NFL Top 100
October 25, 2012 Leave a comment
Here is Daniel’s thoughts on the NFL Top 100 Players list, voted on by the players. You can follow Daniel on Twitter @The_Lort_Got.
100. Chris Johnson
If I remember correctly CJ2K had the biggest drop of any player on this list that made the cut last year. 2011 was definitely a forgettable season for Johnson following the holdout in the preseason in which he scored a lucrative contract extension. With expectations sky high he massively underperformed, and seemed to never really get going. I said all year that the lack of weapons on the Tennessee offense definitely made it easier for defenses to key on Johnson. When Kenny Britt went down to injury and Nate Washington was the #1 receiver, teams could load up the box. All that said, CJ2K is still one of the best running backs in the game and definitely expect him to bounce back in 2012
99. Ryan Kalil
Name sound familiar? That’s because you just heard his “little” brother’s name called in the draft a few weeks ago when he was selected 4th overall to the Minnesota Vikings. To say football runs in the family would be putting it lightly. Not only have Matt and Ryan made it to the league, their dad also had a stint professionally. The older of the sons is the first newcomer to this list and paved the way for ROY Cameron Newton on the way to historic year.
98. Willis McGahee
It’s all about The U. McGahee is the first Miami Hurricane to be revealed on this list. He enjoyed a nice bounce back year in 2011 in the run oriented Denver offense. Believe it or not, Tim Tebow (we will get to him later) was one of the main reasons McGahee was able to enjoy the success he did this past season.
97. Donald Penn
Offensive linemen don’t get a lot of respect so it makes me happy to see Donald Penn make this list. Penn isn’t a household name for the casual football fan, but the man makes a living protecting Josh Freeman on Sundays. Not only is Penn one of the best offensive tackles in the game, he is also one of the more interesting personalities as well.
96. D’Qwell Jackson
When someone talks about middle linebackers, you probably won’t hear them talk about this guy a bunch. Don’t get it twisted though, Jackson is the real deal. He plays in a division with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens, so his play in Cleveland flies under the radar at times. He absolutely does it all for Cleveland’s defense and if healthy is probably the best player on their defense hands down. Despite coming off previous injuries, he led the AFC in tackles in 2011.
95. Tim Tebow
Yes you read that correctly, Tim Tebow was voted onto this list. Will easily be the most debated player that makes this list by far, Backup Jesus is the second Denver Bronco to make this list. In my opinion he doesn’t deserve to be on this list and I don’t see how the players or anyone else could put him on this list. I think I could name 200 other players that deserve to make this list before Tebow, and him making the cut is a slap in the face to A LOT of players in the league today.
94. Marshawn Lynch
When you think of Marshawn Lynch, one run quickly comes to mind. Playoffs, in Seattle against New Orleans, you know how the story goes. When you think of “Beast Mode”, that one play defines it. Lynch is one of the hardest and toughest runners in the league and he doesn’t give you any easy outs when it comes to tackling him. A fresh start in Seattle was just what this guy needed to jump start his career and I think we can expect more of the same from him going forward. One thing is for sure, when Lynch is rolling, it rains Skittles in Seattle.
93. Cortland Finnegan
I will say this, Cortland Finnegan may be #93 on this list, but if they ever make a list of most hated players in the league, he will be top three easily. The guy has one of the biggest mouths in the league and he loves to get under the skin of the receivers he is covering. Like him or not he is one of the best corners in the league and he deserves to be on this list. One thing is for sure, I don’t think we will see him picking anymore fights with Andre Johnson, that’s one lesson I think you only have to learn once.
92. John Kuhn
Kuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhnnnnnnnn. That’s the chant you hear every time this bruiser touches the ball in Green Bay. This is another controversial pick in my opinion. Let me say this, I love a big, punishing fullback and can clear the hole in the run game as well as make plays out of the backfield, but a fullback shouldn’t be top 100. You can’t tell me with a straight face that John Kuhn is a better player or more valuable player than any of the previous listed players except maybe for Tim Tebow. No disrespect to Kuhn, just don’t think he belongs on this list.
91. Tony Romo
Just disrespectful. That was the thought that popped into my head when Tony Romo was revealed at this spot. Those who know me know I’m not a Tony Romo fan or advocate, but let’s be real here. Let’s not act like Tony Romo didn’t just put up one of his better years thus far in his career, he wasn’t the problem in Dallas this year though he will always catch a lot of flak. To say he is only one spot better then John Kuhn and only four spots better then TIM TEBOW is absolutely absurd. Tim Tebow dreams of being as good as Tony Romo and that’s as close as he will ever get to being that good of a quarterback. This was a slap in the face to Tony Romo, and if I were him I would have a major chip on my shoulder going into the season.
90. Hakeem Nicks
This guy is a beast. When people think of great receivers in the game, they usually will say Megatron, Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald immediately. Nicks has the potential to be a top receiver, and by some people’s standards he may already be one. His absolutely terrorized secondary’s in 2011 on the way to helping New York win a Lombardi Trophy. With the emergence of Victor Cruz (we will most likely be discussing him later) I think we will continue to see more of the same from Nicks and we will eventually see him even higher on this list.
89. Dwight Freeney
Here is another player who made the list last year and saw his ranking drop tremendously. Freeney checked in at #15 last year and even though he finished the season with 8 1/2 sacks in 2011, his team as a whole had the worst record in the league. I think he should be higher on this list, going into his 11th season he is still an elite pass rusher and still unleashes the best spin move I have ever seen on opposing offensive tackles week in and week out. Even though he is getting older, Freeney is still a guy I am game planning for if I’m an offensive coordinator, or your quarterback will be getting carried off in a body bag.
88. Michael Turner
Michael ‘The Burner’ Turner is the first Dirty Bird on this list. Turner looks like he is pulling a trailer behind him when he runs the football on Sundays, and though he is not the fastest back in the game, he is very effective and productive. Turner brings balance to the Atlanta offense and gives Matt Ryan a work horse he can hand the ball off to 25 times a game that will wear down a defense and deliver the knockout punch in the fourth quarter.
87. London Fletcher
Mr. Reliable, Mr. Sure Tackler. I swear this guy has been playing the game since I was in middle school and it doesn’t seem like he has aged a bit and he continues to play at a high level. Year in and out he will be one of the leading tacklers in the league, book it. Among active leaders, he is only second to Ray Lewis in total tackles. Everything about his game is textbook and he is a perfect role model for young up and coming linebackers.
