Apparently you're never too old or experienced in the NFL to have a breakout year, even if you've already had one or two.
It's a rather curious nomination considering Whitehair has been around having good seasons since 2016, but who's to complain.
Sam Monson in the PFF article commended Whitehair for a season when he had to play both left guard and center again. This time it was his play at guard which stood above his play at center according to PFF's secret grading system.
"Whitehair could have a pro-bowl caliber campaign if he starts all season at guard in 2021," Monson concluded.
Whitehair moved to left guard from center for the final six regular-season games after the line recalibrated due to problems blocking the run. Sam Mustipher became the starting center while Alex Bars moved to right guard and right guard Germain Ifedi kicked out to right tackle.
The PFF article points out they had given Whitehair an elite level grade of 86.5 in 2016, his rookie year.
The overall grade for this year is 76.3 but he had an 84.7 pass-blocking grade when he lined up at left guard and 72.2 when was blocking for the run at left guard.
When Whitehair was playing center PFF gave him a grade in the 20s as a pass blocker and 60.4 overall at center.
Prior to the season, Whitehair was named a top 25 interior offensive lineman in the NFL, and rated 25th overall but this was based on his play at center. They also named him the most underrated Bears player based on his play at center.
So you have to wonder, did Whitehair suddenly forget how to play center this year or does PFF not really know how to grade?