Ranking the Super Bowl rosters
Mike Sando and Matt Williamson spend their time wisely.
One can only imagine how long it took to rank all 106 players involved in the Super Bowl.
But it makes for a fascinating read.
Peyton Manning tops the list, but the rest of the top ten is dominated by Seattle.
It’s an insider article and you’ll need to subscribe to see it all. I’m not going to reveal too much, but the following is all over Twitter so we’re not breaking any rules.
Richard Sherman is #2 behind Manning. Earl Thomas (#3), Marshawn Lynch (#4), Percy Harvin (#6), Michael Bennett (#7), Russell Wilson (#8), Brandon Mebane (#9) and Kam Chancellor (#10) are the other Seahawks named in the top ten.
Demaryius Thomas is the only other Bronco among the elite at #5.
The one moderate surprise for me is Cliff Avril way down at #17. Alongside Bennett he’s been sensational in the second half of the season and the playoffs.
How many other players can boast seven forced fumbles for the year?
Overall the list shows that really this is a battle between the deepest and most talented team in the NFL against a legendary individual.
Manning, as the #1 on the list, is more than capable of winning the Super Bowl for Denver. He can carry that team if needed.
But if Seattle’s top ranked defense restricts him from finding a rhythm, rushes the passer with consistency and avoids penalties — I’m not sure the rest of the Broncos roster can compensate.
The Seahawks are the better team. Denver has the best player.
So who do you think should be favoured?
Senior Bowl update
Again, I’ve not been able to catch any of this years coverage. So I’m passing on second hand info rather than offering my own take.
Eventually work out tape will appear on Youtube. I’m asking for a bit of patience right now, but we’ll get into it eventually.
One player I’m interested in based on reports so far (I’m still using Tony Pauline as my go-to-guy) is Nebraska cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste.
He’s 6-2 and 215lbs with 32 inch arms.
Pauline said yesterday he’s a “physically imposing defender who looked solid in drills” before adding today, “really played well and stepped it up. Made a terrific pass defense in the end zone, using his size and athleticism to knock away the ball. Looks like he has a ton of upside.”
We all know Seattle likes size and length at corner. A physical edge won’t hurt either. Jean-Baptiste is someone we’ll get into during the process, especially if they end up requiring new depth at corner for next season.
Pittburgh’s Aaron Donald is getting rave reviews. Pauline called his performance today “unstoppable” and added “massive week for the undersized defensive lineman.”
I’ve never been impressed with Donald’s tape. He looked pedestrian. I’m also sceptical that he’ll have the same impact against better interior blockers.
The 2014 class is thin at guard and center anyway, let alone at the Senior Bowl.
But it’s hard to ignore the universal thumbs up he’s getting from every observer in Mobile. I’ll go back for another look at the tape this week to see if my first impression was inaccurate.
I fully expected Ra’Shede Hageman to blow up the Senior Bowl — but he hasn’t so far.
Pauline on Hageman: “Looks like Tarzan at times then plays like Jane. Makes one good play then disappears for stretches.”
On the injury front, Virginia defensive lineman Brent Urban’s picked up a sprained ankle and won’t take any further part. He’s one to watch for the Seahawks and could easily land in round one.
Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin — one of my favourites this year — has excelled. He’s a top-20 talent and looked the part throughout his college career. Measurement wise he looks like a guard but I can’t see teams like Miami and Arizona passing on him. Both desperately need a good left tackle.
Martin is a complete natural and oozes technique. He’s just about the most polished college lineman I’ve seen. Even more so than Alex Mack when he entered the league in 2009.
It’s not been a good week for overrated Baylor guard Cyril Richardson. Pauline’s take from today’s workout: “Continually beaten by Aaron Donald throughout the morning. Strong yet stiff and shows he’ll be exploited by athletic opponents.”
He’s not a fit for the zone blocking scheme and shouldn’t be an option for Seattle, even in the mid-rounds where I think he’s going to land.
I highlighted Fresno State tight end Marcel Jensen as one to monitor earlier in the week. Pauline has been impressed so far: “Hands down the best tight end on the North. Caught the ball very well, showing the ability to beat down linebackers. Held his own blocking.”
Jensen really is one to keep an eye on. So much upside.
Jordan Matthews at Vanderbilt isn’t doing as well as hoped. Pauline: “Lack of quickness and speed is a concern.”
BYU receiver Cody Hoffman, however, has reportedly looked sharp.
Some other players I’m going to re-review based on what I’ve read so far:
Morgan Moses (T, Virginia) — had a hit and miss 2013 but has all the physical qualities to go in the first two rounds.
Bryan Stork (C, Florida) — really intelligent, personable guy with talent to match.
Dee Ford (DE, Alabama) — appears to be excelling as a speed rusher. Lacks length. Might be a one-trick pony.