Pro Football Focus, everyone's favorite NFL grading platform, finally released their entire list of the PFF Top 101 NFL players from the 2013 season.
The Eagles made a strong impression as they finished with a total of six players in the top 88. Two of those players, Evan Mathis and LeSean McCoy, both finished in the top 8. Only one Eagles defender made the list and that was Trent Cole at 88.
The Eagles were tied with three teams for the third most players in the PFF Top 101. The Seahawks led the way with eight, the Broncos had seven, and the 49ers/Chiefs/Eagles trio finished with six each.
Here's what PFF had to say about the six Eagles players.
It has taken a little time for people to warm to what Mathis does because he doesn’t look like Larry Allen. He’s not 330lbs and he doesn’t look like a guy who will drive his man to Nebraska on a running play, which is what people want to see from their guards. It’s why people insisted for so many years that Davin Joseph was so good even though the tape clearly showed he wasn’t – he looked like he should be. Instead, Mathis goes through each game just moving his man away from the ball carrier and opening running lanes on a consistent basis. It’s not necessarily spectacular, but it is very effective.
Nothing to add here.
If there was a player who benefitted from a new coach in 2013 is was LeSean McCoy. Always seen as a shifty runner, he blossomed into far more of an every down threat and workhorse within Chip Kelly’s offense without taking a dramatic increase in pounding. In his first season within the new system McCoy averaged over five yards a carry for the second time in his career despite a new high in carries. McCoy rushed the ball more than 300 times for the first time in his career, adding 41 attempts to his previous career high. He saw a corresponding jump in yardage, topping 1,600 to go along with his nine touchdowns on the ground and another two as a receiver. In all, McCoy accounted for 2,146 from scrimmage and 11 scores as he found himself as the keystone of the new offense.
Best running back in the league.
Peters didn’t look completely healthy to start the year with his first eight games earning a respectable +5.6 grade. Not bad work but not good enough that he’d make this list if he carried it on. No, Peters makes this list with a phenomenal effort in the second half of the season that saw him turn nine games into a +25.4 grade with some fantastic work in the run game. There aren’t many tackles as athletic as him, able to dominate at the second level and shut down pass rushers.
Keep in mind Peters battled through a number of different injuries during the season and it makes his performance even more impressive. He was dealing with a broken finger, a shoulder injury, a hamstring injury, and a pectoral injury at various times.
Kelce would finish the year our top-ranked center, even after the Giants put a beat down on him in Week 5. Outside of that? Well there were just four other negative games and a host of impressive positive ones, with his impact in the running game consistently better than all his peers. Really showed the team what they missed with his injury in 2012 and earned his long-term deal as he paved the way for a big year for LeSean McCoy.
Kelce's athleticism makes him a perfect fit for Chip Kelly's offense.
2012 was something of a down year for Cole who, for the first time in a long while, began to look human. The underrated edge rusher spent a career productively playing at end so we were among those wondering if he could regain his fine form of yesteryear when switching to the Eagles’ 3-4 scheme. While he didn’t quite hit those heights, it was a fine bounce-back year as Cole led the team with 52 quarterback disruptions while also impressing against the run. That earned him the seventh-highest grade of all 3-4 outside linebackers and a spot on this list.
Cole's pass rushing numbers may be a little better than you would have expected.
(Former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson also made this list just one spot behind Cole at 89.)
Don't forget to check out the entire list at PFF.