Thursday, August 25, 2011
Top 200: 49ers, Seahawks lead the way
By Mike Sando
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.
- San Francisco 49ers (6): Patrick Willis 11th, Justin Smith 25th, Vernon Davis 111th, Frank Gore 114th, Donte Whitner 117th, Mike Iupati 129th.
- Seattle Seahawks (5): Chris Clemons 99th, Sidney Rice 104th, Russell Okung 145th, Zach Miller 159th, Marcus Trufant 199th.
- Arizona Cardinals (4): Larry Fitzgerald 10th, Darnell Dockett 97th, Calais Campbell 168th, Adrian Wilson 172nd.
- St. Louis Rams (3): Quintin Mikell 75th, Steven Jackson 131st, Jason Brown 141st.
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.