Denver Broncos secondary ranked fourth by Pro Football Focus

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 25: Nose tackle Dontari Poe
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 25: Nose tackle Dontari Poe /

The Denver Broncos are widely recognized as having the best secondary in the NFL. Pro Football Focus recently ranked them fourth league-wide…

The Denver Broncos’ secondary is the team’s greatest strength. Known as the No Fly Zone, the Broncos have ranked atop the NFL in pass defense the past two seasons, and have been absolutely impossible to move the ball against for most teams.

That said, the Broncos’ defensive backfield ranked fourth on Pro Football Focus’ recent list of the top secondaries in the NFL today.

PFF is obviously basing this ranking on their player grades and metrics, not necessarily anyones opinions of who should be ranked where based on personnel and projection.

Here’s what they had to say:

"“Chris Harris Jr. was the top graded cornerback (91.6) in 2016 and tied with New England’s Devin McCourty for top coverage grade at 91.5 while Aqib Talib was right behind him at No. 3 overall, finishing with a 90.6 overall grade. Harris Jr. continues to set the standard for slot coverage, leading the league in yards per cover snap allowed while in the slot at just 0.59. As a rookie in 2016, Justin Simmons was the only safety in the NFL without a single missed tackle and at least 200 snaps played.”Pro Football Focus"

It’s great to have a secondary that ranks in the top five of the NFL, but obviously Broncos fans think much more highly of their group than this. It’s borderline insulting to Broncos Country for anyone to consider the No Fly Zone below the best in the NFL.

I would tend to agree.

With Harris Jr. and Talib receiving the highest grades PFF gave out to cornerbacks last season, it’s likely the grades of the safeties brought the Broncos’ ranking down a bit, as well as the inclusion of Bradley Roby, who didn’t grade out all that great by PFF metrics last season.

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We all know the Broncos’ secondary is dominant, and this ranking is honestly still reflective of that. Of course, we’d like to see the Broncos ranked higher on this list, but I’m sure there are Cowboys fans who feel like Travis Frederick is a better center than anyone in the league, yet PFF ranks Matt Paradis slightly higher.

There will be disagreements with any list like this that gets put out, but ranking the Broncos fourth on a list of the best defensive backfield units in the league is certain to ruffle some feathers among Denver fans.