Football is the ultimate team sport—you not only have to have 22 guys on each side of the ball, but you need to have an entire 53-man roster that is able to play as a team and compete successfully.
Out of all the major sports in the world, I think that we can all agree that the NFL general managers are the most critical—it's simply so difficult to build a winning football team, it's as easy as it may be in EA Sports' Madden video games.
With that being said, here is a power rankings of all the general managers in the NFL. Keep in mind that these are a rankings of how each general manager has operated with the team that they're currently with, not their past tenures.
Surprise! Well, not really—I'm sure that we all expected Al Davis to be slotted in as the worst general manager in the entire league.
I do respect what Davis has done in the NFL and that he's one of the most important faces in NFL history, but his time is done, and he needs to step down from the general manager position.
I will say this though, if Davis was drafting and signing players to build a track team, then they'd be one of the best! Prime example: Darius Heyward-Bey.
I can sit here and bash Mike Brown all day, whether about the way he's handled Carson Palmer or how Marvin Lewis is still head coach of this football team.
Instead, I'd like to point out Brown's recent draft class from 2011, which is very promising. Brown drafted A.J. Green, Andy Dalton, Dontay Moch and Clint Boling—not too shabby, right?
All I have to say is that Bruce Allen is a genius for trading for Donovan McNabb—not.
Allen became the Washington Redskins general manager in 2009, and it literally seems like he's done nothing ever since.
It's kind of hard to put a lot of blame of Gene Smith, as it seems like the Jacksonville Jaguars ownership is very unwilling to spend any money.
Despite not spending money, Smith has done a decent job at bringing in talent with his recent signing of Paul Posluszny, as well as drafting Blaine Gabbert, who is projected by many to be the best quarterback out of the 2011 draft class.
I am not a fan of Brian Xanders whatsoever.
I actually did like the hiring of Josh McDaniels to be the team's head coach, but I feel like Xanders let McDaniels have too much control of the football team. If Xanders just simply made McDaniels coach, then he could still be the head coach in Denver.
The biggest knock that I have on Xander is drafting Tim Tebow—do I need to say anything else?
Jeff Ireland has done a nice job at drafting young talent over the past three seasons as he's brought in Vontae Davis, Jared Odrick, Mike Pouncey and Daniel Thomas.
Ireland's drafting skills have been far too inconsistent, and he's the man who asked Dez Bryant whether or not his mother was a prostitute. I'd love to know why he'd ever think of asking that.
Buddy Nix became the Buffalo Bills general manager in 2009 and has done a solid job at turning this roster into a successful one.
Nix is responsible for drafting Marcell Dareus, who alone is going to turn Buffalo's defense into one of the better ones in the NFL.
Some may feel that Nix's style is a bit out-of-date, but take a look at how well the Bills are playing so far in 2011—it's pretty damn impressive.
Jerry Angelo has had an interesting decade as the Chicago Bears general manager.
To be honest with you, I'm actually shocked that Angelo still has a job in Chicago as he's far too inconsistent to be in the same place for 10 seasons.
Rod Graves has been with the Arizona Cardinals ever sine 1997, and it's been a shaky time period from now until then.
Graves has had only one great moment of his career as he brought in Kurt Warner to be the quarterback of this team. Warner turned the Cardinals into contenders and a playoff team and even went to the Super Bowl in 2008.
The sample is certainly small for John Schneider, but he's made several moves ever since he took over the Seattle Seahawks general manager in 2010.
Schneider has brought in Marshawn Lynch and Mike Williams as well as filling his roster with potential talent in Golden Tate, Russell Okung, James Carpenter and John Moffitt.
This may be Trent Baalke's first year as general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, so it's hard to judge his performance, but so far, I absolutely love it.
Baalke had a very impressive draft by selecting Aldon Smith, Colin Kaepernick and Kendall Hunter.
In just three seasons with the St. Louis Rams, Billy Devaney has certainly pointed the Rams in the right direction.
Devaney is the man who drafted Sam Bradford, the obvious quarterback of the future and a potential All-Pro passer.
In my opinion, Devaney's best move was hiring Josh McDaniels to be the team's offensive coordinator. McDaniels has tremendous success in New England as he was the offensive coordinator for the record-breaking 2007 offense.
