Elite Stat: Kelce earned a positive grade on 24.88 percent of his run-block snaps in 2017, the highest percentage for all centers.
Philadelphia’s Jason Kelce was so far out ahead of the pack as a run-blocker it’s scarcely believable, and his turnaround in form was a huge reason his team has been so successful. Kelce ended the year with a PFF run-blocking grade of 97.9, dropping below 98.0 only on the final reviews of the year, and that is not only the highest mark of the year at the position, but the highest mark we have ever given a center by some considerable distance. Kelce’s pass-blocking was relatively pedestrian, but because centers have so few genuine action plays in pass protection – typically used as help rather than left to block one-on-one – we felt that it wasn’t enough to overcome such phenomenal performance as a run-blocker.
It’s pretty impressive how Kelce, who turned 30 in November, rebounded this season after coming off two straight down years. Kelce himself even admitted 2016 was the “worst year” of his career.
But the Eagles didn’t give up on Kelce despite his struggles. In January 2017, there was talk the team had interest in moving on from the veteran center. That never turned out to be the case, however, and the Eagles were rewarded by keeping the bearded wonder around.
Kelce missed out on being named to this year’s Pro Bowl but he was obviously deserving. His run blocking ability is a big part of why Philadelphia finished third in total rushing yards in 2017.
Elsewhere on PFF’s list, veteran cornerback Patrick Robinson made the second team at their “Flex D” position. Many believed Robinson wouldn’t even make the team after he struggled so much in training camp. But Robinson really turned it around and ended up being one of the best slot cornerbacks in the NFL this year.
Robinson was targeted 55 times in the slot in 2017. Opponent quarterbacks had a passer rating of 65.2 when targeting him. Only two corners finished better in that category. Robinson finished the season with 38 tackles, 18 passes defensed, four interceptions, one sack, and one fumble recovery.