So Pro Football Focus gave the Big Ten a little more love this week.
But, um, still none for J.T. Barrett.
The popular scouting/rankings site, which made its digital hay breaking down NFL game film and expanded to the college ranks last season, just released a 10-player addendum to its ‘101 Best Players In College Football’ list of two weeks earlier. (The rankings are projections but remain rooted in the grades PFF assigned to players based on their recent performances.)
PFF’s list of ’10 Players Who Just Missed Our 101 Best CFB Players Ranking’ — or players 102-111, if you like — includes some names familiar to Big Ten football faithful.
In fact, four of the 10 hail from Land Of 10 Country, as ProFootballFocus.com explains:
105. Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
The Wolverines’ defensive line is absolutely loaded for 2016. Taco Charlton provides them with pass rush production from either defensive end position. Charlton generated 41 total pressures on 213 snaps in 2015 and his 15.1 pass rushing productivity rating ranks No. 1 among all returning FBS 4-3 defensive ends.
106. George Kittle, TE, Iowa
Often college tight ends excel at either blocking or pass catching, but Kittle does both well. His +11.0 run blocking grade ranks No. 5 among returning FBS tight ends. Kittle also showed his prowess as a pass catcher and his 3.09 yards per route run ranks No. 1 among all returning FBS tight ends.
108. Jermaine Carter Jr., LB, Maryland
Jermaine Carter Jr.’s 2015 grades highlight his impressive level of play as well as his versatility. Among returning FBS linebackers, Carter Jr.’s +5.7 coverage grade ranks ninth, while his +15.5 run grade and +19.9 overall grade rank fourth, respectively. With rankings like that it’s clear that Jermaine Carter Jr. is one of the best linebackers in the country.
109. Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
Butt is one of the premier pass-catching tight ends in college football. Butt showed in 2015 that he could line up in the backfield, in the slot or in-line and still get open. Butt’s +10.1 receiving grade ranks No.1 among returning FBS tight ends.
And there you go. Few would argue with the most of the points mentioned above, and PFF is at its most interesting (or frustrating, depending on whom you ask) when it quantifies elements such as blocking. Whether you find the site’s grades constructive or baffling — and we’ve heard good arguments on either side of the fence — it makes for solid discussion fodder.
Especially when the subject turns to Barrett, the Ohio State quarterback who comes into this fall with 45 passing touchdowns and 22 rushing touchdowns over his first two seasons in Columbus. PFF’s Top 111 lists 11 quarterbacks in all, which means their scouts rank all of them — including Southern Mississippi’s Nick Mullens and Cincinnati’s Gunner Kiel — ahead of the Buckeyes’ signal-caller.
For now, at least.