Where the Patriots’ stars rank league-wide


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Earlier today, we hooked you up with Pro Football Weekly’s annual Top 50 list, and showed you where the three Patriots included (Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker) fit in.

But why stop there? The PFW preview issue, which is pretty comprehensive cover-to-cover, also ranks the top players at each position.

And some of the more high profile Patriots are involved. So what we’ll do here is give you the Top 3 overall at each spot, plus any other New England players on those lists (no reps at RB, TE, C, OLB PR/KR, P), and also any guys from the home team that made the “Top Veteran Prospects” (young players they could rise over the course of the season) rundowns.

Alright, let’s go …

QUARTERBACK
1) Peyton Manning, Colts
2) Drew Brees, Saints
3) Tom Brady, Patriots

RUNNING BACK
1) Chris Johnson, Tennessee
2) Adrian Peterson, Minnesota
3) Steven Jackson, St. Louis


WIDE RECEIVER
1) Andre Johnson, Houston
2) Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona
3) Brandon Marshall, Miami
4) Randy Moss, New England
7) Wes Welker, New England

TIGHT END
1) Antonio Gates, San Diego
2) Jason Witten, Dallas
3) Dallas Clark, Indianapolis

CENTER
1) Nick Mangold, Jets
2) Ryan Kalil, Carolina
3) Andre Gurode, Dallas

GUARD
1) Jahri Evans, New Orleans
2) Steve Hutchinson, Minnesota
3) Chris Snee, Giants
5) Logan Mankins, New England

OFFENSIVE TACKLE
1) Ryan Clady, Denver
2) Joe Thomas, Cleveland
3) Jake Long, Miami
25) Matt Light, New England
Top Veteran Prospects: Sebastian Vollmer

DEFENSIVE ENDS
1) Jared Allen, Minnesota
2) Mario Williams, Houston
3) Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis
9) Ty Warren, New England

DEFENSIVE TACKLES
1) Kevin Williams, Minnesota
2) Haloti Ngata, Baltimore
3) Darnell Dockett, Arizona
7) Vince Wilfork, New England
Top Veteran Prospects: Ron Brace

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INSIDE LINEBACKERS
1) Patrick Willis, San Francisco
2) DeMeco Ryans, Houston
3) Jon Beason, Carolina
7) Jerod Mayo, New England

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
1) DeMarcus Ware, Dallas
2) James Harrison, Pittsburgh
3) LaMarr Woodley, Pittsburgh

CORNERBACK
1) Darrelle Revis, Jets
2) Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland
3) Charles Woodson, Green Bay
14) Leigh Bodden, New England
Top Veteran Prospects: Darius Butler

SAFETIES
1) Ed Reed, Baltimore
2) Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh
3) Adrian Wilson, Arizona
8) Brandon Meriweather, New England
Top Veteran Prospects: Patrick Chung

RETURN SPECIALISTS
1) Josh Cribbs, Cleveland
2) DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia
3) Percy Harvin, Minnesota

KICKERS
1) Rob Bironas, Tennessee
2) Stephen Gostkowski, New England
3) Josh Brown, St. Louis

PUNTERS
1) Shane Lechler, Oakland
2) Mike Scifres, San Diego
3) Andy Lee, San Francisco