Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pro Football Weekly's Ratings of Steelers' Players

In its 2007 Preview, Pro Football Weekly (PFW) has only one Steeler listed among the NFL's Top 50 players, with S Troy Polamalu ranked #29 overall.

Meanwhile, QB Ben Roethlisberger is rated as the eighth-best quarterback (albeit one with upside potential), ahead of all the other first-rounders in his draft class: Philip Rivers is rated 10th-best among QB's, with Eli Manning (17th) and J.P. Losman (19th). For what its worth, the Bengals' Carson Palmer is rated as the third-best QB in the NFL. For the most part, I agree with PFW in regards to its QB rankings, except that I might move Roethlisberger up one or two slots. Rivers demonstrated tremendous potential in his first season as a starter, but he has not yet won a playoff game and has a much stronger supporting cast than Big Ben (including the NFL's best player, LaDainian Tomlinson, and PFW's #1 ranked TE, Antonio Gates).

At running back, Willie Parker is regarded as the 13th-best tailback, and Heath Miller grades out as the 14th-best tight end. Hines Ward is considered the 16th-best wide receiver, with Santonio Holmes listed among the "top veteran prospects" at that position.

As for the offensive line, Alan Faneca is rated as the fourth-best offensive guard. Marvel Smith and Max Starks are rated as the ninth- and 29th-best offensive tackles, respectively.

On the defensive side of the ball, Aaron Smith is 17th among defensive ends, with Casey Hampton considered the third-best nose tackle. At ILB James Farrior is 19th and OLB Clark Haggans is 21st at his position. Finally, the Steelers have just one cornerback warranting a mention, with Bryant McFadden a "top veteran prospect."

Feel free to submit your comments regarding any of the above rankings.


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