This is definitely not a fantasy football question, although the format is exactly the same What if you could throw every current NFL player back into the draft and start picking the teams from the start. Who would be the first player taken overall and what positions would be the most highly valued? Let's look at what would be my 'Top Ten Draft Picks of Current NFL Players,' counting down from 10th through 1st:
10. Ray Lewis, LB (Baltimore Ravens): Ray might be on the downhill side of his career but still was 6th in tackles in the NFL. However, his biggest contribution to any team would be his leadership not only on the field but also in the locker room.
9. Ed Reed, FS (Baltimore Ravens): These first two selections are not the result of "nepotism," as Reed makes every NFL QB locate him on the field before snapping the ball. Depsite missing the first six games of 2010, he still led the NFL with eight interceptions.
8. Troy Polamalu, SS (Pittsburgh Steelers): Ravens' fans might scream that Ed is a better player, but Troy is three years younger and a more complete player even though they play slightly different positions. Polamalu is a disruptive force along the line of scrimmage as well as in the defensive backfield.
7. Chris Johnson, RB (Tennessee Titans): CJ is a threat t go all the way every time he touches the ball. Give him a decent offensive line and he will run for 1,500 yards and open up the passing game for any team.
6. Ben Roethlisberger, QB (Pittsburgh Steelers):What, you say, Big Ben on this list? Sorry fellow Ravens' fans, but all this dude does is find a way to win year after year. Eight years in the league and three Super Bowl appearances? The guy makes everyone around him better.
5. Michael Vick, QB (Philadelphia Eagles): Vick proved last year that he has not lost a step in speed but also has matured into a smarter QB, not just a great athlete. His athleticism is a nightmare to gameplan for and at 30 years old, will only get better, which has to be a scary thought for opponents.
4. Peyton Manning, QB (Indianapolis Colts): Yes, like Ray Lewis, Peyton is definitely on the downside of his great career (35 years old), but that leadership ability and having a coach on the field will also make the other players around him better. Manning still has a few solid years left in him and having him under center automatically makes any team a playoff contender.
3. Aaron Rodgers, QB (Green Bay Packers): Do we need to add "Super Bowl Champions" to this? At just 27 years old, Rodgers might actually be the first player taken since he has as many as ten more years to lead a team back to the Super Bowl. However, with only three real seasons under his belt, he deserves this ranking but I could not just hand him either of the top two slots.
2. Drew Brees, QB (New Orleans Saints): Brees falls into that category of a great veteran QB with outstanding leadership skills. Only 32 years old, Drew can not only lead his team down the field and into the post season, but get them psyched up before the game as good as any player not named Ray Lewis!
1. Tom Brady, QB (New England Patriots): Try if you want, but you just can't argue with this top pick. Four Super Bowls, three titles, two MVP's and seven Pro Bowls. Not bad for a sixth round draft pick, eh? At 33 years old, he still had the highest QB rating in the NFL in 2010 and despite his team's early exits in the playoffs the past two years, he remains the best QB in the league and if healthy, could play anywhere from 3-5 more productive seasons, with playoff appearances every year.
Notice how the top six picks were all quarterbacks and there was only three defensive players picked, none in the trenches on either side of the ball? When starting a team that could win right now, while the linemen are long term answers, the QB is the short term solution to winning right now.
Let the debate begin!