The NFL has a ton of brilliant talent and every team has at least some star players. Some teams have multiple stars and the pecking order can sometimes be confusing. Fans and analysts argue which players are more valuable on these lucky teams. Well, I’m here to throw my hat into the ring. I’ve selected the best player on every NFL team and have thrown in some honorable mentions.
Arizona Cardinals: David Johnson RB
Along with Le’Veon Bell, Johnson possesses special dual threat ability. If any player in the NFL right now is going to record 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season, Johnson (or Bell) would be the man to do it. While the team’s offense can run through Larry Fitzgerald and the defense is commanded by Patrick Peterson, Johnson is the Cardinals engine. Without him the team isn’t going anywhere.
Atlanta Falcons: Julio Jones WR
I know that Matt Ryan was the league’s MVP just a little while ago, but when Jones is hot the Falcons cannot lose, and when he’s off it is reflected in his team’s play. No player on the Falcons is more effective or scares defenses more than a healthy Jones.
Baltimore Ravens: Terrell Suggs LB
I love getting this chance to go old school. Suggs is still THE force to be reckoned with on the Ravens defense. His ability to get to the quarterback has made him one of the best pass rushers of his era and he still produced in the 2017 season despite being 35 years old. I also gave consideration to long overlooked safety, Eric Weddle, and C.J. Mosley. I imagine Mosely will take over this spot within the next few years.
Buffalo Bills: LeSean McCoy RB
Shady McCoy hit the 10,000 career rushing mark last season, juking his way into the record books. Without him the Bills have no offense, and no chance of winning. McCoy is the master of running through the snow and his distinctive running style separated him from the rest of the players at his position.
Carolina Panthers: Luke Kuechly LB
Kuechly has battled injuries over the course of his career, but he is still the best middle linebacker in the NFL today. His instincts are just on another level and that allows him to always be around the ball making miraculous plays. Kuechly plays the run and pass games on a different level than most normal players and he can rush the passer too.
Chicago Bears: Jordan Howard RB
The Bears have been underwhelming for the last few years, but that’s not Howard’s fault. He’s the best player on the team by far and his production just outclasses his teammates. While he isn’t a top tier running back, no current Bear is his equal.
Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green WR
This was a close race between Green and Geno Atkins, but you can see who won out. Green is the Bengals offense and he has been one of the best ten receivers in the game since he entered the league. Green’s incredible toe tapping ability and range as a pass catcher makes him almost impossible to defend.
Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett DE
I saw enough from him last year to put him here. Jarvis Landry and Josh Gordon are a dynamic receiving duo, but Garrett will be one of the best pass rushers in the league for years. I’d even put him on the same level with Khalil Mack. It’s worth mentioning that Joe Thomas was in this spot for the past decade or so, before he retired this offseason.
Dallas Cowboys: Zack Martin OG
There are so many choices here and I can’t possibly satisfy everyone with whoever I pick. Right now Martin is the best guard in football, and I think he’s the best player on the Cowboys. Of course, Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith are both right there with Martin. Both are top five players at their positions and are incredible players. With these three guys the Cowboys have to win a playoff game sometime soon right?
Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford QB
Without Stafford the Lions would be nothing. He’s the center piece that makes that team go, even if he has never led them to a postseason victory. While Darius Slay played great last year, I still give Stafford the edge. I’m not saying Stafford is a top tier quarterback, he isn’t, but he is the Lions star.
Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers QB
This is one of several obvious picks on this list. Rodgers carries the Packers, without him they collapse like they did last season. He’s a perennial MVP candidate and one of the purest passers in NFL history. There isn’t another player on the roster that I would even consider for this spot.
Houston Texans: J.J. Watt DE
He hasn’t been at 100% in a long time, we don’t even know if he can even be the dominant player he once was again. So this pick may be wishful thinking or just pure nostalgia, but the healthy Watt I remember was an MVP level player. I also gave DeAndre Hopkins consideration for this spot, as he was the team’s best player last season when Watt and Deshaun Watson were injured.
Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck QB
When he’s healthy Luck turns the Colts into a playoff contender. We saw what happened without him in 2017. If anything, the Colts struggles only proved how good Luck was to be able to win with that team. Hopefully, he gets healthy and returns to form in 2018.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey CB
At his current pace Ramsey will become the best cornerback in the NFL shortly and take the torch from Patrick Peterson. Telvin Smith and Calias Campbell are also great Jaguars, but Ramsey will be the best at his position. He’s just one of those players who will ascend to another level.
Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry S
He may be coming off of another season lost to injury, but he is the heart of the Chiefs defense. He’s also a top safety in the NFL and a future Hall of Famer. Berry is dynamic enough to cover players like Rob Gronkowski man to man and then drop back in zone and make crazy plays from that area too. The Chiefs do have a lot of other stars, like Justin Houston on the defense or more notably Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill on offense. Out of all of them, Kelce was the closest player to taking Berry’s spot on this list.
