Scouts Inc., in conjunction with ESPN, on Monday released its 2012 NFL Player Rankings, which features its Top 200 players list and the top players at each position.
The list is based on scouts and ESPN.com’s Matt Williamson “watching games and breaking down film” and does not include 2012 rookies.
After reviewing this year’s lists, it appears Scouts Inc. and Williamson should throw away their notes and go back into the film room.
Just two members of the Washington Redskins — outside linebacker Brian Orakpo (No. 100) and tight end Fred Davis (No. 188) — were included in the Top 200 list.
My first beef: how is linebacker London Fletcher — who last season was selected to the Pro Bowl after leading the National Football League in tackles and has started 179 straight games — not a top-200 player?
And that’s not my only problem with the lists, which can be accessed (with ESPN Insider access) by clicking here.
Have Scouts Inc. and Williamson forgotten about Redskins kicker Graham Gano, center Will Montgomery and wide receiver Pierre Garçon?
Gano is in the midst of a positional battle with veteran Neil Rackers, who, by the way, was ranked as the No. 10 overall kicker on their list.
That’s great for Rackers, but Gano is not ranked at all on the entire list of returning kickers, which includes 37 total players from a season ago.
Scouts Inc. gives a total grade for players ranging from zero to 100 (Rackers, for example, got a Scouts Inc. grade of 70). Two kickers near the bottom of this list — the Bengals’ Thomas Weber (No. 34) and free agent kicker Jake Rogers — were given a grade of 20.
And they’re better than Gano, who last season hit 31-of-41 of his field goal attempts (five were blocked) and 25-of-26 of his extra points? Oh, and he also hit a career-best 59-yarder in 2011, tied for the second-longest of the season by all NFL kickers.
Montgomery, meanwhile, is a puzzling exclusion from the list of top returning centers.
Last season, Montgomery started 14-of-16 games at center for the Redskins, but he’s not among one of the 40 returning centers listed on Scouts Inc.’s list. But Redskins’ backup center Erik Cook — who appeared in six games with two starts in 2011 — is ranked at No. 36 (with all due respect to Cook)?
Montgomery also started the last two games of the 2011 season at guard. Nope, not on that list, either.
And Garçon is coming off a career year with the Indianapolis Colts in which he caught 70 passes for 947 yards and six touchdowns. In his four-year career, he has 188 receptions for 2,519 yards and 16 touchdowns — yet he’s not listed among the top 50 returning wide receivers.
I could also ask why Adam Carriker is not among the top returning defensive linemen, but I rest my case.
I get it: I’m not an NFL scout and I don’t see many (if not most) of the little things a professional scout or coach looks at when they evaluate players at various positions.
But these few omissions blew my mind.
Anyway, here’s where Scouts Inc. ranked the two Redskins who did make the Top 200 list:
OLB Brian Orakpo
Scouts’ Ranking: 100
Scouts’ Grade: 83
“Orakpo had another excellent season for the Redskins in 2011. He is a big, strong, athletic linebacker with good instincts and an excellent motor.
He has great quickness and burst as a pass-rusher off the edge and power to leverage blockers defending the run. He is best attacking the line of scrimmage and has been one of the most durable impact players for the Redskins since entering the league in 2009.”
TE Fred Davis
Scouts’ Ranking: 188
Scouts’ Grade: 80
“Davis lacks great size and strength but is an excellent athlete. He has reliable hands and some run-after-the-catch ability. He gets separation with great quickness and speed as a route-runner.
He isn’t a physical blocker but can lock on and wall off at the point of attack. He is a versatile player who can align as an H-back or on inline tight end.”
And here’s where the rest of the Redskins ranked on Scouts Inc.’s positional rankings. Again, 2012 rookies are not included on these lists:
– Offense –
Rex Grossman ranked No. 42
Roy Helu Jr. ranked No. 37
No Redskins on list
Fred Davis ranked No. 9; Chris Cooley ranked No. 25
Trent Williams ranked No. 32; Jammal Brown ranked No. 41
Erik Cook ranked No. 36
Chris Chester ranked No. 27; Kory Lichtensteiger ranked No. 47
– Defense –
Stephen Bowen ranked No. 45
Barry Cofield ranked No. 33
Brian Orakpo ranked No. 14; London Fletcher ranked No. 21; Ryan Kerrigan ranked No. 39
Josh Wilson ranked No. 39; DeAngelo Hall ranked No. 48
Tanard Jackson ranked No. 44; Brandon Meriweather ranked No. 46; Madieu Williams ranked No. 50
– Special Teams –
Neil Rackers ranked No. 10
“Rackers is a right-footed kicker with a clean, compact delivery and does a good job of getting a quick rise on the ball to help prevent getting many kicks blocked.
He has enough of a leg to consistently get the ball into the end zone on kickoffs while still getting enough hang time to allow his coverage to get downfield.”
Sav Rocca ranked No. 29 returner
Tags: Brian Orakpo, ESPN Insider, Fred Davis, Matt Williamson, Scouts Inc., washington redskins
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