Who is crazy enough to try to rank the top 1,000 players in the NFL?
The goal of the annual B/R NFL 1000, now in Year 3, is simple: Rank the best players in the NFL, bottom to top, and provide an across-position analysis that identifies the best and most valuable players in the league for the 2013 season.
And that's an important note. This isn't about what a player did before 2013. This isn't about what a player has the potential to do after 2013. This is about the 17 weeks of the regular season and the playoffs. Period.
So how did we do it?
Each player was scouted by me and a team of four experienced evaluators—Dan Bazal, B.J. Kissel, Dan Hope and Cian Fahey. We divided up every NFL position and went to work. We watched and rewatched regular-season games and took notes—lots of notes, actually.
Then grades were assigned for the key scouting criteria used to assess each position. Each player was scored on a potential scale of 100 points, then ranked within their position and ranked as an overall player.
To be eligible, a player was required to participate in a set number of snaps per position. It was 200 for every position other than quarterback and running back. When evaluating those two positions, we did not set a minimum number of snaps.
For quarterbacks, that made sense because so few played a significant number of snaps in 2013. Likewise, the role of a secondary running back continues to grow in the NFL, and a snap count would have eliminated many players who played a vital role in their team's season.
Injured players, like Percy Harvin, also weren't ranked. They'll be back next year. Stats were largely ignored or used only as a supporting argument. These aren't fantasy football rankings, after all.
In the case of ties, our team asked, "Which player would I rather have on my team?" and set the rankings accordingly.
Sounds easy, right? Not exactly.
Months of hard work and countless hours of film study have gone into creating the 2014 edition of the NFL 1000 series. While you may disagree with a player's ranking, the scouting report and information given is designed to at least provide a new insight or fresh look at each player.
After the first mention of each player's name, his height, weight and number of seasons played through 2013 are listed in parentheses.