Recently, The Sporting News has been running a list of the NFL’s best players by position. The series concluded today, so let’s take a look at which Titans were selected.
Michael Roos, #5 offensive tackle
Obviously, I’m a little biased,
but I think he’s ranked too low here. I mean, Ryan Clady, who’s a
rookie, is #1, Walter Jones, who’s been on the decline for a couple
years, is #2, and Jason Peters, who had a very poor year last year, is
Bo Scaife, #10 tight end
I’ve made it clear before I’m not a big fan of this former Texas Longhorn. In particular, I have a very hard time figuring out how he ranks ahead of Zach Miller and Gregg Olsen-Miller’s a better all-around tight end, and Olsen, who plays a lot of flex for the Bears like Scaife did, is a better, more explosive receiver, and it’s not clear to me he’s a worse blocker.
Chris Johnson, #10 running back
Well, I know not all of you will like it, but I’m not hugely annoyed by this ranking. Part of ranking players is coming up with a philosophy of what matters more, and how to rank players at the same position who have different styles. Compare, for instance, CJ28 with Michael Turner-Turner is more of a bellcow type of players, while CJ is more explosive. Both are valuable, but I’d probably rate CJ higher because he adds a dimension to the offense in a way that Turner doesn’t.
Kyle Vanden Bosch, #10 defensive end
Not much to say about this one-I have a hard time saying any of the players in front of him are clearly worse, and a hard time saying any of the players behind him are clearly better.
Jovan Haye, #19 defensive tackle
I don’t have a particularly strong opinion as to how good Haye is, but seeing him ranked is better than not seeing him ranked. Albert is #1 here, unsurprisingly.
Keith Bulluck, #8 outside linebacker
For context here, the top 5 guys are 3-4 rush backers, and #6 is Adalius Thomas, another 3-4 guy. Bulluck is the #2 4-3 OLB, behind Lance Briggs of the Bears. Bulluck’s lost a little from 4 years ago, so behind Briggs but ahead of everybody else is a fair call.
Cortland Finnegan, #2 cornerback
I’ll admit it, I was surprised when I saw this ranking. Asomugha is #1, as he should be, and I’m not sure who #2 should be. Finnegan played very well last year, better than I thought he should, so what the heck. Congrats, Cortland.
Chris Hope, #5 safety
Michael Griffin, #8 safety
The running back problem, only even worse because you’re ranking together both strong and free safeties. I’ll admit, I have a very hard time ranking safeties, but Hope and Griffin both strike me as being quite good. I will say there’s no way Roy Williams should be #20-I have very little tolerance for secondary players who can’t cover.
Rob Bironas, #4 kicker
Well, I’m not a big fan of this ranking-#2 and 3 are Kasay and Elam, and Bironas kicks off and those guys don’t. Plus, the Falcons have Koenen and not Elam try long field goals-it’s easy to have a better FG percentage when you don’t have to try the tough ones. Bironas isn’t perfectly consistent with shorter kicks, but he’s more than good enough at the long ones and kickoffs to make up for it. #2 behind Gostkowski is a fair ranking.
Craig Hentrich, #10 punter
Well, honestly, Hentrich to my eyes looked pretty much done last year, and I would’ve been perfectly fine with the Titans finding a guy off the street this year. Sure, he still has the knuckleball, and he’s not bad at directional kicking, but he’s not the 10th best punter in the NFL, and I’m not sure he’s the 20th best either.
Surprise exclusions? I wondered if Jake Scott would show up amongst the top guards, and Kevin Mawae normallly shows up in lists of top centers but not in this list of ten. David Stewart is one of the top right tackles in the league, but the offensive tackle list is utterly dominated by left tackles. Still, Texans RT Eric Winston is ranked and Stewart isn’t? This does not make sense
What do you guys think? Did Sporting News snub any Titans I didn’t stick up for? Am I overrating any Titans?