<
>
Insider

ESPN's top 150 NFL free agents for 2017

play
Poe will be a force in the middle for Falcons (1:02)

Ryan Clark and Jeff Saturday break down what the addition of Dontari Poe means for the Atlanta defense. (1:02)

Here's our ranking of the top 150 free agents in the Class of 2017, compiled by ESPN's experts and featuring analysis from NFL Nation reporters.

The list is not based on how players did on the field in 2016; it rates the market for each player, attempting to determine their values on the open market. Youth and the value of the position they play goes into the evaluations for each player. Older players who could sign minimum-salary deals are mostly excluded.

A few more notes before the top 150:

  • This updated list includes unrestricted free agents and street free agents (players who were released over the past few weeks).

  • Players who received the franchise tag are excluded. For more on how the franchise tag works, go here.

  • All ages listed are how old each player will be entering the 2017 season.

More coverage:


1. Brandon Williams, DT

Signed with: Baltimore Ravens | Age entering 2017 season: 28

Williams has gone from a third-round pick from a Division II school to a dominant NFL nose tackle. His strength and athleticism on the interior has made him one of the league's best run-stoppers, and Baltimore has given up the third-fewest rushing yards (93.8 per game) since he became a starter in 2014. -- Jamison Hensley

2. Dont'a Hightower, LB

Signed with: New England Patriots | Age: 27

Hightower's big-game prowess was on full display in the second half of Super Bowl LI, when his strip sack was cited by Bill Belichick as a turning point. -- Mike Reiss

3. Alshon Jeffery, WR

Signed with: Philadelphia Eagles | Age: 27

Jeffery's production tailed off the past two years because of injuries and suspension, but he caught a combined 174 passes for 2,554 yards and 17 touchdowns from 2013-14. Jeffery played under the franchise tag last season. He had 13 career 100-yard receiving games in his five years with the Bears. -- Jeff Dickerson

4. Calais Campbell, DE

Signed with: Jacksonville Jaguars | Age: 30

Campbell is one of the most unique players in the NFL because of his size (6-foot-8) and his athletic ability. He's able to combine the two to produce a Pro Bowl-caliber force on the interior of a defensive line, while also having the speed and quickness to rush the passer from the edge. -- Josh Weinfuss

5. Dontari Poe, DT

Signed with: Atlanta Falcons | Age: 27

Poe is remarkably athletic for someone of 346 pounds, as he's listed by the Chiefs. He wasn't as productive last season as he'd been earlier in his career. As a bonus, Poe has proved an effective goal-line offensive threat with two career rushing touchdowns and one TD pass. -- Adam Teicher

6. A.J. Bouye, CB

Signed with: Jacksonville Jaguars | Age: 26

The Texans couldn't have known how much Bouye was going to grow this season, going from Houston's No. 4 cornerback to one of the best in the league. -- Sarah Barshop

7. Stephon Gilmore, CB

Signed with: New England Patriots | Age: 26

Gilmore said last August he was among the NFL's elite cornerbacks, but his performance through a rocky 2016 season suggested otherwise. Pro Football Focus ranked him 61st among NFL cornerbacks, down from a much higher grade in 2015. -- Mike Rodak

8. Kevin Zeitler, G

Signed with: Cleveland Browns | Age: 27

Don't be fooled by the Bengals' struggles on the offensive line in 2016: Zeitler is the real deal. -- Katherine Terrell

*9. Tony Romo, QB

2016 team: Dallas Cowboys | Age: 37

The Cowboys are releasing Romo, who went 78-49 and passed for 34,183 yards and 248 touchdowns in his 13-year career in Dallas. The emergence of rookie Dak Prescott in 2016 after Romo's preseason back injury made the veteran expendable, but he is the top signal-caller on the market. -- ESPN.com staff

*Note: Romo is included here based on previous reports that he'd be released on Thursday. We will update his status here if no release takes place.

10. T.J. Lang, G

Signed with: Detroit Lions | Age: 29

Lang has proved to be the Packers' most consistent offensive linemen and finally was rewarded with his first Pro Bowl last year. He'll be 30 in September, however, and has battled injuries, though he has played through most of them. -- Rob Demovsky