Players 400-301

Russell Bodine

C
He must be better against stunts and twists than he was last season.

Taylor Gabriel

WR
There's something to be said for electrifying speed.

Andre Ellington

RB
He was David Johnson before David Johnson in Arizona's offense, so to speak (just 30 pounds lighter). Ellington has that kind of versatility, but the Cards want to see him break more tackles.

Brent Celek

TE
Celek prolonged his career by transforming from a pass-catcher into one of the league's best blocking tight ends.

Erik Walden

3-4 OLB
When was the last time we saw a guy record 11 sacks and then not be able to find a team? The league realizes that Walden's production was largely illusory.

Quincy Enunwa

WR
Enunwa is a valuable hybrid weapon who, last season, showed some ability to win on his own out on the perimeter.

Danny Woodhead

RB
This sounds negligible, but his former quarterback Philip Rivers would tell you how important it is: Woodhead is fantastic in the checkdown game.

Allen Bailey

3-4 DE
Bailey is another one of those Chiefs defensive ends who can make plays at the point of attack against the run. And every now and then, he'll show up as a pass rusher.

DeMarco Murray

RB
Murray is much better suited for Mike Mularkey's ground game than he was for Chip Kelly's. He is at his best when there is a defined cut to make.

Vince Wilfork

NT
If he chooses to retire now, Wilfork will be the subject of a very interesting Hall of Fame debate in a few years.

Cole Beasley

WR
He hates the Julian Edelman comparisons, but Beasley truly is the only other slot receiver with Edelman's brand of shiftiness.

Quinton Dial

3-4 DE
Dial is a stalwart run defender who can align in many D-line spots on first and second downs. When he anchors, he can't be moved.

Adam Jones

CB
At 33, the talent is still there. But you still never know what you're going to get with Jones, on or off the field.

Charles Johnson

4-3 DE
Some weeks he looks like the guy who, not long ago, was regarded as a premier 4-3 defensive end. Other times he looks 45 years old. (He's 31, for the record.)

Andrew Norwell

LG
Improved mobility over the last few years has solidified Norwell's status as a starter in a Panthers offense that features a lot of moving pieces in its run-blocking concepts.

Derrick Henry

RB
It's a matter of time until he supplants DeMarco Murray. Henry isn't as refined a runner as Murray, but he's much more explosive.

Jeremy Zuttah

C
Because of his nimbleness, Zuttah works very well in a zone-blocking scheme.

David Harris

STACK LB
Harris is still a quality thumper. Will the Patriots use him in passing down sub-packages or only on running downs?

Armonty Bryant

4-3 DE
Bryant stood out at times as a nickel interior pass rusher last year. He's athletic enough to play anywhere in that package up front.

Connor Barwin

4-3 DE
For a long time, Barwin has done everything well, including the dirty work that doesn't show up on paper. He's only 30 years old. The Rams should have a quality starter here.

Zach Ertz

TE
Ertz is capable of having big games, but hasn't shown he can get open on his own with week-to-week regularity.

Russell Okung

LT
Okung simply needs to be more consistent in 2017 than he was in '16.

Elvis Dumervil

3-4 OLB
Dumervil can still be plenty effective in a limited pass-rushing specialist role.

Austin Johnson

3-4 DE
Johnson played all over as a second-round rookie. He's a better run defender than pass rusher at this point.

Carl Nassib

3-4 DE
Nassib is 6' 7" but plays with leverage. Effort and awareness will define his game. Other than Danny Shelton, he was the only Browns defensive lineman who flashed at times last season.

Rakeem Nunez-Roches

3-4 DE
Nunez-Roches is a strong point-of-attack run defender who sheds blocks well. The Chiefs always find hidden gems like this at defensive end.

D.J. Reader

3-4 DE
Reader is likely the reason the Texans felt comfortable moving on from an aging Vince Wilfork. Reader knows how to use his tremendous size.

Tyrone Crawford

4-3 DE
He hasn't blossomed into the star that it looked like he would become a few years ago. Are the Cowboys regretting the five-year, $45 million contract they gave him?

Alex Smith

QB
It can be maddening how many open throws you see on film that Smith doesn't attempt. But in Andy Reid's masterfully constructed offense, prudence isn't the worst thing.

A.J. Klein

STACK LB
Klein spent four years as a backup in Carolina, but has the play recognition to be an above average starter. He gets his chance in New Orleans.

Vonn Bell

SS
Bell is a multi-tooled safety who has good closing speed. It will be fascinating to see what his second season brings.

Shane Vereen

RB
Aside from Theo Riddick, Vereen is as good of a short-area receiving back as you'll find.

Frank Gore

RB
Few players in history have been as good at getting through small cracks as Gore.

Riley Reiff

LT
Overall, Reiff was pretty average in Detroit. But after last season, the Vikings will take average.

Domata Peko

NT
Peko will almost certainly see a reduced role with his new Broncos team. That role will begin and end with run defense, where Peko has always been good, if not great.

Derrick Morgan

3-4 OLB
Morgan is much better suited to play 4-3 defensive end than 3-4 outside linebacker like he does under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.

Justin Britt

C
The Seahawks would be wise to leave him at center from here on out. That's where Britt has most consistently shown the sturdy movement skills that made him a second-round pick in 2014.

Jack Doyle

TE
Doyle is an old-school, H-back-style tight end who can drop into the backfield and operate as a lead-blocker. He's the kind of reliable player coaches and teammates love.

Jaye Howard

3-4 DE
After missing eight games with a hip injury last season, the Chiefs decided that a few million in cap savings were worth more to them than Howard was. That's Chicago's gain. When Howard's right, he's a force in run defense.

Shaquil Barrett

3-4 OLB
At least the early part of his 2017 season is in question due to a hip injury. When healthy, Barrett is a high-octane leverage player who can bend the corner.

Joe Haeg

RT
As if transitioning from the FCS level to NFL starter in one year wasn't challenging enough, the Colts played Haeg at right tackle, right guard and left guard last season. All things considered, he held up well. He has good enough feet, as long as he can settle in at one position (the guess here is it will be guard).

Jordan Hicks

STACK LB
There's a patience and awareness in his game that you don't see in a lot of young players. It would not be at all surprising if Hicks is a guy who improves steadily over the next three years and winds up having a very nice 10-year career.

Duane Brown

LT
In Houston's scheme, linemen must be able to zone-block and man-block at a high level. Brown continues to do that.

C.J. Anderson

RB
A low center of gravity and sturdy lateral agility make Anderson difficult to tackle.

Ryan Kelly

C
Kelly has excellent raw strength for a center. Overall, Indy's young offensive line is closer than people think.