Miami Dolphins: Reshad Jones S
A younger Cameron Wake would have been given this spot, but Jones is more than deserving. He can drop back in coverage, play the run, and even rush the passer. His complete skill set is very similar to the next player on this list.
Minnesota Vikings: Harrison Smith S
How about that, three safeties in a row. The Vikings are a very good team overall and have a depth of stars to choose from for this spot, but Smith is the best. He does everything for the Vikings on defense and earned First Team All-Pro honors in 2017.
New England Patriots: Tom Brady QB
Considering that he was the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2017, putting anyone other than Brady here would be treasonous to the football world. Brady has lost some of his usual accuracy and his deep ball isn’t what it once was, but you try leading a team to a Super Bowl at age 40. No one could’ve pulled it off but Brady.
New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees QB
While I never considered not putting Brees here, the Saints do have a wealth of other great players like Michael Thomas, Marshon Lattimore, and Cameron Jordan. Still, Brees is about to set the record for career passing yards and has been Mr. New Orleans since he won the franchise it’s only Super Bowl.
New York Giants: Odell Beckham WR
He missed last year. Some people believe he is criminally overrated. He can be immature and a head case. These are all cases that can be made against this selection, but even after I took these into account I still believe Beckham is the best player on the Giants. If anyone, Saquon Barkley could challenge him for this spot in the coming years.
New York Jets: Jamal Adams S
Adams was only a rookie in 2017, but he was easily the best player on the talent depleted Jets. He was all over the field and more than lived up to his selection at the sixth spot in the 2017 draft. It’s looking like he will become the core of a new group of young Jets as the team continues to rebuild.
Oakland Raiders: Khalil Mack DE
Of course quarterback Derek Carr deserves some consideration, but Mack is one of the best pass rushers in the entire league and can take entire games over by himself. He’s an athletic freak that is very rarely seen and will anchor the Raiders defense for the next decade as the team looks to return to its’ championship days.
Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz QB
I’m one of the people who believe Wentz would have won MVP if he didn’t get hurt. That makes this pick easy. Wentz is the most talented quarterback of the younger generation of players beginning to rise to stardom in the NFL.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Antonio Brown WR
On a team loaded with Pro Bowlers, this pick was surprisingly easy. Brown is the best receiver in the NFL right now and has put together a string of historic seasons. Where his place in NFL history is, is uncertain, but he’s a future Hall of Fame player. You know a guy has to be pretty incredible to outrank players like Le’Veon Bell and Ben Roethlisberger.
Los Angeles Chargers: Philip Rivers QB
Rivers is still finishing in the mid-4,000s in yardage despite being 36 years old. Frankly no player is more important or more dominant on the Chargers than their quarterback. With so many successful years under his belt, Rivers has to be starving for a championship. Joey Bosa will be the best player on the team whenever Rivers decides to hang up his helmet and cleats.
San Francisco 49ers: Jimmy Garoppolo QB
I think Garoppolo will be good, I’m just not sure how good. Him being here is honestly more of a reflection of the lack of talent on the 49ers roster maybe outside of Joe Staley and a recovering Richard Sherman. If 2018 goes sideways for Garoppolo one of those two will take his spot here.
Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson QB
Everyone should have seen this coming, is what I thought I’d say. Actually I struggled with this pick. Earl Thomas has been the best safety of his era and Bobby Wagner is the second best middle linebacker in the NFL. It was tough to stick with Wilson, but I did. After all, he was an MVP candidate last year and he’s been carrying the offense since Marshawn Lynch left the team.
Los Angeles Rams: Aaron Donald DT
Donald is the most dominant defender in the game and some people even argue he should be considered for the league’s MVP award. Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, Marcus Peters, Andrew Whitworth, and Aqib Talib are impressive, but Donald is just on another level. Now only a resurgent J.J. Watt has a chance to challenge him for superiority on that side of the ball.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lavonte David LB
David has never been given enough credit for all of the work he’s done. More vocal and visible players like Gerald McCoy, who is a great player, tend to overshadow how great David is. Somehow, he’s only been to one Pro Bowl in his career. It’s time people start to see him for the super star he truly is.
Tennessee Titans: Jurrell Casey DT
Casey is another player who doesn’t get nearly enough credit. He has literally been the center of the Titans defense for the better part of a decade and can be utilized in the pass rush or against the run. 2017 standout Kevin Byard could make a play for this spot in the not-so-distant future.
Washington Redskins: Trent Williams OT
Playing in the trenches isn’t as glorious as playing at most other positions, but Williams has managed to become a master of his job. On one of the most inconsistent and sometimes volatile teams in the NFL, Williams has remained a steadfast, tough star. If only the Redskins could capitalize on his hard work. Outside linebacker, Ryan Kerrigan, was an extremely close second for this spot. After all, he recorded 13 sacks in 2017.