Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Was Terrell Suggs snubbed?
By James Walker
ESPN.com continued its series on positional Power Rankings Tuesday. This week we ranked the top 10 pass-rushers in the NFL.
The AFC North had two players who made the list -- Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebackers James Harrison (No. 6) and LaMarr Woodley (No. 9). But there was one name missing that caught my eye: Baltimore Ravens defensive end/linebacker Terrell Suggs.
I'm not too surprised Suggs didn't make the cut. In my opinion, this was the hardest position to rank thus far, and I strongly considered 14 or 15 players for the top 10.
The definition of a great pass-rusher can vary tremendously. Is it just sacks? Should pressures and hits on the quarterback count? What about players who don't have much help on defense? All of these may or may not factor in with voters on our panel.
Suggs finished No. 12 in ESPN.com's ranking. I voted Suggs No. 8, because he has a lengthy track record of getting to the quarterback, and I believed his production in 2010 (11 sacks) was deserving. He is, in a lot of ways, the only option for Baltimore's defense and faces a lot of double teams. Suggs also plays very well in big games, such as his three sacks in Baltimore's divisional-round playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With all that said, I find it difficult to consider Suggs a snub. The 10 players who made the list were deserving, and I think our panel did a good job overall in putting together a tough list.
ESPN.com's Pass-Rushing Power Rankings
1. DeMarcus Ware, linebacker, Dallas Cowboys
2. Clay Matthews, linebacker Green Bay Packers
3.Dwight Freeney, defensive end, Indianapolis Colts
4. Jared Allen, defensive end, Minnesota Vikings
5. Tamba Hali, defensive end, Kansas City Chiefs
6. James Harrison, linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers
7. John Abraham, defensive end, Atlanta Falcons
8. Julius Peppers, defensive end, Chicago Bears
9. LaMarr Woodley, linebacker, Steelers
10. Cameron Wake, linebacker, Miami Dolphins
Walker’s Pass-Rushing Power Rankings
1. DeMarcus Ware, linebacker, Cowboys
2. James Harrison, linebacker, Steelers
3. Dwight Freeney, defensive end, Colts
4. Jared Allen, defensive end, Vikings
5. Clay Matthews, linebacker, Packers
6. John Abraham, defensive end, Falcons
7. LaMarr Woodley, linebacker, Steelers
8. Terrell Suggs, defensive end/linebacker, Ravens
9. Tamba Hali, defensive end, Chiefs
10. Julius Peppers, defensive end, Bears