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Top 50 players: In with the new and out, some of the old

Discussion in 'All Other Team Discussions' started by Heatherthepackgirl, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    Pete Prisco June 14, 2007
    By Pete Prisco
    CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer
    Tell Pete your opinion!



    The NFL can sometimes be cruel to veteran players, even former stars.

    We see it all the time. These players are revered for years, only to see their play fall off a little, and then have fans cry loudly for them to be replaced.

    Get faster. Get younger. Get better.

    Nnamdi Asomugha is a name worth knowing after the Oakland corner picked off eight passes in 2006. (US Presswire)
    Nnamdi Asomugha is a name worth knowing after the Oakland corner picked off eight passes in 2006. (US Presswire)
    When I put together the CBS SportsLine.com Top 50 rankings of the NFL players each summer, I'm guilty of the same thing.

    If you're aging and sliding, or injured and non-productive, or even loafing too much (that's you, Randy Moss), there's a good chance you're being dropped down or even out of my list.

    I'm always looking for fresh faces.

    This year, there are 19 players on my Top 50 who weren't on the list last year. Some are veteran players who had good seasons, but most are young, rising players who belong, a couple who were even left off the Pro Bowl teams last December because they didn't have name recognition.

    That matters little on this list.

    That's why young players like Jets safety Kerry Rhodes and Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha are on the list, while guys like Moss and Brett Favre are not.

    The weird thing about the big change on the list is that the top hasn't changed. The top six players from my 2006 list remain the same. That means Colts quarterback Peyton Manning at the top followed closely by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

    This is the fourth time Manning has topped the list in the seven years it's been done. In years past, I've been seared for putting him in that spot.

    Can anybody argue now?

    Brady is just behind him, close I might add, and Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer is just off the pace.

    The highest-rated defensive player is Broncos corner Champ Bailey in the fourth spot. He got my vote as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year last season and is the best cover player since Deion Sanders.

    The only two newcomers to the Top 10 are Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman and Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers. They replace Moss and Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

    Moss falls out after a horrible season, even though when he's focused he's still a top 50 talent. But you at least have to try to get on the list.

    Lewis has dropped down to the 32nd spot, but he's not off. Some say he's not even in the top 50 anymore, but I'm not buying that. Neither are Ravens coaches, who insist he's still playing at a high level.

    If he falls off this coming season -- don't expect it -- Lewis could fall out of my top 50.

    Life can really be cruel to veteran players. The CBS SportsLine.com Top 50 is no different.

    Change is swift, especially if the skills begin to erode.
    Who is most deserving of a better ranking in Prisco's Top 50?
    No. 32 Ray Lewis
    No. 15 Drew Brees
    No. 21 Frank Gore
    No. 20 Larry Johnson
    No. 10 Brian Urlacher
    No. 29 Steven Jackson


    1. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts: You'd be hard-pressed to find people -- outside the Boston area, that is -- who would argue about him owning this spot now.

    2. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: He's just a hair behind Manning. Look out now, though, with all those receivers on the roster. This could be a special year for Brady.

    3. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, San Diego Chargers: He's a sensational all-round weapon. If he plays long enough, he might break all the rushing records.

    4. Champ Bailey, CB, Denver Broncos: He is the best defensive player in the league. You can compare him to Deion Sanders, which is high praise.

    5. Carson Palmer, QB, Cincinnati Bengals: It took him a little while to get going after the knee injury, but he had another big year. He's right below Manning and Brady.

    6. Walter Jones, T, Seattle Seahawks: You can always count on this guy to play at a Pro Bowl level. He's on his way to the Hall of Fame.

    7. Chad Johnson, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: Along with Palmer, they make up the best of the young pass-catching duos in the league. Johnson really elevated his game in the second half of the 2006 season.

    8. Shawne Merriman, LB, San Diego Chargers: Getting 17 sacks in 12 games is dominance. He comes off the edge with force. Is the sack record possible? You bet.

    9. Julius Peppers, DE, Carolina Panthers: He's only 27, which means he's just now reaching his peak. He has the tools to be a 16-sack guy every year. He can also play the run.

    10. Brian Urlacher, LB, Chicago Bears: A few years ago, he was more reputation than production. Not anymore. He is now a dominant middle linebacker.

    11. Richard Seymour, DE, New England Patriots: One of the class guys in the NFL is also one heck of a player. When he got hurt in the AFC Championship Game loss to the Colts, it really showed up on the defense.

    12. Dwight Freeney, DE, Indianapolis Colts: His numbers were down last year, but he's still one of the most disruptive defensive players in the league.

