I usually acknowledge the output from the fairly new site Pro Football Focus (PFF) without too many trillions of grains of salt. The staff uses a basic 9-point rating system, which is subjective but also clearly defined and apparently "peer-reviewed" (by two successive analysts rather than one). Their grading tier, from -2 to +2, is explained here. On every play, all 22 players earn a score up to a half-point of scrutiny, basically out of 9, but with zero as the average/inconsequential outcome. It doesn't tell the whole story, but is an interesting new valuation metric and attempt to quantify the qualitative. PFF alleges to have looked at every play of every game last year (week-to-week)... and then again once over, and then finally determined who the top-performing returning players are with a given a bit of explanation. White players fared outstandingly amongst the superlatives, logging 10 out of 14 position slots. Not bad considering the defensive backfield has been shut out Check out the links! The offense ranked here Sample: Wide receiver: Jordan Westerkamp, Nebraska Cornhuskers This one likely comes as something of a surprise, as Westerkamp isn’t showing up on a lot of lists of the best receivers in college football. But he was quietly one of the most productive in 2015, and given the amount of star receivers who have moved on to the NFL since the end of last season, it leaves Westerkamp as the top-graded returner among Power-5 WRs. He was one of the nation’s most dangerous slot receivers a year ago, with his 2.40 yards per route run from that position ranking fifth overall among returners, including second among Power-5 players. But he was more than just an underneath threat – his deep-ball catch rate of 52 percent ranked fourth among returning players. Two other players to keep an eye on at this position are Virginia Tech’s Isaiah Ford and USC’s JuJu Smith-Schuster. Defensive players here Sample: Defensive tackle: Jake Replogle, Purdue Boilermakers There are no shortage of talented defensive tackles returning to the Big Ten this season – Michigan’s Chris Wormley and Maurice Hurst and Michigan State’s Malik McDowell among them – but Replogle earned the highest overall grade among any returning D-tackle in the nation last year. He ranked No. 1 versus the run and was nearly as good as a pass-rusher, trailing only LSU’s Davon Godchaux in that area. His sack total was low, with just two, but he generated a position-leading 46 total QB pressures, after racking up 12 hits and 32 hurries.