- Matt Williamson, ESPN.com
After watching games and breaking down film, Scouts Inc. has evaluated and graded more than 2,500 NFL players heading into the 2011 season. Here's how the top 200 players stacked up.
No one would dare say ranking these players is an easy chore. In fact, it's a brutal chore. But it's pretty obvious in viewing the top of this list as to what has the most value. Simply put, quarterbacks make the league go round. If every general manager were to get together and hold a draft, with every current player as a true free agent, quarterbacks would own the first round. But from there, you can learn a lot.
Next on the list are players who are essential to the passing game, like pass-protectors, pass-rushers and superb cover men. He doesn't get the air-time, but Joe Thomas is far more dominant at a key position in the passing game than many quarterbacks are. And a great quarterback can make his receivers look better, but that's a two-way street. Elsewhere, you may see some players you barely recognize, but don't discount how great a player Kyle Williams is because he's been playing on a struggling Buffalo Bills team.
From there, just look for dominance. Is there really anyone better at what they do than Darrelle Revis? Well, you could certainly have a case to say that Revis' teammate, Nick Mangold, is as good at what he does as Revis is based on what he's asked to do. (Thus making this whole ranking business very difficult.)
In the end, this list is all about value. It's about the skills and traits most coveted on a football team to help them become winners.
Since being drafted by the Houston Texans in the first round of the 2004 draft, Babin has struggled to live up to expectations primarily because of his inability to stay healthy for a full season. He started all 16 games for Tennessee in 2010.
He finished the year with 58 tackles and a career-high 12.5 sacks. He is explosive off the ball and shows good acceleration off the edge with the ability to bend and turn the corner to collapse the pocket.
He is adequate when dropping into the short zones for the zone blitz but is not athletic enough to be a full-time linebacker. He is more effective as a pass-rusher than he is when trying to set the edge and play the run when at the point of attack and could use additional bulk and strength.
Scouts Inc. ranks the top 200 players in the NFL in its annual Big Book. This is the list for players Nos. 176-200.