NFC East Top 20: No. 5 LeSean McCoy

In the final 20 days before the start of the regular season, we are counting down the top 20 players in the NFC East. For a full explanation, see this post. And if you want to read any of the other posts that have run since we started this series, you can find them all here, in this link.

No. 5 -- LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles RB

(Last year: No. 3)

McCoy was on pace for 1,200 rushing yards last year when a concussion cost him four games. He returned for the final two, but finished with just 840 yards and two rushing touchdowns (to go with 373 yards and three touchdowns receiving). Major drop-off from a 2011 season in which he rushed for 1,309 yards and 17 touchdowns (plus three more receiving). But everything dropped off in Philadelphia last year, and the stink of the Eagles' 4-12 mess doesn't diminish McCoy's ability or his standing as one of the top running backs in the league.

If anything, McCoy should be primed for bigger things in 2013, still just 25 years old and the likely centerpiece of new coach Chip Kelly's fast-paced offense. He's still the same super-fast, ultra-shifty runner he was two years ago, and he appears healthy. He can run between the tackles for the tough, early-down yards. He can be effective at the goal line. He can get out in space and make big plays -- an ability he'll likely get to showcase even more now that left tackle Jason Peters is back and he'll be running behind that full-strength offensive line. McCoy drops a couple of spots due to a down year for him and some great ones by a couple of others, but to think of him as anything less than a game-breaking star is a mistake.

The rest of the rankings:

6. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, New York Giants

7. Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys

8. Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins

9. Victor Cruz, WR, Giants

10. Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys

11. Jason Peters, OT, Eagles

12. Sean Lee, LB, Cowboys

13. Trent Williams, OT, Redskins

14. Evan Mathis, OG, Eagles

15. Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants

16. DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles

17. Anthony Spencer, DE, Cowboys

18. London Fletcher, LB, Redskins

19. Brian Orakpo, LB, Redskins

20. Jason Hatcher, DL, Cowboys