Welcome to the first annual NFL Worsty Awards, where I will be handing out 71 awards to players who are the worst at football.

Jason Pauley
22 min readApr 7, 2024

by Jason Pauley

Welcome to the first annual NFL Worsty Awards, where I award players for being the worst in the NFL at various things. In this piece, you are going to see guys like Desmond Ridder, Henry To’oTo’o, Zay Jones, and Ryan Neal be celebrated for their futility on the field. Years from now, what will people remember when they think about the 2023 season? Some people might remember the making of a dynasty as the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes won their third Super Bowl in five seasons. Some might remember the heart-warming and miraculous story of Damar Hamlin coming back and playing after a near-death experience a year earlier. Maybe they’ll remember the final season of all-time legend and future Hall of Famer Aaron Donald. But what I’m going to remember is that Leonard Floyd missed 36.7% of his tackles, and that Rondale Moore averaged only 0.73 yards per route run.

In addition to the success stories, players overcoming great odds, and a farewell to a legend, the failures of these Worsty award winners will also be etched in our memories when we think back to the 2023 season.

It’s important to note that I’m punching up here. Because let’s be honest, even the worst players in the NFL are in the top 1% of 1% in their field of work. There are over 2,000 players who have played this year, and each and every one of them is 10X, maybe 100X better at their jobs than I am at mine. Additionally, I’m using playing time qualifiers like a minimum number of snaps, targets, attempts, etc, so perhaps there are players who are “worse” than these Worsty winners, but the Jake Funks of the NFL aren’t even invited to this award ceremony.

My job as your host of the First Annual Worsty Awards is simple. The heavy lifting was done by Pro Football Reference and Pro Football Focus. All I had to do was pay them a fair amount for access to their premium metrics and queries, then start querying and sorting to find out what players are the worst at stuff.

Folks…these guys suck and that’s okay. You probably suck too. I suck at so many things. It’s time we start celebrating how horrible we are. These players deserve their time in the sun, and today they have that. So, let’s get started and hand out these Worsty Awards…

QUARTERBACK

The winner of the Worst Quarterback in the NFL based on PFF Grade:

🏅Desmond Ridder (ATL)

Bottom 5 PFF Grade (min 200 dropbacks)

  1. D.Ridder (ATL) 51.9
  2. M.Jones (NE) 52.2
  3. B.Zappe (NE) 52.2
  4. B.Young (CAR) 56.0
  5. Z.Wilson (NYJ) 58.2

Congrats to AZ for adding a Worsty winner in one of the biggest Worsty categories, to their roster in their trade with ATL. However, you’ll see in a future post that Rondale Moore who the Falcons received is also a Worsty winner in a category.

The winner of the highest Turnover Worthy Play rate per Pro Football Focus

🏅Mac Jones (NE)

5 worst TWP% (min 200 dropbacks)

  1. M.Jones (NE) 5.8%
  2. D.Ridder (ATL) 5.6%
  3. W.Levis (TEN) 4.5%
  4. J.Dobbs (MIN) 4.4%
  5. D.Jones (NYG) 4.1%

Daniel Jones has a cap hit of $47 million in 2024.

The winner of the highest Pressure-to-Sack rate per Pro Football Focus

🏅Tommy DeVito (NYG)

5 worst P2S% (min 200 dropbacks):

  1. T.DeVito (NYG) 37.4%
  2. D.Jones (NYG) 31.6%
  3. R.Tannehill (TEN) 30.2%
  4. B.Young (CAR) 24.5%
  5. B.Zappe (NE) 24.3%

Something something 🤌

The winner of the worst Passer Rating:

🏅Bailey Zappe (NE)

5 worst Passer Ratings in 2023 (min 200 dropbacks)

  1. B.Zappe (NE) 68.8
  2. D.Jones (NYG) 70.5
  3. B.Young (CAR) 73.7
  4. M.Jones (NE) 77.0
  5. Z.Wilson (NYJ) 77.2

4 of the 5 on this list were first round picks (all but Zappe), selected between 1st overall and 15th overall.

The winner of the worst sack rate per Pro Football Reference

🏅Zach Wilson (NYJ)

5 worst sack rates in 2023 (min 238 att)

  1. Z.Wilson (NYJ) 11.11%
  2. J.Fields (CHI) 10.63%
  3. B.Young (CAR) 10.53%
  4. W.Levis (TEN) 9.89%
  5. S.Howell (WAS) 9.60%

Bryce Young was also on the list for the 5 worst pressure-to-sack rate.

The winner of the worst ANY/A (adj net yards per att):

🏅Bryce Young (CAR)

5 worst ANY/As in 2023 (min 238 att)

  1. B.Young (CAR) 3.68
  2. Z.Wilson (NYJ) 4.29
  3. S.Howell (WAS) 4.39
  4. M.Jones (NE) 4.50
  5. J.Dobbs (AZ,MIN) 4.60

Bryce Young’s 3.68 is the worst since Josh Rosen would have won a Worsty in 2018 with an ANY/A of 3.53.

