Best NFL Player at Every Position

Aidan MackieSenior Analyst IOctober 15, 2011

Best NFL Player at Every Position

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    The NFL boasts some of the best athletes in the world, but only a few can be considered the best at their job on the field.

    These players possess outstanding athleticism, superior intelligence and excellent poise, and are often in the middle of their team's wins. 

    Some positions are more important than others, but each position has a player than stands above the rest. 

Kicker: Sebastian Janikowski

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    The Oakland Raiders made one of the most controversial drafting decisions in NFL history when they took kicker Sebastian Janikowski with a first-round pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, but the decision hasn't backfired yet.

    The Florida St. product has the biggest boot in football right now, as he is capable of making it from nearly any distance. He tied an NFL record with the longest field goal in history, when he booted a 63-yarder in Denver earlier this season.

    If he continues to be one of the most clutch kickers of this era, then Janikowski could boot his way to the Hall of Fame. 

     

    Runner-Up: Adam Vinatieri

    Third Place: Mason Crosby

Guard: Logan Mankins

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    Have you ever wondered why Tom Brady gets so much time in the pocket every time he drops back? Well, it is because of this guy.

    Logan Mankins is the best guard in football right now, as well as one of the most talented offensive lineman. He is capable of blocking even the most ferocious pass rushers, while also being a superb run blocker.

    The former first-round pick has quick feet and tremendous strength, and he has made three Pro Bowls in his first six seasons. 

     

    Runner-Up: Brian Waters

    Third Place: Carl Nicks

Tackle: Jake Long

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    Jake Long was one of the most hyped offensive lineman to ever come out of Michigan, as he was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.

    Long has lived up to the hype, as he has emerged as the finest player at one of the most important and talented positions in football.

    The 26-year-old has made the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons, and he continues to be one of the most ferocious blockers in football. 

     

    Runner-Up: Jahri Evans

    Third Place: D'Brickshaw Ferguson

Center: Nick Mangold

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    Nick Mangold is by far the best center in football, as he means more to his team than any other player at his position.

    The Ohio State product has been at the center (no pun intended) of the Jets terrific "ground and pound" strategy over the last few seasons, as he is capable of blocking some of the most feared nose tackles in football.

    The three-time Pro Bowler's importance was shown when he missed two games earlier this year. In those two weeks, Gang Green couldn't establish the running game and ended up losing both games. 

     

    Runner-Up: Jeff Saturday

    Third Place: Andre Gurode

Defensive Tackle: Haloti Ngata

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    Defensive tackle is one of the most stacked positions in football, with stars BJ Raji, Vince Wilfork and Ndamukong Suh residing at it. But even with all that talent, Haloti Ngata stands above the rest.

    The former first-round pick is a mammoth of a man, as he comes in at 6'4'' and 335 pounds. He is one of the most feared defensive players in the league today, as he fills holes and completely prevents even the most dynamic runners from finding holes.

    The two-time Pro Bowler has made his game even better over the last few seasons, as he is finding ways to consistently rush the quarterback. 

     

    Runner-Up: Ndamukong Suh

    Third Place: Vince Wilfork

Defensive End: DeMarcus Ware

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    DeMarcus Ware is an absolute beast. His awesome strength and superb speed make him the best pass rusher in football.

    The former first-round pick has led the league in sacks twice and has recorded at least 11 sacks in the last five seasons. The Cowboys star has recorded an unbelievable 85 sacks in just 100 career games, and he is currently on pace to flirt with Bruce White's all-time career sack record of 200.

    The five-time Pro Bowler's amazing athleticism and agility is too much for any offensive lineman to handle. 

     

    Runner-Up: Julius Peppers

    Third Place: Justin Tuck

Outside Linebacker: Terrell Suggs

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    The outside linebacker position is littered with talent such as Clay Matthews and James Harrison, but the recent play of Ravens star Terrell Suggs has made him the most feared OLB in the game today.

    The Arizona St. graduate has already recorded 72.5 sacks at the tender age of 29, including a ridiculous 15 sacks in his last 20 games.

    Suggs has also recorded 20 forced fumbles and 40 pass deflections in his career, making him one of the most complete defensive players in football. 

     

    Runner-Up: James Harrison

    Third Place: Clay Matthews

Inside Linebacker: Patrick Willis

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    Patrick Willis has overtaken Ray Lewis as the best linebacker in the NFL today.

