A pair of Detroit Lions ran away with the top spots in the NFL Nation poll of 320 players conducted by our team of reporters in every city. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (19 percent) and receiver Calvin Johnson (18.1 percent) were the players most named among the 48 receiving votes.
Both players were logical choices considering their relative dominance at their position. Personally, Johnson would have been the slam-dunk choice for me because my definition of "feared" in this sense is a player who causes opposing coordinators to lose sleep on a regular basis. Suh brings an intimidation factor and little regard for the rules, which likely earned him additional votes.
There were no Rams among the top seven on the list, but if this poll were to be conducted again next year, that might change. Rams defensive end Robert Quinn had a breakthrough season in 2013, posting 19 sacks and seven forced fumbles while also becoming a top-notch run-defender. His unique combination of elite athleticism and a nonstop motor make Quinn a nightmare for opposing left tackles and quarterbacks.
Quinn even got a few left tackles benched for their inability to block him this season. For an NFL player, fear of losing a job may be the biggest of all.