NFL's Five Best Players of the Next Decade
This is a list covering my predictions of who should be the NFL's five greatest players for the new decade, with an honorable mention list.
There were many greats in history, but the 2000-2009 era is complete. We're at the unveiling of new controversy and new history.
Feel free to make your voice heard in a light-hearted debate and feel free to give your opinions and predictions on who you think will be the five best.
No. 5: Ryan Clady
Clady is arguably the best offensive lineman in the league despite the fact that he is only 23 years old and has only played two NFL seasons.
In his rookie season, Clady allowed only half a sack and was penalized three times. He was selected to the Pro Bowl team and was a second team All-Pro.
This season he was selected to another Pro Bowl team and was a first team All-Pro selection.
Barring any major injuries, Clady will dominate for the next 10 seasons and end up as one of the best left tackles ever, due to his immense size (6'6", 325 lbs), athleticism, and discipline.
No. 4: Calvin Johnson
Calvin Johnson is arguably the most physically gifted wide receiver of all time.
At 6'5" and 240 lbs, he still has elite speed as he ran the 40 yard dash in 4.35 seconds and had a 42.5 inch vertical leap.
He is only 24 years old and will only get better.
This past season, he had an off year due to an injury and having Matt Stafford struggle as a rookie quarterback. Yet he had 67 receptions, 984 yards, and five touchdowns in 14 games.
He will be a dominant receiver as Stafford matures and improves.
No. 3: Brian Cushing
Brian Cushing had one of the best rookie seasons ever for a defensive player.
He had 134 total tackles (87 solo and 47 assisted), five sacks, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, and 10 passes defended, winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award.
Cushing was selected to the Pro Bowl team and was named to the All-Pro second team. At just 23 years old, Cushing looks like a great bet to be a dominant linebacker for the whole decade, as he will improve with more experience.
No. 2: Patrick Willis
Patrick Willis is the best defensive player in the league, and he is only 25 years old.
He has played three seasons in the NFL without missing a game. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl team each season and was selected to the first team All-Pro twice.
This past season, Willis had 152 total tackles (114 solo and 38 assisted), four sacks, three interceptions (one returned for a TD), three forced fumbles and eight passes defended while leading the 49ers to the fourth best defense in the league (17.6 points per game).
He has a chance to end up as the greatest linebacker of all time.
No. 1: Aaron Rodgers
Brett Favre's apprentice, Aaron Rodgers, is one of the five best quarterbacks in the league and, at just 26 years old, he will only get better.
Despite playing behind one of the five worst offensive lines in the league, Rodgers threw for 4,434 yards and 30 touchdowns to 7 interceptions, while completing 64.7 percent of his passes and having a 103.2 QB Rating.
He also led all quarterbacks with 316 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns, while leading the Packers to an 11-5 record.
He will end up with a career similar to Steve Young, as they both are great, replaced legends, are/were extremely efficient, and are/were excellent running quarterbacks.
Darrelle Revis—24 years old
Philip Rivers—28 years old
Matt Ryan—24 years old
Mark Sanchez—23 years old
Larry Fitzgerald—26 years old