No AFC South LBs in Power Rankings

April, 12, 2011
4/12/11
1:04
PM ET
Once again, mere days after shaping a ballot I felt good about, I see it as part of our series of NFL positional Power Rankings and second guess myself.

I could redo it right now with fresh eyes and it could look quite a bit different. Call me flaky if you like. I merely think it’s a testament to the difficultly of the task.

Here are the overall results, and the fine piece surrounding them from Mike Sando.

The AFC South was completely shut out in this one, and I think reasonably so.

Houston’s DeMeco Ryans is the best player at the position among our four teams in my mind, and he’s coming off a shredded Achilles that’s very difficult to recover from. Indianapolis’ Gary Brackett is a very good player, but I don’t think he quite ranks with the 16 mentioned here.

And while Jacksonville’s Daryl Smith can be underrated, he simply has never grabbed and demanded my attention for three games in a row. Perhaps it’s my failure to see him in the proper way, but no one else found him worthy of a vote either.

Complete the defensive line in front of him with another pass-rusher, give him two new position mates and fill out a secondary that’s very weak at safety and perhaps Smith will stand out more.

Here is my vote, which counted one-eighth of the total ballot:
  1. DeMarcus Ware
  2. Clay Matthews
  3. Patrick Willis
  4. James Harrison
  5. Terrell Suggs
  6. Ray Lewis
  7. Tamba Hali
  8. LaMarr Woodley
  9. David Harris
  10. Jon Beason

I was most disappointed that Suggs, a wonderful playmaker, didn’t make the overall top 10.

As I told Sando:

“I unabashedly love Suggs, and frankly would have placed him higher if I thought there was any way he needed help to crack the top 10. To me, there is a great deal of subjectivity in ranking this position when mixing guys from 4-3s and 3-4s, so I did a lot of know-them-when-I-see-them ranking. Suggs is absolutely a top-10 guy to me.”

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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