Over the summer, we did an 11-day project that ranked the top 10 NFL players in each position, compiling votes from more than 50 leaders, scouts, coaches, and players. The project is comprehensive, killing league-staff-driven scouting reports of nearly 200 players. Goal: Find out exactly how the league is doing with your favorite stars.
Reviewing those results nearly six months later, after 16 weeks of NFL football, is telling. Some bold projections look smart. For example, the Tennessee Titans ‘defensive tackle was Jeffery Simmons’ No. 6 indoor defensive lineman. He was not a marquee name among casual fans, but played at the Pro Bowl level this season.
But the omissions are glaring and reveal more about group thinking throughout the league than some would like to admit. Some veterans get stabbed, some young players are underestimated due to lack of employment in the league, and too many deserving players are left as honorable mentions. And of course, it’s sometimes as simple as having a player have a special, unexpected year that will sling the rest of his career. It happened last year with Buffalo Bill’s wide receiver Stefon Diggs, and it’s happening again this year in almost every position.
So we went back to executives, scouts, and coaches all over the NFL to determine the biggest risers for each of the 2021 top 10 lists – players who were either ranked too low or not ranked at all, including two potential record-breaking skill positions.
QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | IOL
EDGE | DT | LB | CB | S
Who gets up now