The good old offseason - the perfect time for sportswriters and fans to make lists and debate them while patiently awaiting the return of football. With the lockout curtailing offseason activity this year, the players are even getting in on the action. In conjunction with the NFL Network, over 400 players were polled about who they thought were the top 100 players in the NFL. Not an easy exercise, so there are bound to be some controversial placements. Peter King of Monday Morning Quarterback fame saw the list being rolled out slowly and decided he'd jump in on the action, having published a similar list. As of this week, the players' and King's list include Nos. 100 - 41. Let's take a look at where various Steelers players are pegged in both.
NFL Network Players' List
No. 41: Ben Roethlisberger
No. 82: LaMarr Woodley
Peter King's List
No. 44: Mike Wallace
No. 50: Troy Polamalu
No. 74: Maurkice Pouncey
No. 96: Mike Wallace
- Big Ben at 41st? Really players? Perhaps it's just out of spite for not being able to bring him to the ground. Maybe it's just feeling a bit envious that Roethlisberger has led his team to the Super Bowl three times in the past six years.
- Equally controversial is Peter King's placement of Troy Polamalu. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year was also dubbed 'overrated' by Pete Prisco of CBS Sports on Friday, so King is not alone, I suppose. And in his defense, Ed Reed was placed a few spots lower, at No. 54.
- King is clearly a big fan of Mike Wallace and his ability, and for good reason. Wallace nearly led the NFL in yards per reception for the second consecutive season. Is it possible that his peers voted him in the top 40? I guess I wouldn't be too surprised, because he's made a lot of amazing athletes look silly. But I could also see him not cracking the top 100 altogether just because the entire league has yet to face off against him just yet.
- Maurkice Pouncey in the players' top 40? Or out of the top 100? Again, could go either way because of his youth.
- Ahh, the players snubbing the aging Hines Ward. Surely they didn't vote for the 'dirty' Hines Ward in their top 40?
- Clearly James Harrison will be in the top 40, but how high? I've thought to myself a million times, 'God, I'd hate to line up against him.' Looks like the players feel the same way. Who else might make the cut? Heath Miller? Probably not, but perhaps. Lawrence Timmons? Casey Hampton? Ike Taylor?
We'll check back with these lists just as soon as more additions are made. Color me intrigued to see what the rest of both will look like.