The winner of the Worst On-Target % per Pro Football Reference

🏅Will Levis (TEN)

5 worst on-target rates in 2023 (min 238 att)

  1. W.Levis (TEN) 67.1%
  2. J.Dobbs (AZ,MIN) 70.0%
  3. K.Pickett (PIT) 71.6%
  4. A.o’Connell (LV) 72.8%
  5. J.Fields (CHI) 73.0%

Will Levis is bad at coffee and bad at accuracy. Although he has a tendency to throw deep which impacts this number. Either way, congrats on the Worsty.

The winner of the worst yards-per-scramble (not designed runs) per Pro Football Reference:

🏅Nick Mullens (MIN)

5 worst yards per scramble in 2023 (min 5 scrambles)

  1. N.Mullens (MIN) 4.0
  2. J.Goff (DET) 4.4
  3. A.Richardson (IND) 4.7
  4. J.Garoppolo (LV) 4.9
  5. K.Pickett (PIT) 5.1

Curious who has the highest yards per scramble? Taylor Heinicke and Kyler Murray at 9.6.

The winner of the Worsty award for adjusted completion % per Pro Football Focus:

🏅Bailey Zappe (NE)

5 worst Adj Comp % (min 200 dropbacks)

  1. B.Zappe (NE) 68.7%
  2. W.Levis (TEN) 69.1%
  3. J.Flacco (CLE) 70.4%
  4. K.Pickett (PIT) 71.8%
  5. B.Young (CAR) 71.9%

This accounts for dropped passes, throw aways, spiked balls, batted passes, and passes where the QB was hit while they threw the ball. ((Completions + Drops) / (Attempts — Throw Aways — Spikes — Batted Passes — Hit As Thrown))

WIDE RECEIVER

The winner of the worst wide receiver as defined by Pro Football Focus Grade:

🏅Trey Palmer (TB)

5 worst wide receivers (min 50 targets)

  1. T.Palmer (TB) 51.3
  2. R.Moore (AZ) 53.6*
  3. KJ Osborn (MIN) 53.9
  4. J.Mingo (CAR) 54.7
  5. D.Mooney (CHI) 55.2*

Uh oh…the Atlanta Falcons just added two of the five worst wide receivers in the NFL to their roster this offseason. 😬

The winner of the worst Yards After Catch per Reception (WRs) by Pro Football Reference:

🏅Zay Jones (JAX)

5 lowest YAC/Rec (min 50 targets)

  1. Z.Jones (JAX) 1.8
  2. J.Watson (KC) 1.8
  3. R.Batemen (BAL) 2.0
  4. R.Doubs (GB) 2.3
  5. R. J.Dotson (WAS) 2.4

Zay Jones broke zero tackles on 34 receptions in 2023. That’s how you win a Worsty, folks.

The winner of the WORST Yards per Route Run (WRs):

🏅Rondale Moore (AZ)

5 lowest YPRR (min 50 targets)

  1. R.Moore (AZ) 0.73
  2. J.Mingo (CAR) 0.78
  3. J.Dotson (WAS) 0.82
  4. T.Palmer (TB) 0.85
  5. A.Pierce (IND) 0.88

YPRR from Pro Football Focus

The winner of the WORST Drop Rate (WRs):

🏅Darnell Mooney (CHI)

5 highest drop rates (min 50 targets)

  1. D.Mooney (CHI) 13.9%
  2. N.Brown (HOU) 13.2%
  3. J.Watson (KC) 12.9%
  4. KJ Osborn (MIN) 12.7%
  5. DJ Chark (CAR) 12.5%

NFL median drop rate is 5.9%

Mooney’s drop rate seems to be an outlier this year. Each of his first three seasons were below 5.0%. We can probably expect positive regression for Mooney.

Drop rate from Pro Football Focus

The winner of the WORST passer rating when targeted (WRs):

🏅Jonathan Mingo (CAR)

5 lowest passer ratings when targeted (min 50 targets)

  1. J.Mingo (CAR) 56.2
  2. D.Mooney (CHI) 56.2
  3. J.Dotson (WAS) 61.0
  4. R.Batemen (BAL) 61.7
  5. Z.Jones (JAX) 66.7

Much of this stat is of course, driven by the QB throwing the ball. But it’s notable that Bateman has a 61.7 rating when targeted, with his QB (Lamar Jackson) having an overall passer rating of 102.7.

Stat from Pro Football Focus

RUNNING BACK

The winner of the WORST running back as defined by Pro Football Focus grade:

🏅Joshua Kelley (LAC)

5 worst running backs (min 100 attempts)

  1. J.Kelley (LAC) 52.0
  2. J.Williams (NO) 59.4
  3. A.Ekeler (LAC) 60.2
  4. M.Sanders (CAR) 60.8
  5. A.Mattison (MIN) 62.8

Jamaal Williams going from 17 TDs in 2022 to only 1 in 2023 is wild. Do you remember that one TD? You should!

The winner of the WORST yards per rush attempt:

🏅Dameon Pierce (HOU)

5 worst YPA (min 100 attempts)

  1. D.Pierce (HOU) 2.9
  2. J.Williams (NO) 2.9
  3. K.Hunt (CLE) 3.0
  4. M.Sanders (CAR) 3.3
  5. AJ Dillon (GB) 3.4

The winner of the WORST yards after contact per attempt:

🏅Kareem Hunt (CLE)

5 worst YCO/A (min 100 attempts)

  1. K.Hunt (CLE) 2.17
  2. J.Williams (NO) 2.25
  3. D.Pierce (HOU) 2.27
  4. J.Jacobs (LV) 2.35
  5. D.Swift (PHI) 2.42

NFL median 2.91

D.Swift has the 9th best YPA in the NFL, despite being in the bottom 5 in YCO/A. Scheme and OL at play here. This is a good example for the “Running backs don’t matter” philosphy.

