Micah Parsons is one of the best defensive players in the NFL. When it comes to what Parsons is good at, well, it can be difficult to properly quantify things. Parsons is the exception to the rule in that he can just about play every position on the defensive side at an elite level. If he is in your front seven then you are living life above the average line from a performance perspective.
Ultimately, Parsons’ job is to make life difficult for opposing offenses which is something he did with regularity across his rookie season. It turns out there are very few people in the NFL more capable of disrupting things than he is.
Micah Parsons comes in fourth in NFL.com’s list of top 10 disrupters across the league
It feels like only a matter of time until Parsons takes the mantle as the undisputed top defensive player in the NFL, but for now he is already hanging out among the very elite.
Recently NFL.com used Next Gen Stats to assess which defensive players “disrupted” things the most. Micah Parsons came in fourth in their list of 10.
QBP rate: 21.1%
Parsons wasn’t an every-down rusher — he was primarily an off-ball linebacker — which sparks an interesting debate when it comes to this exercise. With less pass-rushing responsibility, Parsons might have benefitted from being assigned to get after the quarterback in more advantageous situations. But the flip side of that argument is the reality that he was rushing less, meaning he had fewer chances to make an impact in that facet of the game. And he certainly maximized those opportunities.
Parsons fell short of the gross totals posted by most of the players listed here when it came to quarterback pressures, but he led the league in quarterback pressure rate at 21.1 percent. He finished with 13 sacks, getting home on 4.7 percent of all pass rushes — good for third best in the NFL. Add in the four turnovers caused by pressure, and Parsons proved to be quite the disruptive defender in his rookie season.
It has been said many times that Parsons would in all likelihood be one of the best edge rushers in the NFL if he played the position snap in and snap out. His hybrid-ness is what makes him truly unique, though.
Only Maxx Crosby, T.J. Watt, and Trey Hendrickson ranked ahead of Parsons, which again speaks to just how incredible his production as a rookie (!) was considering where he lined up on defense. It is an interesting note to consider that perhaps he was sometimes in more advantageous situations than other players, but he was certainly at a disadvantage in other capacities as well.
Let’s see what his second season brings.