The Houston Texans may have never made the playoffs in this franchise's history, but Rick Smith has done a very good job at bringing in talent ever since 2006.
Smith is responsible for drafting Mario Williams, Jacoby Jones, Brian Cushing, Ben Tate and J.J. Watt.
Smith's best transaction was arguably trading for quarterback Matt Schaub.
Mike Reinfeldt took over the duties of the Tennessee Titans general manger in 2007 and has had some success in acquiring players.
Reinfeldt has drafted Chris Johnson and Kenny Britt—two of the league's most explosive players.
Over all, Reinfedlt hasn't done enough to be considered one of the better general mangers in the NFL.
Overall, I think that it's safe to say that Rick Spielman is a solid general manager and has done a nice job with the Minnesota Vikings.
Spielman has been effective in the draft as he's brought in Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Chad Greenway, Ray Edwards and Sidney Rice while potentially drafting the quarterback of the future in Christian Ponder this past season.
The only knock that I have against Spielman is that he traded for Donovan McNabb—there is no reason why McNabb should be starting in the NFL today. I'm sorry.
Despite drafting Jimmy Clausen way too high in last year's draft, overall, Marty Hurney has been a solid general manger for the Carolina Panthers ever since 2002.
Hurney drafted Cam Newton first overall this past season, and he's lived up to all the hype so far while he's responsible for drafting Julius Peppers, DeAngelo Williams, Jon Beason, Ryan Kalil, Charles Johnson, Johnathan Stewart and Brandon LaFell.
All in all, the Panthers are certainly headed in the right direction under Hurney.
For being the Philadelphia Eagles general manger for just one full season, Howie Roseman has made it clear that he's going to be aggressive and that he wants to build an elite football team that will win multiple Super Bowls.
This past offseason alone has been an exciting one for Philly fans as Roseman re-signed Michael Vick, drafted Danny Watkins and Casey Matthews while signing Nnamdi Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins, Steve Smith, Jason Babin, Vince Young and Ronnie Brown.
The Eagles' roster is so loaded with talent that they've been labeled the "Dream Team."
Ever since taking over as the Atlanta Falcons general manager in 2008, Thomas Dimitroff has been very aggressive in acquiring talented players that he feels will make his team a Super Bowl contender.
First off, we all need to applaud Dimitroff for drafting Matt Ryan, who's the obvious quarterback of the future and has the potential to be an elite quarterback. As he drafted Ryan, Dimitroff has done an excellent job at surrounding him with quality talent such as drafting Julio Jones and signing Michael Turner.
I am a firm believer in what the Falcons are doing, and I believe they'll win a Super Bowl in the upcoming seasons.
Tom Heckert may only have a full season under his belt as the Cleveland Browns general manger, but during that one season, I am completely impressed with his transactions.
Heckert has set the Browns up to be potential winners for years to come by drafting Colt McCoy and Joe Haden while having a promising draft class this past season with the likes of Phil Taylor, Greg Little and Jabaal Sheard.
I'll tell you one thing: Jerry Jones knows football, and he's a big-time winner.
Jones best days were in the 1990s, where he built a dynasty as his Cowboys won three Super Bowls in just four seasons (1992-1995).
Jones may have had success in the 90s, but his success in the 2000s wasn't so great as the Cowboys have struggled to find a coach good enough for Jones' pleasings.
Scott Pioli had an amazing amount of success with Bill Belichick in New England, and he's brought it to Kansas City, as he took over as the Chiefs general manager in 2009.
During these two-short seasons, Pioli has actually made a positive mark on this franchise.
For starters, Pioli turned this team into a playoff team a year ago as he brought in his two former coordinators in New England, Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennell, while drafting players like Eric Berry and Dexter McCluster as well as trading for quarterback Matt Cassel.
You may be scratching your head because you probably figured that Bill Belichick would be much higher—Well, you're wrong.
Belichick may have won three Super Bowls from 2001-2004, but let me tell you something, a lot of those players on those teams were drafted by Bill Parcells in the mid-to-late 1990s.
Belichick may be a great coach, arguably the league's best, but he simply hasn't had as much success as a general manger.
Over the years, the Patriots have been an average drafting team. Granted, the Patriots usually have a ton of draft picks, but Belichick has had way too many swing and misses such as Laurence Maroney, Darius Butler, Chad Jackson, Brandon Tate, Brandon Meriweather and Shawn Crable, just to name a few.