    13. John Henderson, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars: Coach Jack Del Rio said Henderson is the first three-gap tackle he's seen. That's as good as it gets. Why can't he get voted into the Pro Bowl?

    14. Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans: It's too bad he plays in Houston because he doesn't get the due he deserves, especially since he has never really had an option on the other side.

    Drew Brees, Jason Taylor, Ed Reed (Getty Images)
    Drew Brees, Jason Taylor, Ed Reed (Getty Images)
    15. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints: He showed a lot skeptics -- including this writer -- that he wasn't just a product of the San Diego offense. He really fits with Saints coach Sean Payton's offense.

    16. Jason Taylor, DE, Miami Dolphins: The NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 can still be a pass-rush force. What's more impressive is how much better he plays the run now.

    17. Ed Reed, S, Baltimore Ravens: He's the most complete safety in the league. He has range and can tackle. He's the prototype for the modern safety.

    18. Kevin Williams, DT, Minnesota Vikings: Playing next to Pat Williams, he's a big reason why the Vikings led the NFL in run defense.

    19. Torry Holt, WR, St. Louis Rams: He's a pass-catching machine. For some reason, though, he never gets his due.

    20. Larry Johnson, RB, Kansas City: For the second consecutive year, he put up huge numbers. He's a big-play threat every time he touches it.

    21. Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers: Gore had his breakout season in 2006. He's a tough, hard-nosed runner who pops with power through the hole.

    22. Adrian Wilson, S, Arizona Cardinals: For the past three years, he has been one of the most underrated players in the league. Now he's a true Pro Bowl player.

    23. Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers: He is such a valuable weapon in the middle of the field that he helps offset the fact the Chargers don't have a go-to receiver.

    24. Jammal Brown, T, New Orleans Saints: His move from the right side to the left side was a smooth one. It earned him his first trip to the Pro Bowl. He will be there for a lot of years.

    Steve Smith, M. Harrison, Will Smith (Getty Images)
    Steve Smith, M. Harrison, Will Smith (Getty Images)
    25. Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers: He was banged up some last season with a hamstring injury, so he wasn't as explosive as usual. When he's 100 percent, he's lightning fast.

    26. Marvin Harrison, WR, Indianapolis Colts: His ticket to the Hall is punched, yet there is no real fall-off in production as he ages.

    27. Will Smith, DE, New Orleans Saints: Without him, the Saints defense would be in big trouble. When the opposing offense puts up points, he pins his ears and attacks. He's a force off the edge.

    28. Tommie Harris, DT, Chicago Bears: He's coming off a hamstring injury, but when he's healthy he's a major disrupter inside. The Bears really missed him in the Super Bowl.

    29. Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis Rams: He had his breakout season in 2006 and the Rams expect even more. He's also a great pass-catcher out of the backfield.

    30. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: When he and Matt Leinart become more comfortable together, Fitzgerald's numbers will improve. He has the big-play ability all the great receivers need.

    31. Shawn Andrews, G, Philadelphia Eagles: He physically dominates defenders. He's a power player who is also pretty good in pass protection.

    32. Ray Lewis, LB, Baltimore Ravens: Some scouts say he's lost a step. If he has, he's still the best at his position in the AFC.

    33. Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts: He's not just the other receiver on the Colts offense anymore. He could be the No. 1 wideout on a lot of teams.

    34. DeAngelo Hall, CB, Atlanta Falcons: This gambling corner has a knack for the big play. He does get beat once in a while, but that's because he plays a lot of man coverage.

    D. Hall, S. Hutchinson, Lee Evans (Getty Images)
    D. Hall, S. Hutchinson, Lee Evans (Getty Images)
    35. Steve Hutchinson, G, Minnesota Vikings: Some scouts say he didn't play as well with the Vikings as he did with Seattle, but he remains among the top at his position.

    36. Lee Evans, WR, Buffalo Bills: He flashed star potential last season and should be even better in 2007. He's one of the rising players on this list.

    37. Nnamdi Asomugha, CB, Oakland Raiders: The Raiders have great history with corners and this is the next star. He showed shutdown ability last season.

    38. Sean Taylor, S, Washington Redskins: This big-hitting safety has the range you like to play the pass. He plays with an attitude.

    39. Donovan McNabb, QB, Philadelphia Eagles: McNabb is coming off a major knee injury, so there are still concerns. But he's still one of the better quarterbacks in the league.

