30 of the Worst NFL Starters Entering 2011

Tony Santorsa@@TonySantorsaSenior Writer IIAugust 9, 2011

30 of the Worst NFL Starters Entering 2011

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    Believe it or not, the first week of the preseason has finally come upon us as we gear up for an amazing 2011 NFL season.

    Each of us has our own favorite team, but no matter how much we love our teams, there's always just one player who is so bad that we have no idea why he's even a starter in the NFL.

    Some of the players listed here are good football players but may not be fit to be an NFL starter, and quite frankly, some of these players are just downright awful.

    Here are 30 of the worst starters entering 2011.

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Mark Sanchez

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    Let me be clear: I am not saying that Mark Sanchez is going to have an awful NFL career, but as of right now, I firmly believe that he's holding the New York Jets back and that he is an awful quarterback.

    I'm sorry, but a career 54.4 completion percentage and four more interceptions than touchdowns doesn't seem like a franchise quarterback to me.

Brandon Meriweather

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    Don't get me wrong—Brandon Meriweather is a very talented player, but he just doesn't apply his talent to the field.

    Whether it's Meriweather's awful angles, poor tackling, getting lost in zone coverage or idiotic helmet-to-helmet hits, I do not believe he should be a starter in the NFL.

Alan Ball

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    Despite being a seventh-round draft pick in 2007, Alan Ball has managed to hang around the league for quite some time and is now set up to be the Dallas Cowboys' starting free safety in 2011.

    In my opinion, Ball should not be starting any games in the NFL, especially after last season with the Cowboys, as several teams indicated him as a weakness to the Cowboys secondary.

Roy Williams

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    I think that time has finally run its course with safety Roy Williams, as he was a weakness in the Cincinnati Bengals secondary in 2010.

    Williams, at the age of 30, hasn't been able to play a full season for the Bengals yet and has only recorded 87 tackles in just two years with Cincy.

Tyson Jackson

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    Tyson Jackson was the third overall selection in the 2009 draft for Kansas City and has yet to pan out into what he was projected to be.

    Jackson has recorded only 68 career tackles and just one sack for the Chiefs in 28 games.

Jermaine Cunningham

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    I'm sorry, but if you were drafted in the second round and were a quality pass rusher in college, then you should accumulate more than one sack in your rookie season. Jermaine Cunningham did not.

    Cunningham may have a lot of upside and potential, but he is an obvious weakness on the New England Patriots due to his lone sack in 2010.

Chad Henne

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    This is it for Chad Henne: 2011 is either make it or break it for the Miami Dolphins quarterback.

    Henne has a career 61.1 completion percentage with 33 career interceptions and only 27 touchdowns.

Quentin Groves

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    Coming out of Auburn, Quentin Groves was projected to be a very productive pass rusher in the NFL. However, Groves has only recorded 2.5 career sacks in three seasons—now that's just terrible.

    Groves is set to be one of the Oakland Raiders' starting outside linebackers in 2011, even though he has shown no signs of being a productive pass rusher.

Lee Evans

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    Lee Evans should not be the Buffalo Bills' No. 1 wide receiver, as he's not productive enough to be one.

    Evans has only had one impressive season, back in 2006, when he had 82 receptions for eight touchdowns. Other than that, Evans hasn't caught more than 63 balls in each of those seasons and doesn't come off as a go-to player for the Bills.

Shawne Merriman

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    As far as I'm concerned, Shawne Merriman's career is all but over—he should not be a starter in the NFL.

    Merriman has only played 18 games over the course of the last three years and has racked up a mere total of four sacks in that time period.

    Why is he starting in Buffalo?

Richard Quinn

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    Richard Quinn may have minimal experience playing for the Denver Broncos, but in two years in the league, he's only recorded one reception for nine yards.

    Perhaps the Broncos have a lot of faith in this guy.

Brandon Keith

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    Brandon Keith was absolutely awful in pass protection in 2010 for the Arizona Cardinals.

    Keith started nine games at right tackle for the Cards and managed to allow 6.5 sacks; he is going to have to do much better than that now that Kevin Kolb is the starter in Arizona.

Reggie Bush

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    Can someone please tell me why Reggie Bush is even going to be given the chance to be a starter in Miami? He is not an every-down running back; what don't the Dolphins understand?

    I realize that the best player behind Bush is Daniel Thomas, and quite frankly, he may be the better player, as he's a much more well-rounded running back.

Chris Hope

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    Chris Hope may have been a tackling machine for the Tennessee Titans in 2010, as he finished with 101 tackles, but he was almost irrelevant in the team's pass defense.

    If you're going to be a starting strong safety in the NFL, you have to be a two-dimensional player—you need to be a force against the run and strong in pass coverage.

