The best of the best

It’s the middle of the week and you’re looking for something to talk about. Maybe your team is coming off a bye week and your anxious to see them on Sunday. Maybe your team just began its bye week, and your growing impatient already.

We’ve got you covered.

The topic that is always bound to stir up conversation (and maybe some hard feelings) is the question: “Who’s the best?”

It’s easy to make a case for your favorite player, but realistically, there may be some players you’re overlooking.

So without further delay, here is the best player at every position in the NFL today

OFFENSE

WR-Andre Johnson (HOU)—NFL Rank: #7

  • There is nothing he can’t do as a receiver. A polished version of Calvin Johnson.

LT-Joe Thomas (CLE)—NFL Rank: #43

  • Maybe Jake Long here, but I think Thomas is better.

LG-Logan Mankins (NE)—NFL Rank: #39

  • When the Patriots do run the ball, watch where they run. When Brady drops back, count the time he has.

C-Nick Mangold (NYJ)—NFL Rank: #47

  • Their best offensive player, and the best offensive lineman in football. You saw how much he was missed Week 4 in Baltimore.

RG-Jahri Evans (NO)—NFL Rank: #34

  • Voted 1st team All-Pro by the Associated Press the last two seasons.

RT-Tyson Clabo (ATL)

  • Clabo held his own against Clay Matthews on Sunday night, something few Right Tackles can do. Michael Oher (BAL) could very well be in this spot at the end of the season.

TE-Jimmy Graham (NO)

  • 2nd in receptions (32), 4th in receiving yards (496), 3rd in plays of 20 yards or more (10) and 2nd in receptions resulting in 1st downs (26)…among all receivers.

WR-Calvin Johnson (DET)—NFL Rank: #27

  • 9 touchdowns. 5 games. Any questions?

QB-Aaron Rodgers (GB)—NFL Rank: #11

  • Arm strength, throwing motion, quick release, release point, footwork, vision, toughness, mobility, intangibles, football IQ, pocket presence, etc.. The best player in football, hands down. He’s playing better than Tom Brady with a worse offensive line, while taking more throwing risks down-field.

FB-Vonta Leach (BAL)—NFL Rank: #65

  • Rated the best fullback in football a year ago. On the NFL’s top 100 of 2011 list, he was voted ahead of players like Greg Jennings, Richard Seymour, Mario Williams, LaMarr Woodley and others.

RB-Adrian Peterson (MIN)—NFL Rank: #3

  • 1st in rushing touchdowns (6), 2nd is rushing yardage (498). He’s lost only 1 fumble in his last 489 touches.

DE-Haloti Ngata (BAL)—NFL Rank: #17

  • The best lineman in football. Incredible power and agility…and he’s getting better.

DT-Ndamukong Suh (DET)—NFL Rank: #51

  • Violent & scary.

DE-Julius Peppers (CHI)—NFL Rank: #10

  • Maybe the most athletic defender in the league and a terrific pass-rusher. He once ran a 4.5 40-yard dash…at 285 pounds. By the way, Peppers was the starting Power Forward for UNC’s basketball team after he was done with playing football for the Tar Heels.

DL/OLB-Terrell Suggs (BAL)—NFL Rank: #40

  • Averaging 1.0 sack per game this season, and is finally the pass-rusher he’s wanted to be.

ILB-Patrick Willis (SF)—NFL Rank: #23

  • If there is a “next” Ray Lewis, Willis is it.

ILB-Ray Lewis (BAL)—NFL Rank: #4

  • No, he’s not as fast as he used to be. Ask players around the league (who rated him as the best defender in the NFL coming into this season). No one prepares physically and mentally better than Lewis. What makes a player great? When he makes his teammates better. If not Lawrence Taylor, Lewis is the best linebacker of all-time. Heck, when you think of defending an offense, he may the single best defender ever.

OLB-DeMarcus Ware (DAL)—NFL Rank: #12

  • On a defense that struggles, Ware is a constant threat. Tall, quick, agile, powerful, skillful. How did he not go to a bigger school than Troy?

CB-Charles Woodson (GB)—NFL Rank: #16

  • Tied for league lead in interceptions (3), 3rd in passes defensed (7) and he’s recovered a fumble. An all-around cornerback. Jason McCourty (TEN) was also considered here.

FS-Ed Reed (BAL)—NFL Rank: #5

  • Do I honestly need to explain this? Ok. 10 interceptions in his last 14 regular season games. This play in Week 4 against the Jets shows he can still be a threat around the line of scrimmage, as well.

SS-Troy Polamalu (PIT)—NFL Rank: #6

  • George Wilson (BUF) is having the best statistical season among defensive backs this year, but I still can’t put him ahead of Polamalu, considering Polamalu’s experience.

CB-Darrelle Revis (NYJ)—NFL Rank: #8

  • Strength, technique, leverage, man, zone…he can do it all.

K-Sebastian Janikowski (OAK)

  • Has only missed one field goal out of his 12 attempts so far this season (56-yard attempt). In Week 1, Janikowski tied an NFL record when he kicked a 63-yard field goal against the Broncos (which turned out to be the game-winning score).

P-Jon Ryan (SEA)

  • Leads NFL in net yardage (1,297), has the longest punt (77 yards) and most punts downed inside the 20-yard line (12).

Head Coach: Mike McCarthy (GB)

  • 5-0 in 2011. 11-0 since Week 16 of 2010. Take note, people.

*NFL Rank refers to where a particular player was ranked by a collection of NFL players prior to the start of the 2011 season.

What do you think? Let the debate begin!

Thanks for reading.

-Mike

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3 Comments

Filed under 2011 Week 6

3 responses to “The best of the best

  1. If this is referring to just THIS season so far then it’s a good list. If we are talking best players who currently play you have to put Brady ahead of Rodgers.

  2. This is a list of players who are the best at their position right now (in 2011).

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