Reggie Nelson

FS
Oakland's second-round selection of Obi Melifonwu likely means Nelson's days are numbered, but his status won't change until at least 2018. He's still a serviceable all-around safety.

NaVorro Bowman

STACK LB
Bowman is a sterling talent that you have to really wonder about now that he's coming off his second severe injury in less than four years (an Achilles in 2016, a knee/leg in January 2013).

Nick Mangold

C
He's fading. But suppose a team, in an emergency, needs a center midseason. It's easy to imagine Mangold stepping in and playing well.

Darren Sproles

RB
Sproles still scares opponents, but hasn't quite been the producer in Philly that he was in New Orleans. That could very well be a function of his roles in those particular offenses. But when you're a niche player, you're evaluated on your role.

Kerry Hyder

4-3 DE
He may not have the traits to be a star, but Hyder has the traits to put together a very fine career. His role is already carved out: He's a first-and second-down defensive end, a third down defensive tackle and, in all scenarios, an excellent piece to your schemed four-man pass rushing tactics.

Morris Claiborne

CB
When he's healthy, Claiborne is an excellent mirror-technique press corner. The problem is he's been healthy literally only half the time over the last four years.

John Simon

3-4 OLB
Simon is a better pass rusher than you'd guess, particularly in designer blitzes. He'll experience plenty of those in Indy.

DeMarcus Lawrence

4-3 DE
He's a better run defender than pass rusher, which is not necessarily what the Cowboys most need from him. Of course, above all else, they first need him to just stay healthy.

Ryan Tannehill

QB
Tannehill is approaching a crossroads season in his career. If he can't thrive in Adam Gase's scheme, and with the weapons Miami has around him, it'll be time for the Dolphins to move on. (I think he will thrive.)

Jermaine Gresham

TE
I have heard one coach call him a 'mental midget,' another call him a 'badass alpha male.' From the outside looking in, he's an O.K. short-area possession target.

Shaq Mason

RG
At some point his stupendous athleticism will have to translate more into stupendous play. This isn't to say Mason is not on the right track.

Tavon Wilson

SS
I wouldn't be surprised if his understated versatility leads to more dime package use and diverse schematic concepts for Detroit in 2017.

Tahir Whitehead

STACK LB
He's not always the most disciplined player, though he has improved in this department. When Whitehead sniffs out plays correctly, he's extremely hard to get a body on.

William Gholston

4-3 DE
He's an outstanding all-around run defender, whether it be as a stopper himself or as a space-attacker and blocker-eater who generates stops for teammates. The Bucs re-signed Gholston for $27.5 million ($13.5 million guaranteed) over five years.

James Harrison

3-4 OLB
You simply don't see guys nearing 40 play every snap in a playoff game. Credit the Steelers for monitoring Harrison's workload throughout the regular season. (And credit Harrison, too.)

Timmy Jernigan

3-4 DE
He has enough gap-shooting prowess to succeed in Jim Schwartz's system. The question is whether he can become a little more of a clogger in run defense.

Matt Paradis

C
Paradis is outstanding on the move in the running game, but really struggles against bigger bodies in confined areas. That's why defenses love to play a true nose tackle against Denver.

Andy Dalton

QB
Better pocket mechanics, particularly footwork, would go a long way toward ironing out Dalton's wrinkles of inconsistency.

Lamar Miller

RB
Miller is a finesse runner, which usually is fine in Houston's scheme. He's at his best when he gets to the perimeter.

Avery Williamson

STACK LB
Williamson is an active, assertive run defender who also stays on the field in Tennessee's sub-packages.

James White

RB
The Falcons considered White a wide receiver in Super Bowl 51 and gameplanned to play dime (six DB's) when he was in. At some point, does New England need to incorporate him more in the running game?

Donovan Smith

LT
This is true with every lineman, but especially true with Smith: It's important that he wins early in the down. He's very good when in command but struggles in recovery mode.

Darian Stewart

FS
His life is made easier by the abundance of quality man-to-man defenders around him, but to Stewart's credit, he takes advantage of that and makes plays. And he's not a bad man defender himself, in certain scenarios.

Mario Addison

4-3 DE
He's Carolina's best individual pass rusher. With decent speed and bendability around the corner, Addison's good moments can look great. There could be more of them, though.

Lawrence Guy

3-4 DE
He dominated tight ends in run defense last season, which prevented opponents from running behind crucial double-team blocks against the Ravens. Guy may have trouble staying on this list because the Patriots already have three great run defenders up front (Branch, Brown and Ninkovich).

Andre Branch

4-3 DE
A bust in Jacksonville, Branch has found a home 350 miles south in Miami. You sometimes see that with guys who enter new schemes. You rarely see it with guys who change teams but stay in the same scheme, like Branch has.

Rex Burkhead

RB
Don't be surprised if he supplants James White in the pecking order. White is great, but Burkhead is the more dynamic all-around player.

Isaiah Crowell

RB
Crowell is an insistent runner whose game is more diverse than what appears on the surface.

Julius Thomas

TE
Thomas has a chance to recapture his magic now that he's once again playing for Adam Gase. He'll be split out as a weakside receiver a lot. He wouldn't be a Dolphin if Gase didn't think he could win regularly on the perimeter.

Cordy Glenn

LT
Like with referees, an offensive lineman going unnoticed is often a good thing. Does anyone ever notice Glenn?

Lorenzo Alexander

4-3 DE
In 2016, Alexander had the type of breakout season that 33-year-olds only have in the movies. Two things are true: (1) He's not a true edge rusher, despite 12.5 sacks last season. And (2) Those sacks, accumulated in a variety of ways, were great plays and a legitimate reflection of his overall performance in 2016. I have no idea of what to make of a guy like this. He won't have the same pass rushing opportunities in Sean McDermott's scheme as he had in Rex Ryan's.

Ronnie Stanley

LT
Stanley wasn't on the field quite enough as a rookie to fully evaluate (Weeks 1-3, he played like the new guy learning the ropes, Weeks 4-7 he was out with an injured foot), but he certainly looks the part.

Michael Pierce

3-4 DE
Rarely do undrafted defensive tackles play significant roles as rookies. Even rarer is to see that undrafted rookie dominate regularly in that role. The Ravens fell into a great first-and second-down player here.

Andre Hal

FS
In Houston's scheme, safeties must have matchup-coverage abilities. Hal, a converted corner, absolutely does.

Noah Spence

4-3 DE
Like fellow 2016 Bucs rookie Vernon Hargreaves, Spence got better in the second half of last season. He flashed genuine athleticism off the edge.

Shaq Thompson

STACK LB
If the Panthers indeed give him some of Thomas Davis's nickel snaps, Thompson will skyrocket up this list. He's a tremendous athlete. So tremendous, in fact, that Carolina was the only team in the league last year that, on first and second downs, played regular snaps of its base defense against three-receiver sets.

