Offensive player rankings, Week 5: Todd Gurley runs into top 10

With the 2017 NFL season underway, former No. 1 overall pick and NFL Network analyst David Carr takes a look at all offensive players and ranks his top 15. Rankings will be solely based on this season's efforts starting this week. Now, let's get to it -- the Week 5 pecking order is below.

NOTE: Arrows reflect changes from last week's rankings.

Brady played well enough (307 passing yards, two TDs, 0 INTs and a 104.6 passer rating) to reach 186 career wins, which would have tied him with Brett Favre and Peyton Manning for the most in NFL history -- but the Patriots' D couldn't slow Cam Newton. In his 18th season, Brady is still the quarterback you want late in the game, as he orchestrated a game-tying drive with 3:14 remaining in the fourth quarter. Regardless of the Patriots' 2-2 start, Brady leads the league in passing yards (1,399) while boasting a 10:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 116.6 pass rating at age 40.

If I were Brown, I'd be frustrated, too. Brown's been open and hasn't gotten the ball. Ben Roethlisberger has been out of rhythm, but he's got to find a way to get Brown the ball.

Rodgers played Thursday without injured tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga. Then running backs Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams and wide receiver Davante Adams all suffered injuries during the game. Even so, Rodgers played like he normally does in prime time, throwing for four touchdowns and recording a 128.0 passer rating in last week's win over the Bears.

Hunt ran for 101 yards on "Monday Night Football" -- but he could've run for zero, and he still would've been the league rushing leader entering Week 5. Just think about that. He's come up big for the Chiefs in the season's first quarter, racking up 502 rushing yards and 659 yards from scrimmage. The offense will continue to lean on this rookie, as he looks like the person who could carry K.C. far.

Matt Ryan's favorite receiver hasn't scored a touchdown yet in 2017, and he totaled 30 yards on three receptions before exiting Sunday's game with a hip injury. But make no mistake, when watching Jones on All-22, there are always two defenders on him. Defenses understand the threat he is. If his injury continues to affect his production, though, he'll move out of the top five.

Gronk played well Sunday (four catches for 80 yards). He had open looks. And, most importantly, he's healthy. He wasn't able to get into the end zone in the Patriots' loss, but he's still one of the best tight ends in the NFL.

After a slow first half, Brees flipped a switch and led the Saints to their second straight win. He finished with 268 passing yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 104.5 passer rating. Brees has yet to throw a pick in 2017 and has a season passer rating of 108.3. I honestly think the Saints' offense is better when they keep Adrian Peterson on the sideline. Peterson's a talented player, but there is no rhythm to the offense when he's on the field.

Bell looked like he found his rhythm Sunday and he's only going to get better. After averaging 21.7 touches per game through his first three games, Bell had 39 touches (35 carries for 144 yards and two scores) in Week 4. If he continues to play at a high level, he can help an up-and-down Ben Roethlisberger find his stride. Bell should be the focus of this Steelers' offense again.

Stafford wasn't overly impressive against a stout Minnesota defense, but his poise and ability to keep the offense out of trouble warrants his place in the top 10. The Lions play another good defense in Week 5, so Stafford must raise his mediocre play from Week 4 if he wants to lead the Lions over Carolina.

First-year head coach Sean McVay is utilizing Gurley in the passing game, and his star running back has been great. There's no question that Gurley is talented, but his success is in part a credit to how McVay is using him. Through the first quarter of the season, Gurley has 86 carries for 362 yards and four touchdowns and 20 receptions for 234 yards and three touchdowns. He's having himself a year and is a top-10 player based on what he's shown so far.

Diggs is a route master, and his five-catch, 98-yard outing put him atop the league for receiving yards (391) in 2017. Minnesota quarterback Case Keenum is struggling to stay consistent, but Diggs is finding ways to be consistently open. He'll become the focal point in Minnesota, with running back Dalvin Cook out.

Last year's league MVP didn't have two of his receiving weapons -- Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu -- in the second half of Sunday's loss, and he couldn't quite get the job done. That's the difference between Ryan and the quarterbacks above him, especially Brady and Rodgers. The truly elite QBs are able to adjust and find other ways to get in the end zone.

He's been the constant for Houston's offense since 2013, and after waiting ... and waiting ... and waiting, he finally has a quarterback that looks like a long-term solution. Hopkins' production has steadily improved every week, with his best performance coming in Sunday's 57-14 trouncing of the Tennessee Titans. He compiled 10 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. Hopkins is somebody defenses must account for, and he'll reap the benefits of having a dynamic, dual-threat quarterback in Deshaun Watson.

Freeman does so many things for the Falcons' offense, running hard on the ground and getting open in the passing game. The fourth-year pro leads the league in rushing touchdowns (five) and will continue to be a huge part of Atlanta's offensive game plan going forward.

Smith is nothing flashy, but he doesn't have to be. He is the steady quarterback Andy Reid's group needs. There are plenty of playmakers on this offense, so if Smith takes care of the ball and continues to move it downfield, the Chiefs stay in prime position.

Dropped out: Derek Carr, QB, Raiders (previously No. 6); Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers (10); Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants (11).


Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers: He just hasn't impressed me lately. He's come up with some big plays when the Steelers have needed them, but his accuracy is subpar.

Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants: You can definitely tell when OBJ is active for the Giants. The team plays with more energy and the offense is more effective. Even so, Big Blue is 0-4. Beckham's been OK (20 catches for 205 yards and two TDs) in three games, but it doesn't wow me enough to put him in the top 15.

Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers: Being injured and away from the spotlight has helped Allen in 2017. People forget how good he is as a receiver, but he recorded five catches for 138 yards in Sunday's loss. He's consistently getting open and is a bright spot for a struggling Chargers team.

Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams: For the first time in his career, Goff has recorded back-to-back games with multiple passing touchdowns and zero interceptions. He's taking care of the ball and coming into his own.

Follow David Carr on Twitter @DCarr8.

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