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Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Division's best (non-QB) offensive players

By Dan Graziano

This week's edition of Power Rankings asked us to rank the top 10 offensive players in the league, quarterbacks excluded. As you can see, no NFC East players made the overall list, one made my personal top 10 and only two -- Jason Witten and DeSean Jackson -- got any votes. I think this is fair (obviously, since you can see my list right there). I think you can make the case that this division has three top-10 quarterbacks, but take the QBs out, and it's tough to argue for anybody in the NFC East to crack this top 10.

So, as we did last week with defensive players, let's talk about who the best non-QB offensive players are in this division. If I had to do a list (which I don't, but will anyway), it may well look like this:

1. Witten

2. Jackson

3. LeSean McCoy

4. Miles Austin

5. Hakeem Nicks

6. Jason Peters

7. Trent Williams

8. Steve Smith

9. Chris Cooley

10. Chris Snee

Thought about Doug Free, thought about Dave Diehl and Kareem McKenzie, thought about Jeremy Maclin and Dez Bryant and Ahmad Bradshaw. And especially because there are far better evaluators of offensive linemen out there than I am, I may well be wrong. I could have listed one of the other tackles at 10, but I put in Snee because I think he's a top-level guard, even if that's not as critical a position as tackle. Regardless, that's my list and you can go ahead and feel free to pick it to shreds.

I'd like to make the prediction here and now that McCoy and Nicks are fighting it out for the top spot a year from now, assuming each gets to have something close to a full third season in the league (labor permitting). And while the Peters/Williams/Free argument at left tackle may be close, I believe Williams has the talent to make it a runaway if he puts together a healthy season in Washington.

I know how you guys love lists and rankings. I just have one request, please. If you could ... play nice!