The Los Angeles Rams are set to play the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI on Sunday at SoFi Stadium, aiming to become the second team in as many years to win a home Super Bowl while vindicating their much-scrutinized team-building approach. The Bengals are appearing in their first Super Bowl since the late 1980s with a new feeling of hope thanks to the incredible play of Joe Burrow at quarterback and Ja'Marr Chase at receiver.
As we've done the previous few years, Pro Football Focus ranked all 44 projected Super Bowl starters along with nine rotational players whom we expect to play key roles. The order is heavily influenced by 2021 PFF grades and positional ranks -- which are included for each player -- but it isn't solely based on that one data point, as the rankings also factor in past play and the role each player is asked to execute. We're including the grades for all 53 players along with their overall rankings for their positions.
We kick things off with the headliners -- the most important players in the game who probably will make the biggest impact.
1. Aaron Donald, DT, Rams
Grade: 93.5 | Position rank: 1
The two quarterbacks are slightly more valuable based on the position they play, but there's no reason to pretend any player on the football field is better than Donald. He is the best player on the field every time he lines up and was again the best defensive player in football this season. He led all defensive interior players with an incredible 23% pass rush win rate.