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SteelCrazy
04-21-2011, 11:43 AM
The 1st Steeler on the list, #21 Ben Roethlisberger

I copped out.

When it came time to pick the No. 1 player in the NFL, I couldn't make a decision.

It came down to the same argument many of us have had for much of the past decade: Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.

Isn't that like asking who'd you like to have on a deserted island, a Playmate or a Victoria's Secret model?

There is no way to pick an answer to either of those questions.

So in the end, I made it a tie at the top. Brady backers will ask why, since he has all those rings. Manning backers will ask why, since he has all the big numbers and the four MVPs.

It's just too close to call.

That's why I didn't make it.

So the No. 1 player on my list of the top 100 NFL players for 2011 is Peyton Brady or Tom Manning?

Either way, you get the idea.

I copped out.

1. (tie) Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts and Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: How can you pick between them? Rings? Advantage to Brady, but Manning won the last one of the two. MVP awards? That goes to Manning. Numbers? Manning. You make the call.

3. DeMarcus Ware, OLB, Dallas Cowboys: He's the most-feared pass rusher in the league. Even as the Dallas defense struggled last season, Ware was still a force off the edge, leading the NFL in sacks with 15 1/2.

4. Nmandi Asomugha, CB, Oakland Raiders: He doesn't get interceptions because quarterbacks don't throw at him, but his cover skills are better than anybody in the league. He's about to cash in big as a free agent.

5. Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans: Big, strong and fast. What else do you want in a receiver? Johnson consistently puts up big numbers, even though he faces constant doubles.

6. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers: Some might say it's too early to have him this high, but he showed in the playoffs last season that he belongs. Scary thought to opponents: His best football is yet to come.

7. Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans: He can change a game in a hurry with his explosive speed. He is the prototype for the modern NFL back: Fast with the ability to rip off long runs.

8. Clay Matthews, OLB, Green Bay Packers: For two consecutive seasons, he has been a force off the edge for the Packers. He had 13 1/2 sacks last season.

9. Dwight Freeney, DE, Indianapolis Colts: Too high? Ask the tackles who face him. He is an explosive edge rusher who impacts what the offense does. He had 10 sacks last season, but his pressure is what sets him apart from other speed rushers.

10. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints: He had another 4,000-yard season for the Saints in 2010, but he didn't play as well as he did in 2009. Without a running game, he was asked to do even more and he threw more interceptions, some bad ones.

11. Julius Peppers, DE, Chicago Bears: He always has been a top talent, but the move to Chicago as a free agent seemed to bring out the best in him. Even though he didn't have great sack numbers (eight), he was a force for the Bears.

12. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Detroit Lions: He was a dominant player as a rookie inside for the Lions. He can play the run and he can rush the passer, leading all tackles in sacks last season with 10. It's scary to think how good he will be once he knows what he's doing.

13. Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets: He missed camp with a holdout and it hurt him last season. But he's still a top cover corner and he showed in the playoffs how valuable he is to the Jets defense.

14. Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers: He was the Chargers in 2010. He carried that team on his back, having one of the best passing seasons in NFL history -- all without his top receivers for most of the season.

15. Patrick Willis, ILB, San Francisco 49ers: He is a tackling machine in the 49ers defense. He also has the speed to be effective in coverage, although he tailed off some in that area last season.

16. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings: Like Johnson, he's the type of back who can take it the distance. Peterson got over his fumbling problems last season, but without good quarterback play in front of him he wasn't as effective.

17. Haloti Ngata, DT, Baltimore Ravens: He has emerged as one of the league's best tackles. He is a force against the run and has improved as a pass rusher.

18. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: He struggled some without a real quarterback behind center in 2010. But he remains one of the league's best, a big-play receiver who commands a double team.

19. Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys: He is the best all-around tight end in the game. He led all tight ends with 94 catches last season.

20. Mario Williams, DE, Houston Texans: Some will say this is too high. But Williams had 8 1/2 sacks playing with a bad sports hernia that eventually sent him to the injured-reserve list. He needs help up front as well.

21. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers: He has won two Super Bowls and played in another. After his four-game suspension last season, he played at a high level. He truly does seem like a changed person.

22. Mike Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles: He wasn't even sniffing this kind of list last season. Now look. Wow. He has become one of the dynamic playmakers in the game.

23. Jake Long, T, Miami Dolphins: He isn't in the Walter Jones-Tony Boselli class of tackles, but he's not far off. He has an occasional bad game that sets him apart from those players.

24. James Harrison, OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers: He continued to play at a high level in 2010. He still plays with a nasty streak, even though he's been fined a ton. Sees a lot of doubles.

25. Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: Over the past 1 1/2 seasons, he has been second to Johnson in yards gained. Like Johnson, he is a big-play threat, averaging 6.3 per carry last season.

26. Carl Nicks, G, New Orleans Saints: He is a nasty player who is key to what they Saints do on offense. He was the best guard in the NFL last season and should only get better.

27. Tamba Hali, OLB, Kansas City Chiefs: He has made a smooth transition from down end to 3-4 outside linebacker. Hali plays with a relentless style and he has the speed to beat opposing tackles. Finished second in the NFL in sacks last season.

28. Troy Polamalu, S, Pittsburgh Steelers: He is a tad overrated: and some will scoff that he's not in the top 10, but I think he is off some in coverage at times. He also played poorly in the playoffs and the Super Bowl.

29. Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions: He caught 77 passes and had 12 touchdowns last season. It's scary to think how good he could be with more help and with Matt Stafford staying on the field.

30. Tramon Williams, CB, Green Bay Packers: He showed last season that he is one of the best cover corners in the league. He was the Packers' best cover player, not Charles Woodson.

31. Cameron Wake, OLB, Miami Dolphins: He showed that he can be an elite pass rusher in 2010. Now comes the tough part: Doing it again.

32. Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans: He led the NFL in rushing yards, showing a cutback style that is perfect for the Houston system. Now he has to show he wasn't a fluke.

33. Charles Woodson CB, Green Bay Packers: He isn't the cover player he was two years ago, but he is such a valuable part of the Green Bay defense with his versatility.

34. DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: He averaged over 22 yards per catch, showing his big-play ability. He is also one of the best return men in the league.

35. Ed Reed, S, Baltimore Ravens: Even after missing the first six games, he still led the league in interceptions with eight. His tackling has slipped some. Maybe it's the neck injury.

36. Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons: He isn't a burner, and he doesn't play in a wide-open offense, but he knows how to put up numbers. He needs help on the other side.

37. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: He fought through a knee injury for all of 2010, an injury that ended his season with two games left. He had surgery to fix the problem after the season and is expected to be fine this summer.

38. Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Some scouts think he's slowing down, but he still plays at a high level and puts up big numbers. Injuries to other receivers and tight end Dallas Clark put more on his shoulders last season.

39. Nick Mangold, C, New York Jets: He is a big part of why the Jets run the ball so well, a strong center who can handle players on his nose.

40. Champ Bailey, CB, Denver Broncos: At age 32, he played at a high level in 2010, showing there are still more good years in his body. Watch his games against Kansas City's Dewayne Bowe to see what he can still do.

41. LaMarr Woodley, OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers: He had double-digit sacks for the third consecutive season and continues to be a nice bookend opposite James Harrison. He had more pressures than Harrison during the season.

42. Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers: He had 10 touchdown catches and continued to play at a high level, even though he played in just 10 games.

43. Justin Tuck, DE, New York Giants: He had 11 1/2 sacks and played the run well. He is a big part of that New York defense.

44. Maurkice Pouncey, C, Pittsburgh Steelers: From opening day, he was a dominant player. The Steelers rave about the way he picked up the mental side of things.

45. Dallas Clark, TE, Indianapolis Colts: He missed almost all of the 2010 season with a wrist injury. His absence really showed up in the passing game. He is Manning's security blanket.

46. Joe Thomas, T, Cleveland Browns: He has been to four Pro Bowls, including last season. But he didn't play as well last season, especially late.

47. Elvis Dumervil, DE, Denver Broncos: He missed last season with a torn chest muscle, but assuming he's back full go he is one of the game's elite pass rushers.

48. Asante Samuel, CB, Philadelphia Eagles: He is a ball-hawking player who gets knocked down some for his tackling. But he can change a game with a big play.

49. Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs: He scored 15 touchdowns last season to go with 72 catches and a 16.1 average.

50. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons: He has improved each of the past three seasons and should be even better with more speed added to the offense. He has to be given more freedom.

51. Terrell Suggs, OLB, Baltimore Ravens: If anyone doubted his impact, just flip on his two playoff tapes from last January. He has that change-the-game pass rush ability.

52. Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta Falcons: After an off 2009 season, he got in shape and played well for the Falcons. He is a chain mover.

53. Robert Mathis, DE, Indianapolis Colts: Playing opposite Dwight Freeney, he doesn't always get the credit he deserves, but he has real speed coming from the left side. He's also improved as a run player.

54. Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders: He showed last season what he can do when he stays on the field. He is the latest in the line of explosive runners to come into the league in the past four years.

55. Lawrence Timmons, ILB, Pittsburgh Steelers: He gets lost playing in between LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison, but he emerged last season as a special player. His speed allows him to cover a lot of ground.

56. Devin McCourty, CB, New England Patriots: He played at a high level as a rookie, especially in the second half of the season. He will be higher on this list in the coming years.

57. Chad Greenway, OLB, Minnesota Vikings: He isn't flashy, but he gets the job done. Greenway led the Vikings in tackles last season. Now you know why they put the franchise tag on him.

58. Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis Rams: His yards-per-carry number was down under 4.0, which is a concern. But he remains one of the better backs in the NFC.

59. Jared Allen, DE, Minnesota Vikings: He started slowly last season, but came on late. The slow start had some scouts wondering if he might only have a few years left.

60. Vince Wilfork, NT, New England Patriots: He played both end and nose tackle last season because of depth issues and played well at both spots. His only issue is keeping his weight in check.

61. John Abraham, DE, Atlanta Falcons: He had 13 sacks last season after a down 2009 season. He is still capable of making the big sack-fumble play.

62. Jerod Mayo, ILB, New England Patriots: He led the league in tackles, despite playing with a bunch of young players around him. He knows how to find the football.

63. D'Brickashaw Ferguson, T, New York Jets: He has improved every year since coming into the league. His athleticism sets him apart from some other left tackles.

64. LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: He is an all-purpose back who is perfect for the Eagles offense. He led the NFC in yards from scrimmage.

65. Ryan Clady, T, Denver Broncos: He went to the Pro Bowl in 2009, but tore up his knee last April and didn't play as well. But another year removed should put him back in the Pro Bowl.

66. Matt Schaub, QB, Houston Texans: He's had back-to-back big seasons, showing when he's on the field he's a top passer.

67. Ray Lewis, MLB, Baltimore Ravens: He isn't the Ray Lewis of old, but he is still a good linebacker. The speed isn't there like it once was, which does show up at times.

68. Jahri Evans, G, New Orleans Saints: He had problems with penalties last season, which drops him down this list. He was the team's second-best guard in 2010 to Carl Nicks.

69. Richard Seymour, DE, Oakland Raiders: For stretches last season, he was as good as any defensive lineman in the league. He just needs to do it more consistently. Age could be a factor in that.

70. Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants: He is a big, fast receiver who scores down the field. He's only scratching his potential.

71. B.J. Raji, NT, Green Bay Packers: He had 6 1/2 sacks and was a force inside against the run in his second season in the league.

72. Steve Hutchinson, G, Minnesota Vikings: He wasn't as dominant as he's been in his career, which is why he's down this list some. But he's still a good player. Ended the season sitting out with a broken thumb.

73. Darnell Dockett, DT, Arizona Cardinals: Dockett was better in 2008 and 2009, but he still played at a high level. He plays hard all the time.

74. Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers: It's a shame he doesn't get to play with better quarterbacks. He is a real threat in the middle of the field.

75. Justin Smith, DE, San Francisco 49ers: He is an effort player who brings it every week. He holds up against the run and he's a good pass rusher for a 3-4 end.

76. Brandon Marshall, WR, Miami Dolphins: Marshall played in an outdated offense and with little help from his quarterback. He still caught 86 passes for over 1,000 yards.

77. Osi Umenyiora, DE, New York Giants: He had 11 1/2 sacks to help the Giants have one of the better pass rushes in the league.

78. Jason Peters, T, Philadelphia Eagles: After a so-so 2009 season, Peters rebounded to play well last season.

79. James Laurinaitis, MLB, St. Louis Rams: He is a steady, sure tackler who is on the verge of a Pro Bowl appearance. He is a football junkie, and it shows.

80. Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers: He averaged 16.6 yards per catch and scored 12 touchdowns

81. Vincent Jackson, WR, San Diego Chargers: He missed most of the season in a contract dispute, so it's tough to have him higher. But he proved in 2009 that he is a big-play receiver.

82. Brian Urlacher, MLB, Chicago Bears: After missing all but one game in 2009 with an injury, he bounced back to lead the Bears in tackles with his highest total in four seasons.

83. Brian Orakpo, OLB, Washington Redskins: It's too bad he doesn't have more help on the defensive front. He put up 8 1/2 sacks last season, even though he was doubled a ton.

84. Chris Snee, G, New York Giants: Tom Coughlin's son-in-law is a good player who had one of his best seasons in 2010.

85. Brandon Flowers, CB, Kansas City Chiefs: He really played well early last season, earning rave reviews. He did tail off some, but he has the tools to be a consistent player on this list.

