NFL: Who To Build A Team Around?

John LewisSenior Writer IAugust 19, 2008

Every year NFL executives rack their brains trying to evaluate and draft the one player that will either make them a playoff contender or become their franchise player.

Let's say you're in charge of a new, expansion team and you have the first pick in the upcoming draft.  The draft consists of all current players in the NFL like Peyton Manning, LaDainian Tomlinson and Adrian Peterson.

You see many great players...but who do you pick first?

You could go with the safe choice and pick a quarterback.  Manning would be a great addition to any franchise. You could try to build a team around the ground game and pick an elusive running back like Tomlinson.

There's also the defense.  

A Hall of Fame defensive player like Shawne Merriman would be nice to have.  What about a great corner, one that could change the way teams pass the ball against you.

Let's break it down by each franchise position.


The QB position is arguably the most important on the field because they must know each play and where each player belongs in the plays.  He must also be able to read a defense quickly and see where his receivers are.

The QB must also be able to get rid of the ball quickly and accurately while eluding bigger and faster defensive players. He must also have to put the team on his shoulders and almost will them to victory. 

Running Back

This player must posses agility, speed, great hands and make game changing plays.  Of course by adding a star RB, teams can hand off more late in games to protect a lead. A RB must also be able to carry the ball 20-30 times a game, come out of the back field for passing plays and pick up blitzing defense players.

The two best multi-faceted RBs are LaDainian Tomlinson and Brian Westbrook.  These two display toughness, great hands and the ability to jump out for a pass. 

Defensive End

This position has changed a lot of the years as players on the opposite side of the ball are bigger, stronger and faster than ever before. This player must posses foot speed, pass rushing and the ability to contain the run.

Explosiveness and footwork is also needed. How this position changes the game is by having two and sometimes three offensive players focused on him most of the game.


This player must be fast, have great hands and the ability to read the QB. This position is becoming more and more difficult to play simply because of pass happy teams.  QBs put the ball in the air more and that puts added pressure on cornerbacks.

There are two attributes that a CB must have, one is cockiness and the other is a short memory. To be success a player must know at all times they can stop a WR and of course if they don't they must forget about it quickly.

So if you could have any player in the NFL today, who would you choose to be your franchise player and why?