This series will feature the top 10 players in each division regardless of team or position. This is measured by a combination of their current impact on the field, their potential in the future and their accomplishments in the past.
1. Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
The end of last year has many suggesting the end is very near but he wouldn’t be coming back if he didn’t feel he could still win a Super Bowl and put up record numbers. In fact, through more than half the season before injuries hampered his play he was on pace to put up another historical season. Don’t bet against Peyton Manning, he’s already come back from much worse in spinal surgery.
2. Justin Houston, OLB, Kansas City Chiefs
22 sacks last season speaks for itself.
3. Von Miller, OLB, Denver Broncos
Like Houston he’s a devastating pass rusher. He’s as unblockable as it gets on 3rd and 6 or more.
4. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
Hopefully the Broncos can work out a long term deal with Thomas. Since Manning joined the team he’s been putting up Marvin Harrison type numbers.
5. Phillip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers
He’s still a very good quaterback that’s just behind the elite. After struggling a bit in the last few years he’s really bounced back to get to his peak level.
6. Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
It’s hard to believe but in 7 seasons in the NFL Charles has never had less than 5.0 yards per carry in a year.
7. Ryan Clady, T, Denver Broncos
Before his injury he was arguably the best tackle in football. Give him credit for coming back and playing at a high level again, making the Pro Bowl.
8. DeMarcus Ware, DE, Denver Broncos
He’s 32 and maybe not as good as he once was, but he’s been to 8 Pro Bowls and still put up 11 sacks last season. In 10 seasons he’s only not posted double digit sacks twice. I wouldn’t bet against him doing it again in 2015.
9. Tamba Hali, OLB, Kansas City Chiefs
The 5 time Pro Bowler is aging and seems to be declining a bit with only 6 sacks last year, but he’s still a beast.
10. Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers
He still had 821 yards receiving and a 2nd best of his career 12 touchdowns last season. He’s still producing at a very high level even at 35. Deciding between him and teammate Eric Weddle for this final spot was difficult but 9 Pro Bowls and a Hall of Fame career win out.