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Cal football lands most players on PFF's All-Decade Team
Produced the most top pros for the last 10 years
The Bears had 6 former players on ProFootballFocus’ All-Decade team, which put Cal at the top of the list when ranked by university. The Bears were represented by Aaron Rodgers, Marshawn Lynch, Alex Mack, Cam Jordan, Keenan Allen, and Mitchell Schwartz. Check out what PFF had to say about each player below.
QB Aaron Rodgers (#6)
Aaron Rodgers may be on something of a hot seat now, but there was a time when he was the Patrick Mahomes of the NFL and spoken of as the greatest talent the game and position has ever seen. From the tail end of the 2010 season through the following year, there may not have been another quarterback who could hit such heights, and the best of Rodgers was a phenomenal peak of quarterback play. What holds him back from the very top of this list is that he just couldn’t sustain that level, and over the past few seasons has sunk deeper and deeper into a rut of some bad habits. Rodgers remains a very good NFL quarterback, but he was peerless at his best, and that’s what his position on this list is drawing from.
RB Marshawn Lynch (#29)
No running back was harder to take down over the last decade than Marshawn Lynch was. Lynch didn’t just lead the decade in broken tackles (403 on 1,803 regular-season carries), but he also stepped up his game in the playoffs, breaking 75 tackles on just 211 postseason attempts. Adding in receptions gives him an absurd total of 538 broken tackles over 10 years of play, the last two of which saw him play in relatively limited roles. Lynch’s legacy is tied to that of the great Seattle Seahawks teams early in the decade. He was a vital part of their success and a key reason they won games.
OL Alex Mack (#44)
Few players have had a career so consistently good as Alex Mack. A first-round draft pick out of Cal back in 2009, Mack then posted 11 straight seasons of good PFF grades. At his peak, however, he was arguably the best center in the NFL. While some players have had better or even longer peaks, Mack’s consistency and reliability earn significant points here. Including postseason play, he has played 10,153 snaps over the decade, been flagged just 44 times and surrendered only 26 sacks while never earning even an “average” grade in any facet of the game PFF measures.
DE Cam Jordan (#65)
One of the most underrated players in the league, Jordan has had an incredible career as an edge defender despite playing in a “tweener” body that many would have liked to see on the interior. Even at 287 pounds, Jordan challenges offensive tackles on the edge as a pass-rusher, grading at 82.0 or better in each of the last four seasons while annually ranking as one of the league’s best run defenders. The other impressive part of Jordan’s game is his durability, as he’s played at least 950 snaps every year since 2011 while playing over 1,000 five times when you include the playoffs.
WR Keenan Allen (#83)
One of the slickest route-runners in the game, Keenan Allen doesn’t have the mind-blowing athletic profile of some other receivers, but he can match anyone from a production standpoint. Allen has reeled in more than 90% of the catchable passes thrown his way since he entered the league and generated more than two yards for every pass pattern he has run. There is no real weakness to his game, and he has consistently shown that he will get open at will with some of the best releases off the line of any receiver in football.
OL Mitchell Schwartz (#100)
Mitchell Schwartz has been one of the best offensive linemen of the past decade. His run to the Super Bowl last season was one of the greatest postseason performances in NFL history by any player at any position, but it went largely unnoticed because he’s a tackle. Schwartz was a good player in Cleveland to begin his career, but his final season there hinted at how good he could become. In Kansas City, he has kicked on to another level and is able to shut down some of the game’s best pass-rushers in the AFC West. Schwartz has racked up almost 9,000 total snaps over the decade, and it took until last season for him to miss any.