86. Darren Sproles
Until his breakout year in 2011, this was one of the most underrated offensive players in the league. At 5’6, Darren Sproles is a PROBLEM, period. All he needs is an inch of daylight and he off and running. In my opinion he is the most elusive running back in the game today, and he can do so much for your offense. Kick Returns, Punt Returns, line him up in the backfield, split him out wide in the slot, it doesn’t matter. Pairing Sproles up with Sean Payton and Drew Brees in New Orleans was just not fair to defenses. In 2011 he shattered the record for all purpose yards from scrimmage with 2,696. Enough said.
85. NaVorro Bowman
Penn State sure does know how to recruit linebacker’s man. Bowman was part of arguably the best linebacker group in the league in 2011, and in his first year as a starter he was 2nd in the league in solo tackles with 111 and he was also named to the All Pro team. That’s one hell of a coming out party.
84 Chris Long
Anytime your dad is a Hall of Fame defensive lineman, you tend to stand a good chance at developing into a decent football player, and that’s certainly the case with Chris Long. Long was the number two overall pick when he came out of the University of Virginia and is out to prove that he can make a name for himself and get out of dad’s shadow. His motor is always revved up and burns hot every player and he doesn’t stop coming. In 2011 he achieved a career high in sacks, made the Pro Bowl and led the NFL in quarterback disruptions for the second year in a row.
83. Fred Jackson
He only played ten games last year due to a season ending injury, and thru those ten games he led the NFL in rushing. I was so disappointed to see Jackson go down with so much football left to play as he was on his way to a career year. Jackson is a true success story, wasn’t recruited at all coming out of high school, played at Division III Coe College and was named to five All American teams. Despite those credentials and try outs with a few teams, Jackson was not able to make an NFL roster and ended up playing National Indoor Football League and United Indoor Football (UIF) before a short stint in NFL Europe. In 2007, after taking the road less traveled, Fred Jackson made his NFL debut and he hasn’t looked back since.
82. Joe Thomas
More love for the Hogs upfront. Thomas is a product of Road Grader U up at Wisconsin and he anchors the blind side of the Cleveland offensive line. To say Thomas is good at what he does would be a massive understatement. Since be drafted third overall by Cleveland, he has made very start and is one of two offensive lineman in NFL history to make the Pro Bowl in their first five seasons. Decent player I guess.
81. Vince Wilfork
Wilfork may be one of the sloppiest looking players in the league, but he is also one of the best nose tackles in the NFL. You can’t block the guy one on one, just forget about it. Even if you double team the big fella you aren’t guaranteed to move him out of his gap. He is a true two gap run stuffer and he also has the ability to get to the quarterback as a pass rusher. In 2011, I had the pleasure of witnessing both of Wilfork’s interception returns and it was by far two of the funnier moments of the year. For him to be able to bring in those passes at that size was quite impressive and to watch him rumble down the field was an absolute sight.
80. Jordy Nelson
Man I have a lot of mixed emotions about this guy. I watched him absolutely torch the University of Texas during his days at Kansas State and even then as good as he was, he was still a bit of an unknown. Getting paired up in Green Bay was a match made in heaven and in 2011 Jordy Nelson showed the league what he is capable of. He deceptively fast and even he acknowledged that people seem to not respect his abilities because he is white. After the past couple of seasons, if you don’t respect this guy’s play making ability, I don’t know what else to tell you. With all that said, even though I love Jordy’s game and what he brings to the table, I think you could of made damn good arguments for other receivers to be at this spot on the list ( Hakeem Nicks anyone?) . I think if you bump his fellow teammate John Kuhn off this list and keep Nelson on, and do some reshuffling, you wouldn’t be doing anyone a disservice.
79. Nnamdi Asomugha
They call him “The Great Nnamdi”. 2011 was a tough year for Asomugha, and the Eagles defense in general. Don’t get it twisted though; Nnamdi is still one of the best corners in the NFL. In 2011 he was adjusting to new schemes and personnel around him, I expect him to get back to form going forward. Let’s not forget that in 2010 Nnamdi didn’t allow a single touchdown to be thrown on him, he is pretty good at what he does.
78. Derrick Johnson
Does my heart good to see this guy make this list. If you didn’t get a chance to see Derrick Johnson play during his time at the University of Texas, you missed out on a treat man. This guy has the ability to be on this list every year, and in 2011 he had far and way his best season of his career. DJ posted 131 total tackles (104 solos), 2 sacks, 2 INTs (including a pick six) and 9 passes defended last year on his way to making his first Pro Bowl. This won’t be the last time we hear from DJ as far as accolades go.
77. AJ Green
If you watched college football closely, there was always a debate between who the better receiver was between AJ Green and Julio Jones. For me I said AJ Green was superior without even flinching every time, and that’s no disrespect to Jones who I think will be damn good when it’s all said and done. When I broke down the draft class the year Green came out, I thought he was by far the safest pick in the draft and definitely the best offensive prospect in the draft. This kid is silky smooth with his game and is an absolute game changer. The sky is the limit for this kid and it didn’t shock me that in year one he came out performing the way he did, he’s the real deal.
76. Carl Nicks
One of the best guards in the game. This is one big dude, and between him and his former Saints teammate Jahri Evans it was tough sledding for opposing interior defensive lineman. Johnathan Babineaux called Nicks a modern day Larry Allen, and for an offensive lineman that is VERY high praise. Here’s a stat for you, in 700 passing plays Nicks only allowed 12 quarterback pressures. Think about that.
75. Jason Witten
When I think of Jason Witten, one play comes to mind. That play when he gets his helmet knocked off and he shrugged off the tackler and continue up field for a big gain. You can’t put a price on what Witten does for Dallas’ offense, he literally does it all for them and he ALWAYS gets open. It blows my mind how open #82 can get on Sundays when you know he is Tony Romo’s safety valve in a pinch. This dude is a gamer and if it wasn’t for couple of other tight ends, he would be higher on this list.
I was not a fan of this particular ranking. I have to see the ballots of the players that had Joe Flacco this high. You won’t be able to convince be that Joe Flacco is better then Tony Romo, especially after the kind of year Romo had. Once again I’m not a Tony Romo advocate, but the numbers don’t lie man. Flacco doesn’t wow me at all though he has won a lot of games. He leans heavily on Ray Rice in the run game and he has a “decent” defense who bails him out when he is just god awful. Go back and turn the Jacksonville game on and you will see what I mean.
