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)
Some of the NFL's most dynamic all-around players are on this list. Pass-rushers make elite money because of their rare skills to rip up game plans and change momentum.
The category of edge rusher -- outside linebackers in a 3-4 defense, defensive ends in a 4-3 -- is so stocked with talent that a 15-sack season in 2019 isn't enough to lock up a spot.
A mix of explosive young players, savvy veterans and close calls -- particularly for the last spot -- makes this one of the NFL's most compelling positions.