When it comes to free agency, all I can say is Adalius Thomas—what a bust!
A.J. Smith may be one of the most underrated general mangers in football due to his team's inability to have success in the playoffs—I'm a firm believer that it's the coaches fault, not the general manager's fault in this situation.
The only negative move that I can think of Smith making is letting Michael Turner leave San Diego when it was clear that LaDainian Tomlinson was at the decline of his stellar career.
Jerry Reese has done a solid job in replacing the great New York Giants general manager, Ernie Accorsi, in 2007 when he retired from the NFL.
Reese has done a nice job at drafting players such as Aaron Ross, Ahmad Bradshaw, Steve Smith, Kenny Phillips, Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks.
The NFC East is such a difficult division to stay competitive in, but Reese has been getting the job done.
Ever since Martin Mayhew took the job as the Detroit Lions' general manger, he has brought in young, talented players with huge upside.
Mayhew has built his young team with guys like Matthew Stafford, Ndamukong Suh, Jahvid Best, Brandon Pettigrew and Cliff Avril.
In my opinion, the Lions are going places due to Mayhew's excellent ability at finding young talent.
In such a short period of time, Mark Dominik has made his mark on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after taking over for Bruce Allen back in early 2009.
Dominik may not be really active in free agency, but he has built his Bucs' team with young talent that has been producing to date. He has brought in a franchise quarterback in Josh Freeman, while drafting Gerald McCoy, Mike Williams and Adrian Clayborn—all players should be All-Pros in the years to come.
One of the most impressive moves that Dominik has made as general manager of Tampa Bay is signing LaGerrette Blount, an undrafted running back out of Oregon, who happened to be the only rookie to run for 1,000 yards a year ago.
Let's put it this way: Mark Dominik does a great job at evaluating young talent.
The ultimate father and son duo: Bill and Chris Polian.
Chris may be listed as the team's general manager, but Bill is just as active as any general manager in the NFL.
The Polians are responsible of bringing in Peyton Manning and Dwight Freeney—two of the most critical members of Indianapolis' roster.
There's a reason why the Colts had the most wins in the recent decade, and a lot of that is because of the great success that the Polians have had.
Mike Tannenbaum is one of the men who's responsible for turning the New York Jets into one of the elite teams in the NFL over the past few seasons.
Tannenbaum has been a relatively aggressive general manager ever since he was hired in 2006 as he's done a solid job at drafting while acquiring "household" names via free agency.
Some of Tannenbaum's notable transactions are drafting Mark Sanchez, Darrelle Revis, Dustin Keller and trading/signing Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie and Bart Scott.
Not to mention, he's the man who hired everyone's favorite head coach in Rex Ryan.
Kevin Colbert has done a tremendous job at keeping one of the league's most storied franchises competitive in the league's toughest time to do so, the era of free agency.
Colbert and his drafting team have done a solid job in that department, as he's the one who drafted Ben Roethlisberger, Rashard Mendenhall, Mike Wallace, Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu—all of those players listed are key ingredients to Pittsburgh's recipe for success.
Mickey Loomis ought to be labeled as the man who saved the New Orleans Saints franchise—he is responsible of bringing in the right pieces to turn this franchise into one of the NFL's elite.
Loomis is the man that brought Drew Brees and Sean Payton to town, and the rest is pretty much history. He added a few key players to the roster, and the Saints wounded winning Super Bowl XLIV.
I absolutely love the team that Ozzie Newsome has built in Baltimore—he has equipped this roster with the correct tools to win a Super Bowl. It's just a matter of time.
The great teams in the NFL don't have to be active in free agency, as their best players come from the draft and their roster is "home-grown." Newsome does a great job at that.
Ted Thompson isn't the best general manager in the league simply because the Green Bay Packers are reigning Super Bowl champions—but it's certainly a part of it.
Just take a look at how well the Packers have drafted over the years and look at how their team is practically "home-grown." Players like Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, Jordy Nelson, Matt Flynn, James Jones and Jermichael Finley have all been drafted in the past three years, and they're all key parts of Green Bay's roster.
It's amazing how Green Bay is rarely active in free agency, but it's because they draft so well.