    The 49ers star is one of the best pure tacklers the league has ever seen, as he has recorded an unbelievable 492 tackles in 68 games. The former first-round pick has also grabbed four interceptions and 15 sacks through just four complete season.

    His outstanding speed and unworldly strength make him impossible to avoid on the field, as he is guaranteed to chase you down and slam you to the turf. 

     

    Runner-Up: Ray Lewis

    Third Place: Jonathan Vilma

Cornerback: Darrelle Revis

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    Darrelle Revis defines the phrase "shutdown corner."

    The Pittsburgh product has completely shut down the likes of Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Steve Smith, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Roddy White, Larry Fitzgerald, Marques Colston, Wes Welker, Brandon Marshall, Vincent Jackson, Greg Jennings, Mike Wallace and Anquan Boldin in the last two and a half years. 

    The former first-round pick is the reason the Jets can blitz and create confusion, as he completely covers one half of the field. Revis possesses unbelievable speed, evident by him chasing down Wes Welker from twenty yards downfield and preventing a touchdown last week, and is terrific on field smarts. 

    The perennial Pro Bowler has talent that reflect Deion Sanders, and if he can keep up his ridiculous play, then he will join Sanders in the Hall of Fame when it is all said and done. 

     

    Runner-Up: Nnamdi Asomugha

    Third Place: Charles Woodson

Safety: Ed Reed

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    The decision between choosing Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu at this position is a tough one, as both possess amazing talent. But after going back and forth between the two, I realized Ed Reed is the greatest safety in NFL history.

    The seven-time Pro Bowler has been the leader of one of the game's best defenses for a decade, and his big play ability goes unmatched. He has recorded an unbelievable 56 interceptions in his career, six of which have gone back for touchdowns.

    Reed defines the perfect safety, with his terrific speed, tackling ability and leadership.

     

    Runner-Up: Troy Polamalu

    Third Place: Eric Berry

Tight End: Jason Witten

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    Another tough decision was between Jason Witten and Antonio Gates, but Witten's tremendous health and consistency gave him the edge. The Tennessee graduate has been one of the league's best tight ends over the last decade, as his amazing combination of speed and strength make him impossible to cover.

    In the last four seasons, Witten has recorded an average of 91 receptions for 1,032 yards and six touchdowns, numbers that are unheard of from a tight end.

    The Cowboys star has made seven Pro Bowls in just eight seasons in his career and will be one of the game's greatest tight ends when he decides to hang up his cleats. 

     

    Runner-Up: Antonio Gates

    Third Place: Vernon Davis

Wide Receiver: Calvin Johnson

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    Yeah, nine touchdowns in five games will give you this honor. Calvin Johnson, at 6'5'' and 239 pounds, is a phenomenal physical specimen who is impossible to defend.

    His beastly strength and outstanding speed and agility make him too much for any single man to cover.

    Megatron, the second-overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, has put up tremendous numbers in just four seasons as a pro. And at just 26, has he even reached his peak?

     

    Runner-Up: Andre Johnson

    Third Place: Larry Fitzgerald

Running Back: Adrian Peterson

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    If he avoids the injury bug, then Adrian Peterson will be the greatest running back in NFL history when he hangs up his cleats.

    The seventh-overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft already owns the greatest single game rushing performance in NFL history, with his 296-yard game against the Chargers in his rookie season.

    The Oklahoma products greatness lies in many areas, but his combination of Barry Sanders speed and Jerome Bettis strength make him a complete athlete never seen before by NFL fans.

    Since his debut, Peterson has averaged 262 carries for 1,256 yards and 12 touchdowns per season. Those are numbers that define greatness. 

     

    Runner-Up: Ray Rice

    Third Place: Chris Johnson

Quarterback: Tom Brady

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    Tom Brady is the most clutch quarterback in NFL history. His accolades go unmatched: three Super Bowl titles, two Super Bowl MVPs, two regular season MVPs, a perfect regular season record and 50 touchdowns in one year.

    No quarterback has ever possessed Brady's combination of athleticism, smarts, pocket presence, quick release and arm strength.

    The Michigan product is the greatest draft steal in football history, and his play at the quarterback position has changed how the game has been played.

    Tom Terrific is the best player at the most important position in football. 

     

    Runner-Up: Aaron Rodgers

    Third Place: Drew Brees