73. Johnathan Joseph
This guy here might of been the biggest free agency pick up in the league last year. Now I’m a Texans fan and I’m not shy about saying that. I’ve watched countless games over the years since the expansion year and I have never seen a defensive player have the impact that J-Jo did. We are talking about a team that was DEAD last in pass defense in 2010, and in 2011 they were top three in the league. That improvement can also be attributed to the hiring of Wade Phillips as the defensive coordinator, but the performance of the defense and specifically the secondary was night and day, just unreal. Jonathan Joseph was absolutely dominate and he was rewarded with a trip to Hawaii. Simply put, if J-Jo was covering you, we didn’t hear from you all day.
72. Lance Briggs
One of the two thumpers in the middle of that Chicago defense, Lance Briggs made his 7th straight Pro Bowl in 2011. This is Briggs’ second year making this list and he moved up 20 places from last year, that says a lot. People talk about Brian Urlacher and his athletic and play making ability, and sometimes they they sell Briggs short.This dude is stud who can make plays in the run game as well as in coverage. His ability to make open field tackles and make plays behind the line of scrimmage really stick out to me and you better buckle your chin strap when you come near him, he brings the wood.
71. DeSean Jackson
Those who know me know I am not a fan of Desean Jackson and his antics on the field. From that moment at the Army All American game his senior year of high school I have always said he needed to grow up and mature as a player. I don’t think he ever got that memo, because to this day he always does something on the field that makes you shake your head. All that said, the dude is ball player. He is electric with the ball in his hands and he makes things happen for Philadelphia’s offense. 2011 was not the kind of year Jackson was hoping for production wise and he was very vocal about wanting a new contract from the Eagles. Jackson needs to bounce back in a major way for the sake of Philly’s offense because Michael Vick missed him in a major way. Jackson in my opinion is one of the best, undersized receivers in the NFL. The knock on him coming out of Cal was that he was too small, yeah I think it’s safe to say those scouts are probably looking for work these days.
70. Michael Vick
2011 was a rough go for Michael Vick. The knock on Vick has always been his ability to stay healthy, and this past season he spent part of the year on the sideline. After a very impressive campaign in 2010, Vick came back down to earth as the offense seemed to sputter at times. Some of this can be attributed to Desean Jackson not being as productive as he was the previous season as well as the offensive line almost getting Vick killed at times. If the Eagles can find a way to keep Vick healthy and upright will hang crooked numbers on defenses week in and out.
69. Carlos Rogers
Talk about a breakout year. The former first round pick from Auburn seemed to finally put it all together in 2011, tallying six interceptions after only have eight thru six seasons. Rogers has always had the ability to be a great corner in this league, being a part of that San Francisco defense definitely helped him showcase that ability in 2011.
68. Elvis Dumervil
Give the little guy some credit man. Dumervil is the exact opposite of what you typically see and want when it comes to the prototypical defensive end. He is all of 5’11, but he has extremely long arms for his size and that poses a problem for offensive tackles at times. The little guy has a motor that runs hot at all times and is absolute pass rushing technician. Between him and Von Miller coming off the edge in Denver, the Broncos have two elite pass rushing defensive ends. That’s a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks.
67. Joe Staley
More fat boy love! You won’t find many offensive tackles more athletic then this guy. He was recruited to Central Michigan as a tight end, then made the transition to tackle and has never looked back. I was a huge fan of this pick when San Francisco made it, I thought he had to ability to be a cornerstone tackle for a long time, and so far he hasn’t disappointed. If you want to see one play that shows Staley’s ability, look at the touchdown run by Alex Smith against New Orleans in the playoffs. Staley was leading the way.
66. Earl Thomas
Heat seeking missile with ball skills. That’s the way I describe Earl Thomas. The guy plays at 100 MPH every snap and he absolutely does it all . I was so disappointed when Earl decided to come out after his redshirt sophomore year, only because I knew how much of a treat it would be to see him at the collegiate level one more time. If it touched his hands, it was going the other way for six. If you came over the middle, he is dropping the hammer. Guy is a playmaker.
65. Roddy White
*Stifles laughter* I am going to keep this short and sweet. Last year when this list was being unveiled, Roddy was very vocal about how he felt about these rankings, I can only imagine how he feels about sliding down to 65 this year. Roddy was projected to have a big year when Julio Jones was drafted to line up opposite of him, he fell short of expectations, but still had a solid year. Even though he blocked me on twitter (still don’t know why), I still got love for my fellow UAB football alum, and I hope he has big year in 2012.
64. Logan Mankins
Plain and simple, Logan Mankins is one of the best guards in the game today. I’m not exactly sure why he slid this year in the rankings as he consistently gets it done year in and out. With Matt Light calling it a career, Mankins is the unquestioned leader on the offensive line for New England, and I think it’s safe to say they are in good hands.
63. LaMarr Woodley
I was wondering when we would finally see a Pittsburgh linebacker on this list. This won’t be the last one we see unveiled on this list either, speaks volumes about that Pittsburgh defense. Woodley can do it all. He makes his living rushing the passer, but anyone who has lined up against him say he can do anything that is asked of him as an outside linebacker in the 3-4. Woodley made this list despite missing six games this past season, I think that says a lot about what type of player he is and how much he is respected by his fellow players.
62. Justin Tuck
This guy is the unquestioned leader for the Giants defense. Ever since he broke into the league he has made an impact for New York. From the get go Tuck displayed the versatility to play up and down the defensive line and still get to the quarterback and impact the game. The guy is a machine and with the emergence of JPP, we will continue to see him be a thorn in the side of offensive coordinators on Sundays.
61. Philip Rivers
This is a guy who I thought would have had a steeper decline in the rankings following his performance last year. He has by far the ugliest release of any quarterback in the league, but even though it’s not pretty, it’s effective. Though he can come off as a cocky and loud mouthed guy, the dude is a fiery competitor.He has shown it doesn’t really matter who you throw out there with him he can make things happen on offense. In my opinion he is still a top 10 quarterback in the league today, and he will be back to is typical ways in 2012.
60. Darren McFadden
Another running back that had his season cut short due to injuries, but is very deserving to be on this list. McFadden came out the gates guns blazing in 2011, including a career high performance against the New York Jets. This guy is the absolute total package as a running back, and if you watched him while he was at Arkansas, you know he did it all. D-Mac was leading the NFL in rushing when he went down with his injury, I expect him to pick up where he left off when he gets healthy.
