Debating the top-10 offensive players by position

11m - NFL

Now that the votes for #NFLRANK are in, it's time to take a peak behind the numbers and assess how the 70-plus panelists ranked each position.

First, a reminder: Our voters -- which comprised NFL analysts, reporters and statisticians from across the company -- were asked to rate each player based on greatness. This was not a popularity contest, but rather an evaluation of on-field skill. 

Here are the consensus top-10 players at each offensive position, along with where I agree and disagree.


The top three mirrored those from our 2015 QB Tier Rankings projects, which surveyed 35 NFL coaches and evaluators. Of the others, Matt Ryan, Tony Romo and Drew Brees are three of the more interesting quarterbacks to evaluate. A case can be made that all three have too frequently been asked to carry too much of the load for their teams, and that any of them might have won championships over the past few seasons if their defenses had performed at respectable levels. In defensive expected points added (EPA) over the past five seasons, Atlanta ranks 24th, New Orleans 26th and Dallas 28th. My #NFLRANK ballot had Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan and Romo in the top six spots, followed closely by a group featuring Brees, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson.