MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The 2021 NFL season came to a close in California Sunday night.
The Los Angeles Rams denied former Mountaineer Quinton Spain and the Cincinnati Bengals their first Super Bowl trophy.
With the season now officially over, Pro Football Focus has completed its season grades for players across the league. Five former Mountaineers met the necessary minimum number of snaps played to earn a full season grade.
Leading the way was Green Bay cornerback Rasul Douglas, who enjoyed the best season of his career thus far.
Douglas, who joined the Packers midway through the season, finished the year with career-highs in interceptions (5), touchdowns (2), forced fumbles (1), and solo tackles (52). Not only did he become a crowd favorite in Green Bay, but he graded well with Pro Football Focus.
PFF gave Douglas a 74.5 grade for this year. That was the best among all former WVU players, and placed him 16th out of 116 eligible cornerbacks across the National Football League.
For reference, that was significantly better than well-known corners, such as Xavien Howard (70.9), Carlton Davis (69.9), Marlon Humphrey (65.9), and Tre’Davious White (65.7).
Seven-year veteran offensive guard Mark Glowinski recorded the second-best grade among eligible Mountaineers.
Glowinski played in 16 games, starting 14, with the Indianapolis Colts. He also played 81 percent of the offensive snaps run by the Colts this season.
Pro Football Focus deemed he earned a grade of 70.1, which placed him 21st among the league’s 82 eligible offensive guards.
Former Mountaineer linebackers are next up on the report card.
Tennessee Titans linebacker David Long Jr. was limited to just 10 games this season due to injury. However, he set career-highs for himself in solo tackles (46), total tackles (75) and tackles for loss (4). He also hauled in the first two interceptions of his career.
PFF awarded Long an even grade of 68. That placed him 18th out of 87 linebackers across the NFL.
Just two spots behind him was former WVU teammate Kyzir White, who enjoyed easily the best season of his NFL career.
The Los Angeles Chargers linebacker amassed 144 total tackles this season, which was the eighth-most in the NFL. In fact, he more than doubled the number of tackles he had collected through the first three seasons in the league. White also recorded two interceptions and forced two fumbles.
Despite the gaudy numbers, Pro Football Focus rated him as just the No. 20 linebacker in the NFL, with an overall grade of 66.5.
Among the five eligible Mountaineers, Spain received the lowest grade.
Spain, who played in 20 of the Bengals’ 21 games this season, earned the highest single-season Approximate Value of his career, according to Pro Football Reference.
However, according to Pro Football Focus, Spain earned just a 66.4 grade for the year. That placed him 43rd out of 82 eligible offensive guards.
Quarterback Geno Smith only appeared in four games this year for the Seattle Seahawks, so he didn’t meet the requirement for the minimum number of snaps played to be ranked among the rest of the QBs in the league.
But with Smith starting three games, and playing well overall during those three starts, it’s worth looking at his PFF grade of 73.9.
To put that grade in perspective, it was the exact same grade that Seattle starter Russell Wilson was given for this year. It was also better than regular starters Teddy Bridgewater (73.5), Jimmy Garappolo (71.5), Carson Wentz (70.5), and Baker Mayfield (63.6).