Poll ranks Polamalu 5th best in NFL
The NFL lockout eliminates the business of football that is most common during the summer months. With no free agent signings, trades, or releases, the discussion is limited to speculation and measurements.
The NFL Network began its series of Top-100 players, as voted by league mates across the country, and will unveil the Top-10 on Sunday. But ESPN wasted little time in revealing its own measuring stick, dropping the complete list in one fell swoop.
Troy Polamalu is expected to appear somewhere in the NFL Network’s upper echelon, which would be the same location as the ESPN rank published earlier today. The poll of bloggers rated the safety fifth best and top defender in the league, seated only behind four Super Bowl winning quarterbacks.
“Quarterback is the most significant position on the field and can make the difference between a lopsided losing record and the playoffs,” said AFC East blogger Tim Graham, whose ballot had quarterbacks in each of the first seven spots and eight of 10 overall. “It takes a truly special running back or defensive player to outweigh the importance of a quarterback.”
Fittingly, the 2010 defensive player of the year appears as the only defender among the names listed in the upper tier. The player he edged to win the award, Clay Matthews, placed thirteenth in the poll, with the Cowboys DeMarcus Ware (12) appearing as the only other defender sandwiched between former Trojans.
The top spots are held by the common names of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and a Super Bowl victory has given Aaron Rodgers (4) a surge of recognition among the league’s best.
Polamalu received the highest ranking (4) from AFC North blogger James White, with the lowest (9) coming from Pat Yasinkas and Mike Sando.