Stat from Pro Football Reference

The winner of the WORST “breakaway” rate (% OF YDS FROM 15+ yards RUNS):

🏅Ezekiel Elliott (NE)

5 worst BAY% (min 100 attempts):

  1. E.Elliott (NE) 2.6%
  2. D.Foreman (CHI) 5.2%
  3. J.Williams (NO) 5.6%
  4. K.Hunt (CLE) 7.8%
  5. T.Allgeier (ATL) 10.5%

The average age of the 5 WORST RBs by BAY% is 26.8.

The average age of the 5 BEST RBs by BAY% is 23.6…3 years younger.

BAY% from Pro Football Focus

The winner of the Worsty award for lowest Elusive Rating by Pro Football Focus

🏅Kareem Hunt (CLE)

5 worst elusive ratings (min 75 att.)

  1. K.Hunt (CLE) 10.1
  2. L.Murray (BUF) 21.0
  3. J.Williams (NO) 23.6
  4. J.Kelley (LAC) 27.3
  5. J.Jacobs (LV) 32.2

Hunt’s Yds after Contact/Att from ‘21-‘23 declined from 3.5, 2.9, 2.2; Elusive rating from ‘21-‘23 is 86.2, 62.6, and now 10.1.

Formula: (Missed Tackles Forced) / (Designed Run Attempts + Receptions) * (Yards After Contact Per Attempt * 100)

The winner of the WORST pass blocking running back as defined by Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade:

🏅Alvin Kamara (NO)

5 lowest pass PFF blocking grades (min 100 rush att):

  1. A.Kamara (NO) 19.2
  2. M.Sanders (CAR) 23.3
  3. J.Gibbs (DET) 23.6
  4. J.Cook (BUF) 23.8
  5. C.McCaffrey (SF) 24.6

The winner of the WORST route runner (RB) as defined by Pro Football Focus route-running grade:

🏅Matt Breida (NYG)

5 lowest pass PFF route-running grades for RB (min 20 targets):

  1. M.Breida (NYG) 37.0
  2. K.Williams (LAR) 38.5
  3. A.Mattison (MIN) 41.2
  4. Z.Moss (IND) 43.9
  5. E.Demercado (AZ) 44.7

The winner of the WORST yards-per-route-run (RB):

🏅Matt Breida (NYG)

5 lowest YPRR for RB (min 20 targets):

  1. M.Breida (NYG) 0.56
  2. K.Hunt (CLE) 0.62
  3. K.Williams (LAR) 0.64
  4. D.Singletary (HOU) 0.65
  5. L.Murray (BUF) 0.65

Median for RBs is 0.97

Matt Breida is also a winner in the worst route running grade category.

The winner of the WORST drop rate (RB):

🏅Jerome Ford (CLE)

Five highest drop rates for RB (min 20 targets):

  1. J.Ford (CLE) 17.0%
  2. A.Jones (GB) 16.7%
  3. A.Mattison (MIN) 16.7%
  4. Z.Moss (IND) 15.6%
  5. L.Murray (BUF) 15.0%

Despite his 9 drops, Ford has turned his targets into 5 touchdowns, and 0 INTs with solid YAC.

The winner of the WORST yards after catch / reception (RB):

🏅Michael Carter (AZ)

Five lowest YAC/Rec for RB (min 20 targets):

  1. M.Carter (AZ) 3.7
  2. A.Abdullah (LV) 4.7
  3. E.Demercado (AZ) 5.2
  4. M.Breida (NYG) 5.4
  5. L.Murray (BUF) 5.6

Because of the type of play/routes for running back receptions, they have higher YAC/rec than WRs. Median for RB is 7.6; median for WR is 4.2.

Stat from Pro Football Focus

The winner of the WORST passer rating when targeted (RB):

🏅Ameer Abdullah (LV)

Five lowest passer ratings when targeted for RB (min 20 targets):

  1. A.Abdullah (LV) 54.2
  2. J.Jacobs (LV) 61.1
  3. D.Montgomery (DET) 65.9
  4. M.Sanders (CAR) 67.2
  5. K.Herbert (CHI) 68.4

Two Raiders RBs in the bottom two might be more of an indicator of the QBs short passing game.

TIGHT ENDS

The winner of the WORST tight end as defined by Pro Football Focus overall grade:

🏅Hayden Hurst (CAR)

5 worst tight ends by PFF grade (min 30 targets)

  1. H.Hurst (CAR) 44.7
  2. Z.Ertz (AZ) 50.8
  3. C.Otton (TB) 52.1
  4. D.Knox (BUF) 53.2
  5. A.Trautman (DEN) 53.2

Age has caught up with Ertz as he faced his second decline in a row in PFF grade, in his 11th season. The 33-year-old has signed a one-year deal to play for the Commanders this yr. With a little luck, he can top this list in 2024.

