Schein: Rodgers is NFL's best
Let's move beyond the signal-callers with some other takeaways from players ranked Nos. 11 through 20.
Watt fell seven spots on the list, which feels unfair. The Houston Texans defensive end was easily the most dominant defensive force in the game last year, consistently disrupting opposing offenses from the inside and out. While his sack total fell, Watt's 2013 season was widely misunderstood. He was nearly as dominant as the year before. Few defensive linemen in NFL history have put together two seasons like Watt has over the last two years.
- Robert Quinn wasn't on the list last year. (He should have been.) Now he's No. 13. That feels a tad high, but he certainly ranks as one of the five best pure pass-rushers in the league.
- Marshawn Lynch was less productive and less efficient last season, but a strong playoff run goes a long way in these types of rankings. He moved up 10 spots to No. 14 on this list. We'll predict that Lynch will fall dramatically a year from now because he'll see fewer carries with Christine Michael in the mix.
- At this time a year ago, Luke Kuechly and Josh Gordon were players talked about as potential superstars. (Gordon was on our "Making the Leap" list last year.) Now both players have arrived, at least in the eyes of their fellow players. Kuechly deserves to be mentioned as a top-shelf defensive player, although it's a bit surprising he's already considered the best linebacker in the league. Just two wide receivers rank above Gordon on the list. Based purely on his 2013 play, that's deserved.