86. Jay Ratliff, NT, Dallas Cowboys: He didn't play as well in 2010 as he did the year before, but he remains a top interior lineman.

87. Jordan Gross, T, Carolina Panthers: Gross was selected to the Pro Bowl and again played at a high level for a bad team.

88. Leon Hall, CB, Cincinnati Bengals: He had four interceptions early, but didn't get any the rest of the way. He remains a top cover player, even though he doesn't have great speed.

89. Mike Wallace, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: He piled up 1,186 yards on 62 catches, which shows his big-play ability. He also had nine touchdowns and should be even better with his quarterback for a full season.

90. Josh Sitton, G, Green Bay Packers: He is the best of the players on a good line, but doesn't get the attention he deserves.

91. Trent Cole, DE, Philadelphia Eagles: Want to know how good he is? Ask the players he faces. He is a handful.

92. Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: He joined this list with a 25-touchdown, five-interception season in 2010. He will only get better and go higher on this list.

93. Marcedes Lewis, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars: He can block and he blossomed as a receiver last season. He would put up bigger numbers in a better pass offense.

94. Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens: He had a second consecutive 1,000-yard season and also caught 63 passes. Why don't they use him more?

95. Brandon Lloyd, WR, Denver Broncos: He had 23 catches of 20 yards or longer and averaged 18.8 per catch. He was one of the surprise players of the year.

96. Kevin Williams, DT, Minnesota Vikings: He had a bit of an off year for a team that also had an off year, which is why he's down this list. The players around him didn't play as well either.

97. Santana Moss, WR, Washington Redskins: On a bad offense, he put up some big numbers with 93 catches for 1,115 yards.

98. Peyton Hillis, RB, Cleveland Browns: He was the Browns' offense last season, rushing for 1,177 yards and averaging 4.4 per rush.

99. Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Surprised to see him here? He was a dominant rookie who should be even more productive going forward. The kid has star written all over him.

100. Andrew Whitworth, OT, Cincinnati Bengals: He played at a high level last season, but few noticed. He is a mauler in the run game, but also has developed as a quality pass protector.

Just missed: Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens; Wes Welker, WR, New England Patriots; Zach Miller, TE, Oakland Raiders; Eric Weddle, S, San Diego Chargers; Matt Cassel, QB, Kansas City Chiefs; Logan Mankins, G, New England Patriots; Steve Johnson, WR, Buffalo Bills; Kris Dielman, G, San Diego Chargers; Donald Penn, T, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Alex Mack, C, Cleveland Browns; Shaun Phillips, OLB, San Diego Chargers; Brent Grimes, CB, Atlanta Falcons; Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints; Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers; DeAngelo Hall, CB, Washington Redskins; Malcolm Jenkins, S, New Orleans Saints.

http://www.cbssports.com/#!/nfl/story/1 ... separation (http://www.cbssports.com/#!/nfl/story/14966135/top-100-dazzling-qb-duo-cant-get-separation)

flippy
04-21-2011, 11:59 AM
Ben had his chance to lead a comeback and bring home Lombardi #7. That would have cemented him @ #1.

But he didn't do it and deserved to drop accordingly.

StarSpangledSteeler
04-21-2011, 12:14 PM
6 players in the top 55. Not bad.

RuthlessBurgher
04-21-2011, 01:21 PM
NFL Network is premiering a top 100 list like this next Saturday night after round 4-7 of the draft conclude. This one has been voted on by the players themselves. Should be interesting to see.

ikestops85
04-21-2011, 03:32 PM
I'm sorry but I have to be a bit skeptical of any list that has Jason Witten being better than anyone on the Steeler team. Witten, while a good TE, is not close to being better than Troy, James or Ben.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
04-21-2011, 04:25 PM
Demarcus Ware as the top player in the NFL not named Brady or Manning????

This guy is so overrated it is not even funny! He does nothing other than rush the QB. He does not drop into pass coverage and is a liability against the run. All he does is rush the passer, as yes he did have 5 more sacks than Harrison but.......

Ware had 66 tackles, Harrison had 100
Harrison had 7 passes defensed and 2 picks, Ware had a pair of zeroes
Harrison had six forced fumbles and 1 recovery, Ware had 2 and 2.

Harrison is generally considered the driving force behind the top D in the game, creating space and opportunity for those around him......Ware is considered to be the best player on a below average D.

Matthews also belongs far above Ware on this list.

anger 82&95
04-21-2011, 09:42 PM
Injury caveat required for Troy P.