Arik Armstead

3-4 DE
There's not a coach in football who would turn down a chance to have a body like Armstead's along their defensive line.

Terron Armstead

LT
Next to Tyron Smith, maybe Trent Williams and probably Laremy Tunsil, Armstead is the most athletic offensive tackle in the NFL. The problem is, he can't stay healthy. He missed nine games last season because of knee problems, and is set to miss at least half of 2017 after an offseason shoulder injury.

Keenan Allen

WR
He's a fine craftsman running routes, though you have to wonder if the Chargers, after drafting Mike Williams seventh overall, believe Allen can stay healthy. Injuries have cost him 23 games over the last two seasons.

Kevin Byard

FS
Entering his second season, he's already quietly becoming one of the more multidimensional safeties in the game. Byard is good in space, outstanding entering into the box and capable of matching up to tight ends in man coverage.

Hunter Henry

TE
Tap the breaks on the whole 'he has supplanted Antonio Gates' thing. Henry had nice moments as a rookie, but he still has plenty to learn.

Mike Iupati

LG
Iupati is as talented as any guard in football ' and, by those standards, he was terrible in 2016. He must become more alert in pass protection. Too often, defenses had success with designer pass rush tactics against him.

Rob Ninkovich

4-3 DE
Ninkovich plays a key role setting the edge in New England's 5-1 front. He is on that long list of Belichick Patriots who simply play the game the right way (think Kevin Faulk, Troy Brown, Mike Vrabel ')

Brian Orakpo

3-4 OLB
Orakpo looks like a beast, and at times plays like one. But at other times'too many times, given his talent'he's a nonproducer.

Justin Pugh

LG
Pugh is a good move blocker in short areas. He could stand to be more consistent in pass protection.

Mark Barron

STACK LB
When he's attacking, he's terrific. When he's reacting, he's so-so. That's why Barron has been better at linebacker than he was at safety.

Javon Hargrave

NT
Hargrave is built like a nose tackle, and can play that role, but actually has the feet and mobility of a three-technique. The Steelers may have found a really good one with their 2016 third-rounder.

Mitch Morse

C
Morse has good range and athleticism, which can be important in an offense that features as much misdirection as Kansas City's does.

Terrance Mitchell

CB
How often do you see an early-season practice squad corner get forced into a No. 2 role late in the year and play so well that the entire defense improves?

Theo Riddick

RB
He's the best receiving back in football. That simple.

Sen'Derrick Marks

4-3 DT
He's an active run defender, but Marks might be learning the hard way that teams don't like guys who publicly criticize their own offense and gripe about playing time. (Especially when those same guys jump offsides on a dummy-call fourth-and-2 a few weeks later to seal a loss to the Lions.)

Johnathan Joseph

CB
Age is starting to show; at times Joseph will play with way too much cushion or cheat on his assignments. That's how smart veterans stick around.

Charles Clay

TE
Clay was better in Miami than he's been in Buffalo, though that could be a function of his circumstances. He's best served as an H-back receiving weapon.

Kyle Williams

4-3 DT
The Bills will tell you he's the best athlete on their team; he just happens to have one of the worst bodies. Wear and tear should take a toll any minute now, but he's long been, and remains, just a really, really good player.

Jonathan Stewart

RB
Stewart is a steady veteran who is hard to tackle. He always seems to be a little better than you expect.

Players 300-201

Giovani Bernard

RB
He's amongst the handful of running backs whose team designs specific plays for him in the passing game.

Kareem Jackson

CB
Jackson has extended his value by moving from outside to the slot and, most recently, to safety. Now he's reliable at all three spots.

Michael Thomas

WR
Thomas is a meticulous, finely-tuned route runner. With Drew Brees, that'll do.

Marcus Mariota

QB
I love his quick release and have been encouraged by the way he reads the field. Though I would have liked to see a little more consistency in his second season, particularly late in the year. This could be a breakout year for him.

Kurt Coleman

SS
He might be the best in the league at disguising his individual coverage; this created a few turnovers last season. It wouldn't work in every scheme, but in Carolina's zone Coleman has become outstanding.

Jalen Collins

CB
Around Thanksgiving last year, I would have never guessed the lanky 2015 second-round pick would be anywhere near this list, let alone on it. Collins improved markedly down the stretch. Offenses have gone after him hard, at times with success. But he consistently competes even harder when they do. He has the mental makeup to become a quality long-term NFL corner.

Haloti Ngata

4-3 DT
He's by no means a liability along the front line, but Ngata is no longer the destructive down-to-down force that once made him perhaps the game's most feared interior defensive lineman.

Duke Johnson

RB
He's not thought of as a premier receiving back, but his film (and statistics) prove that he is.

Jabaal Sheard

4-3 DE
He's terrific at setting the edge and working down the line of scrimmage in run defense. As a pass rusher, Sheard is hit or miss.

Shane Ray

3-4 OLB
The theme of every Shane Ray story in 2017: With DeMarcus Ware gone, it's time for the 2015 first-rounder to step up. Ray played well in a rotational role last season.

Brandon Marshall

STACK LB
He's Denver's best coverage linebacker, but teams went after him (and fellow starter Todd Davis) in man-to-man last year. Will Marshall lose his dime snaps to backup Corey Nelson?

Demar Dotson

RT
His technique can waiver at times, but more often than not, Dotson gets the job done.

Marvin Jones

WR
Jones is acrobatic along the sidelines, where spatial reasoning and body control allow him to adjust for tough catches. That said, he's not enough of an all-around force to be a true No. 1 receiver.

Tashaun Gipson

FS
Gipson wasn't the ball hawk in Year One with the Jaguars that he often was as a Brown. He needs to be, because he's not the most versatile guy. Gipson is pretty much just a centerfielder.

Ron Parker

FS
The Chiefs are a matchup defense; when they're not playing straight man-to-man, they're lining up in a Cover 3 zone and aggressively converting it to man after the snap. Parker's cornerbacking experience is critical.

Letroy Guion

NT
(When available and not in trouble) Guion plays in the throngs of men down in the trenches and can easily get overlooked. Packers coaches know, however, that he's borderline vital in Green Bay's scheme, where coordinator Dom Capers's package of choice is usually a 2-4 nickel front. It's imperative that the defensive linemen make plays.

Jason Peters

LT
He's no longer the overwhelming athlete that he once was, but the Eagles love his toughness and technique. Coaches believe Peters can fight like hell and muster a nice last hurrah in 2017. The front office believes he could last even longer; in June, Philly signed him to an extension through 2019.