The winner of the worst Yards After Catch per Reception (TEs) by Pro Football Focus

🏅Hunter Henry (NE)

5 lowest YAC/R (min 30 targets)

  1. H.Henry (NE) 1.8
  2. Z.Ertz (AZ) 1.9
  3. K.Pitts (ATL) 2.5
  4. M.Gesicki (NE) 2.9
  5. TJ.Hockenson (MIN) 3.6

It’s surprising to see 2-time pro bowler Hockenson on this list, but it turns out he does his damage before the catch. His 6.6 YBC/R is 7th best in the NFL for TEs.

The winner of the WORST Yards per Route Run (WRs):

🏅Adam Trautman (DEN)

5 lowest YPRR for TEs (min 30 targets)

  1. A.Trautman (DEN) 0.59
  2. M.Gesicki (NE) 0.72
  3. D.Knox (BUF) 0.77
  4. T.Tremble (CAR) 0.78
  5. C.Otton (TB) 0.80

YPRR from Pro Football Focus

The winner of the WORST Drop Rate (TEs):

🏅Zach Ertz (AZ)

5 highest drop rates (min 30 targets)

  1. Z.Ertz (AZ) 12.9%
  2. D.Knox (BUF) 12.0%
  3. I.Likely (BAL) 11.8%
  4. H.Hurst (CAR) 10.0%
  5. D.Parham Jr (LAC) 10.0%

NFL median drop rate for TE is 5.2%

Ertz’s career drop rate is 5.6% and it was 6.0% in 2022. 2023 was an anomoly.

Drop rate from Pro Football Focus

The winner of the WORST passer rating when targeted (TEs):

🏅Hayden Hurst (CAR)

5 lowest passer ratings when targeted (TEs min 30 targets)

  1. H.Hurst (CAR) 61.0
  2. Z.Ertz (AZ) 62.3
  3. C.Heyward (PIT) 68.6
  4. D.Knox (BUF) 71.8
  5. J.Johnson (NO) 75.9

Much of this stat is driven by the QB throwing the ball. But it’s notable that Knox has a 71.8 rating when targeted, with his QB (Josh Allen) having an overall passer rating of 92.2.

Stat from Pro Football Focus

CENTER

The Worsty award for the worst center, period. Based on Pro Football Focus overall grade:

🏅John Michael Schmitz Jr (NYG)

Five worst centers by PFF overall grade (min 300 snaps)

  1. J.Schmitz Jr (NYG) 41.4
  2. L.Fortner (JAC) 44.3
  3. L.Eichenberg (MIA) 46.7
  4. C.McGovern (NYJ) 48.5
  5. T.Larsen (WAS) 50.3

Schmitz is consistently bad at both, run-blocking (3rd worst) and pass-blocking (worst)

The Worsty award for the most pressures (hits+sacks+hurry) allowed by a center:

🏅Aaron Brewer (TEN)

The five most pressures allowed

  1. A.Brewer (TEN) 34
  2. C.Shelton (LAR) 34
  3. B.Bozeman (CAR) 32
  4. M.Cole (PIT) 31
  5. D.Andrews. (NE) 30

Tie-breakers go to the player with more sacks given up. Brewer gave up 6 sacks, Shelton gave up 2.

Center category: The Worsty award for the worst run-blocking Pro Football Focus grade:

🏅Luke Fortner (JAX)

Five worst centers by PFF run-blocking grade (min 300 snaps)

  1. L.Fortner (JAX) 40.0
  2. L.Eichenberg (MIA) 50.7
  3. J.Schmitz Jr. (NYG) 51.3
  4. R.Hainsey (TB) 53.0
  5. J.Meyers (GB) 55.2

Florida is where run-blocking centers go to die. All three teams in Florida have a center in the bottom five.

Center category: The Worsty award for the worst pass-blocking Pro Football Focus grade

🏅John Michael Schmitz Jr (NYG)

Five worst centers by PFF pass-blocking grade (min 300 snaps)

  1. J.Schmitz Jr (NYG) 26.9
  2. T.Larsen (WAS) 28.7
  3. C.McGovern (NYJ) 30.5
  4. M.Cole (PIT) 39.6
  5. L.Patrick (CHI) 40.6

The Giants rookie is also in the bottom five for run-blocking.

GUARD

Guard category: The Worsty award for the worst guard, period. Per Pro Football Focus overall grade:

🏅Chandler Zavala (CAR)

Five worst guards by PFF overall grade (min 300 snaps)

  1. C.Zavala (CAR) 26.2
  2. A.Mafi (NE) 32.3
  3. A.Jensen (CAR) 34.7
  4. C.Paul (WAS) 38.8
  5. J.Pugh (NYG) 42.6

No guard with at least 300 snaps dating back to 2006 (PFF’s first blocking scores) has had an overall grade as low as Zavala’s 26.2.

Guard category: The Worsty award for the most pressures (hits+sacks+hurry) allowed:

🏅Laken Tomlinson (NYJ)

The five most pressures allowed

  1. L.Tomlinson (NYJ) 51
  2. C.Mauch (TB) 48
  3. E.Ingram (MIN) 42
  4. J.Salyer (LAC) 41
  5. O.Torrence (BUF) 40

Tomlinson has not missed a start over the last 6 seasons, going 16, 16, 16, 17, 17, 17 in total starts. He’s not only a Worsty award winner, he is dependable.

