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Prisco's Top 50 NFL Players List


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1. Peyton Manning, QB, Colts: He had an amazing season in 2004, solidifying his spot here at the top. Now he has to win a Super Bowl.

2. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots: Three Super Bowl rings in four years makes for a special quarterback.

3. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers: Doesn't get the credit he deserves playing in San Diego, but he's the best back in the game.

4. Randy Moss, WR, Raiders: Love him or hate him, he's a player. Moss is the best deep threat in the game today. Oakland fans will love him.

5. Ray Lewis, LB, Ravens: Yeah, yeah. We hear all that talk about how Lewis has regressed some. Watch out in 2005. Now that he's back in the middle of the 4-3, he will look like the Lewis of three years ago.

6. Marvin Harrison, WR, Colts: Just a tad behind Moss on the receiver list, Harrison is on his way to the Hall of Fame. He does it with so much ease.

7. Ed Reed, S, Ravens: Reed has made a huge jump up our list. He's arguably the best defensive player in the game today.

8. Terrell Owens, WR, Eagles: He talks a good game, but he backs it up. Owens proved in the Super Bowl what kind of player he is, a point even his haters can't argue.

9. Daunte Culpepper, QB, Vikings: He had a monster year in 2004, but it will be interesting to see what he does now without Moss.

10. Donovan McNabb, QB, Eagles: McNabb has improved greatly as a pocket passer. Maybe Owens had a lot to do with that.

11. Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins: Despite playing behind a bad offensive line in a system that didn't feature his best talents (cutback running), Portis had a good first season with the Redskins.

12. Champ Bailey, CB, Broncos: It's chic to rip on Bailey when seeing him get beat for a touchdown. Well, he's in man coverage a lot more than most corners. He's going to get beat. I'd still take him over any other corner in the game.

13. Walter Jones, T, Seahawks: An outstanding pass protector who plays like a man much lighter than 300 pounds. Now that he has a long-term deal that will have him in training camp for the first time in a few years, he will be even better.

14. Richard Seymour, DE, Patriots: He can play end or tackle for the Patriots. He has the power to hold up against the run and the quickness to get pressure.

15. Michael Vick, QB, Falcons: He has to improve his passing to make a jump up this list. He's still electrifying. But he has to throw it better.

16. Chris McAlister, CB, Ravens: The Ravens did the wise thing and locked him up to a long-term deal that will keep him around for a while. Teaming with Samari Rolle will give Baltimore the best corner tandem in the game.

17. Tony Gonzalez, TE, Chiefs: Even as he gets to the end of his career, Gonzalez is still the best pass-receiving tight end in the league.

18. Marcus Stroud, DT, Jaguars: Stroud was plagued some by injuries last year, but when he was healthy he was good enough to go to the Pro Bowl.

19. Jamal Lewis, RB, Ravens: He had some off-field and injury concerns last season, but he's still a big-time runner. Might be even better now if the Ravens open things up a bit.

20. Priest Holmes, RB, Chiefs: Injuries have started to erode his career, but he's still one of the best when healthy. How much is he a product of the Chiefs' offensive line and system?

21. Chad Johnson, WR, Bengals: He always said he'd be one of the NFL's best, and he is. We love the way he plays the game.

22. Dwight Freeney, DE, Colts: He might not be great against the run, but Freeney's speed off the edge makes him special.

23. Julius Peppers, DE, Panthers: Peppers can make plays that other ends can only dream about. He's an amazing athlete for a man his size.

24. Torry Holt, WR, Rams: Holt continues to play at a high level, even though he's getting up in years. Holt is still one of the most feared receivers in the league.

25. Jonathan Ogden, T, Ravens: Ogden remains a premium left tackle, although he isn't as good as he was a few years ago. He has so much athleticism for the position. Said to lack a mean streak, though.

26. Ahman Green, RB, Packers: He is a fantasy player's delight. The one knock on him is that he fumbles too much.

27. Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers: Gates emerged last season as a go-to guy for Drew Brees. He is an athletic tight end who can't be covered one-on-one.

28. Kris Jenkins, DT, Panthers: He was knocked out by injuries last season and recently admitted a drinking problem, but Jenkins is a star when he's on the field. He does have to lose some weight.

29. Derrick Brooks, LB, Bucs: Age is starting to become a factor, but he is still one of the best outside backers in the game. A class act, too.

30. Shaun Rogers, DT, Lions: Here's a player who got in shape and then got good. Rogers is now a force in the middle of the Lions line.

31. Brian Dawkins, S, Eagles: Continues to be a force in the back of the Eagles defense. Dawkins might be on his way to the Hall of Fame.

32. Brett Favre, QB, Packers: He can still make magical plays, but he can look ordinary now too. Favre is falling down the list, although we still hold him in high regard.

33. Jeremy Shockey, TE, Giants: The only thing holding him back is injuries. He and Eli Manning will be special together this season.

34. Kevin Williams, DT, Vikings: Has quietly become a dominant player in the middle of the Minnesota defense. With Pat Williams now next to him, he will be even better

35. Todd Heap, TE, Ravens: Injuries slowed him last year, but he's back healthy again and should be even better under new coordinator Jim Fassel

36. Orlando Pace, T, Rams: If not for Pace, the Rams line would have been awful last year. He still plays a high level.

37. Steve McNair, QB, Titans: It would be easy to leave him off this list based on last season, but he's a year removed from a co-MVP and he is still a force when he's healthy.

