Monday, August 29, 2011

Dissecting the "Elite 8" of the NFL

One of my recent posts broke down the contenders for the NFL title. My conclusion was that there was an "elite 8" in the NFL. These eight teams had a relatively equal chance of coming away with the Lombardi trophy this January. The other twenty four teams, in my opinion, only have about a five percent chance of winning the whole thing.
Thanks Todd and Company
Recently, Scouts inc. came out with their top 200 players in the NFL list. Although I disagree with some of the ratings, I thought it would be interesting to see how the "elite 8" stacked up with the rest of the league in terms of the best individual talent. I broke down the ratings by assigning a point value to each player. The top player (in this case Tom Brady) would be assigned 200 points while the bottom player would be assigned 1 point. This system resulted a teams elite player raw score (simply just the players values added up). One stat is that these eight teams have 75 players rated in the top 200. This is a testament to some really great drafting. Below I ranked the eight teams by their raw scores

Steelers (14): 1362
Packers (10): 1303
Eagles (10): 1160
Ravens (10): 1132
Patriots (8): 927
Colts (7): 777
Falcons (8): 759
Saints (8): 731

Next post, I will take a look at each on of these teams depth by taking Scout inc.'s player score (95 for Tom Brady) and adding them up for every starter. Until then, here are the elite player breakdowns by team.

Elite Players (Top 200) 14: Ben Roethlisberger (192), James Harrison (187), Troy Polamalu (182), Lawrence Timmons (154), Mike Wallace (146), LaMarr Woodley (141), Rashard Mendenhall (98), Casey Hampton (77), Maurkice Pouncey (72), James Farrior (46), Ike Taylor (35), Aaron Smith (20), Heath Miller (8), Hines Ward (4)
Elite Player Raw Score: 1362

Synopsis: When almost two thirds of your starters are top 200 players you know you are in good shape. Not only do the steelers have an astounding number of elite players, but at least one elite player in every position group.

Elite Players (Top 200) 10: Aaron Rogers (195), Clay Matthews (181), Greg Jennings (160), Charles Woodson (156), Jermichael Finley (142), Tramon Williams (139), Josh Sitton (134), B.J Rajii (116), Nick Collins (70), Chad Clifton (10)
Elite Player Raw Score: 1303

Synopsis: This came as no surprise. Not only are the Packers deep, but they also boast an unusual number of top 100 players. With four fewer players their raw score was almost as good as the Steelers.

Elite Players (Top 200) 10: Nnamdi Asomugha (184), Trent Cole (174), Jason Peters (145), DeSean Jackson (126), D. Rodgers-Cromartie (117), Michael Vick (110), Cullen Jenkins (104), LeSean McCoy (97), Asante Samuel (79), Jason Babin (24)
Elite Player Raw Score: 1160

Synopsis: Amazing what free agency can do. Almost half of the Eagles top 200 players were picked up this offseason.

Elite Players (Top 200) 10 : Haloti Ngata (186), Ed Reed (179), Terrell Suggs (169), Ray Rice (148), Ray Lewis (133), Matt Birk (106), Marshal Yanda (87), Joe Flacco (85), Ben Grubbs (30), Anquan Boldin (9)
Elite Player Raw Score: 1132

Synopsis: Never doubt Ozzie Newsome. Despite the Ravens being cast off, they still have an abundance of top flight talent headlined by four defenders in the top 100.

Elite Players (Top 200) 8: Tom Brady (200), Vince Wilfork (170), Logan Mankins (153), Jerod Mayo (147), Devin McCourty (113), Wes Welker (107), Rob Gronkowski (19), Aaron Hernandez (18)
Elite Player Raw Score: 927

Synopsis: The Patriots strength as a team should be more obvious when the scout starter rankings come out. Looking at these rankings also shows how young the Patriots elite talent is.

Elite Players (Top 200) 7: Peyton Manning (199), Dwight Freeney (168), Robert Mathis (130), Dallas Clark (127), Reggie Wayne (124), Austin Collie (23), Jeff Saturday (6)
Elite Player Raw Score: 777

Synopsis: Although aging (6 of the 7 are over 30 years old), the Colts still have the firepower to make a run.

Elite Players (Top 200) 8: Roddy White (164), Matt Ryan (150), Ray Edwards (121), Tony Gonzalez (119), John Abraham (111), Curtis Lofton (65), Michael Turner (15), Jonathan Babineaux (14)
Elite Player Raw Score: 759

Synopsis: The Falcons still have some work to do in order to catch up with some of the other teams on this list, but don't undersell them when the starter rankings come out.

Elite Players (Top 200) 8: Drew Brees (194), Jahri Evans (151), Carl Nicks (144), Aubrayo Franklin (80), Shaun Rogers (57), Will Smith (42), Jonathan Vilma (36), Marques Colston (27)
Elite Player Raw Score: 731

Synopsis: Sometimes it is hard to forget how blue collar this team is sans Drew Brees. It is hard to believe their lack of elite talent.


Charlie Widdoes said...

Either you or ESPN must have forgotten to include Antonio Brown in your rankings.

Sumner Widdoes said...

Todd McShay, former University of Richmond quarterback.

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