59. Jake Long
When you get drafted number one overall as an offensive lineman, you have to be a pretty special player. Jake Long is as good as they come and he can do everything you need a left tackle to do. Doesn’t matter if it is in the run game or pass blocking, Big Jake has you covered. Long has already been named to four Pro Bowls at this point in his career, and it wouldn’t shock me at all if that number reached double digits by the time he called it a career.
58. Jonathan Vilma
We won’t be seeing this guy on the field in 2012 following the Bounty Gate scandal in New Orleans. Despite everything that has happened this off season doesn’t change the fact that Vilma is an elite middle linebacker. He is the absolute heart and soul the Saints defense and he is the definition of being a coach on the field. You won’t fool this guy many times with formations and wrinkles that you throw at him and he will have everyone lined up in the correct spot before the snap. Not having the captain on the field in 2012 is really going to hurt, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is kidding themselves.
They call this guy “The Hunter” for a reason. He stalks the quarterback like a Lion in the wild and sooner or later, he is going to get you. Cole makes a living getting after the quarterback and even though he may be a little bit undersized, he doesn’t let that slow him down. He displays a great speed rush and ability to get up the field and around corner on offensive tackles and also has great strength that can throw them off balance. Cole has a variety of passing rushing moves in the tool box, combine that with his high motor and you got you one hell of a problem.
56. Greg Jennings
This is another guy who deserves some more respect when it comes to the wide receiver discussion. Jennings is one of the best YAC (Yards After Catch) receivers in the league. Very rarely do you see him catch a pass and immediately go down. He is constantly getting the ball and getting north and south with the football and has the ability to make the first guy miss. It also helps that he is very savvy with his routes and he always on the same page with Aaron Rodgers. Every time I watch the Packers play Jennings is always finding a way to work himself open and find the holes in the defense. It’s a simple concept really, cover #85. At least it looks that simple on paper.
55. Patrick Peterson
Rookie Alert! If I told you going into last season that Patrick Peterson would challenge Devin Hester for the title of being the league’s best kick returner would you believe me? This guy is absolutely ridiculous. To be able to run and cover at 215 pounds the way he does is absolutely absurd. I remember when he was at the combine, they were talking about the possibility of him playing safety because he was so big, yet still maintained his speed. He is the definition of a freak and 2011 was just the tip of the iceberg.
54. Brian Cushing
CUSH! When I heard another Houston defender would be unveiled on this list I knew it could only be one guy. Cush is by far the most vocal player on the Houston defense, and he brings a swagger every time he steps on the field. He is a guy I would love to play alongside on the field and if I ever got into tight spot off the field, I would want him to have my back. The guy is absolutely fearless and I will never forget him headbutting a Cleveland offensive lineman with no helmet on when things got chippy following a interception return. The guy has a screw loose and plays the game the way it should be played. It’s a pleasure watching him every Sunday.
53. Tony Gonzalez
Best to ever do it, period. Best tight end to ever play the game and by the far the best tight end I’ve seen with my own eyes. To be this high on the list going into his 16th season is just incredible. The dude just doesn’t seem to age and he still plays the game with passion and makes plays every Sunday. The fact that he has racked up such an impressive resume with most of his career being played in Kansas City is impressive to me. He was THE guy the entire time he was there and despite knowing he was getting the rock, you couldn’t stop him from coming down with it. He is 2nd All Time in receptions only to Jerry Rice, he is a first ballot Hall of Famer when he hangs up, and I’m very fortunate to be able to watch him play.
52. Von Miller
I’ve had the opportunity to line up across from this guy. It didn’t end well for me, but the list is quite long for people who have been dominated by Von Miller. When you come in year one and post 11.5 sacks along with Defensive Rookie of the Year and All Pro honors, I think it’s safe to say you got yourself a good one. He is freaky athletic and plays with great technique to boot. He plays the game with outstanding leverage and for a guy like him who is a bit undersized, that is key. When you get compared to Derrick Thomas as a rookie, that is VERY high praise.
51. Brian Urlacher
The other main stay in the middle of the Chicago Bears defense. Lach is a bad mamma jamma, that’s all I can say about this guy. He is 6’4, almost 250+ pounds and can run like that wind. When #54 is in the middle of the defense, you are in good hands. He commands the defense with such savvy and ease, he is the definition of a field general. When it comes to linebackers, he has some of the best hands in the business and I think that comes from his experience playing safety in high school and the “Lobo” position at New Mexico which he made famous. I hope we get to see a few more years of Lach in Chicago, and it really saddened me to see him go down in Minnesota late in the year. I hope he makes a full recovery and has a strong 2012 campaign, because it’s good for the game when guys like him are on the field.
50. Peyton Manning
Yeah, you read that correctly. Your eyes have not deceived you my friends, Peyton Manning checks in at #50 on this year’s list despite not suiting up for the Indianapolis Colts all year. Manning’s selection to the list has sparked up plenty of debate already, including an outburst from Chris Johnson who called the list a joke and said Manning shouldn’t have been on the list since he never played. First off, I need CJ to have a seat and worry about producing in the coming season before he pops off saying one of the greatest quarterbacks EVER doesn’t belong on this list. Secondly, if he wants to gripe about who is on this list and where, he needs to be pissed at his fellow players. Different players I’m sure have different criteria for how they ranked players, but the fact remains that enough players respect Peyton Manning for him to be on here this high despite not playing. In my opinion, Peyton has more then earned the right to be on this list year in and out. Despite him not playing a snap, his presence or lack of it impacted the entire NFL in 2011. Anyone who says otherwise is very narrow minded. It’s going to be interesting to see how Peyton rebounds this year in Denver, I will be rooting for him as long as he isn’t playing my Texans.
49. Maurkice Pouncey
My biased love for the fat boys up front is well established. When you get to talking about centers, Pouncey’s name should be one of the first out of your mouth. In my opinion this kid is the best center in the NFL today, only Nick Mangold can probably have a legit argument for that crown. The demeanor and nasty disposition Pouncey plays with is the epitome of Pittsburgh Steelers football. He plays the game angry and when he gets the chance to bury you six feet under, he takes it. As soon as the Pittsburgh got their hands on David DeCastro in the first round of the NFL Draft, the first thing that came to mind was how nasty the double teams between him and Pouncey are going to be. I am absolutely giddy with excitement to watch them work together.
48. Devin Hester
Lightning in a bottle man. To this day I can’t imagine why any coach would allow their punter or kicker to kick the ball in Devin Hester’s direction. If I had something to say about it, I would be kicking it into into the tenth row EVERY time. Anytime this guy gets the ball in the hands, he can take it to the house. He is arguably the best return specialist the game has ever seen, and he still has plenty of years left in the tank to add on to his resume. When the ball is kicked in his direction, he makes you hold your breath. He is that special.
47. Mike Wallace
I just got done talking about one speed guy, now I get to talk about another one. When it comes to flat out speed, Mike Wallace has to be on the short list for fastest player in the NFL. That’s no hyperbole either, this dude can flat out FLY. You get this guy in space, he will make things happen. He is the type of player that can take the top off a defense and go deep for the big play. Every defensive back in the NFL respects this guy, because if he gets one step on you, it’s a touchdown. You have to know where Mike Wallace is every play or he will make you pay.
46. Champ Bailey
When your name is Champ, you have no choice but to be a stud right? Well at least in this guy’s case that’s the way it is. Going into year fourteen, Champ Bailey is still one of the best corners in the game. His longevity is absolutely incredible and it doesn’t look like he has lost a step. Every Sunday you will still see #24 lined up on the opposition’s best receiver and the old crafty veteran is still putting in work and living up to his name.
45. Vonta Leach
From the moment I saw John Kuhn make the cut earlier on this list, I knew Vonta Leach had to be on here somewhere. With all due respect to Kuhn, Vonta Leach is hands down the best fullback in the game today. In a day and age where you see teams moving away from using the fullback in their offense, Vonta Leach has had no problem finding work. The guy is one bad hombre, and if you are a running back, you want him leading the way into the hole. Leach was instrumental in Arian Foster’s coming out party in Houston (I’m still bitter Houston let him walk) and it was more of the same in Baltimore with Ray Rice. When you are capable of meeting Patrick Willis in the hole, and putting him on his back, you will have every player’s respect.
44. Jason Babin
Talk about a late bloomer. With the type of success Jason Babin has enjoyed the past couple of seasons you would think he has been doing it all of his career. He actually struggled for most of his career until 2010 in Tennessee when he recorded 12 1/2 sacks. What did he do for an encore in his first year in Philly? Posted 18 more. Decent I suppose. The guy has revived his career and is absolutely becoming a nightmare to opposing offensive lineman.
43. Vernon Davis
When I think of this guy, I think of his freakish numbers he put up at the combine. Vernon Davis is an incredible talent and to say there are two tight ends rated higher list says a lot about them and is not calling Davis a slouch by any means. Alex Smith really benefited from having Davis in San Francisco, when the receivers weren’t consistent and coming thru, he could always depend on #85. The thing that makes Davis such a great tight end is not his ability to get out and catch passes, but the fact that he is such a complete tight end. He is one of the better blocking tight ends in the NFL and he is not a liability in the run game. I feel like the day Mike Singletary sent Davis to the locker room early, the light came on for Vernon. Even though Singletary isn’t still around in San Fran, I think he made a huge impact on Davis’ career going forward.
42. Jason Peters
When you look at this guy, you immediately notice his physical presence. Jason Peters is just a big dude, and then when you see him on the football field taking pass sets, his athleticism jumps out at you. There isn’t a pass rushing technique you can throw at this guy that will throw him off balance or fool him. Like the other good ones, even as big as he is, he has the ability to get out in space and make blocks on smaller and shiftier defenders. When Peters went down for the year during the off season, the Eagles lost the cornerstone of their offensive line and lost a player, who in my opinion is irreplaceable. That’s no knock on who else the Eagles got on the roster, that’s just how good Jason Peters is as a player.
41. Matthew Stafford
How do you throw for 5,000 yards and still seem to underrated? Is it because he has arguably the best receiver in the game in Calvin Johnson? Even when you take out Megatron’s stats, Stafford still completed 64% of his passes for over 3,300 yards and 25 touchdowns. Those stats alone are a good year for an NFL QB. Plain and simple, when Stafford is healthy and kept upright, he is an elite quarterback and he can put up video game numbers just like Brady and Rodgers. I see no reason why the kid can’t do it again next year, and I hope he continues to gain the respect of players and fans.
40. Cameron Newton
Let me begin this by saying how wrong I was about this kid I was. I was one of the guys who thought it was a gamble to take this high in the first round. I thought his accuracy was going to be a problem, I didn’t think he would be able to grasp pro passing concepts quickly etc. Man was I wrong. All this kid did was come out and prove me and a ton of other critics wrong, and it started in Week One. Cam Newton put up the most prolific passing display the league has ever seen by a rookie quarterback. If that wasn’t impressive enough, he was also Carolina’s primary option on the goal line and shattered the record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. Not bad for a rookie. Sky is the limit for this kid, in a few years we could be arguing for Newton to be in the Top 10.
39. Victor Cruz
Mr. Salsa himself. Talk about a guy taking full advantage of his opportunity, that is Victor Cruz in a nut shell. I remember watching the preseason game between the Giants and the Jets, and that’s the night America was introduced to Victor Cruz. Cruz was absolutely cooking the Jets’ secondary. Their wasn’t a man out there that could cover him. Everybody was scratching their heads and wondering the same thing, ” Who is this guy?”. Everyone took notice that night including Rex Ryan who gave Cruz props to HC Tom Coughlin right after the game. I knew after that performance their was no way the Giants could cut that kid. Due to an injury in 2010 Cruz was sidelined, but in 2011 he made his presence felt. The guy is a nightmare no matter where you line him up and on third downs you count on him getting the ball and moving the sticks. The guy is a YAC machine and is going to be a thorn in defenses’ sides for years to come.
38. Ndamukong Suh
Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhh! This guy is a man child. Regardless of the rap he has gotten recently for being dirty player, this kid is one of the best defensive tackles in the league. You just don’t often find defensive tackles that can disrupt an offense the way Suh does. When I watched him at Nebraska, I knew we were witnessing greatness. Scouts will be looking for the next Ndamukong Suh for years to come and they will be waiting a LONG time. This kid is special.
37. Steven Jackson
How often do you find a running back built 6’3 240 pounds and can run the way this guy can? Not too often right? Sometimes people forget about Steven Jackson because he is in St. Louis, a franchise that hasn’t been to a playoff game since he arrived awhile back. This dude is a talented as they come, and if healthy has a nice argument for Top 5 in the league when it comes to running backs.
