New England Patriots and Denver Broncos: Ranking The 30 Best Players

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Tier One (30 points): Players 5-1.

5. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos

If I’m starting a team tomorrow, and I have my choice at wide receiver, Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green are the only two receivers I’m taking ahead of Demaryius Thomas– that’s how good Thomas has been to this point in his career. He’s young; he’s explosive; unlike many wide receivers, he has no baggage, on, or off the field; most important, he’s a model of health, having played in all 16 games during the last two seasons … You can bash Josh McDaniels all you want Denver fans, but he nailed the Thomas pick.

*As a University of Georgia fan, I cringe at the thought of Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas (both from the state of Georgia) choosing Georgia Tech over UGA. Sigh.*

4. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots

For the moment, let’s shelf the injury disclaimer: he’s the best tight end in the NFL. Period. End of story. He’s a red zone nightmare. He’s an elite inline blocker (unlike Jimmy Graham and Julius Thomas). Unfortunately, his career has been marred by injury. Here’s to hoping for a healthy 2014 season.

3. Darrelle Revis, Patriots

There’s two things I’m confident I’ll be saying by the end of the 2014 season: (1) Darrelle Revis is once again the best corner in the NFL, and (2) the Patriots won their fourth Super Bowl because they went out and signed Darrelle Revis through free agency. Needless to say, the Demaryius Thomas versus Darrelle Revis matchup should be a delight to watch.

2. Peyton Manning, Broncos

Seriously, flip a coin between Manning and Brady. They’re both phenomenal. My license plate reads “TB-12” though, so I can’t not put him ahead of Manning. I swear I’m objective.

1. Tom Brady, Patriots

*See above.*

Final Score: New England – 225, Denver – 230

In closing, a couple of thoughts:

1. The Patriots pride themselves in building a deep roster. Because of that, they generally have more talent in the ‘middle’ of the roster compared to most teams. That said, it’s encouraging to see little discrepancy between the Patriots and Broncos in terms of ‘high-end’ talent.

2. Players that just missed the cut: (1) Tommy Kelly, (2)

Armond Armstead

, (3) Danny Amendola, (4) Emmanuel Sanders, (5) Alfonzo Dennard, (6) Shane Vereen.