Wednesday August 29th, 2007

I thought I might make a list, the best of the best.

The criteria: importance of the position (I had quarterback, left tackle, pass rusher and cornerback at the top, but with room for the explosive player), talent level and age -- with a nod to young players on the cusp of a breakout season (I rank opportunistic Jets safety Kerry Rhodes 29th) and to team-oriented guys (selfless Javon Walker 80, selfish Terrell Owens 103). Though part-time players, four impact return men (in order, Devin Hester, Maurice Jones-Drew, Pacman Jones and Wes Welker) were placed among the top 126.

The best special teams player last year (outside of return men and kickers), Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard, landed at No. 320. Keeping in mind what Bill Parcells said in his most recent incarnation as an NFL coach -- "It's incredible what a field-position game this has become" -- I made room on the list for six kickers and six punters.

How did I assign value to players and rank them form 1 to 500? Not without losing sleep. For more explanation on how I came up with his list -- complete with my conclusions and the selections that will stoke the biggest arguments -- click here.

Don't agree with the list? Who's too high? Who's too low? Weigh in with your thoughts.

1-100 | 101-200 | 201-300 | 301-500

1-100 | 101-200 | 201-300 | 301-500

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.