Every NFL team has a franchise player, or someone who was relatively unknown going into the season, but has been able to break out and become an NFL star. Whether it be a rookie or a seasoned veteran, teams and fans love these guys.
My question is, why don't all of these players have nicknames?
It seems that every nickname has some benefit, whether it be making you laugh every time you hear it, or just having a nickname you can toss out around with your friends. Everyone has had a nickname at some point in their life, and it is time that we give these NFL stars some new ones.
I was able to come up with one nickname for one player on every team in the NFL, and some of them are meant entirely for humor and others are meant to describe the skill set of the players.
Onto the nicknames:
Sam Bradford is the Ram. On the Rams.
There is not another guy on this entire team that has made more of an impact. Bradford provides the spark and enthusiasm that the team was lacking before. Not only making a splash in the offensive part of the team, but also showing impressive leadership skills.
This guy has made the Rams a potential playoff contender, within just a single season.
Bradford is the future of the Rams and they are lucky to have drafted him.
Larry Fitzgerald has taken a real hit as a wide receiver this season in Arizona, and he is having a very silent season. A lot of this has to do with the fact that there is no one to throw him the ball, seeing how the Cardinals have Derek Anderson and Max Hall.
This guy is still one of the best in the NFL at bringing the ball down and out jumping defenders. It seems like there is not a single defender that can keep this guy from making catches and getting big gains.
Fitzgerald is a crazy athlete and it would be awesome to see him on a team with a QB that can actually throw the football.
Imagine a Fitzgerald/Brady combo.
I think my mind just exploded.
Patrick Willis has to be one of the scariest guys in the NFL. He is one of the best defenders and will do whatever you ask him to. Whether it be blitzing, dropping back in coverage or playing man to man, Willis has it down.
The best part about Willis—The magnitude of his hits.
Willis goes in against ball carriers and simply drops them. I think most running backs would rather just hit the turf rather than take the hit from Willis. His hits are literally rocking. The type of hits in a game that change the momentum and stop offenses.
The reason he is only a 'semi-tank' is because, not only are his hits massive, but he also has the skill set to do everything else. Making him arguably the best line backer in the entire NFL.
Yeah, I wouldn't exactly consider Matt Hasselbeck a franchise QB anymore. He is now 35 years old, and his production with the Seahawks has dropped significantly. What once was a perfect situation in Seattle has turned around into a nightmare.
Hasselbeck has had a rough season so far, getting sacked 28 times and throwing 15 interceptions.
This guy takes a lot of hits. More than a 35 year old QB in the NFL should, but he is still making it through. He has been on and off the IR this season, but this is really no surprise, what is surprising is that he is still playing.
Clearly Hasselbeck is a trooper, and it is impressive that he is still playing in Seattle.
This may be Hasselbeck's last season, but he has had a respectable career and it is time to move on, for not only Hasselbeck, but also the Seahawks organization.
DeSean Jackson is simply unreal.
There is no way to overthrow Jackson, he is just too fast.
There is no way to keep up with Jackson in coverage, he is just too fast.
There is no way to keep Jackson from making big plays, he is just too fast.
There is no way to stop or contain Jackson, he is just too fast.
As an Eagles fan, I was kind of surprised when Andy Reid drafted a wide receiver that was to small and not physical enough to play in the NFL. People were saying that Jackson would just not be able to translate his skill set into the NFL, and that he would be way to big of a gamble to draft.
Well, look at Jackson now.
Dez Bryant has successfully been able to totally take over the entire scene in Dallas. Everything from jersey sales to becoming the best receiver on the team. It has been a great season for Bryant, and even with his late injury he has still managed to have an impressive rookie season.
Bryant has really busted onto the scene and made his mark in Dallas, becoming an instant fan favorite and an awesome player to watch.
'Mr. Monopoly' also has a nice contract and is getting a ton of money from Jerry Jones.
Although Bryant's season was cut short, he was able to pick up a "Proceed to go and collect $200" card and he will be ready for next season.
Eli Manning has one a Superbowl, just like his older brother.
Unfortunately, Eli will always be looked at as Peyton's little brother. No matter how much he accomplishes and no matter what he does, he will always be overshadowed by his older brother.
Giants fans will defend Eli to no end, and they will make the consistent case that Eli is actually a more successful QB that Peyton is. But to the rest of the NFL, and the majority of the NFL's fans, Peyton will always be the better of the two Manning brothers.
It's not exactly fair, but let's be real New York.
Donovan McNabb has just signed a five year deal with the Redskins. This is his magic number, as that is the same number he has worn his entire career. Whether it be during his college days at Syracuse or his professional days in Philadelphia, he has always worn the number five.
