To preview the 2020 NFL season, we asked more than 50 league executives, coaches, scouts and players to help us stack the top 10 players at 11 different positions (sorry, special-teamers). The results might surprise you. They surprised me.
Here's how it worked: Voters gave their best 10 to 15 players at a position, then we compiled the results and ranked candidates based on number of top-10 votes, composite average, interviews and research. We had several ties, so we broke them by isolating the two-man matchup with additional voting and follow-up calls. Each section is packed with quotes and nuggets from the voters on every guy -- even the honorable mentions.
The objective is to identify the best players right now for 2020. This is not a five-year projection or an achievement award. Who's the best today? Pretty simple.
We'll roll out a position per day over the next 11 days. Here's the schedule:
Week 1: tight ends (July 7); quarterbacks (July 8); running backs (July 9); wide receivers (July 10); offensive tackles (July 11)
Week 2: interior offensive linemen (July 12); edge defenders (July 13); interior defensive linemen (July 14); off-ball linebackers (July 15); cornerbacks (July 16); safeties (July 17)
The sheer depth and production of the wide receiver position makes creating a top-10 list near futile. Twenty-five receivers eclipsed 1,000 yards in 2019 -- and that doesn't include Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Adam Thielen and others who missed significant time because of injury.
Second- and third-year players are putting up real numbers, but have difficulty cracking this list because the established heads won't give up ground.
For all the receivers who are considered great, the best among them all was surprising in his voting dominance.