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Thursday, August 25, 2011
Top 200: 49ers, Seahawks lead the way

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Eighteen NFC West players landed spots in the Scouts Inc. Top 200 heading into the 2011 season.

A quick accounting: The chart I ran previously was based on an initial spreadsheet Scouts Inc. used in the planning process, before several roster moves. I've gone over the spreadsheet and excluded from NFC West consideration two players no longer with division teams, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Lofa Tatupu.

The rankings for Mikell (75th) and Clemons (99th) relative to those for Gore (114th) and Jackson (131st) seemed counter to perceptions. Those following the NFC West closely know Gore and Jackson well. Seeing such a high ranking for Mikell, listed one spot lower than former teammate DeSean Jackson, will be comforting for Rams fans.

The chart breaks down NFC West players ranked among the top 200 by team and division. There is nothing particularly magical about the number 200. It serves as a cutoff line for our purposes.

I would rank the Rams' Chris Long, James Laurinaitis and James Hall, among other players in the division, ahead of some players listed in the top 200. The Seahawks preferred David Hawthorne to Tatupu, who remains unsigned, but Tatupu still appeared at No. 140.

No ranking of so many players is going to please everyone.