36. Charles Woodson
In Green Bay they call him Grandpa aka Old Otis, but this old man still gets it done on Sundays. Seems like forever ago when we saw this guy winning the Heisman at Michigan (maybe because it was) and now we still are still talking about him being one of the players in the NFL. The old crafty veteran has put together a nice resume over the course of this career and I think he will get a call from Canton when it is all said and done.
35. Steve Smith
Mighty Mouse is back. After having a very quiet 2010 season, Steve Smith came back in 2011 and made a statement. It was the Steve Smith of old that we were all used to seeing and it was a lot of fun to watch. I have never seen a 5’9 receiver play like he is 6’3 the way Steve Smith does. He plays above his height every Sunday, and when their is a jump ball, I never pick against him. Smith and Cam Newton developed one hell of a connection this past season and I have no reason to doubt that will continue in 2012.
34. Tamba Hali
When I think of Tamba Hali, a play of collegiate days jumps out to me. It was against Ohio State at Happy Valley. Hali beats the tackle around the edge and hits Troy Smith so hard that he does a flip and fumbles the football. From then on he had my attention. Hali has become one of the premier pass rushers in the league though he may not be a household name to the casual fan. This guy plays to the whistle on every play regardless if its a run or a pass and has proven that he is a complete player and not just a pass rushing specialist.
33. Matt Forte
Shoutout to Conference USA running backs man. Matt Forte is one of the most complete running backs in the NFL. He isn’t a liability in any phase of the game and he absolutely brings it on every down. He was putting together a hell of a season in 2011 before he tore his ACL, and I’m hoping and praying he bounces back quickly so he can prove to the Chicago Bears’ front office why he deserves to get paid like a star. Pay him.
32. Jahri Evans
Where did Jahri Evans go to school? Can anyone tell me? The answer would be Bloomsburg College of Pennsylvania. Yeah go ahead and say it with me, “WHERE???”. Just goes to show you, that you got to do your homework as a scout and you will hit a home run every once and awhile. Jahri Evans has been a grand slam for the New Orleans Saints as he has gone from middle round pick that nobody has heard of to being an All- Pro, Pro Bowler and Super Bowl Champ. He was the highest rated offensive lineman by his peers going into 2012, I think we all know who he is now. Dude is a beast.
31. Eli Manning
Well Justin Tuck recently said this ranking was a joke. As I have been saying, blame your peers. The fans, coaches and writers had nothing to do with these rankings boys, blame your fellow players. Eli seems to be the Rodney Daingerfield of NFL QBs, no respect I tell ya. Eli has earned his respect the old fashion way, he now has a leg up on big brother Peyton by winning two Super Bowl rings. The recent Super Bowl win instantly sparked the debate between Eli and Peyton and I think it’s a dumb one. Eli is a very good quarterback and I think he does deserve to be higher on this list, but let’s be realistic here. Who is taking Eli over Peyton? Don’t worry I will wait…
30. Ben Roethlisberger
Giants fans are going to hate me for saying it, but I think Big Ben’s ranking ahead of Eli is justified. I think instead of comparing Eli to Peyton I think they should be comparing Eli to Ben. I think it’s a much better debate and a lot more realistic. Despite not having the gaudy statistics a lot of the top quarterbacks have, Ben does have plenty of the most important statistic of all, wins. This guy just finds a way to win ball games and the dude is tough as hell and a fiery competitor. I don’t think their is a tougher quarterback in the league then Ben Roethlisberger and I can say that with confidence. The dude plays thru every ailment and still gives his team a chance to win when it comes down to it. You have to admire that about a QB, especially one who is mobile and moves around as much as he does.
29. James Harrison
This is one scary individual man. One guy I would never want to get into a staring contest with. When you line up across from this guy, you have your hands full all day. Just like Ndamukong Suh, he has developed a bad rep, but forget all that, dude is a freaking animal on the football field. His stature makes him a nightmare for offensive tackles because he can get great leverage and he strong as hell. That’s a recipe for disaster if you’re a quarterback. Think the teams who passed on him in the draft and cut him are kicking themselves? I think so.
28. Frank Gore
*Yawns* Ho-Hum another University of Miami player on this list. I guess they are decent at putting players in the NFL. I think it’s safe to say Gore won’t be the last one we see on this list. Gore is in the perfect situation out in San Francisco in Jim Harbaugh’s West Coast offense and he absolutely gets it DONE. He absolutely makes it happen for that offense and his success helped the light bulb finally come on for Alex Smith. Just get the ball in this guys hands and watch him work.
27. Clay Matthews
The Clay Maker. When you are looking for a outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme, you look for a guy that can be a force in the run game, drop into various coverages and when he has to put his hand on the ground and rush the passer. Clay Matthews can do all of that and then some. The dude is a freak of an athlete and he is only going to continue to get better. As a quarterback you better look up on on every play and find where #52 is or he is going to make you pay. In 2011 we didn’t see the sack numbers we saw from him the year before, but that didn’t stop him from being ranked highly again by the players. Early on in his career Clay Matthews already has the respect from his fellow players.
26. Julius Peppers
I call this guy the trend setter. Ever since Julius Peppers broke into the league and set it on fire, every scout and GM is trying to find the next Julius Peppers. 6’7 290 pound defensive ends who can run and terrorize the passer don’t grow on trees and I think the closest thing we have seen to Peppers is Mario Williams. That shows you how often they come around so when you have a chance to get one, you take it. Julius Peppers is the epitome of a 4-3 defensive end, he has every tool when it comes to rushing the quarterback and he holds up very well in the run game. Peppers’ motor never stops even if the play is run away from him, as he has shown a knack to running down plays from behind. You would think running screens at a guy like Peppers would help to slow him down right? Wrong. Peppers has also shown the savvy to read screens and pick them off and take them the other direction. Dude is just a nightmare to game plan and play against .
25. Arian Foster
I’m fortunate enough to have seen this guy play live in college, now he plays for my hometown team. I say it every time I watch him run the ball, he is the smoothest runner at the running back position in the NFL. Arian is a silky smooth runner and it looks so easy has he does it. He is patient with finding the holes and when he does he sticks his foot in the ground and explodes thru it to day light. From undrafted to becoming a Pro Bowler, I love seeing a guy prove his critics wrong. Foster proved he wasn’t a fluke by following up his breakout year with another solid year. Houston rewarded him with a nice contract extension following 2011, so now maybe he can treat the big boys upfront out to a nice dinner. I can’t wait to see what Arian has in store for us in 2012, I am excited to see him play.