Data from Pro Football Focus

Guard category: The Worsty award for the worst pass-blocking guard per Pro Football Focus pass block grade:

🏅Chandler Zavala (CAR)

Five worst guards by PFF pass-blocking grade (min 300 snaps)

  1. C.Zavala (CAR) 7.1
  2. M.McKethan (NYG) 26.8
  3. A.Mafi (NE) 27.7
  4. C.Paul (WAS) 27.8
  5. S.Burford (SF) 28.3

Zavala gives up a pressure every 7.5 pass-blocking plays. For context, Brandon Scherff gives up a pressure every 47.3 pass-blocking plays.

Guard category: The Worsty award for the worst run-blocking guard per Pro Football Focus

🏅Nash Jensen (CAR)

Five worst guards by PFF run-blocking grade (min 300 snaps)

  1. N.Jensen (CAR) 38.6
  2. C.Mauch (TB) 39.1
  3. A.Mafi (NE) 39.9
  4. C.Throckmorton (TEN) 41.1
  5. B.Bredeson (NYG) 41.4

Nash Jensen is an undrafted rookie. He won four FCS National Championships while at North Dakota State.

TACKLE

Tackle category: The Worsty award for the worst tackle, period. Per Pro Football Focus overall grade:

🏅Jaelyn Duncan (TEN)

Five worst tackles by PFF overall grade (min 300 snaps)

  1. J.Duncan (TEN) 32.9
  2. E.Neal (NYG) 39.8
  3. V.Lowe (NE) 41.7
  4. G.Christian (CLE) 43.2
  5. B.Freeland (IND) 44.2

Four of the five players on this list are in their 1st or 2nd year.

Tackle category: The Worsty award for the most pressures (hits+sacks+hurry) allowed:

🏅Orlando Brown Jr. (CIN)

The five most pressures allowed

  1. O.Brown (CIN) 59
  2. D.Moore Jr (PIT) 55
  3. T.Steele (DAL) 54
  4. D.Wright (CHI) 51
  5. M.Becton (NYJ) 50

It’s hard to give a Worsty to a 4-time pro bowler, but Brown had his worst PFF graded season ever, and his 59 hurries are 25% more than his previous high. He took a step back in his first year in CIN.

Stat from Pro Football Focus

Tackle category: The Worsty award for the worst pass-blocking tackle per Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade:

🏅Jaelyn Duncan (TEN)

Five worst tackles by PFF pass-blocking grade (min 300 snaps)

  1. J.Duncan (TEN) 29.2
  2. V.Lowe (NE) 36.0
  3. E.Neal (NYG) 38.5
  4. D.Moore Jr. (PIT) 39.7
  5. S.Forsythe (SEA) 40.9

Jaelyn Duncan gives up a QB pressure every 5.75 pass-block snaps. For context, Tristan Wirfs gives up a pressure every 52.6 pass-block snaps.

Tackle category: The Worsty award for the worst run-blocking tackle per Pro Football Focus run-blocking grade

🏅Geron Christian (CLE)

Five worst tackles by PFF run-blocking grade (min 300 snaps)

  1. G.Christian (CLE) 35.7
  2. T.Phillips (NYG) 40.0
  3. J.Duncan (TEN) 41.5
  4. J.Taylor (KC) 44.6
  5. D.Smith (KC) 45.1

Kansas City’s OL is anchored by bookends Taylor and Smith both in the bottom five in run-blocking. Who needs good run-blocking tackles, I guess.

EDGE RUSHER

The Worsty award for the worst edge rusher per Pro Football Focus:

🏅Pat Jones II (MIN)

Five worst edge rushers by PFF overall grade (min 300 snaps)

  1. P.Jones (MIN) 37.9
  2. Y. Ngakoue (CHI) 39.9
  3. J.Ward (NYG) 42.4
  4. D.Smoot (JAX) 42.4
  5. D.Hall (SEA) 44.4

Pat Jones has 5 career sacks on over 600 pass rush snaps between 2021–23

The Worsty award to the edge rusher with the lowest Pro Football Focus pass rush grade:

🏅Tavius Robinson (BAL)

Five lowest pass rush PFF grade (min 300 snaps)

  1. T.Robinson (BAL)
  2. P.Jones (MIN)
  3. Y.Ngakoue (CHI)
  4. D.Smoot (JAX)
  5. J. Smith-Williams (WAS)

Rookie, Tavius Robinson registered one sack on 163 pass rush snaps.

The Worsty award to the edge rusher with the lowest Pro Football Focus run def grade:

🏅Derick Hall (SEA)

Five lowest run-def PFF grade (min 300 snaps)

  1. D.Hall (SEA) 32.7
  2. Y.Ngakoue (CHI) 37.7
  3. D.Smoot (JAX) 38.4
  4. P.Jones II (MIN) 39.8
  5. J.Ward (NYG) 40.4

Ngakoue, Smoot, and Jones are in the bottom five in both pass rush grade and run defense grade.

