Today, we wrapped up our annual best in the business series where I give you my ten best players entering the upcoming NFL season. In case you missed it, here’s who was featured this year.
1. Cam Newton
2. J.J. Watt
3. Antonio Brown
4. Von Miller
5. Tom Brady
6. Adrian Peterson
7. Aaron Rodgers
8. Rob Gronkowski
9. Julio Jones
10. Luke Kuechly
This is never an easy list to make because so many guys are on the outside looking in. I’ll let you in on something. Here are five guys that can possibly make it next year barring any injuries.
– Khalil Mack: I raved about him in college, I was high on him come draft time that year and he’s lived up to the expectations. He’s become a top five defensive player in just his second season in the league and he’s the first guy ever to be selected All-Pro at two different positions and the scary thing is, he’s only going to get better as the seasons go along.
– Odell Beckham Jr: We’ve seen all the acrobatic catches, the one-handed grabs and how he’s developed into Eli Manning’s top receiver on the field. The numbers don’t lie either. 25 touchdowns in his first 27 games isn’t a bad stat when you think about it and he’s become one of the best wide receivers in the game today. He has the speed, the athleticism, he runs his routes very sharply and concisely and he always wants the football when it matters late in the game.
– Aaron Donald: When he was in Pittsburgh, I had never really seen too many guys on the interior of the defensive line win so many battles and he’s now doing that in the NFL, not much has changed and you better have game if you have two first names and he certainly does. He has phenomenal speed to bring down the ball-carrier and he’s developed into a leader in that Rams front seven and he’s become a defensive MVP candidate
– A.J. Green: Since the Bengals drafted him in 2011, he’s been one of the more consistent wide receivers in the NFL today. He’s a reliable target for Andy Dalton, he can take a game over by himself and he’s one of the best red-zone threats in the NFL. At 6’4, he can just go up to get the football as if he were grabbing a rebound and he always has the advantage on any corner defending him.
– Le’Veon Bell: He’s become one of my favorite backs in the league and it’s been tough for him to stay on the field because of injuries. We all know what Antonio Brown and Roethlisberger will do together. Le’Veon Bell is the engine to this offense and he can block, catch the ball in the flat and he opens up the passing game. When he’s healthy, he’s one of the very best running backs in the business.