Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Ngata, Cribbs among AFC's 'most versatile'
By Jamison Hensley
Gary Horton from Scouts Inc. put together his list of the top 10 most versatile players in the AFC, and two players from the AFC North made the cut.
Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata ranked No. 5, but he was the only defensive player to get on the AFC list. Ngata was moved around on defense more frequently when Rex Ryan was Baltimore's defensive coordinator. There were times when Ngata would stand and line up as a linebacker.
This is an Insider piece, but here's a portion of what Horton had to say about Ngata:
He plays defensive end in their base 3-4 defense, although he can occasionally line up at nose tackle, and he slides to DT in their 4-3 nickel package on passing downs. What is really surprising is that he can occasionally line up wide to get a better matchup in space, and he can even drop into coverage on those zone blitzes that the Ravens like to run.
The other player to receive recognition as one of the AFC's most versatile was Browns wide receiver Josh Cribbs, who ranked No. 6. He is one of four wide receivers to make the list in the AFC and NFC (Minnesota's Percy Harvin, San Francisco's Ted Ginn Jr. and New England's Julian Edelman were the others).
This is Horton's part on Cribbs:
He remains one of the most respected return specialists in the NFL, although his big plays the last two seasons have really dropped off. He has explosiveness as a punt and kickoff returner, but where he has really improved is his production as a receiver, as evidenced by his 41 receptions last year.
The AFC North had the second-most players on the list, but it was a distant second. The AFC East placed six players in the top 10, including three from the Patriots.