McNabb is a player that the Redskins traded for to help fill in the void at QB after Jason Campbell had departed, and the plan has not worked out well so far. The Redskins continue to struggle winning games, and I'm not sure how they plan to change that.
McNabb's iconic No. 5 jersey will continued to be loved in the city of Philadelphia, and more than likely retired. The same might go for Washington, depending on how McNabb's career finishes.
The Redskins have five more years with No. 5 to make something happen.
Reggie Bush is one of the most deadly players in the NFL, he has shown time and time again, you give him an inch, and he takes a touchdown.
Bush was as big of a threat in college as he is in the NFL, and although being injured early this season, he still deserves a nickname.
Bush has the rare ability of break away speed, and the elusiveness to match. It seems like it has become a normal trend that every time Bush touches the ball, everyone holds their breath waiting for something to happen.
Anyone else hear that gust of wind and then the Saints up by six? Yeah, that's Reggie on the punt return.
Roddy White is one of the most dangerous receivers in the NFL, and he has one of the best young QBs in the NFL in Matt Ryan. Defenses may think that they have White covered, and then right when you least expect it, White comes up with a huge catch.
I can only imagine in those games where White goes an entire half without a catch, and then in the fourth quarter Ryan bombs the ball to White for a touchdown pass, the only thing he can say to his defender is, 'Gotcha."
White is going to only improve in Atlanta as long as Ryan is there to throw him the ball, and they could easily become one of the best combos in the NFL.
Look for White and Ryan to lead the Falcons to the playoffs consistently, and maybe even the Super Bowl.
Ronde Barber is a life long Buccaneer, and more than likely he will retire a Buccaneer. He has been through the bad and the good, and he has always managed to be a consistent player on the Buc's defense.
Tampa Bay loves Barber, and he loves them. It is an excellent relationship and if you ask any Buc's fan who the best corner back in the NFL is, there is a quick response of, "Ronde Barber."
Barber is the type of player that is just in the way of offenses, and he is always making plays on every down. Whether it be shedding a block and tackling a running back in the back field, or snatching an interception and changing the momentum of the game.
Barber knows how to bring the pressure on opposing offenses and he is one player that teams must respect.
The Carolina Panthers went from a decent team in 2009, to just completely falling apart in 2010. The Panthers now have the worst record in the NFL, and it would be surprising to see them pull more than a single win this season.
Unfortunately, Jimmy Clausen's rookie year is going to be tainted with that terrible record for the rest of his career. What makes it even worse, the fact that Clausen only has one passing touchdown at this point, and a disappointing seven interceptions.
Of all of the rookie QB's that were drafted this season it is clear that Clausen is having the hardest time making the adjustment from college to the pros. Although, you have to keep in mind that Clausen was put into one of the worst situations in the NFL.
Hopefully Clausen will improve next season, or the Panthers may be in much more trouble than they already are.
Better luck next season, Jimmy.
Do we all remember the Bears season when Devin Hester exploded into the NFL and made a name for himself returning kicks and punts? He is arguably the best special teams player in the NFL, and every time he touches the ball it's like we're waiting for something to happen.
Not much has changed as usually when you see Hester with the ball in his hands he is in the endzone celebrating. Both punt and kicks, and apparently field goals, are all situations where Hester can make his way into the endzone for six points.
I would think that some teams would rather just kick the ball out of bounds and give up good field position instead of running the risk of allowing Hester to return the ball.
Once this guy gets the ball it is like a GPS system navigating into the endzone.
Just think, the San Francisco 49ers could have drafted Aaron Rodgers. Imagine where they would be right now.
Too late. The Packers couldn't be more happy with how Rodgers turned out in the NFL, and he was obviously the better choice of the two. Rodgers has turned into an elite QB in the NFL that knows how to just flat out own defenses.
There were tons of people in the NFL that didn't believe in Rodgers, and didn't think that he would ever be able to fill in for a legend like Brett Favre in Green Bay. It seemed like Green Bay fans are even skeptical about Rodgers filling for Favre.
Look at what he has done now.
Rodgers is one of the best in the NFL.
Adrian Peterson is one of the top running backs in the NFL, without a doubt. But for some reason he just can't seem to work his way into the top spot. Peterson is always considered a top five running back, but he still has yet to be an indefinite number one.
With all of the tools needed to do it, speed, strength, down field vision and an overall 99 rating on Madden 11, he is set to be the best RB in the NFL. It just seems like he is over looked in Minnesota by the Brett Favre scandal, and the losing record.