Donald Penn

LT
You'd never guess from looking at him, but the rotund, 11th-year veteran is more of an agility blocker than power blocker. Like Andrew Whitworth, he's been better in his 30s than he was in his 20s.

Vontaze Burfict

STACK LB
He's the ultimate double-edged sword. Burfict can change the face of your run defense but also lose his mind and derail your club.

Tamba Hali

3-4 OLB
Two things Hali has always played with'and continues to play with in a reduced, specialized role'are leverage and tenacity.

Jack Conklin

RT
Conklin struggled against quality pass rushers for much of his rookie season, though he finished with strong performances against Justin Houston and Dante Fowler. The nature of Tennessee's offense, with all the max-protection, play-action concepts and multi-tight end sets, provides plenty of help to the tackles, but first-round picks still should be able to win one-on-one.

Brandon Carr

CB
You can tell by the way Dallas let him walk, and the contract Baltimore gave him, that the league suspects he'll soon look old. We'll find out. As of right now, at age 31, Carr still plays at a high level.

Pierre Garcon

WR
He has a great understanding of how to set defenders up at the top of his routes. That's why Garcon just joined the exclusive club of players who've earned a lucrative third contract in their careers.

Chris Baker

4-3 DT
Yet another example of a guy who, as he's gotten more comfortable with the pro game, has played with more athleticism. I would have never guessed Baker would become a serviceable pass rusher like he has.

Derrick Johnson

STACK LB
His ranking is pretty much a reflection of my skepticism that a 34-year-old can make it back from a second Achilles injury in three years. I hope I'm wrong. Johnson has been a great'not just good, great'player for several years now.

Lawrence Timmons

STACK LB
He doesn't quite run like he used to, but Timmons should still improve Miami's reeling linebacking corps.

Jeremy Maclin

WR
He won't change the dynamic of Baltimore's passing game because he's good at everything but great at nothing. But there's nothing wrong with being good at everything.

Marcus Cannon

RT
No offensive tackle has improved more over the last three years than Cannon. His feet have gotten much better.

Alan Branch

4-3 DT
Branch was outstanding down the stretch last season. In New England's scheme, his type of dominance leads to more tackles for the linebackers and edge defenders, which is why it often goes unnoticed.

Dontari Poe

NT
Frankly, no run defense that he's a part of should rank 26th in the NFL, like Kansas City's did last year. He has too strong a mix of athleticism and size for that.

Ronald Darby

CB
He's an assertive matchup cover guy, but Darby was better as a rookie in 2015 than as a sophomore in '16.

Julius Peppers

3-4 OLB
At this point in his career, Peppers is probably a better inside pass rusher than outside pass rusher. Don't be surprised to see him play defensive tackle in nickel, just like he did last year for the Packers.

Nate Solder

LT
Solder's pass protection output does not live up to the promise of his athletic ability. Often this gets hidden by Tom Brady.

Kelvin Benjamin

WR
He's looking to rebound from an unsteady 2016 campaign. Benjamin wasn't the reason Carolina's passing game took a step back, but he certainly didn't help matters the way a well-sized recent first-round pick should.

Star Lotulelei

4-3 DT
It will be interesting to see what his market looks like if and when he hits free agency next year. Lotulelei is a good run defender, but his contract value will be largely influenced by how teams see him as a pass rusher.

Earl Mitchell

4-3 DT
Mitchell is a naturally low-to-the-ground player who moves left and right very well in confined areas.

Jamison Crowder

WR
Shiftiness and run-after-catch ability make Crowder a perfect fit as a slot specialist in Washington's system.

Andrew Sendejo

FS
A classic illustration of how a player, when he gets more comfortable mentally, can play more athletically. Sendejo has become a swift and decisive presence in Minnesota's secondary.

David Amerson

CB
He's a quality puzzle piece within the context of a zone scheme, and can matchup in man against certain receivers. The concern is against deep balls; Amerson must get better there.

Kirk Cousins

QB
His arm is good, not great. His decision-making and mechanics have improved but can still go wild at times. If Washington plans on keeping Jay Gruden as its head coach, it'd be wise to figure out a way to keep Cousins long-term. He fits the scheme well.

Kenny Vaccaro

FS
Vaccaro is like a younger, but less consistent, Patrick Chung. He's a utility weapon who blitzes well, is physical against slot receivers and can defend the run.

Glover Quin

FS
A stellar split-safety; Quin is excellent when there's another safety back there with him.

Sammy Watkins

WR
You know about the injuries. Really, that's the deciding factor. When healthy, Watkins has shown glimpses of the playmaking prowess that made him a darling prospect. It's tough for a wide receiver to find a week-to-week rhythm playing with Tyrod Taylor.

Dwight Freeney

4-3 DE
If the Patriots hadn't employed more chip-blocks against Freeney in the second half, Super Bowl 51 would have had a different outcome.

Jimmie Ward

CB
He has the makeup to be a really sturdy slot corner, but the Niners are moving him to free safety. As an outside corner, Ward had too many subtle mistakes last seasons.

Pernell McPhee

3-4 OLB
He can come off the edge, but really, I would love to see him more often as a standup interior pass rusher in Chicago's scheme, like what McPhee did at times in Baltimore.

Carlos Hyde

RB
He's not a pure outside runner, which can be an issue against faster defenses like the Seahawks or Rams. What Hyde does have is good patience and deceptive elusiveness.

Golden Tate

WR
Tate is a supremely dynamic gadget player. Defenses must have a plan for defending him on screens, misdirection plays and three-step timing routes.

Robert Ayers

4-3 DE
Ayers isn't outstanding in any one area but does everything well. If he were a baseball player, he'd be a five-tool guy who bats .275, hits 15 homers and steals a dozen bases every year.

Taylor Lewan

LT
Lewan is a nasty, mauling type who is dexterous enough in pass protection to spar one-on-one. His only real negative is the obvious one: that temper.

Karl Joseph

SS
Lack of size can be an issue in run defense, though the Raiders have adjusted their defense so that he can play more in space. Joseph covers ground well.

Sam Bradford

QB
It's easy to forget that Bradford has one of the NFL's better pure arms. (That's why he was drafted first overall in 2010.)

Trai Turner

RG
He's not a super nimble on-the-move run-blocker, but is in the plus column here given his size (enough so to earn a lucrative contract extension).

Willie Young

3-4 OLB
He's proficient as a looper or penetrator on stunts, and is capable of setting the edge in run defense. The Bears edge-rushing group'with Young, Leonard Floyd and Pernell McPhee'is underappreciated.