    40. Terence Newman, CB, Dallas Cowboys: It was shame he didn't play in the Pro Bowl last year. He was robbed.

    41. Bob Sanders, S, Indianapolis Colts: He is small for the position, but he packs quite a punch. When he returned to the Colts lineup in the playoffs, you could see the impact.

    42. Jonathan Ogden, T, Baltimore Ravens: He might not be as good as he was a few years ago, but he's still one of the better left tackles in the game.

    43. Ty Warren, DE, New England Patriots: He's the most underrated player in the league. He could be on his way to his first Pro Bowl this season.

    44. Kerry Rhodes, S, New York Jets: Most people would be shocked to see him on the list, but he had a Pro Bowl season in 2006. He will get his due this year.

    R. Mathis, T. Gonzalez, Keith Bulluck (Getty Images)
    R. Mathis, T. Gonzalez, Keith Bulluck (Getty Images)
    45. Rashean Mathis, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars: He was selected to his first Pro Bowl last season, and the coaches say he's just scratched the surface of his talents.

    46. Tony Gonzalez, TE, Kansas City Chiefs: Even though he's getting up in the years he is still a force in the middle of the field. He's happy now, too, since he received a new contract from the team.

    47. Keith Bulluck, LB, Tennessee Titans: With the Titans defense struggling so much, he doesn't get the credit he deserves. The players who face him know how good he plays his position.

    48. Marcus Stroud, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars: Were it not for injuries, he'd be much higher on this list.

    49. DeMarcus Ware, OLB, Dallas Cowboys: He's an explosive player who should really benefit from playing under Wade Phillips.

    50. Jamal Williams, DT, San Diego Chargers: He's the best run-stuffing nose tackle in the league. He makes it tough to run on the Chargers.

    Just missed: Brian Westbrook, RB, Eagles; Shaun Alexander, RB, Seahawks; Asante Samuel, CB, Patriots; Troy Polamalu, S, Steelers; Luis Castillo, DT, Chargers; Deuce McAllister, RB, Saints; Reggie Bush, RB, Saints; Vince Wilfork, DT, Patriots; Nate Clements, CB, 49ers; Casey Hampton, NT, Steelers; Orlando Pace, T, Rams; Brian Waters, G, Chiefs; Logan Mankins, G, Patriots; Olin Kreutz, C, Bears; Fred Taylor, RB, Jaguars; Mike Strahan, DE, Giants; Julian Peterson, LB, Seahawks.
     
  2. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    Thought we had this discussion???????????????????????????????????
     
  3. Green_Bay_Packers

    Green_Bay_Packers Cheesehead

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    is Favre in the list?
     
  4. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    Re: Top 50 players: In with the new and out, some of the ol

    Sorry didnt see it posted, if it was posted then you can lock it.
     
  5. vikesrule

    vikesrule Cheesehead

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    Re: Top 50 players: In with the new and out, some of the ol

    Hey Heather, Z2C can't lock it.....unless you post it here , but then no one would see it anyway! :rotflmao:
     
  6. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    Re: Top 50 players: In with the new and out, some of the ol

    Thanks Vikesrule..:)
     
  7. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    Re: Top 50 players: In with the new and out, some of the ol

    hey scue u!! :)
     
  8. Lynch

    Lynch Cheesehead

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    Why aren´t Favre or Moss on the list????
     
  9. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    Moss was mediocre at best last year.
    And Favre was 18 TD's and 18 interceptions, so thats why he didn't make it. I hope with the WR's we have now, he can put up some huge numbers to shut up those that think he's washed up.
     
  10. vikesrule

    vikesrule Cheesehead

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    Re: Top 50 players: In with the new and out, some of the ol

    Cheesey was right about Moss, as to Favre, well the justification is in the first part of the post.

    "If you're aging and sliding, or injured and non-productive, or even loafing too much (that's you, Randy Moss), there's a good chance you're being dropped down or even out of my list."
     
  11. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    Re: Top 50 players: In with the new and out, some of the ol

    lol i never clicked the link before now... u bastid!!
     
  12. vikesrule

    vikesrule Cheesehead

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    Re: Top 50 players: In with the new and out, some of the ol

    Wow....you must really be bored Z, digging up old posts!

    Well since I am stuck in Schaumberg IL (in a snow storm), and bored too, I went over to that "LINK" and doubled the site's total post count by making a few posts. :p

    Sincerely
    The "bastid"
     
  13. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    What a weird list, considering how this season has gone. I suppose that's easy to say in hindsight, but still....Lee Evans at #36?
     

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