As soon as he is put into the discussion as one of the best, it seems like the very next week he has a game with three fumbles. Call it bad timing, but Peterson just can't keep his ground as number one.
Matt Stafford was drafted first overall by the Detroit Lions and was supposedly the savior of the franchise and the man who was going to lead the Lions to the playoffs.
It has not gone at all as planned.
Stafford has been battling injuries since he made his first start in the NFL, and he has had few opportunities to lead the Lions anywhere.
Stafford is a good QB, but he just has to get over his injuries and actually finish some games. The Lions need him to win.
With every injury you know every Lions fan says two words, "Not again."
Peyton Manning is the literal definition of consistency.
I can't name a better QB in the entire NFL. Manning has this crazy talent of tearing apart opponents' defenses and putting big points on the board. He is the glue that holds the Colts together.
His football IQ if through the roof, and when Manning lines up you can seem him reading the defense and already knowing where the weakness is. Defenses have tried everything against Manning, and nothing works. He is just too good.
Manning is the player that the next generation of QB's is compared to.
Name one QB that you would pass over Manning for?
I can't name a single one.
Standing at 5'7'' MJD is a small dude.
However, watching MJD play and seeing his stat sheet you would never know. This guy plays like a beast, and it shows every single week. The Jaguars picked up a steal when they drafted MJD out of UCLA and every team that passed over him is kicking themselves.
MJD can not be stopped, he has the perfect combination of strength and speed and it makes it incredibly difficult for defenses to contain him. Every time he touches the ball it seems like the play ends up being positive.
He is the center of the Jaguars offense, and it looks like it is working as the Jags are in a position to go to the playoffs this season.
Watch out for MJD, as he is so small that he can just maneuver himself straight through your defense if you are not careful.
Chris Johnson is quick.
This guy could run stride for stride with a leopard.
As soon as this guy gets out of the backfield and finds a hole, he turns on those after burners and he is long gone. One missed tackle or one missed assignment can lead to a touchdown run, just because the defense can't react in time to stop him.
Johnson may not be the best running back in the NFL, but his speed is unmatched and it shows at the end of the season.
Who knows, maybe after Johnson retires he will join the USA Olympic sprinters team.
It seems like Texan fans are split in their opinion of the Andre Johnson vs. Cortland Finnegan fight. Either way, it was funny to watch. I'm not sure how things got out of hand so quickly, but it turned from some shoving into a full on boxing match.
It's safe to say Johnson won.
I know that Johnson is arguably the best receiver in the NFL, but he also deserves the title of best fighter in the NFL.
Who else better represents that than, Muhammad Ali?
I heard that Johnson is going to be boxing Randy Moss for ultimate receiver domination in the AFC South, tickets go on sale tomorrow.
Tom Brady is a winner.
Tom Brady has a hot wife.
Tom Brady is getting paid more than all of us combined.
Tom Brady is on a great team.
Tom Brady isn't on our favorite team.
Tom Brady is a perfect QB.
These are all reasons we are jealous of Brady. We really don't need any more explanation than that.
Mark Sanchez has turned out some very impressive performances, but in return he has also turned out some very poor performances. He is still the starter for the New York Jets, and Rex Ryan has made that clear.
I'm seeing that the general feeling of Sanchez for Jets' fans is just unsure. Unsure of if he can actually be their franchise QB, unsure of where they will end up at the end of the season, and unsure of their feelings on Sanchez.
Sanchez is in a bit of a cold streak, but I think he will be able to pull out of it.
New York fans will probably just say, "Eh..." as soon as they read this.
Karlos Dansby was a great pick up for this Dolphins team.
I can't believe that the Cardinals just let him walk, and now that he has found a new home in Miami, the Dolphins are loving it. Dansby is no the type of line backer that gets a lot of hype like Ray Lewis or James Harrison, but he is still one of the best.
Dansby's stat sheet may not show that he is leading the NFL in anything, but just his presence on defense is more than it seems.
Not only is Dansby great in coverage, which forces QBs to throw else where, but he is also great against the run. When you have a MLB that can play like Dansby, your defense automatically improves by leaps and bounds.
Dansby has an impact on every single play.
Ryan Fitzpatrick stepped in as the starting QB for the Bills once again this season, as the surprising move was made to drop Trent Edwards. Even at the time that Fitzpatrick stepped in, the team was struggling to pull even a single win.
Over the course of the next few weeks, Fitzpatrick was able to nearly get the Bills their first win against some tough opponents. Then before you knew it, the Bills were able to win their first game with Fitzpatrick under center.
This guy was able to turn around a bad team, and make it so that they could actually compete in games once again.