Eric Kendricks

STACK LB
Kendricks is a critical component of Mike Zimmer's double-A-gap scheme because he can line up right over the ball, retreat into coverage and then smoothly transition back into downhill movement. Maybe this sounds highly specific and esoteric, but this defense would not function well without Kendricks' ability to do that.

Michael Crabtree

WR
It was strange to see drops become such a problem last year given Crabtree's ability to pluck balls away from his body. He's not a blazing athlete, but he is one of the most deliberate, precise route runners that you'll find.

Jared Cook

TE
He's not quite athletically pliable enough to be an elite receiving tight end, but Cook can certainly be right there on that next tier. He improved his fundamentals and became significantly more dependable in Green Bay last year.

Eric Wood

C
Wood showed sound mobility in Buffalo's gap scheme ground game last year. He should work well in new offensive coordinator Rick Dennison's zone scheme.

Bud Dupree

3-4 OLB
Dupree ignited a stagnant Steelers front seven down the stretch lasts year. He must continue to hone his moves; a lot of his production comes off energy and effort. That's great, but he's talented enough to win off of skill and ability, too.

Jordan Phillips

4-3 DT
Phillips possesses outstanding initial quickness for his size. He will likely always be underrated while playing alongside Ndamukong Suh.

Anthony Brown

CB
The 2016 sixth-rounder gave up a small number of big plays last season, and unfortunately for him they were replayed a bunch on nationally televised games. The bulk of his season, however, was phenomenal. Not many rookies can thrive as a man and zone defender both outside and in the slot.

Danny Shelton

NT
Shelton has very nice feet for a rotund big man, and still has the strength to anchor.

Eric Ebron

TE
Ebron was the most improved route-running tight end in football last year. The concern is his blocking. It's terrible. Detroit's fourth-round selection of 270-pound Michael Roberts suggests Ebron will be asked to do it less often.

Sheldon Rankins

4-3 DT
After missing the first two months of his rookie year due to a broken leg, Rankins learned quickly over the nine games he played and was more dynamic each week. The Saints love his football IQ.

Sylvester Williams

NT
Williams is an athletic clogger who can be effective as a true nose tackle in a 3-4 or a nose shade tackle in a 4-3.

Allen Robinson

WR
Robinson is an excellent vertical weapon, especially on play-action along the boundary. The question is: Why did he struggle so mightily in 2016? Too many times, he couldn't get off press coverage.

Ali Marpet

C
The talent is there, but Marpet did not flash much as a sophomore last season. Moving from right guard to center gives him a more prominent role in the offense.

Orlando Scandrick

SLOT CB
Scandrick is one of the game's better slot blitzers. It's doubtful the Cowboys were ever too aggressive reportedly shopping him around this offseason.

Leonard Floyd

3-4 OLB
Floyd showed intriguing flashes of edge bendability last year. Don't be surprised if he makes a quantum leap in 2017.

Vinny Curry

4-3 DE
Curry is a talented interior rusher who can also work outside. However, I thought he'd be more productive last season in Jim Schwartz's purer 4-3 gap-shooting scheme.

Deion Jones

STACK LB
His lack of size is an issue when he's stuck in confined areas against downhill ballcarriers. But the reason he's a Falcon: to cover ground as a zone defender in the team's Cover 3 scheme. With improved awareness, Jones did that much better in the second half of last season.

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

RG
Sometimes it's as simple as having terrific raw strength. That strength will only stand out more as Duvernay-Tardif continues to hone his mechanics.

Max Unger

C
Let's hope Unger can recover soundly from his May foot surgery. Interior O-line integrity is critical for the Saints given Drew Brees's lack of height.

Joel Bitonio

LG
Bitonio is a solid pull-blocker who can adjust his blocks on the fly. Probably not coincidentally, that's something Joe Thomas has always done well, too.

Nick Perry

3-4 OLB
Perry is a strong edge-setter and second-effort pass-rusher who can also win with his first step at times. The one thing that gives you pause: He never quite fulfilled his first-round potential until his contract year. The Packers know him better than anyone, though, and they were comfortable re-signing him long-term.

Logan Ryan

SLOT CB
Ryan is a physical press corner who can apply his skill outside or in the slot. The Titans, a zone-based D under coordinator Dick LeBeau, played a lot more man coverage in the second half of last season.

Alec Ogletree

STACK LB
It was no sure thing that he'd transition well to middle linebacker; he's always been a see-it-and-Go! type, not necessarily a read-and-react guy. So far, Ogletree has done a commendable job. Now he must answer a challenge again as he learns Wade Phillips' system.

Dak Prescott

QB
I'm sure 90% of you think he's ranked way too low. (Especially being 21 spots behind division rival Carson Wentz!?!) Here's the rub: Prescott had absolutely perfect conditions last season. His O-line was incredible, his ground game explosive, he had a true No. 1 wideout (Dez Bryant) to impact safeties and clarify coverages and he had two security blankets in tight end Jason Witten and slot man Cole Beasley. Consequently, Prescott's job was easier. It was apparent each week. To his credit, Prescott capitalized. But still, easy quarterbacking is rare in pro football. At some point, something will go wrong and Prescott's job description will change. Conditions don't stay perfect forever; that will be a better time to evaluate Prescott.

Mark Ingram

RB
What more could he have done to keep his job as the feature back? (It will now be shared with, if not eventually outright go to, Adrian Peterson.) Ingram is a patient, smart runner, adequate blocker and underrated receiver.

Markus Golden

3-4 OLB
Golden is a high-effort third-year player who is rising rapidly. Will he continue that ascension into superstardom or level off into regular, lower-level stardom?

DeForest Buckner

3-4 DE
Buckner played with better leverage as his rookie season went on. He will likely play five-technique in defensive coordinator Robert Saleh's 4-3, where he'll have to fight more double-team blocks.

Ramon Foster

LG
Foster is a controlled, sound blocker who works to finish plays.

Vernon Hargreaves

CB
Like the Bucs D as a whole, Hargreaves was much better in the second half of last season. It will be interesting to see his second-year development in a system that predominantly features zone coverage.

Kwon Alexander

STACK LB
His play recognition and fundamentals continue to ascend, and Alexander forms an excellent tandem with Lavonte David. (Alexander was actually the tandem's more active member in 2016.)

Keanu Neal

SS
Neal's improved zone awareness and ability to cover tight ends man-to-man were big reasons why the Falcons defense matured so rapidly after last year's Week 11 bye.

Terrelle Pryor

WR
His route running improved drastically over the course of last season, particularly his in-breakers (slants, posts, digs). Pryor's continued progress will be important, as he likely assumes the Pierre Garcon role in Washington.

Josh Sitton

LG
Sitton is a steady veteran who has great vision when it comes to getting off a block to make another.

