As we all know, Pro Football Focus, aka "PFF" has a system to grade player performances during their respective games. They use different analytics to determine the specific player's grade.
On Thursday, they released an article about the highest-graded player from every one of the 32 teams. Regarding the Denver Broncos, you would probably be surprised about who is their highest-graded player.
To be specific, the PFF Denver Broncos' highest-graded player through midseason is second-year cornerback Ja'Quan McMillian, he has an 82.1 grade. Thomas Valentine, PFF's writer, said the following about McMillian in the article ...
""The Broncos' undrafted free agent from a year ago has been a rare bright spot on the defense this season. He has 12 stops in just six games and the third-best run-defense grade among cornerbacks (90.4).""- Thomas Valentine, PFF
Ja'Quan was signed by the Broncos as an undrafted free agent following the 2022 NFL Draft, he did not make the 53-man roster in his rookie season but was signed to the practice squad. He was elevated to the final game of the 2022-23 season against the Los Angeles Chargers. He impressed the coaching staff in the 2023 preseason and made the initial roster for the 2023-24 season.
McMillian has appeared in seven out of eight games so far in the season. Did not play in the season opener against the Las Vegas Raiders. Did not see much action in the second and third games, against the Washington Commanders and Miami Dolphins, respectively, but since week four against the Chicago Bears, he has been the Denver Broncos starting nickleback corner.
Since his first start in the season against the Bears, McMillian has been an important piece for the Broncos defense.
""I’m like the quarterback of the defense now.""- Ja'Quan McMillian
McMillian has the following stats so far in the season:
- 23 tackles
- 18 solo tackles
- 5 tackles for loss
- 2 pass breakups
- 1 interception
The interception came in clutch time against the Kansas City Chiefs during the week eight win.
Are you surprised that McMillian is Denver's highest-graded player? How would you grade Christian Parker's decision to start Ja'Quan at nickel?