We break past the mid field point of the CHEAP SEATS‘ countdown of the top 50 in the NFL today. There have been some big time names put out already and it’s doing nothing but picking up steam. At this point, it’s almost in the area where everybody is a perennial Pro Bowler & All-Pro. For the most part these are the guys that are extra push into the playoff contention for their franchises, with a couple of guys that ARE their franchise. Let’s get into it, with one of those guys that carries two teams with him: the one whose jersey he wears and the one he’s playing…

All too often its "Steven vs. The World" in downtown St. Louis...but he's more than up for it.

30. Steven Jackson-Running Back-St. Louis Rams: (2009-1,416 rush Yards, 4 TD)

There isn’t one player who means more to their team than Jackson doesDespite everybody in the stadium knowing that they were a one trick pony, with Jackson being that trick, he still managed to finish second in the NFL in rushing yards and added 51 catches as well. Not sure how much longer he can sustain such a workload and beating, but his value cannot be measured to the Rams and rookie quarterback Sam Bradford.

29. Darren Sharper-Safety-New Orleans Saints: (2009-74 tackles, 51 solo, 9 interceptions)

Sharper’s impact on the New Orleans defense was just as big as anything that happened on offense. His game changing presence was invaluable in the Saints’ first Super Bowl win. His nine interceptions led the NFL, including three returned for touchdowns. He set a single season record for interception return yardage in the process.

28. Maurice Jones-Drew -Running Back-Jacksonville Jaguars: (2009-1,391 rush yards, 15 TD)

He took full advantage of his first season as feature back for the Jags, finding the endzone 16 total times. He totaled over 1,700 yards of total offense and was up to the beating of taking on the full-time job of Jags back. One of the most versatile backs in football, his 53 receptions were second on Jacksonville and he became the second player to rush for two scores of over 75 yards in one game, joining Barry Sanders.

At 5'8, Jones-Drew's mixture of speed and power makes him a challenge to bring down anywhere.

27. Steve Hutchinson-Guard-Minnesota Vikings

Long considered the standard for guards in the NFL, Hutchinson enjoyed another stellar season in 2009 and continued his spot as the standard at the position. He cleared the paths for Pro Bowl seasons for Adrian Peterson and Brett Favre on his watch, which landed him his ninth nod to the game himself. Anchors one of the league’s toughest lines with tackles Bryant McKinnie and Phil Loadholt.

26. Julius Peppers-Defensive End-Chicago Bears: (2009-42 tackles, 36 solo, 10.5 sacks)

Despite being in midst of a two-year long contract dispute with the Panthers, Peppers put up his usual Pro Bowl performance in 2009 and could be even more active after finally ending his disputes with Carolina and moving to Chicago for 2o10. A quick and powerful rushing end, his pairing with Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs for the Bears could mean a rebirth to the powerful Bears defenses of a few years ago.

25. Philip Rivers-Quarterback-San Diego Chargers: (2009-4,254 pass yards, 28 TD, 104.4 rating)

Rivers is beginning to make division titles look routine, as he led the Chargers to a fourth consecutive division title in four years of starting. He also passed 4,000 yards passing for the second consecutive season and made his second Pro Bowl and he has the tools at hand to make many more. With LaDainain Tomlinson moving on the Jets, this is indisputably Rivers’ franchise now.

24. Ryan Clady-Tackle-Denver Broncos

One of the most effective blockers in-game, Clady’s first two seasons have been monumental. Having set the record for the most games to start a career without surrendering a sack (20) and grabbing two Pro Bowl nods in two years, the sky is the limit for him now. Despite sustaining  a knee during the off-season, I would bet on more of the same in 2010.

23. Jake Long-Tackle-Miami Dolphins

Long has more than justified his #1 overall selection in the 2008 Draft and has continued to anchor one of the strongest, and unique, running attacks in football. He has shown himself to be a balanced blocker as well, surrendering only six sacks total over his first two seasons. He has two Pro Bowl appearances to his credit and is the building block for the Dolphins attempted resurgence in the “Wildcat” formation and around young quarterback Chad Henne.

Despite the headlines going to the Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams combo, the massive Long makes Miami go.

22. Kevin Williams-Defensive Tackle-Minnesota Vikings: (2009-30 tackes, 22 solo, 6 sacks)

Part of the best interior defensive line tandem in the NFL with Pat Williams, Kevin the most versatile of any player at the position in the NFL. He made his third straight, and fifth overall, Pro Bowl in 2009 and led Minnesota to having the second best rush defense in football, down a slot from their three consecutive #1 finishes from 2006-08.

21. Mario Williams-Defensive End-Houston Texans: (2009-43 tackles, 38 solo, 9 sacks)

The world called the Texans crazy when they took him over Reggie Bush in the 2006 Draft, now two Pro Bowl trips and 39.5 sacks later, Williams is getting the last laugh. He has played every game in young career and is the catalyst in young and improving Texans defense, that is on the cusp of making themselves annual players in the AFC playoff picture.

The freakishly athletic Williams is the face of up and coming Texans defense.

  1. Score Board says:

    Panthers RB Stewart fully healed…

    I found your entry interesting to I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

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