ESPN Top 10 List Leaves Out 49ers Patrick Willis

Whenever a top ten list of anything is released there is always someone who gets left off that deserves to be included. ESPN released their top-ten NFL players as of right now, there was a tie at number ten, and not only did the list have only one defensive player, Troy Polamalu, but did not have Patrick Willis on the list.  Here is the list ESPN NFL bloggers came up with:

1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
5. Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers
6. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
8. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
9. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
10. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
10. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans

What is striking about the list is there are seven quarterbacks in the group with QB’s in the first four spots. I am not disputing the importance of quarterbacks, come on this is a 49ers blog, but does Michael Vick really belong on the list after just one season of playing well since returning to the NFL?  Most will agree that inside linebacker is the quarterback position of the defense and right now Patrick Willis is the best middle linebacker in the NFL.  So why not include him in the top-ten?


“Quarterback is the most significant position on the field and can make the difference between a lopsided losing record and the playoffs,” said AFC East blogger Tim Graham, whose ballot had quarterbacks in each of the first seven spots and eight of 10 overall. “It takes a truly special running back or defensive player to outweigh the importance of a quarterback. For example, Adrian Peterson is a sensational player. But without Brett Favre producing at quarterback, Peterson couldn’t carry the Vikings to the playoffs.”

I don’t need to list Patrick Willis’ accolades as many of us know how well he has played but I will mention Willis has made the Pro Bowl in all four seasons he has played in the NFL.  Willis received two top-ten votes from AFC North blogger James Walker and NFC West blogger Mike Sando.  Willis did end up at number 15 on the list but with so many offensive players in the top-ten it is clear that they value offensive players over defensive players.

Here is my own top-ten list of the best NFL players right now:

1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
4. Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers
5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
6. Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers
7. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
8. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
9. Demarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys
10. Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers


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