38. Andre Johnson, WR, Texans: We put him in the top 50 last year, and that opened some eyes. Are there any doubters now?

39. Willie Roaf, T, Chiefs: The old man can still play. Roaf is a force at left tackle on the league's best line.

40. Simeon Rice, DE, Bucs: One of only two men with 100 sacks in his career still playing (Michael Strahan is the other). Rice can still come off the edge with a burst.

41. Jason Taylor, DE, Dolphins: Once just a pass rusher, he is now a well-rounded end. But where does he play in Miami's new 3-4 scheme?

42. John Henderson, DT, Jaguars: Big John played better than Stroud in the second half of the 2004 season. He is a force against the run.

43. Samari Rolle, CB, Ravens: He's going to be missed in a big way in Tennessee. The Ravens will love him.

44. Patrick Surtain, CB, Chiefs: He excelled for the Dolphins playing a lot of man coverage, something we love. How will he fit in for the Chiefs?

45. Al Wilson, LB, Broncos: Wilson is a tenacious force in the middle of the Denver defense. If he had bigger people in front of him, he'd be even better.

46. Deuce McAllister, RB, Saints: He was slowed by an ankle injury last season, but expect him to bounce back with a huge season in 2005. He will be higher up this list next summer.

47. Brian Urlacher, LB, Bears: Has never been as good as the hype, but he's still a good player and can be a very good player.

48. Hines Ward, WR, Steelers: I left him off this list last season and heard it from the Steelers fans. That won't happen this year.

49. Takeo Spikes, LB, Bills: A playmaking star in a very good defense, Spikes has proved to be a heck of a steal for the Bills.

50.Charles Woodson, CB, Raiders: Here's a player fans and the media love to knock, but he's still an outstanding cover corner. How do we know? Ask the scouts.



Portis, Lewis, Green, McAllister...no Dillon???? Prisco risks the wrath of DPM! :lol:

Well, at least Chad made the list.

For a team with so many top players the Ravens don't seem to be going place...is Petey a Baltimore homer or what?? :huh:

Guys on this list who are either rated too high or shouldn't be on at all:

Ray Lewis (too high)

Ed Reed (too high, and c'mon Prisco, the best defensive player in the game?????)

Dante Culpepper (too high)

Clinton Portis (too high)

Michael Vick (NOT a top 50 player, give me a break)

Jeremy Shockey (not a top 50 guy, still mostly potential)

Steve McNair (used to be top 50, not anymore)

John Handerson (1/2 a good year and he's top 50? Right.)

Samari Rolle (oh come off it you Ravens homer)

Brian Urlacher (still living off one good season)

Takeo Spikes (no)

Guys who ought to be here but aren't:

Curtis Martin

Jerome Bettis

Brett Favre (hate to admit it but...)

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Brett Favre is on the list

I think TKO is and should be on the list

Jamal Lewis definitely shouldn't be on the list.

Yup, my bad, missed Brett.

Spikes is a solid linebacker, no question, but he isn't all that. And he has a distinct tendency to generate big numbers against bad teams, and then disappear against good ones.

Jamal belongs...now, if we were talking the 50 top character players in the league, yeah.

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Next year's top 50 will include Big Willie, Carson, and Deltha.

Two years, will include Odell, and Pollack and Madieu.


Madieu has a MUCH better shot of making next years list than Deltha.

By the way, I think it's complete BULLs**t that some of those offensive linemen made the list but Willie didn't. Ogden over Willie? Dude needs to get his head out of Baltimores ass.

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15. Michael Vick, QB, Falcons: He has to improve his passing to make a jump up this list. He's still electrifying. But he has to throw it better.

Don't understand how in one breath, he's the 15th best player as a QB and in the next, say he has to throw it better... :huh:


He's a really great surgeon, now if he could just learn how to use a scalpel....


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For those who think Pete P. is an ijit, here's a site:


Now, here's some guys who really, really, really hate Prisco! I mean hate him on a "man-these-dudes-need-to-get-a-life" level. They appear to be Pats fans and have long objected to PP's alleged dissing on Brady in favor of Manning. Check out their archives, particularly their analysis of Prisco's article on Brady's new contract, which I swear has to run about 15,000 words. :blink::wacko:

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No question Ogden is great but so is Big Willie.

The difference there is they're at opposite ends and LT is prized higher than the other side.

Could Big Willie do any better vs. Dwight Freeney than Ogden? Maybe not but can't imagine he'd do much worse than Ogden did last year. Freeney is ranked higher than Ogden and should be if man-on-man battles count for anything.

I'd venture that Ogden gave up more sacks vs. Freeney in 1 game than Big Willie gave up all of last year. Plus IIRC Big Willie only had 1 one penalty last year and that was a hold on an offsides that saved CP from getting clocked. And the fact that Big Willie has missed only 2 games in 9 years should count in how he's viewed.

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Ogden over Willie? Dude needs to get his head out of Baltimores ass.

I'm not trying to be a troll or anything but c'mon man, don't be such a homer. Ogden is the best in the game.

Ogden has been going downhill over the past three years. Prisco even aludes to that in his blurb on Ogden. Willie, on the other hand, has been completely consistant.

Ogden WAS the best in the game. He isn't now.

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