Akiem Hicks

3-4 DE
His best plays can look as dominant as almost any 3-4 end's best plays. Hicks needs to produce them a little more often, but overall, he's a really, really challenging player with the suddenness and strength to stun blockers.

Malcom Brown

4-3 DT
Brown is the steady enforcer in New England's D whom nobody knows. He has lived up to his 2015 first-round billing.

Spencer Ware

RB
He doesn't look it on the surface, but Ware is one of the most versatile backs in football. He's particularly dangerous as a route runner out of the backfield.

Cameron Brate

TE
Perhaps all that will keep him from becoming one of the five most productive receiving tight ends in football is Tampa Bay's first-round pick, O.J. Howard, gobbling up some of that production. Brate is a long, pliable target who can really work the seams.

Randall Cobb

WR
He's a great utility weapon, but Cobb has only one 1,000-yard season under his belt (1,287 yards in 2014). Entering 2015, I thought he'd be an Offensive Player of Year contender. But at some point you have to consider that maybe 800-900 yards a year is just the type of player he is.

Carlos Dunlap

4-3 DE
He's long and talented, but maddeningly inconsistent. On any given week, Dunlap could range from top-10 to bottom-10 on this list.

Lavonte David

STACK LB
He's a fast pursuer and sturdy filler who is capable of creating turnovers, but David hasn't been the playmaker in recent years that he was in 2013.

Deone Bucannon

STACK LB
There are teams that have altered their running game approach because they realized no one on their offensive line could get to Bucannon quicker than he could get to the line of scrimmage.

Johnathan Hankins

4-3 DT
The ex-Giant was right to be surprised by his soft market in free agency. It was the function of a league oversaturated with quality defensive tackles. Fortunately, Hankins got paid in the end: $27-30 million over three years, depending on his performance. The Colts got a good deal here, too.

Weston Richburg

C
Richburg is a good out-in-front force in the running game and on screens.

Melvin Gordon

RB
Gordon is a more comfortable runner when he has a fullback, which the Chargers recognized last season (they brought in his former Wisconsin teammate, Derek Watt). To Gordon's credit, he has also become more decisive out of singleback sets. Maintaining that growth is vital for his long-term success.

Carson Wentz

QB
If I had to pick one QB to lead my team for the next 10 years, Wentz would be it. (The other guy in consideration would be Luck, who is three years older.) Expect a huge jump in from Wentz in Year Two.

Joe Staley

LT
His age (33 at the end of August) is starting to show a bit in pass protection, but Staley is still a savvy veteran who occasionally flashes as a run-blocker.

Players 200-101

Morgan Burnett

SS
The Packers should strongly consider signing him to a third contract after this season. At 28, Burnett is firmly in his prime and, on top of playing both safety spots, he has shown the ability to moonlight in the slot and as a sub-package linebacker. Could become the new Charles Woodson- or Micah Hyde-style flex piece for this defense.

Antonio Gates

TE
Gates no longer runs well, and durability has become a concern. But put on the film and you see that defenses still pay him extra attention. There's something to be said for just knowing how to get open.

Bennie Logan

4-3 DT
Logan is a terrific mover for his monstrous size, especially going east-west. The Eagles run defense is worse without him.

George Iloka

FS
Iloka is a long-limbed veteran who has the size and strength to play in the box but often patrols centerfield. In Cincy's scheme, where there's a lot of Quarters coverage, a safety must do both.

Kevin Johnson

CB
His deft, light feet give him unbelievably smooth transitional movement skills. That's how you become a dangerous off-coverage corner, though Johnson must stay healthy.

Emmanuel Sanders

WR
He's slight in size, gargantuan in toughness. Not many slashing wide receivers can play in traffic the way Sanders does.

Stefon Diggs

WR
Diggs shows outstanding command and quickness getting in and out of his breaks, making him a difficult one-on-one cover.

Stephon Tuitt

3-4 DE
He's a little more athletic than his body type suggests. It's most evident in how well Tuitt works laterally down the line of scrimmage.

Danielle Hunter

4-3 DE
A talented 22-year-old pass rusher who (somewhat quietly) had 12.5 sacks in 2016, Hunter will transform into more of an everydown player soon.

Patrick Chung

SS
Chung is a critical piece for New England's D. His run-tackling stability and pass coverage abilities (which extend down into the slot) allow the Patriots to play nickel (five defensive backs) against a litany of different personnel packages. Nickel gives them more flexibility than a base 4-3 or 3-4.

Corey Liuget

3-4 DE
I guarantee you no one else on earth with that large a rump has the initial quickness that Liuget does.

Micah Hyde

SLOT CB
The Packers will miss him. Hyde was their most versatile piece in a very versatile scheme. It will be interesting to see how Sean McDermott uses him.

Rick Wagner

RT
By signing Wagner, the Lions join a small group of NFL offenses that don't have to worry about constantly giving their right tackle help.

Kevin Zeitler

RG
He's had a nice career, but last season Zeitler wasn't as consistent against designer pass rush concepts (like stunts and DL slants).

Jay Ajayi

RB
He was once considered more of a gap scheme runner'someone who follows specific blockers through fairly specific running lanes. But Miami has discovered, under Adam Gase, that Ajayi is actually outstanding on outside zone runs, which is usually where slashing runners thrive.

Morgan Moses

RT
A lot of players with bodies as high-cut as his would have trouble anchoring at right tackle. You see that from Moses occasionally in the run game, but not often. And he's developed into a sturdy pass protector.

Robert Alford

CB
He took over the No. 1 corner role after Desmond Trufant got hurt and improved to the point where, in the postseason, his play bordered on sensational. Alford did it outside and in the slot.

Taylor Decker

LT
An important part of pass-blocking is your ability to skim the grass with your feet. (Mowing the lawn, they call it.) The lower your feet stay while moving, the better your balance and strength. Decker is excellent here. Let's hope he recovers soundly from an offseason shoulder injury.

Laremy Tunsil

LT
Tunsil is ranked relatively low only because he hasn't played much left tackle in the NFL. Give him three or four weeks and he could emerge as the best young left tackle in football. His springy movement is unreal.

Delanie Walker

TE
Titans coaches will tell you: There are a number of concepts they run that would be removed from the playbook if Walker weren't around. He is a vital matchup-dictating piece.

Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix

FS
Clinton-Dix has a long, sinewy body that lends range in coverage and some oomph in run support. This will be a telling year. He has a chance to blossom into a top-five safety.

Bruce Irvin

4-3 DE
On any given snap, he can be almost as good as anyone in the NFL. In fact, if you have Irvin higher on your list, you'll get no argument here.

Jarvis Landry

WR
He's a shifty playmaker, but Adam Gase's offense is tailored for regimented receivers who execute their routes on time and with precision. With a few tightened screws, Landry could be great.

