5 best active Canadian NFL players

Written by Staff

NFL teams have almost 30 Canadian players suiting up this year, but which ones are worth watching?

Canada has a long history of great NFLers, but today’s list is only ranking current players. You won’t see Calgary’s Mark Rypien or Rainy River’s Bronko Nagurski. Montreal’s recently retired unsung hero L.P. Ladouceur doesn’t count either.

Instead, here are the top five active Canadian NFL players.

5. CB Benjamin St-Juste, Washington Commanders, Montreal, Que.

After a mediocre rookie year, Commanders cornerback Benjamin St-Juste’s hot start to 2022 has put him in the mix as one of Canada’s best NFL players. Now the starting slot corner, he has 18 tackles and four pass defenses in five games. His 33 percent completion-to-target ratio beats elite corners Jalen Ramsey and Jaire Alexander.

St-Juste should develop into a more consistent corner this year — if the Commanders can stop getting pummeled. Opponents handing the ball off to run out the clock could put St-Juste on the bench in the fourth quarter.

4. WR Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers, Abbotsford, B.C.

Steelers receiver Chase Claypool has shown the most potential on this list. In his first two seasons, he racked up 873 and 860 yards. He also snagged 11 touchdowns, and he shined in a two-touchdown playoff performance against the Browns.

However, the Steelers made a — let’s politely call it “slight” — downgrade at quarterback going from Ben Roethlisberger to Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett. Claypool’s 23 catches, 225 yards and meager 9.8 yards per catch show he’s heading for a less productive 2022.

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 16:   Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11) celebrates after making a touchdown in the fourth quarter during the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA on October 16, 2022.  (Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11) celebrates after catching a touchdown. (Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

3. WR Joshua Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers, Brampton, Ont.

Chargers receiver Joshua Palmer had a solid 2021 after being drafted in the third round. He hauled in 33 catches for 353 yards and four touchdowns in his rookie season.

There are a lot of reasons to expect Palmer to improve on those numbers in 2022. In Week 3 against the Jaguars, he flashed with six catches for 99 yards. He plays with an excellent young quarterback in Justin Herbert. Most importantly, he can fly under the radar while defences focus on No. 1 receiver Mike Williams.

2. LB Alex Singleton, Denver Broncos, Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Californian Alex Singleton gained Canadian citizenship through his mother, so he does qualify as a Canadian football player. After a stellar stint in the CFL, Singleton jumped to the NFL and has steadily improved. He led the 2021 Eagles with 130 tackles.

Now with the Broncos, Singleton’s 47 tackles and three pass defences are a big reason their defence has held five of six opponents to under 20 points. He recorded a season-best 21 tackles in a close Week 5 loss to the Colts.

1. FS Jevon Holland, Miami Dolphins, Coquitlam, B.C.

Jevon Holland took over the Dolphins’ starting free safety position early in 2021 and hasn’t looked back. He eventually recorded 69 tackles, two interceptions, three fumble recoveries and 10 pass defences during his excellent rookie season.

Holland’s continued success in 2022 makes him the best Canadian football player in the NFL right now. Through five games, he already has 29 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble. He stepped up big with 10 tackles, 1.5 sacks and two pass defences in a key Week 3 win against the Bills.

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