Keith over at Inside the Irish has posted everyone’s picks for the top 5 players on the ND roster. He’s also got links for all of the other picks we did before that too. Check it out.
- The Walls thing: If you’ve read all my posts on the matter, I sort of can’t believe I left Walls off my list. And not because I didn’t think he didn’t deserve to be in the top 25. I just completely forgot the guy. I didn’t painstakingly go over the roster and compare ever guy’s numbers. I simply built a list from memory 25, slotting them where I thought they should go as I thought up the names. I probably considered, total, about 35 dudes. I figured a good rule of thumb for building the list was that if I couldn’t just bring them up from memory, they shouldn’t make the list no matter how I could spin their stats in their favor. So I guess given that rule of thumb, my philosophy dicates that Walls doesn’t belong on the list. Still, it feels more like a failure of memory. So who would I kick off the list if I placed Walls on it? Would I just kick #25 down to “also receiving votes?” Nah. I’d probably ditch the kicker.
- Darius Fleming: I thought I might get some flack over putting Darius up so high in my rankings, but Pat bailed me out a bit, also giving Darius a #5 ranking. We ran the numbers and about every 18 minutes of field time the kid got last year, he made a tackle for a loss. The defense needs play-makers like that. Get 3-4 kids on the field who can match that TFL rate, and suddenly you’re racking up TFLs.
- Michael Floyd is #1: I’m actually a little surprised to see that Floyd got the #1 ranking in 4 of the 6 ballots. I picked him too, largely because when I look at the kid’s ability to play and perform in all facets of his position, I feel he’s more developed than Rudolph at this time. But that might be a bit unfair to Rudolph, given that he’s got to learn to do real blocking – a skill that’s far more difficult than any single skill a WR ever has to develop.
- Zeke Motta is a standout: I made only one player selection that nobody else placed on their rankings at all, and that was Zeke Motta. Like I said in my blurb, this was almost entirely hunch based. I figured I should take at least one flyer if I could stand it, and this is it. I know the current coaching staff likes him, and I also know that Tenuta liked him. Say what you will about the performance of the Tenuta/Brown bastardization of a defensive system, but Tenuta’s known a fair number of excellent defensive players in his time. I’ll still take notice if the ornery son of a gun has something nice to say about a kid.
- Manti Te’o: Mine was the only ballot that didn’t put Manti in the top 5. Pretty surprised by this. There are only a handful of defensive plays from 2009 that make me salivate when I think of them, and Manti’s featured in nearly all of them, but truth be told, I initially slotted him in at #4, and he just kept getting pushed down the list by the guys who I now have above him in my rankings. I hope that means I have a very high opinion on the guys in the 6-1 spots. I’ve got a strong suspicion that by year’s end, I’ll have him in the top 5 though.
Frank of UHND has some thoughts on his ballot and the overall rankings too, so go check that out as well. Soon as I see other analysis, I’ll let ya know.