Best NFL Players List Vary Quite a Bit, But Still Name Multiple Steelers Players


CBS Sports writer Pete Prisco does a “100 Best NFL Players” each season, eschewing “conventional lists” in favor of, what Prisco calls it, “based on eyes, ears and hours of watching tape.”

Those who follow Prisco on Twitter may have enjoyed his frequent and semi-light hearted battles with Pro Football Focus, a web site dedicated to providing measurement reflecting a player’s individual success on individual plays.

It’s tough to tell which side – if either – is right, but Prisco’s list differs greatly from PFF’s, which is perhaps a good thing. Either way, Steelers SS Troy Polamalu, QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Mike Wallace and OLB James Harrison made the lists of both Prisco and PFF.

Polamalu, 39th with Prisco and 33rd with PFF, had the highest combined ranking, although Prisco’s explanation is, essentially, he’s a good player, but he’s overrated. If he’s overrated but still the 39th best player – including quarterbacks – in the game, it’s interesting to fathom where Prisco is hearing he’s noticeably better than where he ranked him.

Roethlisberger, 16th with Prisco and 48th with PFF, brings a bit more disparity. One would expect Roethlisberger’s rating to increase in PFF’s databases with a bit more rushing yards – their system boosts running quarterbacks simply because they make plays, not an unfair measurement – and Roethlisberger didn’t exactly scramble much in 2011. Prisco’s high ranking is due to what he feels is his clutch performances, and should be worth noting, doesn’t base solely on last season.

Wallace, 57th with Prisco and 63rd with PFF, is probably considered much higher by both if the list was made at the middle of last season. Prisco calls him out for it but points out he feels Wallace will be much higher next year.

Harrison, 99th with Prisco and 68th with PFF, clearly is evaluated as two separate players. To PFF’s credit, he gets far more respect for his run-stopping abilities, something that seems lost on most sack-happy national media members (i.e. Clay Matthews, who’s ranked 31st and 38th, respectively).

OLB LaMarr Woodley ranked 80th in Prisco’s poll, but unranked by PFF, likely due to his lack of snaps in 2011, and a mediocre 1st quarter of the year. Tough to say he’s not one of the best in football, though, if you watch Weeks 5-8.

WR Antonio Brown was ranked 60th by PFF, but not ranked at all by Prisco. Easily the best combination of receiver and returner in 2011, it’s difficult to suggest he’s not one of the better all-around players in the league.

Curiously, RB Isaac Redman did not make the list. In a word, “Hate.”

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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