One of the best defensive players in the NFL, without question. Troy Polamalu is the type of player on defense that you can't plan for on offense.
Whenever you think that Polamalu is out of the play, he finds a way to get back into it and make a huge impact on the game. He is the Steelers defense, and without him there is a clear difference with how the Steelers play.
Polamalu is one of the best at reading offenses, and is able to make huge plays when you least expect him to. He can make plays against the run, but he can also drop back and make huge interceptions if QBs don't see him.
QBs just shouldn't throw the ball in his direction. Ever.
Instead of doing so many hair commercials he should consider picking up some advertisements from Delta or Southwest. Can anyone else imagine that?
Ray Lewis is so good, it is alarming.
On every single play, Lewis has something to do with it. He is a master of reading QBs and can always sniff out the offense, and then after recognizing the play he proceeds to make the tackle.
Never have I seen Lewis get burned. He is the best at what he does, and he is the center of this amazing Ravens defense. Lewis is a leader, and he leads by example. Something that helps the rest of his tough defense continue to be one of the best in the NFL.
Lewis is a beast.
In fact, he is so beastly, most offensive coordinators just don't believe that he is real.
Peyton Hillis has successfully managed to surprise everyone.
Who was this guy? I sure didn't know.
Suddenly you see a white running back rushing for 100+ yard games on the regular, people began to take a sudden interest in him. Traded from the Denver Broncos, he has been nothing but impressive since he was handed the starting role.
A perfect power running back that has the ability to tear up defenses with pure psychical strength, which is exactly what the Browns are looking for.
Hillis has become a Pro-Bowl player, and he has no where to go but up.
What happened to the Bengals this season?
They now have Terrell Ownes and Chad Ochocinco and they still can't win games. I think they were better off last season, as they actually made it to the playoffs. There is a lot to blame in Cincinnati, and I don't think that T.O. or Ochocinco has anything to do with it.
Carson Palmer has sucked this season. There is really no other way to put it.
Palmer did a great job last season, but just fell apart this season. Nothing seems to work, and every game he just seems to struggle more and more. At home or on the road, it does not matter for Palmer as he just can't get the job done.
I'm guessing the Bengals will move on next season, as he is just becoming more of a liability than a successful QB.
Maybe that ridiculous beard is distracting him from his throws. That's my only guess.
Jamaal Charles has been awesome this year.
Charles should definitely be entered into MVP talks as he has already rushed for over 1,000 yards on the season. Charles has been there when the Chiefs needed him the most, and he has played a huge role in their current success.
I think you could make the case that he is the most underrated player in the entire NFL, and he is doing nothing but improving. This is the type of RB that you want on your team, especially when you are able to make a playoff push.
Charles is key to the Chiefs offense, and as the season progresses into the postseason, look for him to play a key part in their offense.
Philip Rivers has been the only player on this San Diego team that is trying to win games. It seems like Rivers is facing an uphill battle in every single game, and he is almost always playing from behind.
Rivers has been able to turn this struggling Chargers team into a possible playoff contender, winning four of their last five. I heard countless San Diego fans say, 'Just wait, Rivers will turn this season around.'
I didn't believe them.
Clearly I was wrong, and Rivers is one of the best QB's in the NFL.
This guy deserves a ton of respect.
Jacoby Ford has been amazing this season, and I think he is definitely one of the biggest draft steals of this season. I find it kind of surprising to see that Al Davis was actually able to make a few good draft selections, but this season he really did a good job.
Ford has been great so far this season, and has made a huge splash in the Raiders receiving corps. Developing excellent chemistry with Jason Campbell, and they have been able to connect when the team needs it most.
Ford's most notable game was against the Chiefs, where he had one catch during regulation which led to an overtime period. Then in overtime he made the game winning catch that allowed the Raiders to hit he field goal and win the game.
Good job, Al Davis.
Who needs Brandon Marshall?
Brandon Lloyd has filled in as the Broncos number one receiver, better than anyone has expected. Lloyd has essentially been unstoppable all season, racking up over 1,000 yards and 9 touchdowns. No one saw this coming, but it worked out better than expected for the Broncos.
Josh McDaniels made a ton of bad choices when he was the head coach in Denver, but this is one of the few correct ones. Lloyd went from a backup to a Pro-Bowl wide receiver in just a matter of one season, and is only going to improve.
Lloyd has essentially made Eddie Royal obsolete, and we could see Royal being traded due to his success this season.
To bad the Broncos had such a bad season, or this guy would have been a nightmare in the playoffs.
Did I cover your team properly?
Did I choose the wrong player?
Do you have an even better nickname?
Let me know!
Feel free to comment in the section below!