NFL Power Rankings: 6 Scariest Players in the League

Thomas ConroyCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2011

NFL Power Rankings: 6 Scariest Players in the League

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    How do you determine the scariest players in the NFL?

    Well, there are a number of factors to take into consideration. Perhaps it’s a quarterback’s arm that carves a defense into pieces with pinpoint passing accuracy or a running back's legs that force opposing defenses to scrap their original game plan.

    Defensive coordinators publicly say they love the challenge of keeping a top-flight wide receiver out of the end zone, but they do fear being exploited by their athleticism. Offenses cannot run on all cylinders if they’re using all of their resources to block one player.

    Here are six scariest players in the NFL:

6) Ndamukung Suh

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    All season long, the success of the Detroit Lions' defense has fed off of the play and leadership of Ndamukung Suh. He simply hates to lose and his fiery disposition on the field is enough to guide them to victory almost every week.

    Suh is frequently double-teamed, since his play against the run is near-perfect. He often disrupts a play by swallowing up the ball-carrier in the backfield. And don’t forget that he is a ferocious pass-rusher from the defensive tackle position.  

5) Devin Hester

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    There is no doubt that Devin Hester is going to the Hall of Fame, since he is the NFL’s all-time leader in kick return touchdowns with 17 (11 kickoff, five punt and a 108-yard return of a missed field goal).

    There are three qualities every team is looking for in their return man: explosiveness, consistency and longevity. They must be able to gain the team good field position even if the big play isn’t available.

    Too many returners have fallen off the face of the earth after one good season, but not Hester.

    His opponents design their game plan to avoid kicking the ball anywhere near him. Name another kickoff returner that has impacted the game like he has.

    I'll help you: there aren't any. 

4) Calvin Johnson

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    Physically, no other wide receiver is in his class.

    Calvin Johnson has the speed, the vertical jump and strength to overpower any defender in his way.

    Megatron isn’t the most ideal route runner, but he does make plays in heavy traffic. His downfield blocking is the main reason why Jahvid Best can make long touchdown runs.

    Johnson can score from anywhere on the field, whether you need him to move the chains with an inside route, hit him for a big gain on a deep route or a catch a jump pass in the end zone on a fade pattern. Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson are great receivers, but they don’t have the physical ability to make all of the catches like Megatron. 

3) Adrian Peterson

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    The Minnesota Vikings are going to play the rest of the season with a rookie quarterback, and they will rely heavily on their running game for any offensive success.

    Adrian Peterson has shown that he can put up big numbers running the football, but he is also one of the few backs who can catch the ball out of the backfield.

    He is a nightmare to try to tackle—Peterson often outruns the defense to the open space for a big gain.

    The Vikes need to highlight his offensive explosiveness if they’re going to turn around their season. 

2) Ray Lewis

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    Ray Lewis is best known for dislodging the ball away from running backs; few defensive players have put the fear into the opposition like he has. He absolutely can stop anyone in their tracks for negative yardage. Lewis puts the onus on the Ravens' defense to lead them to victory each week.

    If you attend one of their games, shadow him and watch his every move on the field. 

1) Tom Brady

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    There are few quarterbacks in the NFL who actually can snatch away a fourth-quarter lead from an opponent, but Tom Brady has, and likely will do it again.

    He must have ice water in his veins.

    Brady turns into an accurate passer who carefully dissects a defense down the field. Like a perfect symphony, he executes the plays precisely to the liking of his maestro, Bill Belichick.

    Too often, Brady has dished out plenty of heartache in the NFL.