24. Jason Pierre- Paul
Let me tell you how much of a freak this kid is. He didn’t take up football until his junior year of high school, played two years of junior college football, one year at USF….. First round pick. Now tell me how often that has happened. This kid is an athletic freak and he is STILL learning the game. He is a “baby” still when it comes to football and he is already an All- Pro and a Super Bowl Champ. Scary is the word I use a lot talking about JPP. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and it’s a big ass iceberg. Buckle up and enjoy the ride folks.
23. Wes Welker
Everybody has been talking about the dropped pass by Welker in the Super Bowl. It’s a catch we’ve seen Wes make time and time again though it could of been placed better by Tom. Regardless it doesn’t change my opinion or his peers’ opinion of Wes as a player. The guy is hell to cover and he led the NFL in catches in 2011. Welker is one of the toughest receivers in the NFL to cover despite being so small in stature. I’ve said this before and will say this again, Tom Brady and Wes Welker were a match made in heaven. As soon as I heard they were trading for him, I knew it was going to be a problem for the rest of the league.
22. Ray Rice
Seems like big things come in small packages. That’s Ray Rice in a nutshell. At 5’8 Rice is one of the smallest running backs in the NFL, but he is also one of the most dynamic and productive. I had the chance to watch Rice at Rutgers and after watching him I thought he had the chance to be another Maurice Jones-Drew. A small running back who is a bowling ball of a runner and displays great balance when hit. Rice hasn’t disappointed at all and is one of the more complete backs in the league as he is often split out wide often by Baltimore. The offense runs thru Ray Rice despite what people want to say about Joe Flacco, without Rice that offense doesn’t go anywhere.
21. Rob Gronkowski
GRONK! Man I can’t even say enough about this guy. He is the total package as a tight end. The dude is always open, has great hands and gets plenty of yards after catch, and has a nose for the end zone. He does all of that on top of being a hell of a blocker as well. The dude is nasty as hell in the run game and that often goes unnoticed due to what he did as a receiver. You want an example? Check out what he did to Terrell Suggs. Gronk approaches the game with an old school mentality and I think that’s why I tend to like him more then Jimmy Graham when it comes to that debate. I see Gronk as a more complete tight end even though he is not nearly as athletic as Graham. Either way you go you don’t lose though.
20. Ray Lewis
Reverend Ray. It was a given he was on this list. If you have followed football you know what Ray Lewis has done for the game and what he still brings to the table at the age of 37. It’s absolute incredible how long he has played the game at a high level and has missed little to no time. In 2011 I saw Ray Lewis on the sideline for the first ever with an injury. It just didn’t feel right not seeing #52 out their manning the middle of that Baltimore defense. Ray is one of my all time favorites and despite missing some time in 2011 he still was ranked in the top 20 players in the game today.
19. Troy Polamalu
You have to worry about the quiet ones. Troy Polamalu doesn’t talk much, he instead lets his play do the talking for him. We hear you loud and clear Troy. When you think of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball, the guy wearing #43 for the Steelers has to be on your short list of the best in the game. Polamalu absolutely does it all for the Pittsburgh defense as he roams from sideline to sideline. One second he is walked up on the edge on the line of scrimmage then the next he is dropping into coverage. Wherever he goes, you better have about four sets of eyes on him at all times, and make sure your chin strap is buckled.
18. LeSean McCoy
They call him Shady. When it comes to elusive running backs it’s harder to think one who is more elusive then McCoy. Just when you think you got him backed into a corner he breaking out to daylight going 60 yards for a touchdown. He is the definition of lightning in a bottle, except this kind of lightning does strike in the same place. Shady gets it done in so many ways for Philadelphia’s offense and he has become one of the league’s best running backs.
17. Justin Smith
Brute strength. Just an absolute animal, that is what Justin Smith. I feel sorry for whoever have to lineup across from this guy because he is going to take you on the ride of your life. Smith was one of the key pieces in that 2011 San Francisco defense and he pitched a tent in opposing offenses’ backfields. Having to deal with this guy alone is unfair, but when you add guys like Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman around him…. Yeah, that’s a problem.
16. Ed Reed
Edward Reed. Where do I even begin with this guy? The guy is a definition of a ball hawk and he hits like a runaway train. He is one the best to ever do it and I put him right up there with Ronnie Lott as one the best ever. It’s Ronnie, Ed……………………… Everyone else, period. Like Ray Lewis, it seems like the guy has been playing forever and he has been doing it at a high level. Injuries are starting to catch up with Ed at this age, but I fully expect him and Ray to walk away from the game at the same time. I think they both have one more season left in them.
15. Andre Johnson
You can’t cover #80. That’s what I scream every Sunday when I watch Houston play. I scream that because it’s true, does anyone know how to cover that guy? It seems the only way you lock down Andre Johnson is by having him sidelined with an injury as we saw in 2011. Once Johnson recovered from his hamstring injury it was back to work as usual. Before his injury Johnson looked like he was on his way to another Pro Bowl season, hopefully he is 100% going into 2012 so Houston can make a Super Bowl run.
14. Jimmy Graham
Another tight end in that Tony Gonzales/ Antonio Gates mold. This kid is a stud, and he announced his presence with authority in 2011. The guy is simply a mismatch nightmare for a defense and with his basketball background he is able to box out and go up and get the ball on anybody who is covering him. When you talk about Jimmy Graham, you most likely end up talking about Rob Gronkowski as well. The debate for who the best tight end in football is too close to call, and as I stated earlier I think they gap is minimal. I for one was shocked by the significant gap between the two on this countdown.
13. Jared Allen
Mr. Rodeo got the love he deserved this year on this countdown. Allen jumped up 67 spots from 2011 after recording 22 sacks this past season and coming up just .5 sack short of tying the record for most ever in a season. Jared Allen has been one of the elite rushers in the league for awhile now and I was shocked he wasn’t shown more respect last year on this list. If Brett Favre and Bubba Franks hadn’t played dead and allowed Michael Strahan to get a sack Jared Allen would have the record right now, that’s criminal. Allen had to work for every sack he got unlike Strahan that year.
