Jay C. Brandriet
This is the goal. I need to pick 53 NFL players to fill out a roster. I have to get ten guys for a practice squad. The pool of athletes I’m choosing from is from 1980 to 2018. Let’s say they are playing a season for me, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. This is not a list of the 63 best players I’ve seen. I’m trying to build a team. Here are the NFL player’s I’d trust the most.
Tom Brady/Joe Montana/Aaron Rodgers/Steve Young
I rank Elway higher than Young all time. In this case I’m mixing it up with a lefty, and a beyond scrimmage runner like Steve Young. Rodgers can be my “hail mary” guy. I would have used John there as well.
Walter Payton/Marshall Faulk/Terrell Davis/LaDainian Tomlinson/Marcus Allen
Payton is the best football player on this team. T.D. and L.T. can carry the load. Faulk stretches the field and will excel in the slot. Marcus Allen can play full back and gets it done in short yardage.
Jerry Rice/Randy Moss/Calvin Johnson/Michael Irvin/Larry Fitzgerald
The first three are the best I’ve seen do it. Irvin is the groups motivator. Fitzgerald beat out Cris Carter by an inch.
Tony Gonzalez/Rob Gronkowski/Jason Witten
Witten will also help make up for not having a traditional full back.
Larry Allen/John Hannah/Anthony Munoz/Bruce Matthews/Jonathan Ogden/Gary Zimmerman/Randall McDaniel/Dermontti Dawson
Devin Hester/Mark Kelso/Adam Vinatieri/Shane Lechler
Bill Parcells/Bill Walsh/Bill Belichick/Jimmy Johnson
Reggie White/J.J. Watt/Warren Sapp/Bruce Smith/Randy White/Aaron Donald/Michael Strahan/Julius Peppers/Ted Washington
Peppers will block your field goal attempt. I needed a classic plugger, and thought of going with Vince Wilfork. Ted Washington will provide that instead at 6’5″, 365 lbs.
Ray Lewis/Lawrence Taylor/Derrick Brooks/DeMarcus Ware/Patrick Willis/Luke Kuechly
Lewis and Brooks can play that rugged middle role. Taylor and Ware will kill it off the edge. Willis and Kuechly give me the modern mobile backers.
Deion Sanders/Darrelle Revis/Champ Bailey/Aeneas Williams/Ronde Barber
Ronnie Lott/Ed Reed/Troy Polamalu/Rod Woodson
These dudes are impressive. They can all play the entire defensive backfield. Most versatile unit on this trust squad. They can block and tackle on special teams. Some can play running back and receiver. If Reed touches the ball, he’s magic. Barber can cover the Welker types. Lott and Polamalu can play spot linebacker duty, and a couple can throw.
Peyton Manning/Sterling Sharpe/Tony Boselli/Mark Bavaro
Derrick Thomas/Darrell Green/Mike Singletary/Charles Woodson
Von Miller/Morten Anderson
I need Green’s speed and Singletary’s voice. Woodson is All-Pro at everything. Bavaro is just a brawler you want on your side.
I’m curious which players you would trust.
Jay C. Brandriet