Atlanta Falcons offensive guard Chris Lindstrom. Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Falcons News

Chris Lindstrom Snubbed in PFF Guard Rankings

Atlanta Falcons offensive guard Chris Lindstrom was the darling of Pro Football Focus (PFF) last season. His 95.0 grade from PFF wasn’t just the highest graded guard in the NFL, it was the highest grade any player received in the NFL.

So it seemed a little questionable when Gordon McGuinness of PFF placed Lindstrom No. 4 on his list of top guards in the NFL.

With PFF grades that have jumped significantly every season since he entered the league, including a league-best 95.0 mark in 2022, Lindstrom has a case to be three spots too low on this list. The players above him have impressed for longer, but Lindstrom finished the 2022 season with PFF grades above 90.0 in five of seven games and could be the consensus top guard in football by the end of this season.

Gordon McGuinness, PFF

The players above Lindstrom include Zack Martin (72.8, Dallas Cowboys), Quenton Nelson (68.4), and Joel Bitonio (87.5, Cleveland Browns).

McGuinness mentions right off the top that Lindstrom has a case for the No. 1 spot, but went with longevity ahead of production. Taking a deeper look leads to questions about his reasoning.

Lindstrom’s eyepopping 95.0 in 2022 was a career high, but it wasn’t exactly an aberration. Lindstrom was graded 83.7 in 2021, the first year he should have made the Pro Bowl. Bitonio was 93.7, Martin was 93.9, but Nelson was 69.1.

Two years in a row, Lindstrom has graded significantly higher than the Colts’ Nelson. How many years does Lindstrom have to win to be considered better, because two wasn’t enough.

I’d buy the argument for Bitonio and Martin, but Nelson has been average at best for the last two seasons. At worst, the ranking should have been, Bitonio, Martin, Lindstrom, and Nelson probably doesn’t belong in the top-five right now.

Chris Lindstrom is just 26-years old, while Nelson is 27. They’re on similar money according to Spotrac as the two highest-paid players at their positions. With age and contracts being similar, ask yourself the question McGuinness should have asked while compiling this list:

“Would you trade Chris Lindstrom for Quenton Nelson straight up? Would anyone?”

Didn’t think so.

Scott Kennedy
Scott Kennedy is an Atlanta native and 20 year media veteran including time as Director of Scouting at, Managing Editor at 247Sports, VP Content Operations at Sports Illustrated and more. Scott has appeared as a recruiting and NFL Draft analyst on dozens of media including ESPN, NFL Network, USA Today, NY Times, and more.