12. Maurice Jones- Drew
This guy may be pound for pound the best football player in the game today. When you look at what Jones- Drew has done in Jacksonville with the mediocre talent that surrounds him year in and year out, I don’t see how you can’t respect the guy as one the best in game. He is the entire offense for Jacksonville, teams know he is going to get the football and he STILL produces at a high level, it’s absolutely incredible. I will never forget the year Jones- Drew came out of UCLA, my dad told me with absolute certainty that he would be a better running back in the league then Reggie Bush, hard to dispute that. Well done pops.
They call him T- Sizzle and he claims to be from Ball So Hard University. Sizzle had himself a career year in 2011, I think it’s safe to say he “balled out”. Unfortunately we won’t be seeing Sizzle in action for awhile after rupturing his Achilles in a pick up game this off season. He insists that we will see him at some point and time this year, so it will be interesting to see how healthy he will be if he does indeed make a comeback in 2012.
10. Patrick Willis
Can’t argue with this at all. I said a couple years ago that Patrick Willis would claim the throne of best middle linebacker in the game once Ray Lewis decided to call it a career, we didn’t even have to wait that long. I don’t think Ray with any problem handing over the reins to P- WIllie, if you look at the way Willis plays, he looks like a young Ray Lewis. Kinda creepy in a way. The dude is a three down linebacker, he is a force in stopping the run and is a guy you better locate in coverage or he will pick it and take it to the house. He anchored the middle of the best defense in football in 2011, I expect more of the same from him and his defensive unit in 2012 and I expect him to climb a few spots on this list next year.
9. Haloti Ngata
It’s not often you can find a space eating defensive tackle that can also collapse the pocket and rush the passer, that’s why Haloti Ngata is hands down the best defensive tackle in the game. At 6’4 340 pounds takes up a lot of space to say the least. The man commands double teams on almost every play and he still can’t be moved. Calling Ngata a hoss doesn’t do him justice at all, I’ve seen him on film running down running backs and receivers down field, that’s just not fair.
8. Adrian Peterson
When you talk about running backs and speed to power combinations Adrian Peterson is right near the top of the list. The only running back in the same class when it comes to that blend of size, power and speed is Bo Jackson. They just don’t make them like this often folks, they are freaks of nature. As a tackler you have to pick your poison when it comes to AP, he can either run over you or flat out run past you. It’s scary. For a guy his size to be able to stick his foot in the ground and get up to top speed in about four or five steps is freaky. Best running back in the league bar none.
Like the picture above states, without question Larry Fitzgerald is one of the best wide receivers in the game today. Watching him during his days at Pittsburgh were so much fun, he was so dominant and he made it look easy. Things haven’t changed much in the NFL for Fitz, even though he has lacked a quarterback for majority of his career he has still put up great numbers. Now with Michael Floyd opposite him in Arizona I can only imagine the filthy things he is going to do to defenses, now only if they could get a quarterback….
6. DeMarcus Ware
Has anyone figured out a way to stop this guy? When you constantly face double and triple teams week in and week out and consistently post double digit sack numbers, that means you are a beast. That’s Demarcus Ware and that’s why he is the best pass rusher in the game today. In 2011 Ware put up 19 sacks, which normally would be good enough to lead the league, but since Jared Allen put up a super human 22 sacks it was only good enough for second. Ware is a monster and going into a game you can count on him getting to your quarterback at least once because that’s how good he is. If he keeps this up, you can count on him being in Canton when it’s all said and done.
5. Darrelle Revis
Welcome to Revis Island. There is a no fly zone on Revis Island, so if you are a wide receiver, be prepared for a long day. If you are a quarterback, don’t even bother throwing Revis’ direction, better yet don’t even look his direction. Revis is the definition of a shutdown corner, as he draws the opponent’s #1 receiver every week and he proceeds to lock them up. You name them he has probably covered them and dominated them, Revis is as talented as they come.
4. Tom Brady
Now this was a shocker. Tom Brady finished #1 on this countdown a year ago and in 2011 He passed for over 5,000 yards and played in another Super Bowl, but he slid 3 spots? Doesn’t exactly add up now does it? In my opinion, Tom Brady is still the #1 player in the NFL until someone dethrones him and I don’t think the players above him did anything to dethrone him in 2011.
3. Calvin Johnson
They call him Megatron. Why? Because the guy isn’t human. This guy is built like he was created on a video game. 6’6, 235 pounds, 40 inches plus on the vertical and can run a sub 4.4 forty. F-R-E-A-K. That’s just absurd man. He is the most physically gifted wide receiver the game has ever seen and I’m not sure who even comes in second on that list. He became a more complete receiver in 2011 and the numbers he put reflects that. If you ever try to single cover him, he will make you pay. Hell he will make you pay even if you double and triple cover him. I don’t think the guy can be stopped, you can only hope to contain him.
2. Drew Brees
Breesus. Hard to believe that the guy who shattered Dan Marino’s record for yards in a single season is sitting at home right now without a contract. Crazy talk right? The guy who jump started the franchise, brought a Super Bowl to New Orleans and is the face of the franchise hasn’t got paid yet…. give me a break. Someone needs to put a call in to the brass in NOLA and tell them to wake the hell up and pay this man. Any amount of money he is asking for isn’t enough. Drew Brees can’t get a contract, but Darrelle Revis is talking about holding for the SECOND time, blows my mind man. You might not find a classier and hard working quarterback in the league then Drew Brees and he doesn’t have a contract right now. Unreal.
Well that only leaves one more guy, I think you guys can guess who it is….
1. Aaron Rodgers
The Champ is here. He has the belt to prove it. Aaron Rodgers takes home the crown as the #1 player in the NFL as voted by the players in 2012. It’s a well deserved honor by A-Rod though I had him second to Tom Brady on my ballot. You can’t argue with a guy who had a touchdown to interception ratio of 45 to 6, MERCY. Rodgers was hot as fish grease in 2011 and it’s scary about the kind of numbers we could see from him going forward. It’s funny to think about the whole Brett Favre controversy Green Bay had to deal with and people were worried about Aaron Rodgers taking over after he retired, I think they are satisfied with what they got. Aaron Rodgers commands one of the most dynamic offenses in the league and he makes it look so easy at times it is comical. The aspect of A-Rod’s game that makes him so fun to watch is that he has the ability to tuck it and run and move around and buy time. That’s something guys like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning both lack. We are talking Michael Vick or Cameron Newton type of athletic ability, but we are talking about enough athletic ability to make you worry as defensive coordinator and to make you second guess yourself if you are a defensive player. Congrats A-Rod, in 2012 you’re #1 sir.