Paul Posluszny

STACK LB
He doesn't run quite as well as he used to, but you'd never know it because Posluszny is so sharp at identifying where to run to.

Cameron Jordan

4-3 DE
A better football player than athlete, and Jordan is not a bad athlete. On a team that had any edge-rushing presence whatsoever, he'd probably do what Michael Bennett does for Seattle and slide to defensive tackle on third downs, where his savvy sense for setting up blockers in tight areas would be more usable.

Eli Apple

CB
Apple has outstanding mirror technique, which is another way of saying he stays in front of receivers extremely well. You rarely see such poise from a young corner.

Marcell Dareus

4-3 DT
There's an uncertainty about what you'll get from Dareus on and off the field. He's a better fit in Sean McDermott's scheme than he was in Rex Ryan's.

Darius Slay

CB
A theme throughout the top half of this list: talented guys who struggled early in their career, honed their technique and bloomed late. Slay is another example.

Everson Griffen

4-3 DE
Griffen would be a more destructive force if he played in a scheme that, instead of keeping him at right defensive end all day, moved him all over the front seven.

Jalen Ramsey

CB
Don't be surprised if he catapults into the top-five cornerback discussion as an NFL sophomore. Ramsey must get a lot more disciplined in his route recognition and technique, but talent-wise, you won't find a better mix of body and athleticism at this position.

Doug Baldwin

WR
The best underneath route runner in football not named Julian Edelman, Baldwin has also become adroit at downfield 'over' routes in Seattle's play-action game.

Adrian Peterson

RB
Stylistically, the Saints have pretty much the exact same ground game as Minnesota did. Considering Peterson won't be asked to catch, block or run outside by design, he should transition very well.

Grady Jarrett

4-3 DT
Super Bowl 51 was not his coming out party, it was the culmination of a superb rookie season.

Brent Grimes

CB
He's now joined Terrell Suggs, Jason Witten and Tom Brady in the small pantheon of players who I'm convinced will never grow old. At 34, Grimes still elevates as well as any corner in the game. He's extremely comfortable in Tampa Bay's zone-based scheme.

Brandon Marshall

WR
Marshall will probably age well because, not being fast, he's had to build his game on technique. Other guys like that over the years: Anquan Boldin, Hines Ward and Larry Fitzgerald, to name a few.

Marcus Gilbert

RT
Let's remember: When you don't notice the right tackle, that's almost always a good thing.

Jameis Winston

QB
Winston must cut down on the turnovers. Part of it stems from the fact that he sees so much of the field. Most young QBs only see portions of the field. Now he must be more judicious in deciding what to do with what he sees.

Landon Collins

SS
Collins is a limited cover guy that must be hidden as much as possible in pass defense. Give credit to Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo'he's found ways to let Collin be a freer, downhill-centric defender. And give credit to Collins for using that freedom to make big plays.

Cam Newton

QB
Settle down, Panthers fans. I'm not a hater, I'm a lover of quarterbacks with consistent accuracy. That was not Newton in 2016.

Derek Wolfe

3-4 DE
Wolfe is as good of a run-stopping D-lineman as you'll find. And that's not to say he can't contribute to the pass rush.

Dee Ford

3-4 OLB
Who do we believe: The Ford who recorded 10 sacks in the first nine games last season, or the Ford who recorded zero sacks in his last six games? (Considering he was battling a hamstring at times late last season, I believe the Dee Ford from the first nine weeks.)

DeAndre Hopkins

WR
He's put up big numbers, but what you can't capture statistically is what happens on the plays where Hopkins runs a sloppy route. There are too many. And it's an even bigger problem when you consider that he's a methodical mover.

Dre Kirkpatrick

CB
Long arms and strength allow him to jam receivers. That's important on a defense that plays as much Cover 2 as Cincinnati does.

Tyreek Hill

WR
The Chiefs want Hill to become an everydown player in Year Two. In that case, he'd be more than just a gadget weapon. But even as a gadget weapon, he's easily one of the league's top-200 players.

Chris Jones

3-4 DE
There are an unusually high number of quality 3-4 defensive ends in the league right now. Remove J.J. Watt from the equation and you could say that Jones, if he continues his rapid progression from down the stretch last season, is the most intriguing of all of them.

Carson Palmer

QB
Was Palmer's 2016 decline a result of injuries or age? If he's close to what he was in 2015, the Cardinals will contend for an NFC West title. Palmer fits Arizona's offense as nicely as any quarterback fits his respective team's offense.

Clay Matthews

3-4 OLB
It's a do-or-die year for Matthews. Was his reduced production last season a function of injuries or a function of turning 30? The Packers are banking on the former. If he doesn't regain his stature, Green Bay's D will have trouble generating pressure without blitzing.

Malik Jackson

4-3 DT
Jackson was an outstanding five-technique in Denver, where he often sparred with tight ends and offensive tackles (sometimes at the same time). He was used more as a three-technique in Jacksonville, where he's expected to shoot gaps. He was effective doing so last season, but in an honest moment, you wonder if he'd admit that he's more comfortable at five-tech than three-tech.

Richie Incognito

LG
He was out of the league in 2014, but now the 35-year-old Incognito is back in the NFL and going strong. That's not by accident, considering the way he has maintained his strength and mobility.

Frank Clark

4-3 DE
Clark possesses cat-like quickness off the snap, regardless if he's playing inside or outside, or if he's shooting a gap or executing a stunt. Keep him in the back of your mind'he very well could be a top-10 defensive lineman by this time next year.

Bradley Roby

CB
The No. 3 corner in Denver would be a No. 1 corner for about half the league's teams.

Martavis Bryant

WR
One failed drug test and he's probably out of football. Zero failed drug tests and he's one of the four or five most explosive receivers in football.

Trey Flowers

4-3 DE
Entering only his third season, Flowers might already be the most technically sound defensive lineman in football.

Ryan Kerrigan

3-4 OLB
This could be the first time since Brian Orakpo left (after the 2014 season) that Kerrigan is surrounded by other true pass rushing threats. It depends on how rookies Jonathan Allen and Ryan Anderson pan out.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

CB
We saw his value when he went down with a thigh injury in the playoff loss at Green Bay. With no one to cover the slot, the Giants' man-to-man-centric scheme took a hit, compromising significant portions of their gameplan.

Bryan Bulaga

RT
It was far from certain that the 2010 first-rounder would pan out given his run of knee injuries. But that's precisely what he's done. Bulaga is not as deft a mover as he was before the injuries, but he is a steadier technician.

Gabe Jackson

RG
Jackson has good short-area mobility for his size, which helps on double-team blocks (one blocker always must come off that double and work up to the linebackers) and on interior pull-blocks.

