Here are the Panther ranks on the PFF Top 101 for 2013:
#41 DE Greg Hardy
#42 LT Jordan Gross
#52 LB Thomas Davis
#80 LB Luke Kuechly
So no Cam Newton nor Charles Johnson. Plus how do you reconcile having Lavonte David at #5 and 2013 AP Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly at #80? Well I don't have any direct answers to these questions but PFF did take questions via Twitter and it would seem many others had similar issues:
@PFF in the 4-3 OLB rankings Von Miller had a higher rating than Lavonte David (40.3-26.6)... Why David ranked so much higher?— Rick S. (@RS1022) May 19, 2014
Miller suffers in the list from missing so many games. He is almost always fantastic when he plays, but his grade is also inflated by the 3rd down pass-rushing role in which he has that other 4-3 outside linebackers (like David) don't have. Had Miller played at the same level for a full 16-game season he undoubtedly would have been much higher but since he missed time (though a suspension - i.e. something within his control) he was penalised.
So they can't use that excuse for Kuechly. He had a very similar stat line to 2012 with maybe a couple more interceptions.
Here's another one:
@PFF How did Justin Houston end the year with the highest grade among 3-4 OLBs but finish behind Robert Mathis (a 3-4 OLB)?— MJ Masterson (@Jaymaul4) May 16, 2014
Good spot. Here though is a case in point where we did not stick rigidly to the PFF rankings but applied a bit of intelligence and our own weighting to the grades to rank players. Also, the 101 looks at playoff games as well as regular season. When you look at all games both players actually tied in grade. Though their grades were similar overall, Mathis had a markedly better pass-rush grade and made more big plays than Houston did. The overall rankings don't place any weighting on run vs pass defense, preferring to allow people to decide for themselves, but the staff all agreed that we placed a higher premium on the pass-rush among 3-4 OLBs.
I love PFF's reaction to this Tweet:
Ah Tom Brady, always a bone of contention when it comes to the PFF 101. We've been accused of Tom Brady hate at PFF, but only in the seasons when we rank him comparatively lowly. He has enjoyed fantastic seasons in the PFF era, but 2013 was not one of them, and most objective viewers would happily agree with that. Some of it wasn't his fault - his receiver corps became a shadow of what it once was - but some of it was, notably his play under pressure. Once something Brady excelled at, in 2013 Brady threw as many picks (5) as he did touchdowns when pressured and 20 passers had a better completion percentage when they felt heat.
Now that is the cold slap of reality to the Patriot faithful (or is it delusional?).