- Kevin Seifert, NFL Nation
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Three North players were among those ranked between 41-50 in our #NFLRank project, an ESPN effort to identify the top 100 offensive and top 100 defensive players in the NFL. As always, our portion of both lists are updated at the bottom.
Stats & Info: Since entering the league in 2008, Forte has 15 100-yard rushing games. The Bears are 14-1 in those games. Of the 19 running backs with at least 10 100-yard games over that span, Forte's 14-1 record is the best.
Seifert comment: Forte might be the best pass-catching running back in the NFL, and he's also been a 1,000-yard rusher in three of his five seasons. You can expect Marc Trestman's offense to take better advantage of his capabilities.
Stats & Info: Raji has an NFL-high 7.5 sacks when lined up as the nose tackle in a 3-4 defense over the last three seasons. The Packers' defense has allowed exactly one fewer yard per rush inside the tackles with Raji on the field over that span.
Seifert comment: From a national perspective, Raji might still be living off his performance in the Packers' run to the Super Bowl in 2010. The team expressed some reservation as well by deciding not to extend his contract this offseason.
(Detailed here by ESPN.com's Ben Goessling)
NFC North showing to date:
59. Minnesota Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil
64. Green Bay Packers receiver Randall Cobb
66. Green Bay Packers receiver Jordy Nelson
72. Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan
77. Minnesota Vikings receiver Greg Jennings
97. Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler
53. Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton
65. Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway
76. Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley
81. Chicago Bears cornerback Tim Jennings
92. Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams
95. Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith
Here is a one-stop link for all of our #NFLRank coverage on this blog.
And finally, here is my post taking a broader look at what this project has revealed.