one reception for every 10.9 snaps in slot coverage. Seventh-best of all cornerbacks.
#53 - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos (45th in 2012)
An explosive playmaker, itís no surprise to see Thomas make this list again even if he has dropped a few places. The NFL leader in yards gained on wide receiver screens, while finishing behind just two others when it comes to go-routes, thereís no denying that Thomas excels when it comes to making the big plays. Four times he took the ball more than 50 yards while finishing with a receiver best 14 touchdowns. Explosive.
Key Stat: Picked up 706 regular season yards after the catch. The most of all wide receivers with his 7.7 yards after the catch per reception also the joint highest.
#50 - Terrance Knighton, DT, Denver Broncos (Unranked in 2012)
When you look back at the 2013 free agent market, you wonít find many people who look at the signing of Knighton as one of the big moves. A big talent who struggled to consistently show it in Jacksonville, he went to Denver and, after a decent enough start, really exploded into life the second half of the season before taking his game to another level in the postseason. His work against New England was some of the finest in his career as he really proved an every down terror. Too physical for linemen at the line of scrimmage and too quick when it came to getting into the backfield, Knighton became the player he had the potential to be.
Key Stat: Graded positively in all 4 playoff games in 2013.
#45 - Louis Vasquez, OG, Denver Broncos (Unranked in 2012)
Finishing the year our top ranked right guard, Vasquez more than proved worth the money the Broncos invested him in the 2013 offseason. Giving up just 12 combined sacks, hits and hurries all year, Vasquez was a big asset for Peyton Manning while also earning the ninth highest run blocking grade of all his peers. He achieved these with sheer consistency, with just two negatively graded games all year.
Key Stat: His 98.4 pass blocking efficiency score was the third best score of all offensive guards.
#3 - Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos (7th)
It didnít end with the Super Bowl he coveted, but it did end with the highest grade of any quarterback in the league (+43.3) once again. Manning didnít have his best game in the Super Bowl, but it was one of only five negatively graded games all year and it was against a defense that shut down all his weapons. So while it certainly prevented Manning challenging the spots beyond him, we werenít going to overreact to a fine year as Manning broke records throwing for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns. He had some help after the catch but he dominated our QB rankings with a season for the ages.
Key Stat: Is it really a surprise that Manningís 58.1% completion percentage when under pressure was the highest in the league?