The Worsty award to the edge rusher with highest missed tackle rate:

🏅Leonard Floyd (BUF)

Five edge rushers with the highest missed tackle % (min 300 snaps)

  1. L.Floyd (BUF) 36.7%
  2. D.Smoot (JAX) 35.7%
  3. N.Bonitto (DEN) 34.3%
  4. Y.Ngakoue (CHI) 29.2%
  5. A.J. Epenesa (BUF) 28.6%

BUF has two edge rushers in the top 5 for the worst missed tackle rate. A third Bill, Shaq Lawson has the 9th worst missed tackle rate in the NFL.

MIS% from run def PFF grade

LINEBACKER

The Worsty award for the worst linebacker per Pro Football Focus:

🏅Josh Woods (AZ)

Five worst linebackers by PFF overall grade (min 300 snaps)

  1. J.Woods (AZ) 31.8
  2. H. To’oTo’o (HOU) 44.0
  3. D.White (TB) 47.4
  4. C.Rozeboom (LAR) 47.9
  5. K.Grugier-Hill (CAR) 48.6

Despite decent volume in tackle stats, and a pro bowl, Devin White has graded below 50 overall, every year except his rookie season in 2019.

The Worsty award to the linebacker with the lowest Pro Football Focus run defense grade:

🏅Josh Woods (AZ)

Five lowest run def PFF grade for linebackers (min 300 snaps)

  1. J.Woods (AZ) 29.0
  2. K.Alexander (PIT) 31.3
  3. D.White (TB) 31.4
  4. K.Grugier-Hill (CAR) 40.0
  5. C.Rozeboom (LAR) 42.1

The Worsty award to the linebacker with the lowest Pro Football Focus tackling grade:

🏅Micah McFadden (NYG)

Five lowest PFF tackle grades (min 300 snaps)

  1. M.McFadden (NYG) 28.8
  2. J.Woods (AZ) 29.0
  3. H.To’oTo’o (HOU) 29.4
  4. K.Grugier-Hill (CAR) 32.7
  5. C.Rozeboom (LAR) 24.8

McFadden’s 25 missed tackles in 2023 were the 5th most for linebackers.

The Worsty award to the linebacker with the lowest Pro Football Focus pass coverage grade:

🏅David Long Jr. (MIA)

Five lowest PFF coverage grades (min 300 snaps)

  1. D.Long Jr. (MIA) 29.8
  2. J.Campbell (DET) 35.3
  3. D.Mayo (WAS) 38.3
  4. D.Perryman (HOU) 38.4
  5. W.Gay (KC) 41.1

David Long makes up for being the worst in the league at coverage, by being the best in the league at stopping the run. His run def grade of 92.6 is ranked 1 out of all linebackers.

The Worsty award to the linebacker with the highest missed tackle rate

🏅Henry To’oTo’o (HOU)

Five highest MIS% for linebackers (min 300 snaps)

  1. H.To’oTo’o (HOU) 21.6%
  2. J.Woods (AZ) 21.0%
  3. M.McFadden (NYG) 20.7%
  4. K.Alexander (PIT) 20.0%
  5. K.Grugier-Hill (CAR) 19.7%

The Worsty award to the linebacker with the highest passer rating when targeted

🏅Henry To’oTo’o (HOU)

Five highest passer ratings when targeted (min 15 targets)

  1. H.To’oTo’o (HOU) 131.4
  2. J.Campbell (DET) 128.2
  3. D.Mayo (WAS) 119.2
  4. K.Hudson (WAS) 118.4
  5. J.Woods (AZ) 116.2

On 33 targets, Henry Moses Ito Iese To’o To’o has given up a completion rate of 82% with three TDs and no INTs.

The Worsty award to the linebacker with the highest receiving yards per target:

🏅Jack Campbell (DET)

Five highest passer ratings when targeted (min 15 targets)

  1. J.Campbell (DET) 9.6
  2. D.Mayo (WAS) 9.1
  3. J.Sanborn (CHI) 9.0
  4. B.Wagner (SEA) 9.0
  5. I.McDuffie (GB) 8.8

Jack Campbell had the 2nd worst passer rating when targeted and 2nd worst pass coverage PFF grade, but is a bridesmaid no more as he takes the Worsty in this category.

SAFETY

The Worsty award for the worst SAFETY, period. Pro Football FOcus overall grade:

🏅Jayron Kearse (DAL)

Five lowest OVERALL grade (min 300 snaps)

  1. J.Kearse (DAL) 43.1
  2. N.Scott (CIN) 44.0
  3. A.Johnson Jr. (GB) 45.6
  4. E.Hicks (CHI) 46.2
  5. R.Neal (TB) 46.6

Number 1 on his jersey, number 95 in the NFL. This 95th best safety in the NFL is the nephew of Titans legend, and three-time Pro Bowler, Jevon Kearse.

