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On Monday, Pro Football Focus released their top 101 players from the 2020 NFL season and two Steelers appeared on the list. First-team All-Pro outside linebacker T.J. Watt ranked ninth and second-team All-Pro defensive tackle Cameron Heyward ranked 29th.
Below are the excerpts by PFF for their rankings on Watt and Heyward.
"T.J. Watt was one of the game's best players for the second season in a row and has now surpassed his brother as the game’s most dominant Watt sibling. Only Shaquil Barrett (77) tallied more total pressures than Watt did in the regular season (73), but while Barrett’s pressures only resulted in the quarterback hitting the deck 16 times, Watt either sacked or knocked down the quarterback 42 times, earning a dramatically better grade in the process. There are few better players than T.J. Watt in the game right now."
"Heyward has always been a good player, but he has elevated his game to another level over the last four seasons. He backed up a career year in 2019 with one almost as good the following season, finishing the year with a PFF grade of 89.5 while notching 64 total pressures and 32 defensive stops. He was a dominant force on the interior of the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive front that led the league in pressure rate and seems only to be getting better with age. Heyward has a strong case to be seen as the league’s second-best interior defender after Aaron Donald."
Watt is defintely a top 10 defender and was ranked as the second best defensive player by PFF in 2020, who to no surprise was just behind Aaron Donald of the Rams, who was PFF's No. 1 player this past season. Heyward at No. 29 is pretty spot on and he's ranked behind just three other defensive lineman -- DeForster Buckner of the Colts, Chris Jones of the Chiefs and the aforementioned Donald.
Steelers' free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was named first-team All-Pro in 2020 but suprisingly didn't make PFF's top 101 list. Justin Simmons of the Broncos, Marcus Maye of the Jets, John Johnson III of the Rams, Adrian Amos of the Packers and Jessie Bates III of the Bengals were the five safeties that made PFF's list over Fitzpatrick.