Quarterback

  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. Cam Newton
  3. Tom Brady
  4. Russell Wilson
  5. Andrew Luck
  6. Ben Roethlisberger
  7. Tony Romo
  8. Blake Bortles
  9. Philip Rivers
  10. Derek Carr

Breakout Candidate: Ryan Tannehill

NFL Fans have been waiting a while for Ryan Tannehill to breakout, and getting a huge new contract last season is another reason he must live up to the hype. With DeVante Parker hopefully taking a big step forward next season and Jarvis Landry establishing himself as a top wide receiver, Tannehill will have some reliable hands to throw to next season. Not to mention that the addition of Laremy Tunsil should only provide Tannehill more time in the pocket next season.

After a so-so year by Aaron Rodgers’ standards, he should be back on top next year with the return of Jordy Nelson and the constant improvement of tight end Richard Rodgers. Carson Palmer was left off of this list mainly due to age. I know that he had a fantastic season last year, but father time will finally catch up to him this year. Other players like Brady and Brees are good enough to keep going after 35 years, but I don’t see Palmer in the same echelon as them. 

Running Back

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. Le’Veon Bell
  3. Todd Gurley
  4. Devonta Freeman
  5. Ezekiel Elliott
  6. LeSean McCoy
  7. Johnathan Stewart
  8. Doug Martin
  9. Jamaal Charles
  10. C.J. Anderson

Breakout Candidate: Jeremy Langford

The fact that the Bears didn’t try to find another running back after losing Matt Forte shows that they have a lot of faith in Langford to take the bulk of their carries. I expect to see Langford gain at least 1,000 yards next season. Matt Jones was also in consideration as a prime breakout candidate. 

I just wanted to take a second to talk about the death of the running back position. When I was thinking of players for my rankings, I had to pass up on a lot of good running backs, as the NFL is now a league in which a team has two to three running backs available. Yards that used to be gained by one player are now split up between two, sometimes three running backs. For this reason, I had to leave players like LeSean McCoy, who has Karlos Williams behind him, and Jamaal Charles, who has Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware taking carries from him, outside of the top five. 

Wide Receivers

  1. Antonio Brown
  2. Julio Jones
  3. Odell Beckham Jr.
  4. Dez Bryant
  5. DeAndre Hopkins
  6. Allen Robinson
  7. Jordy Nelson
  8. A.J. Green 
  9. Demaryius Thomas 
  10. Keenan Allen

Breakout Candidate: Sammie Coates

With Martavis Bryant out for the whole season after violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, that opens the door for another Pittsburgh wide receiver to step up. Enter second-year player Sammie Coates. At Auburn, Coates was known as one of the best deep threats in college football. His mixture of size, speed, and jumping ability are extremely rare and should allow him to see plenty of targets from Big Ben next season. 

Unlike the running back position, the wide receiver position is growing more and more, as it seems like three or four players join the ranks of elite every year. The position has become so saturated with talent that a player like A.J. Green is only the eighth-best wideout in the league. My top-five stays pretty predictable, but I was about to put Allen Robinson at No. 4. All the receivers from Dez to Demaryius are all pretty much about the same skill level and I was really splitting hairs with these rankings. Don’t forget about about Keenan Allen, who always seems to be lost in the mix when talking about the best wideouts. Allen was on track for a 134 reception, 1,450 yard season before he injured his knee in week 9. 

Tight End

  1. Rob Gronkowski
  2. Tyler Eifert
  3. Greg Olsen
  4. Jordan Reed
  5. Travis Kelce
  6. Jason Witten
  7. Jimmy Graham
  8. Delanie Walker
  9. Coby Fleener
  10. Zach Ertz

Breakout Candidate: Ladarius Green

Ladarius Green spent his first four seasons in the NFL behind future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates. What the fans didn't get a chance to witness every Sunday was the fastest tight end in the entire league. At 6’6” and 238 lbs. with a lot of speed, Green resembles the new age tight end, which is pretty much just another receiver. With Heath Miller retired, the Steelers went out and got Green in free agency. Ladarius Green could end up being Big Ben’s second favorite target, behind Antonio Brown, of course.

The tight end position is actually very deep, despite the assumption by most people that the position is dying. Gronkowski is the unquestioned top tight end and will always be unless Jimmy Graham finds a way out of Seattle. It is a little depressing that last year, we, fans of the NFL, lost one of the best tight ends in our generation, to a run-based system. It was sad to watch Seahawks’ games and see that Jimmy Graham would only rack up about 40 to 50 yards a game. That is why he ranks so low on my list. I really feel like Coby Fleener will have a great season next year, as he doesn’t have to split snaps with Dwayne Allen and can finally show what he can do as the unquestioned starter on a team. 

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