Walker's Fab 40 snubs?

February, 26, 2011
2/26/11
12:00
PM ET
The AFC North blog completed its second annual "Walker's Fab 40" and there was a lot of debate with very good players left off the list.

Here are 10 snubs who just missed the cut:

Baltimore Ravens: Todd Heap, TE; Jared Gaither, OT; Le'Ron McClain, FB; Jarret Johnson, LB

Analysis: There were a lot of good players left off this year and many were with the Ravens. Role players like Johnson, McClain and Heap are all important to Baltimore's success. Some would have made the top 50 players in the AFC North. Gaither was a really tough call. When healthy, he's certainly a top 40 player in the division. He came in a No. 28 last year. But a full year of inactivity dropped him off this year's list.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Emmanuel Sanders, WR; Ryan Clark, S

Analysis: Sanders is an emerging young receiver who isn't afraid of big games, and Clark is a good fit for Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's scheme. Both are solid players and have a chance to make next year's list. But there were 16 Steelers total who made "Walker's Fab 40," which is by far more than any other team. So not everyone from Pittsburgh is going to make the cut.

Cincinnati Bengals: Jermaine Gresham, TE; Carlos Dunlap, DE

Analysis: I anticipate both of these rookies to make our third annual "Walker's Fab 40" in 2012. Gresham proved to be a good fit in Cincinnati’s offense but only one tight end -- Pittsburgh's Heath Miller (No. 21) -- made the list. Dunlap was a non-factor for half the season before exploding down the stretch. But we want to see more consistency for a full 16 games from Dunlap next season.

Cleveland Browns: Ben Watson, TE; Lawrence Vickers, FB

Analysis: Watson was definitely a tough player to leave off. He had a great season in Cleveland, and I thought hard about where he would fit on this list. Truth be told, Watson was No. 41 on "Walker's Fab 40." The last choice came down to Watson and Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff, and I thought, with the historic Pro Bowl year Cundiff had he deserved it more. Vickers is one of the best at his position. But similar to McClain, no fullbacks made this year's list.

Here is a complete breakdown of "Walker's Fab 40" for 2011:

Walker's Fab 40

1. Troy Polamalu, S, Steelers

2. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers

3. Ed Reed, S, Ravens

4. Haloti Ngata, DL, Ravens

5. James Harrison, LB, Steelers

6. Terrell Suggs, LB/DE, Ravens

7. LaMarr Woodley, LB, Steelers

8. Joe Thomas, OT, Browns

9. Ray Rice, RB, Ravens

10. Mike Wallace, WR, Steelers

11. Ray Lewis, LB, Ravens

12. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Steelers

13. Peyton Hillis, RB, Browns

14. Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens

15. Maurkice Pouncey, C, Steelers

16. Lawrence Timmons, LB, Steelers

17. Anquan Boldin, WR, Ravens

18. Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals

19. Johnathan Joseph, CB, Bengals

20. Ike Taylor, CB, Steelers

21. Heath Miller, TE, Steelers

22. Hines Ward, WR, Steelers

23. Cedric Benson, RB, Bengals

24. Brett Kiesel, DE, Steelers

25. Eric Steinbach, G, Browns

26. Michael Oher, OT, Ravens

27. Chad Ochocinco, WR, Bengals

28. Casey Hampton, DT, Steelers

29. Terrell Owens, WR, Bengals

30. Alex Mack, C, Browns

31. Leon Hall, CB, Bengals

32. Josh Cribbs, WR, Browns

33. Joe Haden, CB, Browns

34. James Farrior, LB, Steelers

35. Derrick Mason, WR, Ravens

36. Andrew Whitworth, OT, Bengals

37. Aaron Smith, DE, Steelers

38. Ziggy Hood, DE, Steelers

39. T.J. Ward, S, Browns

40. Billy Cundiff, K, Ravens

Walker's Fab 40 by team

Steelers: 16 (highest Polamalu No. 1)

Ravens: 10 (highest Reed No. 3)

Browns: 7 (highest Thomas No. 8 )

Bengals: 7 (highest Palmer No. 18)

Walker's Fab 40 by position

Receivers: 7

Defensive backs: 7

Defensive linemen: 6

Offensive linemen: 6

Linebackers: 5

Running backs: 4

Quarterbacks: 3

Tight ends: 1

Kicker: 1

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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