Martellus Bennett

TE
He's a valuable commodity for his blocking and mid-range receiving prowess. Even more valuable than that is what Bennett's presence does for Green Bay's offense. With a movable tight end, the Packers' system goes from static to diverse just because of the increased number of formations it can employ. It's no coincidence that Green Bay was 10-3 when Jared Cook was healthy last year.

Reshad Jones

SS
Jones is a high-risk, high-reward safety who can make plays in space or down in the box. The further he is in the box, the less dicey his risk-taking becomes.

Amari Cooper

WR
He's capable of being a top-five receiver, but Cooper must get better against press-man coverage. That became a real issue down the stretch last season.

Michael Brockers

4-3 DT
Brockers is an unsung hero on first and second down who is very athletic in the way he gets off blocks.

Russell Wilson

QB
I didn't think he could become a quality NFL pocket passer. And, to be clear, because of his height, there are still plays from the pocket that he simply can't make. But to Wilson's immense credit, and to Seattle's, he has discovered some dropback discipline on quick-strike throws out of spread sets. The beauty is that this doesn't come at the expense of his sandlot abilities.

Brandin Cooks

WR
Will Cooks be used more as a vertical weapon or a catch-and-run weapon in New England's system? The Pats dealt a first-rounder for him because the answer to that question is good either way.

Jamie Collins

STACK LB
You won't find a better athlete at stack linebacker. After the trade from New England, the question remains: Can he play with discipline?

Joe Flacco

QB
Flacco's cannon is as strong as anyone's, but his decision-making and mechanics must be more consistent than they were last season.

Todd Gurley

RB
With a new coaching staff and O-line coach, the Rams' ground game should rebound from an atrocious 2016. Expect to once again see the Todd Gurley who has excellent stop-start quickness and almost imperceptible change-of-direction ability.

Cameron Wake

4-3 DE
How many players in history could have torn their Achilles at age 33 and still recorded 11.5 sacks at age 34? With the trade for ex-Ram William Hayes and first-round selection of Charles Harris, Wake can fully settle in as a pass-rushing specialist. This will prolong his career.

Casey Hayward

CB
Another guy from that small handful of corners who can play man or zone on the perimeter and in the slot. Hayward traveled with No. 1 receivers over the second half of last season and got better each week. He is also a playmaker (league-high seven interceptions last season, and six as a rookie for Green Bay in 2012).

DeSean Jackson

WR
Jackson is as lethal a deep route runner as the game has to offer. The problem is you never know what you'll get from him on other routes.

Ryan Schraeder

RT
Schraeder no longer looks like the limited athlete that he appeared to be early in his career. That's a sign of a guy getting more comfortable mentally and more sophisticated mechanically.

Richard Sherman

CB
The question is: How much did his undisclosed knee injury impact him last season? We'll find out this year. The Seahawks need him to be better versus in-breaking routes. Against vertical routes along the boundary, he's still as good as anyone.

Rodney McLeod

FS
McLeod is a rangy centerfielder who has the interchangeability to occasionally come down into the box. Has also flashed on designer blitzes in Jim Schwartz's scheme.

T.J. Lang

RG
Lang found his home at guard after an up-and-down ride early in his career at right tackle. I'm a little surprised Green Bay did not re-sign him. No offensive line was better at sustaining prolonged pass blocks last year, and Lang was a big part of that.

Delvin Breaux

CB
When he's been healthy'he wasn't for much of 2016'Breaux has displayed excellent press-man technique in boundary coverage. If the Saints had two of him, their bottom-feeding defense would rank in the top half of the league. (And they know this, hence the first round selection of Marshon Lattimore last spring.)

Trumaine Johnson

CB
He squeaks into that select group of corners who can travel with plus-sized No. 1 receivers. Johnson is most comfortable in off-coverage, where he can jump routes, but is plenty capable in press, as well.

Brandon Scherff

RG
Scherff's game has improved as he's become a more patient run-blocker.

Derek Carr

QB
Carr is an ascending star who is still developing his mechanical consistency and field vision. He made meaningful strides in the second half of last season and has the makeup to build on that in 2017.

Tyler Eifert

TE
It's a different Bengals offense when Eifert is not out there running seam patterns or wide-iso routes in the red zone.

Eric Weddle

FS
Don't assume a player is old just because his age is advanced. Plenty of quality safeties have played at a high level well into their late 30s (John Lynch, Brian Dawkins, Rod Woodson, to name a few). Weddle, who studies the game like a coach, has a chance to do that.

Anthony Barr

STACK LB
Barr has a defensive end's body but plays stack linebacker. In Minnesota's scheme, linebackers must be able to retreat quickly into coverage and change directions at the drop of a hat. Barr more than does the job.

Stephon Gilmore

CB
Gilmore is a long-armed press corner who wasn't consistent enough last year for the Bills. Obviously Bill Belichick and Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who run a predominantly man-based scheme, see him in a better light than what his 2016 film casts.

Julian Edelman

WR
Edelman is the game's best slot receiver, though has evolved into much more than only that in a Patriots passing game that has quietly become a little less horizontal and a little more vertical.

Jason Pierre-Paul

4-3 DE
Pierre-Paul is another outstanding defensive end who isn't quite twitchy enough to burn you off the edge. He must rely on his technique and physical strength, which he employs well.

Matthew Stafford

QB
Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter has simplified the offense in a way that requires Stafford to be smarter before the snap and more disciplined after it. And Stafford has responded extremely well.

Jake Matthews

LT
Matthews is a natural mover with steady hands. And how is it that no one talks about the continuously improving high first-round pick who plays left tackle for one of the greatest offenses of all-time?

T.Y. Hilton

WR
Press-jam coverage can pose problems, but give Hilton clean access off the line and he's screaming through your secondary in no time.

Vic Beasley

4-3 DE
Beasley is to be commended for his growth as an edge rusher. The next step for him is developing more moves in confined areas. As it stands, he's a speed rusher who needs space created for him in order to thrive.

Joe Haden

CB
Haden has tailed off the last few years (injuries have been a factor), but he's only 28. There's no reason to think he can't reclaim his stake as one of the game's premier cover artists.

Tony Jefferson

SS
Jefferson got rich this offseason because he expanded his coverage abilities in Arizona (he can play press-man on tight ends and convert his zone coverage into man against seam receivers). He's also a fantastic edge blitzer.

Jordan Howard

RB
Howard is the best all-around zone runner in football. He has the wheels and body lean to flourish on outside zone, following his O-line's cohesive run blocks toward the sideline. On inside zone, he's excellent at fitting the ball between the tackles behind double-team blocks.
Rank
110