This is a list compiled exclusively by the players who by all accounts should know more than people watching because they feel how a player changes the game, where as we only get to witness it. Nevertheless, I have opinions on this list because I’m a fan of the game.
Top 10 NFL Players
10. Rob Gronkowski – Too low. Gronk is a top 5 player in the league. Obviously injury prone but an absolute beast at 6-6, 265 lbs. His 4.68 40 speed would have been 4th fastest among TE’s at the combine last year. HE’S UNCOVERABLE. Remember in 2011, Gronk went for 1,327 yards and 17 tds which are great WR #’s, not TE. Last year he was 1,124 and 12 tds playing 15 games. He’s that head and shoulders above everyone else at TE. Absolute monster.
9. Marshawn Lynch – Too high. Marshawn is unstoppable when he’s running motivated but he’s a head case. He’s ran for over 1,200 yards the last 5 years with over a 4.0 avg so the consistency is there but he doesn’t catch passes. He had 37 receptions last year. Matt Forte had 102. He’s a top red-zone back, but not the 2nd best in the league as this list suggests.
8. Antonio Brown – Awesome player. AB led the league in targets last year with 181 and receptions with 129 (2nd was 111). He averaged over 100 yards a game and even returned a kick and a punt for a TD. The guy is a threat whenever he’s on the field and could arguably be named the best WR in the league. His speed and intellect, not his size, is what separates him from his competition.
7. Andrew Luck – He’s been in the league for 3 seasons and has reached the playoffs 3 times never advancing further than the AFC championship game. This is tremendous so don’t get me wrong that I don’t think Luck is one of the best QB’s in the league. I just don’t think he has that killer instinct, like Tom Brady, yet. This of course could develop but you have to earn your place on this list by winning as a QB. His 4761 yards and 40 TD’s were amazing stats last year (3rd in yards, 1st in TD’s). It’s possible he looks too much like a caveman for me to think he’s smart.
6. Calvin Johnson – I’m a bit torn on Megatron. Top notch receiver but didn’t have a great year last year. Only playing in 13 games he battled injury and finished with 1,077 yards. He was going off as a 1st round pick in fantasy circles last year and that proved to be too high. Stafford is a mediocre QB in my mind which you can’t hold against Calvin, but you do. His ’12 season of 1,964 yards and 122 catches is unreal. His size of 6-5, 239 makes him a force to be reckoned with for smaller DB’s. There should be one more point to be made. If your team is playing against the Lions, and Stafford launches the ball downfield, I don’t care if you have 3 guys back there, you say, “oh shit”.
5. Peyton Manning – When he was a Colt in 2006 and just won the Superbowl against the Bears he was the #1 player in the league. He was still probably #1 after his historic season in 2013 when he threw 55 td’s and 5,466 yards. Even last year he put the same numbers as Luck so how can I make this argument that he doesn’t deserve this spot? He doesn’t win the Superbowl. He has 14 seasons with 10 wins and only 2 losing seasons for his career, however his playoff record is 11-13. You can’t be a top 10 football player with results like that. My feeling on his current ability is his passes are wounded ducks and his players (DeMaryius and Julius) are bailing him out. I think there are about half a dozen QB’s I’d rather have than Peyton, let alone players on this list.
4. DeMarco Murray -Befuddling. Yes he led the league in yards last year with 1,845 (2nd was 1,319) and caught 57 balls but I’m not sold on DeMarco. He’s played in the NFL for 4 years with 1 year being eye opening. I need more. Now that’s he’s an Eagle I hope he thrives but the jury is still out on DeMarco. I personally think Jamaal Charles, Leveon Bell, and Adrian Peterson are more explosive. We’ll see. I hope I’m wrong.
3. Tom Brady – Can’t argue. 10 Pro Bowls, 6 Super Bowl trips, 4 wins. He’s getting older and his stats aren’t there anymore but he still wins. He also doesn’t get hurt which is telling of how wily he is as a QB. Aside from 2008 when he missed the season, he has played in 16 games every single season since 2001 (technically it was 15 in 2001). His 50 TD season in 2007 when the Pats went 16-0 is legendary. Tom Brady is Tom Brady. Put him at 1 on this list and you can’t be wrong.
2. Aaron Rodgers – Best QB in the league. Before the days of RedZone I never got to see Aaron Rodgers throw the ball until a playoff game in 2010 against the Eagles. It was the NFC Wild Card game and he beat the birds 21-16 but what I was watching wasn’t a normal QB. This guy had accuracy like you couldn’t believe and winged the ball so hard that his receivers need a flak jacket. Aaron Rodgers has TD-INT ratios like you read about, 45-6, 39-8, 38-5, 3 of the last 4 years. If I had to pick 1 QB to start my team, it would be him.
1. JJ Watt – Best defensive player in the league and can change a game in a heartbeat. He had 3 receiving TD’s last year. He’s the first player in NFL history to record 2 20+ sack seasons. He’s won defensive player of the year for the 2nd time in 4 years. How many more records is this guy going to break? He’s a freak and doesn’t get injured (or he plays through anything). To call a defensive player the #1 player in the NFL is probably a stretch but I can’t think of anyone else who I’d want on my D line.
If I’m going to say certain guys shouldn’t be on the list I of course should say who should crack the top 10.
Odell Beckham – He only played 12 games last year and went for 1,305 yards. Do I have to hit you over the head with a tack hammer to help you understand how amazing this is? His yardage totals for the first 3 games were 44, 28, and 34. Do you get it yet? He was 10th in the league in yards and 9th in receptions. He did it in 9 games!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If I had more exclamation points I’d use them. Teams realized he was their best option by the end of the season and his yard totals for the last 4 games were 130, 143, 148, and 185. I’m drafting him this year. No matter what.
LeVeon Bell – Dual threat. 1361 yards and 855 receiving yards last year. He only went for 11 TD’s but that will change. I’ve watched his footage and he’s explosive like Jamaal but I think he’s a tad slicker. He is going to miss some games to start the season but I want this guy on my team because is arguably the best back in the league right now.
Adrian Peterson – He’ll fly under the radar this year because of his switch incident but I don’t put anything past the man. A-Pete is/was the best RB in football. He burns everyone on the field and can’t be tackled. We’ll see how he does but I think his value right now is far lower than it should be.