Sporting News calls them the “Cream of the Cream”. These are the 25 players they project as the best NFL players regardless of position for 2009.
The Minnesota Vikings lead with four players on the list. The Colts placed three including the top pick Peyton Manning. While the Patriots, Cowboys, Cardinals and Steelers each placed two.
Not surprisingly Adrian Peterson was the top Viking selected at number two. The Sporting news had the following to say about the phenomenal running back “ He’s already the NFL’s best runner, and coaches say they’ll finally throw him the ball this year ”.
The other top 25 players were:
3. Tom Brady – QB – Patriots
4. DeMarcus Ware – OLB – Cowboys
5. Larry Fitzgerald -WR -Cardinals
6. James Harrison – OLB – Steelers
7. Ed Reed – S – Ravens
8. Andre Johnson – WR – Texans
9. Troy Polamalu – S – Steelers
10. Reggie Wayne – WR – Colts
11. Shawne Merriman – OLB – Chargers
12. Nnamdi Asomugha – CB – Raiders
13. Drew Brees – QB – Saints
At number 14 was Viking Defensive end Jared Allen. “ He is an elite Pass rusher and also is a force against the run who never gives up on a play. He is tough, playing through knee and shoulder injuries in 08 “.
15. Albert Haynes worth – DT – Redskins
16. Ryan Clady – OT – Broncos
17. Julius Peppers – DE – Panthers
18. Jason Witten – TE – Cowboys
19. Anquan Boldin – WR – Cardinals
20. Randy Moss – WR – Patriots
21. Brian Urlacher – MLB – Bears
The 22nd player on the list was Viking offensive lineman Steve Hutchinson. “ Peterson should be thankful for Hutchinson, one of the most physical and dominant run blockers in the game “.
23. Dwight Freeney – DE – Colts
24. Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams. “ The potential for a four game suspension hurts his ranking, but he is one of the few players who can’t be blocked one-on-one. He regularly beats double-teams and is an absolute force inside “.
Steven Jackson, RB for the Rams rounds out this elite list.