Monday, May 9, 2011
Are 32 players better than Tom Brady?
While I stepped away from the AFC East blog for a week, Khaled Elsayed of Pro Football Focus released a series of articles in which he rated the 101 best players from last season.
The list generated murmurs about Elsayed's sanity because he listed New England Patriots quarterback and reigning (unanimous) MVP Tom Brady at No. 33.
Although grading players off television isn't the same as grading coaches' game film, and grades are only as good as the evaluators and the consistency of their systems, Pro Football Focus at least puts in the time to scrutinize every play from every game in myriad ways.
Elsayed has a basis for his opinion beyond pulling names out of the air, which many readers will assume he did.
Bart Scott, not considered the best inside linebacker on the New York Jets roster, was No. 29.
Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams was rated third behind only Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and San Francisco 49ers defensive end Justin Smith and way ahead of superstars such as Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson.
Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis isn't on the list anywhere.
The list is, to be diplomatic, interesting.
The AFC East representatives who did make the list:
- 3. Kyle Williams, Bills defensive tackle: The only Bill on the chart.
- 26. Jake Long, Dolphins left tackle: The highest-rated tackle -- right or left.
- 29. Bart Scott, Jets inside linebacker: Elsayed calls David Harris "inferior" and didn't include him.
- 30. Nick Mangold, Jets center: The highest rated at his position.
- 31. Cameron Wake, Dolphins outside linebacker: Dolphins should offer him for Brady, straight up.
- 33. Tom Brady, Patriots quarterback: Brady was the sixth QB. Hey, at least he beat out Antonio Garay (37th).
- 60. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots tight end: rated fourth behind Dallas Clark, Marcedes Lewis and Antonio Gates.
- 67. Logan Mankins, Patriots guard: Run blocking was dominant enough to overcome a half-season of work.
- 70. D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Jets left tackle: Ahead of Joe Thomas.
- 71. Devin McCourty, Patriots cornerback: Ahead of Asante Samuel and Brent Grimes.
- 73. Sione Pouha, Jets nose tackle: Combination of size and hustle mentioned as reason he's so highly rated.
- 85. Shaun Ellis, Jets defensive end: Division-leading fifth Jets player on the list.
- 89. Paul Soliai, Dolphins nose tackle: Elsayed said his final nine weeks graded among best in the NFL.
- 99. Anthony Fasano, Dolphins tight end: On the list for his blocking acumen.
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below this article.
I expect a lively discussion.