CINCINNATI -- Earlier this summer, many of the people behind ESPN's NFL coverage sat down and ranked the best current players in the league.
It was all for ESPN.com's #NFLRank series, which debuted Monday with player rankings 100-91. Offensive players and defensive players were separated, meaning the rankings cover the top 100 players on offense and the top 100 on defense.
Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth made it on Monday's reveal, landing at No. 92 among offensive players. It's likely you won't see many offensive linemen crack the top 10 or top 20, but it does still seem kind of early to see Whitworth's name on this list. He was, after all, named the No. 9 player on Pro Football Focus' top 101 players list earlier this year.
The PFF rankings took into account the site's position and game grades for individual players. According to PFF, Whitworth earned top-20 grades at left tackle and left guard last season. Whitworth played left guard following Clint Boling's ACL tear in the Bengals' Week 13 game at San Diego. Cincinnati's offense seemed a little more physical with Whitworth there. The move was a selfless act that came in the middle of a playoff chase, and one that earned Whitworth additional respect from inside the locker room and around the city.
While PFF's rankings were based on grades, ESPN.com's were based on votes from 90 of our NFL experts. Yes, that group includes yours truly, along with the other 32 team reporters who make up NFL Nation. Here is the full list of voters from ESPN.com, ESPN TV, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Insider (including Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus), ESPN fantasy, ESPN locals and ESPN Stats & Information.
The players were rated by each voter on a 0-to-10 scale, with 10 being the best regardless of position in the NFL. Ties, as denoted by an asterisk, were broken by determining which player had more ballots with the higher ranking. (If players are tied, the player with three 10s is ranked higher than the player with two 10s; if the tied players had the same amount of highest numbers, we moved to the next number: three 9s beats two 9s, etc.)
You can read the full 100-91 breakdown here.
Whitworth's No. 92 comes after being No. 90 last season. His two-spot fall also came with his earning a 6.58 average vote, tying him with Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Whitworth edged out Cutler because he had more ballots with higher numbers.
Here's the blurb on Whitworth from the #NFLRank rankings:
In 14 games with Whitworth last season, the Bengals were 11-3 and quarterback Andy Dalton was sacked 1.7 times per game. In the two games that Whitworth missed, the Bengals were 0-2 and Dalton was sacked 3.0 times per game.
--ESPN Stats & Information