Louis Murphy

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    Louis Murphy is definitely a talented wide receiver that has had solid production over his NFL career, but I firmly believe that he should not be a starter.

    Murphy was able to reel in 41 balls last year as the Raiders' No. 2 wide receiver, but I actually believe that he should be more of a sub rather than the team's No. 2 wide receiver.

Joey Porter

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    Perhaps Joey Porter has reached the end of his impressive NFL career, as I don't see why he should be starting for any team in the league.

    Porter is currently set to start at outside linebacker for the Cardinals in 2011 after he managed only 50 tackles for Arizona in his first year with the team.

Andy Dalton

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    Poor Andy Dalton; there's no reason why he should be a starter in 2011.

    The rookie out of TCU has no business being a starting quarterback this season, no matter how bad the quarterbacks behind him on Cincinnati's roster are. 

    The Bengals need to bring in a veteran quarterback to start ahead of Dalton, or they're going to potentially ruin his development as an NFL passer.

Kelly Jennings

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    I am shocked that Kelly Jennings has been able to hold on to his starting job at cornerback in Seattle for all these years—he is nothing but an average defender.

    Jennings lacks skills in zone coverage and has literally no ball skills, as he's only picked off two passes in his five-year career.

Ryan Diem

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    Simply put, Ryan Diem is a very poor right tackle that lacks both run-blocking and pass-protecting skills.

    In my opinion, the Indianapolis Colts need a replacement immediately, as he's an obvious weakness along their offensive line.

Cooper Carlisle

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    The Oakland Raiders have a rather inconsistent offensive line, and one of the biggest reasons is starting right guard Cooper Carlisle.

    Carlisle may be a decent pass protector but is not strong against the run. After spending time researching the Raiders' line problems in 2010, Carlisle is one of the main reasons.

Eric Smith

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    To be honest with you, I am not impressed with Eric Smith whatsoever—I do not believe that he should be the Jets' starting free safety.

    Smith may have recorded quality numbers in 2010, but from the games that I saw of him, I was not impressed with his tackling skills, the angles that he took and his football instincts.

    Perhaps I'm wrong. What do you think?

Chris Crocker

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    During Chris Crocker's time with the Cincinnati Bengals, he has yet to stay healthy and has been very inconsistent.

    Last year for the Bengals, Crocker only played in nine games, as he had 43 tackles and zero interceptions.

Kareem Jackson

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    Kareem Jackson didn't have that great of a rookie year for the Houston Texans despite recording 70 tackles and two interceptions.

    Jackson proved to make rookie mistakes as opposing offenses identified him as a weakness, which could be the reason why he had so many tackles.

Cam Newton

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    Cam Newton is likely to start at quarterback for the Carolina Panthers in 2011, and it's going to be absolutely ugly.

    I don't care how good Newton looks in practice; he is still a rookie and a product of the spread offense at the college level. He is going to need time to develop.

Brandon Gibson

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    Brandon Gibson may have been Sam Bradford's top receiver in 2010, as he reeled in 53 passes for two touchdowns. However, it was no secret that the St. Louis Rams had one of the worst receiving corps in the NFL.

    As of right now, Gibson is set to start opposite Mike Sims-Walker, but in my opinion Gibson should not be a No. 2 wide receiver on any team in the NFL.

Don Carey

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    Don Carey is an undersized free safety for the Jacksonville Jaguars that will likely start in 2011.

    Carey was awful in 2010, as he was pushed around by receivers and was a non-factor in stopping the run. In fact, the Jaguars actually drafted Chris Prosinski out of Wyoming to challenge Carey for the starting job.

Colt McCoy

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    I almost feel bad for putting Colt McCoy on this list because he's such a gutsy, fearless quarterback.

    McCoy definitely displayed bright spots during his rookie season with the Browns last year but also had many rough patches due to his inexperience.

    In my opinion, McCoy is not ready to be a starter in the NFL.

Tarvaris Jackson

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    Tarvaris Jackson may have never gotten a true chance in Minnesota, but he will in Seattle, as he'll likely be the team's starting quarterback.

    Jackson has been very inconsistent during his five-year career, as he's only completed 58.7 percent of his passes and hasn't shown any signs of being much more accurate.

Corey Peters

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    Defensive tackle Corey Peters had a rather mediocre rookie season for the Atlanta Falcons, as he tallied 33 tackles and just one sack.

    The Falcons defense wasn't so consistent in 2010 and will need more consistency out of Peters in order to improve in 2011.

John Beck

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    How can the Washington Redskins actually be serious about slotting in John Beck as the team's starting quarterback entering 2011? You have got to be kidding me.

    Beck hasn't played in an NFL game since 2007, when he was with the Dolphins, and he finished that year with just one touchdown and three interceptions.

    There is no reason why John Beck should be starting for any team in the NFL.


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