NFL: Ranking the Best Player at Each Position For 2016

Brandon Reiter@@thereitanswerCorrespondent IIOctober 31, 2011

NFL: Ranking the Best Player at Each Position For 2016

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    The NFL contains numerous talented players. It may be easy to pick who you think is the best of the best right now.

    But it is much harder to look ahead and think who is going to be the best in years to come. 

    I took the liberty of looking ahead and offering my opinion of who will be the best player at each position at the start of the 2016 NFL season.

    Included is how old each player will be in 2016 to give an idea of where that player will be in his career.

DT: Ndamukong Suh

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    2016 Age: 29

    In only his second season, Suh is one of the most feared defensive players in the league. He gets to the quarterback in a hurry, and should by far be the best pass rusher in the next five years. 

    There is no one on a better path than Suh, unless he blows all his money on fines from illegal hits.

    In his rookie season, he was in the Pro Bowl and made the All-Pro team.

DE: Mario Williams

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    2016 Age: 31

    There's a reason the Texans drafted him over Reggie Bush in the 2006 draft. He can get to the quarterback.

    And it worked out for Houston, being they have one of the best running backs in the league with Arian Foster.

    With five more years of experience, expect to see the Texans at the top of their division in years to come.

LB: Clay Matthews

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    2016 Age: 30

    Matthews is scary good. He was one of the key components for the Packers' success in 2010, and he shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

    He has violent hits that can rattle an offensive player. And he has football longevity in his blood. His father, Clay Matthews Jr., played in 278 NFL games over a 19-year span. 

S: Eric Berry

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    2016 Age: 27

    Berry is young and extremely talented. His extraordinary collegiate career at Tennessee includes numerous All-SEC teams, All-American teams, Defensive Player of the Year awards, and most impressive, Sports Illustrated's All-Decade Team.

    In his first NFL season, he was a Pro Bowl selection for the Chiefs

CB: Patrick Peterson

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    2016 Age: 26

    This guy is really, really good.

    In addition to his pass coverage skills, Peterson is going to be one of the most dangerous return specialists in the game.

    You know you're good when in your first season, teams like the Baltimore Ravens can throw their best receiver at you and you can shut them down. 

    He has my vote for Rookie of the Year, and undoubtedly he will be a Pro Bowl selection.

K: Josh Scobee

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    2016 Age: 34

    I admit it, I'm on the Scobee bandwagon after he won the game for the Jags on MNF, but you can't blame me.

    How many kickers can be as decisive as he was?

    If you have a kicker that can bail a terrible offense out, you know he is valuable.

    He does not have much competition for this spot because, well, he's a kicker.

    But he can be a game changer. Plus, he'll only be 34 in 2016, which is like 20 in kicker years.

T: Jake Long

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    2016 Age: 31 

    Arguably drafted too highly by the Dolphins, Long will be, if he's not already, the premiere offensive lineman in 2016. 

    He blocks the blindside, he protects the quarterback (Chad Henne getting hurt is not his fault), and he is young.

G: Carl Nicks

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    2016 Age: 31

    This is the hardest position to predict. Why? Name five guards, come on do it, I'm waiting.

    Yeah, that's what I thought.

    If I had to pick one to be at the top in 2016, it's gotta be Nicks. Brees can attribute some of his greatness to his offensive line, which Nicks is a part of.

C: Nick Mangold

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    2016 Age: 32

    This guy got a lot of money to protect Mark Sanchez, and so for he has been doing just that, even though Sanchez is horrible.

    He has been in the Pro Bowl three years and has been considered the best at his position twice. Look for that to continue through 2016.

TE: Vernon Davis

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    2016 Age: 32

    Davis averages about 11 yards per catch, exactly what you want your tight end to be doing.

    He was a Pro Bowl selection, and think about all the other tight ends that are better than him (Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, Dallas Clark maybe). They are all aging and will be either out of the league or not effective in five years.

WR: Calvin Johnson

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    2016 Age: 31

    The Megatron.

    You know you're good when your nickname is a machine, because no human could actually be that good.

    Calvin Johnson is really good but most importantly, he's fun to watch.

    Matt Stafford is good, but having a guy that can jump over anyone, has the softest hands and makes catches in triple coverage might help.

    Johnson is the key to the Lions' future and can give them the chance to win a Super Bowl within the next five yeas.

RB: Darren McFadden

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    2016 Age: 29

    He finally broke out this year and is showing his talent. He is neck and neck with Fred Jackson each week for the most rushing yards. 

    He blends in well with that certain swagger the Raiders maintain. He is young, talented, and look for him to be even more fun to watch in the next five years.

    He has the skill to be a winner and is a valuable piece. We saw how valuable he can be to a team's success in Arkansas, and we'll see it in Oakland for years to come.

QB: Cam Newton

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    2016 Age: 27

    I said it—Cam Newton will be the best QB in 2016.

    What, you doubt him? Think he's a fluke? Think scrambling quarterbacks can't win?

    You're wrong.

    He is 8 weeks into his career and is already setting records. He is on pace to throw the most yards as a rookie. Compare that to the elite QBs, shall we?

    Who is currently first on that list? Some random guy named Peyton Manning

    Newton is also the first rookie to throw two consecutive 400-yard passing games.

    The only thing he needs to work on is holding onto the football, and that will come with maturity.