Hali respected; Dumervil forgotten

March, 22, 2011
3/22/11
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In our third installment of the series, we ranked the pass-rushers, in which Kansas City linebacker Tamba Hali made an impressive showing and Denver’s Elvis Dumervil was ignored.

I found this week’s ranking to be the most difficult of the three positions we have ranked. There are so many terrific pass-rushers in the NFL and going directly off 2010 sack totals, I think, would have been unfair.

That is the exact reason I think there was an omission from the list. I ranked Dumervil ninth on the list. He didn’t receive another vote from the rest of the eight-person committee. Dumervil led the NFL in sacks in 2009 with 17. He missed the entire 2010 season when he was put on the injured reserve with a pectoral injury he suffered during training camp. If this voting were conducted a year ago, I’m sure Dumervil would have been a top-five pick.

I understand that he shouldn’t be considered a top-five pick now, after missing a season, but that’s why I ranked him ninth. I know Dumervil is moving back to a 4-3 after excelling in a 3-4 in 2009, and he is coming back from a serious injury. But until he proves he’s not a top-10 pass-rusher on the field, I think he should be on the list.

In a less-difficult decision, Hali finished fifth. I voted him fifth. I think it's a good spot for Hali, who led the AFC with 14.5 sacks in 2010. He has the look of being one of the NFL’s best pass-rushers for the foreseeable future.

No other AFC West player received a vote. Next week, we’ll rank the tight ends. Fill up the comment section with your top 10 pass-rushers.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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