Penn State Linebacker Micah Parsons Named No. 31 on Pro Football Focus Top-101 Players of 2019

By Nick Polak on January 23, 2020 at 9:00 am
Oct 5, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Micah Parsons (11) reacts after a sack against the Purdue Boilermakers during the second half at Beaver Stadium.
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

In what might finally be the last accolade Micah Parsons picks up as a result of the 2019 season, Pro Football Focus College named him their No. 31 player on their Top 101 list from the past season. The Penn State star was dominant from start to finish, even saving his best performance for the season finale in the Cotton Bowl.

Here's what Pro Football Focus had to say about the All-American.

Parsons put an exclamation point on his 2019 season with a dominant performance in the Cotton Bowl against Memphis, so much so that Parsons actually leaped into the lead for highest-graded linebacker overall this year. Parsons was far from a liability in coverage, as he didn’t allow a single touchdown on any of the 64 targets thrown his way, but he really shined against the run, when he blitzed and with his tackling. In fact, Parsons was the only linebacker with elite grades in all three facets this year — he recorded a national-best 94.8 run-defense grade, fourth-highest 90.0 tackling grade and 17th-best pass-rush grade of 85.0. When he did rush the passer, Parsons recorded 26 pressures on 94 attempts, including five sacks, eight hits and 13 more hurries. He tallied 38 run stops (and 50 total stops all season long) while his run-stop percentage of 12.3% ranked 23rd. Perhaps the most impressive, however, was the fact that he attempted a total of 111 tackles this year and missed just six. He was a sure tackler who also made incredible strides across the field in every facet of play.

This announcement comes on the heels of last week's announcement by the advanced statistics database that Parsons was the top run-defender in the game.

After a season as strong as his 2019, the rising junior looks primed to take his place among the most elite players in the sport, and position himself to be a very high draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Parsons is the only Nittany Lion to appear on the list to this point (Nos. 1-25 have yet to be released). The other Big Ten players named are as follows.

No. 29 Tristian Wirfs (OT, Iowa)

No. 24 Tanner Morgan (QB, Minnesota)

No. 36 Jeffrey Okudah (CB, Ohio State)

No. 41 Rashawn Slater (OT, Northwestern)

No. 55 KJ Dobbins (RB, Ohio State)

No. 61 Antoine Winfield Jr. (S, Minnesota)

No. 72 Rashod Bateman (WR, Minnesota)

No. 78 AJ Epenesa (DE, Iowa)

No. 90 Wyatt Davis (OG, Ohio State)

No. 101 Stanley Green (S, Illinois)

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