After talking about why I think Marshal Yanda is the best guard in the today’s league, I want to take a look at the biggest weapon of the number one scoring offense of last season and analyze him. Ever since entering the league as the sixth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Jones has worked his way into consideration as one of the best receivers in the NFL and right now I would put him above anybody else. Here’s why:
A couple of years ago, I started analyzing the game’s top players at their respective positions and explaining what makes them that good. With the major parts of the offseason in the books I decided to go back to that format and look at another premiere player. This article is about the Ravens’ offensive guard Marshal Yanda and why I think he is the number one option at his spot and one of the best overall players in the league. Let’s get to it.
(Usually I add clips to emphasize my points for the respective players, but that’s not as easy with offensive linemen. Therefore, I recommend to just put a Ravens game on and watch number 73 go to work.)
Once again NFL players voted for their peers to be named among the top 100 for this upcoming season. I want to reiterate that once more. The list might be based on what you saw from these athletes last year, but you project how well they will play in the 2017/18 season. I like the whole idea of it, but players seem to get confused with fellows who missed time or simply didn’t play at the level they’re capable of. Sure, you have to take availability into account, but as long as they’re cleared medically you aren’t supposed to project to them to be injured. At the same time you need to bump players who are suspended for a certain amount of games (like I did with Brady a year ago) or if there still are legitimate health concerns. I didn’t put offensive linemen as high as I would if the list was solely about the best players, since the question is how much value they present and that unit consists of five guys.
Now that we’ve cleared up the parameters, here’s my list. It might look pretty different to the official one, but I tried to really create it based on value.
After talking about the weak-spots for each team on the NFC side, I’m switching to the other conference. Once again, I’m going to start discussing each team’s starting line-ups and what moves they have made so far in the offseason before coming to the conclusion of what their biggest need is. I didn’t use this article to discuss depth or future plans, it’s just about starters for this upcoming season. Oh, and no quarterbacks. NFL people talk about them enough already.
Two weeks ago I talked about newly formed position groups that aren’t talked about enough. Now I want to look at one spot for each team that has to be improved. This article is not about adding depth or planning for the future, but rather where a team needs help this upcoming season. You could make a case for multiple teams having to upgrade their quarterback play, but there aren’t many solutions out there. That’s why I focused on other positions.
I wanted to give an overview on each team and discuss why they need to improve at that specific spot. This week I talk about the NFC teams.
A lot of qualities young players show early on won’t be the same five years from now, while others might not even have come up properly yet and the player is just scratching his surface. I want to use this article to point out the one quality for the rookies from last year heading into the 2017 season, that will help them make a living in the NFL. These are traits that give them a very good shot at being able to perform at a high level for a long time. I’m not going to put Ezekiel Elliott’s name up because he is widely considered one of the premiere running backs in the game already and was talked about all year. Neither will you see the Bear’s Jordan Howard or Michael Thomas, because they were number three in rushing and number nine in receiving yards respectively. And one more name you won’t find is Tyreek Hill, since he was on the highlight reel almost every week.
I listed those ten second-year players according to the spot they were drafted in.
Through the offseason all 32 NFL teams have looked at their roster and tried to improve it, whether that is through free agency or the draft. That has resulted in some much improved position groups in combination with the pieces those teams already had. I want to point out six of those newly formed units, who I think will be a strength this season and help their respective teams win football games after hurting them to some degree last year. Here they are: