Ranking the 25 best players in the College Football Playoff

Four teams are left to vie for the 2021 College Football Playoff national championship: the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Michigan Wolverines, the Georgia Bulldogs and the Cincinnati Bearcats. Each program is in contention for a reason — it fields some of the top talent in college football.

So how do the top players on the four teams stack up? With the help of PFF’s unique play-by-play grading system and a multitude of other advanced metrics, we can answer that question. Below are PFF’s top 25 players in the 2021-22 College Football Playoff, and it’s a fairly evenly distributed bunch. The rankings don’t project or account for NFL talent, but are rather based solely on output from this season.

1. QB Bryce Young, Alabama Crimson Tide

Young is playing at an unprecedented level given his age and experience. He earned a 92.9 PFF grade this season, which not only leads all FBS quarterbacks for the 2021 season but also is the highest mark PFF has on record (since 2014) from a non-draft-eligible passer. Young is a high-level processor and decision-maker, helping him become the most valuable player in the College Football Playoff by PFF Wins Above Average.

2. Edge Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan Wolverines

Like Young, Hutchinson is performing at a level that PFF has never seen before at his position. He has generated 0.80 PFF Wins Above Average this season, which is 0.2 more than the previous edge defender record set by former Ohio State Buckeye Nick Bosa in 2017. Hutchinson earned a 94.7 PFF grade this season and has proved to be the most advanced player at his position.

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