NFL Offensive Position Rankings: Is Matthew Stafford a Top-10 Quarterback?

by Alexis Kraft
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It’s that time of year when NFL fans of all capacities; analysts, broadcasters, writers, etc. are coming out with their predictions for the upcoming season. If you’ve been following along with my previous work this offseason, you know that I have a lot of fun with preseason predictions and opinions. It’s fun (for me, at least) to create discussions about these topics. As everyone knows, there is certainly no shortage of opinions. 

Today, I am going to share with you my Top-10 Best Players for each position in the NFL. There are a lot of players who I view as equally talented, but I will do my best to rank them according to who I truly believe is the best. These players will be ranked based on talent, not necessarily how I think their individual teams will perform during the upcoming season.

These rankings are also under the assumption that all of these players stay healthy the entire season. And of course, some of these opinions could be based on personal preference or a “gut” feeling or belief. NFL talent is very subjective. My rankings aren’t necessarily set in stone, but simply how I currently feel about them right now.

Quarterbacks

  1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
  2. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
  3. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
  4. DeShaun Watson, Houston Texans
  5. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
  6. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
  7. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
  8. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
  9. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens 
  10. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

Rams fans might be a little irked to see Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson one spot ahead of Matthew Stafford. While the NFC West will be controlled by the Rams, and Matthew Stafford will outperform Russell Wilson statistically this season, Wilson has a slight edge at quarterback.

Wilson is still playing at a highly elite level and is at a high performance part of his career. But don’t worry, Rams fans – Matthew Stafford should still light it up this season. 

As far as the rest of my rankings go, it should not be much of a surprise to see Aaron Rodgers ranked as the most talented quarterback in the NFL. His situation is somewhat concerning this upcoming season, but it looks like he will play.

While DeShaun Watson os ranked as the fourth most-talented quarterback in the NFL,  he should not be playing in the NFL at this point in time. As of now, it looks like he will be which is why he is number four on the list. Justin Herbert might be high for some, but it’s hard not to believe in Herbert. I even predicted that he will be Offensive Player of the Year in my 2021 NFL Season Predictions.

Running Backs

  1. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans 
  2. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
  3. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
  4. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
  5. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
  6. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
  7. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
  8. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
  9. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
  10. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks 

A  healthy Saquon Barkley is arguably the most talented running back in the NFL. However, Derrick Henry is ranked ahead of him because he has been playing on an unworldly level over the last few seasons. Should Barkley remain healthy and perform as expected, he will solidify himself the easy second choice here.

Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb, Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook are pretty easy choices for the middle chunk of rankings. The rest of the list is quite unassuming as well, with the exception of Chris Carson at the No. 10 spot. Joe Mixon was in consideration here, but based on talent, Carson gets the nod.

Wide Receivers

  1. DaVante Adams, Green Bay Packers 
  2. DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
  3. Julio Jones, Tennessee Titans   
  4. Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns
  5. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills
  6. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs
  7. AJ Brown, Tennessee Titans
  8. DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks
  9. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
  10. Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

This was the hardest list to make, by far. Some Rams fans might be upset for not having Robert Woods or Cooper Kupp on this list. However,  Kupp would undoubtedly the 11th receiver on this list. Justin Jefferson’s edge over Kupp is slight, and Kupp could outperform Jefferson this season. Allen Robinson from the Bears was also close to making this list. 

Tight Ends

  1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs  
  2. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
  3. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens 
  4. Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders 
  5. TJ Hockenson, Detroit Lions 
  6. Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons 
  7. Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
  8. Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers 
  9. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles 
  10. Hunter Henry, New England Patriots

Kyle Pitts hasn’t even played a game in the NFL yet, but let’s be real – he is arguably the best tight end prospect in NFL history. Should he play to his potential, he will be more than deserving of a spot on the list. Dallas Goedert and Hunter Henry might be surprising choices for No. 9 and No. 10, but both are on the rise and will play well this season.

The tight end position in the NFL right now  has a huge disparity between the top talents and the rest. It will be interesting to see how this season goes for NFL tight ends. 

Offensive Tackles

  1. Trent Williams, San Francisco 49ers 
  2. David Bakhtiari, Green Bay Packers
  3. Ronnie Stanley, Baltimore Ravens
  4. Ryan Ramczyk, New Orleans Saints
  5. Garrett Bolles, Denver Broncos 
  6. Tristan Wirfs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  7. Andrew Whitworth, Los Angeles Rams 
  8. Laremy Tunsil, Houston Texans 
  9. Lane Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles 
  10. Mekhi Becton, New York Jets

The offensive tackle position is a tricky one to create rankings for, because it’s not the most glamorous position in football. However, every person on this list, when fully healthy, does an incredibly solid job of protecting their quarterback.

It might be surprising to some to have Garrett Bolles ranked so high, but he performed incredibly well last season. For that reason, he moves into the top-10. Lane Johnson was a bit of a tough choice here, but should he remain healthy, he will play very well for the Eagles in 2021.

Offensive Guards

  1. Quenton Nelson, Indianapolis Colts 
  2. Zack Martin, Dallas Cowboys  
  3. Brandon Scherff, Washington Football Team
  4. Joe Thuney, Kansas City Chiefs 
  5. Ali Marpet, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
  6. Joel Bitonio, Cleveand Browns 
  7. Brandon Brooks, Philadelphia Eagles 
  8. Michael Onwenu, New England Patriots
  9. Shaq Mason, New England Patriots 
  10. Wyatt Teller, Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots are very well suited at the guard position. Both teams have two guards that rank in the Top-10 in the NFL. The undeniable choice for the most talented guard in the NFL is Quenton Nelson, who is a level above the rest on the list.

After Nelson, it’s a pretty even competition between Nos. 2-7. It might surprise some to have Michael Onwenu ranked so high. However, if you watched him play last season, it is pretty easy to see that he is solidifying himself as one of the more solid guards in the NFL.

Centers

  1. Rodney Hudson, Arizona Cardinals 
  2. Corey Linsley, Los Angeles Chargers
  3. JC Tretter, Cleveland Browns
  4. Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles 
  5. Frank Ragnow, Detroit Lions
  6. Ryan Kelly, Indianapolis Colts 
  7. Brandon Linder, Jacksonville Jaguars   
  8. David Andrews, New England Patriots 
  9. Erik McCoy, New Orleans Saints 
  10. Chase Roullier, Washington Football Team

While this list was a bit tricky to put together,  Rodney Hudson is the best center in the NFL by far. The rest of the list is pretty close. Everyone else on my list had pretty high PFF grades last season, and I expect them all to repeat that again in 2021.

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