NFL free agency 2023: Who are the best players still avaliable?
With NFL free agency now in full swing, a number of teams have already dipped into the market. That doesn’t mean there aren’t still some high-profile players available.
Aside from the obvious question as to where Lamar Jackson will end up, it’s worth noting that there are a few household names still out there on the free agency market. With that in mind, here’s a look at who some of those guys are and what they’re capable of. The top free agents still available in the NFL
Lamar Jackson (QB) - Baltimore Ravens
As mentioned above, the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson is the biggest of them. Given that the QB currently holds a non-exclusive franchise tag, the Ravens can match any incoming offer from another team. Indeed, Baltimore will have five days to match and if the Ravens decline, they will receive two first-round picks in return. Where numbers are concerned, the Ravens are 45-16 across the 61 starts that Jackson has made since he entered the league in 2018. When he’s been on the field, the team has averaged 28.0 points per game, while posting 20.0 when he’s off it.
To be clear, Jackson is one of just six players in NFL history to hit the 100-plus passing touchdowns mark as well as 4,000-plus rushing yards. If that wasn’t enough, he’s the fastest QB to get there with 31 games less than his closest rival. To cement the point, the Ravens have averaged 184.8 rushing yards per game with Jackson as a starter in his career - the most by any starting quarterback since the 1970 merger. At 26-years-old and a former MVP, there is sure to be a long list of suitors for arguably the best free agent to come along in recent years.
Rock Ya-Sin (CB) - Las Vegas Raiders
One of the best man-cover corners in the game, Ya-Sin allowed a 63.2 passer rating when opposing quarterbacks targeted him last season. As for how many of those were allowed to be caught when thrown in his direction, he allowed just 51.7%. We should always mention that he allowed no touchdowns, which is to say if a team is looking for a consistent corner, then Ya-Sin is most definitely one of the best options out there. For teams looking for a reliable corner, Ya-Sin provides excellent value.
Jadeveon Clowney (OLB) - Cleveland Browns
Though his numbers last season weren’t the best, with just 29 pressures and two sacks last across 12 games, it would be a mistake to sleep on Clowney. This after all, is a player who had 53 pressures, nine sacks and 19 quarterback hits as recently as the 2021 season. Be sure to keep an eye on him as the market pans out.
Yannick Ngakoue (DE) - Indianapolis Colts
When it comes to pass rushing, Ngakoue is special. On the other hand, if there is a weakness it’s in his form against the run. While that in itself could decrease his market value, rest assured we’re looking at a very decent option should a team be looking for an edge player.
Dalton Risner (OG) - Denver Broncos
At 27-years-old and playing as a converted tackle, credit has got to be given to Risner who only entered the league in 2020. Indeed, he’s secured himself a starting spot since then and has never looked back.
Chris Wormley (NT) - Pittsburgh Steelers
If you’re looking for bang for the buck, then Wormley fits the bill. While he’s not necessarily the most extravagant player out there, as a veteran he’s found ways to guard against the run. While he currently plays at the end for the Steelers, he’d almost certainly be placed on the inside for other teams out there.
D.J. Chark (WR) - Detroit Lions
After putting pen to paper on a one-year deal, Chark only managed to play eight games during the last campaign. That being said, it was clear that he had something as evidenced by his performances towards the end of the season. At the young age of 26-years-old, you can believe the kid’s got gas left in his tank.
Odell Beckham Jr. (WR) - Los Angeles Rams
Aside from Lamar Jackson, Odell Beckham Jr. is by far the most prolific name on this list. It’s been a little over a year since he tore his ACL in the Super Bowl and during that time we’ve seen him go from rehab to a handful of workouts with a collection of teams, including the Dallas Cowboys. On the other and given that the ‘Boys’ recently picked up Brandin Cooks, any possible deal is likely now dead. The things is this: Beckham was playing at a spectacular level prior to his injury and at 30-years-old the pass catcher is now truly in his prime. As for what happens next, we’re not sure, but we do know that Aaron Rodgers’ proposed move to the New York Jets does to some extent hinge on the fulfillment of his wish list, which includes Odell Beckham Jr., so watch this space.
Taylor Rapp (S) - Los Angeles Rams
Drafted by the Rams in 2019, Rapp was impressive this last season with 92 tackles last season, a fumble recovery and two interceptions. Indeed, he’s quite frankly a very reliable option who can also play in several different positions.
Matthew Ioannidis (DE) - Carolina Panthers
Having signed a one-year deal with the Panthers at the start of last season, fans were pleasantly surprised by Ioannidis as he established himself as a simple and effective player on the inside. Any team looking for those two qualities in a defensive end would do well to keep an eye on him.
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