One of the top football analytics websites has released its list of All-Americans, and its safe to say it thinks highly of the Big Ten.
Six Big Ten players cracked Pro Football Focus’s (PFF) All-American list, and even some of the less elite programs got some love for their better players.
The six Big Ten PFF All-Americans are Northwestern wide receiver Austin Carr, Wisconsin offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk, Purdue defensive lineman Jake Replogle, Iowa cornerback Desmond King, Nebraska safety Nate Gerry and Michigan linebacker/safety Jabrill Peppers.
Our 2016 All-American team is here.
See which top players made the list: https://t.co/y8zO9i7Nso
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) December 6, 2016
The All-American nod from PFF is the latest accolade for Carr, who’s enjoying one of the best seasons for a Northwestern wide receiver since D’Wayne Bates in 1998. PFF also called him the “best slot receiver in all of college football from our perspective all year.” He was also named the Richter-Howard Big Ten Receiver of the Year after posting 84 receptions for 1,196 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Ramczyk is the only other offensive name on the All-American list, but they praise him just as highly. PFF notes Ramczyk allowed only one sack and three hurries all season on 348 pass blocking snaps. However, Ramczyk also got the All-American nod based on his performance in the run game, where he was a stout blocker.
While some names on the list, such as household names like King and Peppers, aren’t a surprise to see, one surprising name might be Purdue’s Jake Replogle. According to PFF, Replogle actually had the second-highest pass-rushing productivity rating among defensive tackles, behind only Alabama’s Jonathan Allen.
In the secondary, King makes PFF’s list along with Gerry. King is referred to as a “complete defender,” who excelled in both run and pass defense. Gerry is also hailed in the same light, as he’s praised for his multi-dimensional defense and his PPF grade of 88.7.
Rounding out the list is Peppers, who interestingly enough makes the list as a punt returner and not a defender. Peppers averaged 14.6 yards per punt return in 2016, and even recorded a touchdown on a return. In the same vein, PFF was also enamored with Michigan cornerback Jourdan Lewis before and during the season. However, he did not make the list.