The Worsty award to the SAFETY with the highest passer rating when targeted

🏅Ryan Neal (TB)

Five highest passer ratings when targeted (min 15 targets)

  1. R.Neal (TB) 158.3
  2. D.Elliot (MIA) 140.8
  3. P.Butler (WAS) 136.7
  4. J.Pitre (HOU) 135.4
  5. D.Forest (WAS) 132.6

Oh my goodness, Ryan Neal can never be beat, he can only be tied. Bucs safety, Neal was targeted 34 times and gave up 31 comp, 568 yds and 5 TDs for a perfect passer rating of 158.3.

stat from Pro Football Reference

The Worsty award to the SAFETY with the highest rec yards per target

🏅Ryan Neal (TB)

Five highest receiving yds / Tgt (min 15 targets)

  1. R.Neal (TB) 16.7
  2. T.Jackson (MIN) 13.9
  3. D.Forest (WAS) 12.9
  4. D.Elliott (MIA) 12.8
  5. B.Cook. (KC) 12.1

NFL median for safeties is 8.0

Ryan Neal’s 16.7 yards given up per target is the highest on record (PFR data on this stat begins in 2018)

The Worsty award to the SAFETY with the highest missed tackle rate

🏅Anthony Johnson Jr. (GB)

Five highest MIS% for safeties (min 300 snaps)

  1. A.Johnson Jr (GB) 27.3%
  2. J.Adams (SEA) 24.2%
  3. R.Thomas II (IND) 23.2%
  4. D.Delaney (TB) 23.3%
  5. R.Yeats (LAR) 22.7%

It’s crazy to see former all-pro and pro bowler Jamal Adams on this list. The 6th overall pick was missing tackles at a rate under 10% in his prime with the Jets. (10.2% career prior to ‘23)

Data from Pro Football Focus

The Worsty award to the SAFETY with the lowest Pro Football Focus PASS COVERAGE grade:

🏅Ryan Neal (TB)

Five lowest PFF coverage grades (min 300 snaps)

  1. R.Neal (TB) 38.8
  2. N.Scott (CIN) 38.8
  3. E.Hicks (CHI) 40.2
  4. J.Kearse (DAL) 40.9
  5. R.Grant (ATL) 42.4

Ryan Neal also received a Worsty for the highest passer rating when targeted with a perfect 158.3

The Worsty award to the SAFETY with the lowest Pro Football Focus run defense grade RUN DEFENSE grade:

🏅Geno Stone (BAL)

Five lowest PFF run def grades (min 300 snaps)

  1. G.Stone (BAL) 33.1
  2. A.Johnsons Jr. (GB) 37.4
  3. D.Delaney (TB) 40.4
  4. K.Hamilton (BAL) 45.4
  5. R.Thomas II (IND) 48.1

New Cincinnati Bengal, Geno Stone won’t be getting a Worsty for pass coverage. His poor run defense was balanced out by his 7 interceptions, tied for the most in a season for a safety since 2017.

CORNERBACK

The most prestigious Worsty award for the CORNERBACK position, the worst overall CB per Pro Football Focus overall grade

🏅J.C. Jackson (NE)

  1. J.C. Jackson (NE) 34.8
  2. D.Mathis (DEN) 35.2
  3. M.Wilson (NE) 41.7
  4. J.Bennett (LV) 42.4
  5. T.Avery (TEN) 44.2

Prior to 2022, Jackson never had an overall grade lower than 67.3 in his first four seasons. In 2022 had had a grade of 28.7, followed by 34.8 this past year.

The Worsty award to the CORNERBACK with the highest rec yards per target

🏅Trey Hawkins (NYG)

Five highest receiving yds / Tgt (min 15 targets)

  1. T.Hawkins (NYG) 13.4
  2. M.Wilson (AZ,NE) 11.2
  3. F.Moreau (DEN) 10.5
  4. D.Baker (IND) 10.3
  5. K.Fulton (TEN) 10.1

NFL median for cornerbacks is 7.3

The Worsty award to the CORNERBACK with the highest passer rating when targeted:

🏅Tre Hawkins (NYG)

Five highest passer ratings when targeted (min 30 targets)

  1. T.Hawkins (NYG) 158.3
  2. T.Avery (TEN) 135.3
  3. M.Wilson (AZ,NE) 134.6
  4. K.Kohou (MIA) 131.0
  5. S.Thomas (AZ)131.0

Like safety Ryan Neal, CB Trey Hawkins can never be beat, only tied after giving up a perfect passer rating of 158.3. He was targeted 30 times for 25 comp, 403 yds, 4 TDs.

stat from Pro Football Reference

The Worsty award to the CORNERBACK with the highest missed tackle rate

🏅Essang Bassey (LAC)

Five highest MIS% for cornerbacks (min 300 snaps)

  1. E.Bassey (LAC) 33.3%
  2. D.Baker Jr. (IND) 28.3%
  3. M.Brown (JAX) 26.5%
  4. D.Mathis (DEN) 25.6%
  5. B.Roby (PHI) 24.1%

Bassey missed 46.7% of his tackles with the Broncos before they waived him after week four. The Chargers picked him up and he cut that number in half for the remainder of the season.

Data from Pro Football Focus

The Worsty award to the CORNERBACK with the lowest Pro Football Focus PASS COVERAGE grade:

🏅J.C. Jackson (NE)

Five lowest PFF coverage grades (min 300 snaps)

  1. J.C. Jackson (NE) 30.8
  2. D.Mathis (DEN) 36.7
  3. M.Wilson (NE) 40.4
  4. J.Bennett (LV) 41.1
  5. J.Lewis (DAL) 43.0

In 2021 J.C. Jackson made the Pro Bowl and had a coverage grade of 83.0 while leading the league with 23 passes defended. The last two seasons he had a coverage grade of 28.1 and 30.8.

The Worsty award to the CORNERBACK with the lowest Pro Football Focus RUN DEFENSE grade:

🏅Emmanuel Forbes (WAS)

Five lowest PFF coverage grades (min 300 snaps)

  1. E.Forbes (WAS) 28.4
  2. D.Jackson (BUF) 29.3
  3. T.Herndon (JAX) 29.7
  4. A.Taylor (NO) 29.7
  5. D.Williams (JAX) 29.9

Forbes is on the smaller side, at 6’1” 180 lbs, and has excellent speed (4.35). Stopping the run isn’t his thing though, but is it any CBs thing? It might be Jourdan Lewis’ (DAL) thing who has a run def grade of 91.0.

DEFENSIVE LINE

The Worsty award for the worst DEFENSIVE Lineman, period. Pro Football Focus overall defense grade is:

🏅Jordan Phillips (BUF)

Five lowest OVERALL grade (min 300 snaps)

  1. J.Phillips (BUF) 35.8
  2. J.Ledbetter (AZ) 36.2
  3. S.Thomas (NYJ) 37.0
  4. B.Jones (DET) 37.4
  5. K.Peko (TEN) 38.6

Phillips run def and tackling are his biggest weaknesses. He had only 9 total solo tackles this year, while missing 7 tackles. He received a Worsty for highest missed tackle rate as well.

The Worsty award to the Defensive Lineman with highest missed tackle rate:

🏅Jordan Phillips (BUF)

Five DL with the highest missed tackle % (min 300 snaps)

  1. J.Phillips (BUF) 36.8%
  2. K.Peko (TEN) 30.3%
  3. D.Wyatt (GB) 28.9%
  4. T.Settle (BUF) 27.8%
  5. C.Jones (KC) 27.3%

It’s surprising (to me) to see perennial Pro Bowler, 2022–23 All-Pro, and 3-time Super Bowl champion, Chris Jones on this list. he does well. Great pass rusher, poor tackler.

The Worsty award to the DEFENSIVE LINEMAN with the lowest Pro Football Focus RUN DEFENSE grade:

🏅Calijah Kancey (TB)

Five lowest PFF run def grades (min 300 snaps)

  1. C.Kancey (TB) 29.8
  2. J.Phillips (BUF) 30.0
  3. J.Ledbetter (AZ) 30.0
  4. B.Bresee (NO) 30.1
  5. M.Shepherd (NO) 30.3

Rookie, Calijah Kancey is small for a DL at 281 lbs, and fast. He ran a 4.67 at the combine, the fastest DT since 2003. His size and speed helps him rush the passer, but hasn’t been an asset in run D.

The Worsty award to the DEFENSIVE LINEMAN with the lowest Pro Football Focus PASS RUSH grade:

🏅Lawrence Guy Sr. (NE)

Five lowest PFF pass rush grades (min 300 snaps)

  1. L.Guy Sr. (NE) 44.9
  2. L.Ray (CAR) 44.9
  3. J.Bullard (MIN) 46.9
  4. J.Williams (LAR) 47.5
  5. A.Johnson (LAC) 49.3

Guy’s pass rush grade dropped in each of the last 6 years: 64.6, 60.4, 58.8, 56.6, 54.4, 44.9. The 34 yr old, has massively outplayed his draft spot (7th rd, 233rd), playing 12 yrs and earning $31M.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Worsty award for the worst FG KICKER according to Pro Football Focus FG grade is:

🏅Chad Ryland (NE)

Five lowest FG grades (min 10 FG att)

  1. C.Ryland (NE) 38.2
  2. L.Havrisik (LAC) 39.6
  3. B.Maher (LAC) 46.2
  4. A.Carlson (GB) 46.8
  5. G.Gano (NYG) 48.7

Ryland earned this Worsty Award by hitting only 71% from 30–39 (NFL median 100%), and only 50% from 40–49 (NFL median 80%).

The Worsty award for the worst PUNTER according to Pro Football Focus punting grade is:

🏅Ty Zentner (TEN)

Five lowest punting grades (min 20 punts)

  1. T.Zentner (TEN) 46.9
  2. T.Way (WAS) 50.7
  3. P.Harvin III (PIT) 51.4
  4. L.Hedley (NO) 56.2
  5. B.Robbins (CIN) 56.7

Zentner, who was signed to replace injured punter Ryan Stonehouse, ranked 30th out of 33 in yds per punt (44.9) and ranked 31st in hang time (4.21 seconds).

When debating greatness or HOF qualifications, you often hear the question “can you tell the story of the NFL without mentioning [Player]”. Well, on the other side of that greatness are the sad faces of failure. You can’t have one without the other. Sure, Dak Prescott and Jalen Hurts are exceptional, but you can’t ignore the role of Giants CB and Worsty Award winner Tre Hawkins, has in their success. Can you really tell the story of the NFL, without including the worst players? I’ll answer that. You can’t. Thank you to these Worsty Award winners for being the worst and helping others to be the best.

See you all next year, when we celebrate the worst of the 2024 season.

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Jason Pauley

Passionate about Analytics (Football, Sports, Marketing, Sales, Demographics)