Last year, I ranked the top 33 players on the Atlanta Falcons. This year, I’m expanding it to the best 40 players currently on the team.
Rather than simply subjectively listing the players in an order that I deem, I have come up with a scoring system. It is the same as last year’s and is my attempt to try and measure a player’s overall value.
My scoring system includes a basic grade on each player from 0-100. A score of 50 is considered to be an average player with some starting potential.
But I also factored in whether each Falcon player could start on the other 31 NFL teams as another way to measure how a player stacks up league-wide. I also included whether or not a player would be considered the best player at his position group on each team, to better factor in those positions where there are more than one starter (e.g wide receiver). I also factored whether the player could be a role player on all 32 NFL teams. In the NFL, on average there are basically 36 players that get regular reps on offense and defense on any given Sunday and thus I considered a role player to be a guy that could potentially crack that group. For example, the starting quarterback and his backup would be among that 36-man group, while the top four cornerbacks on the depth chart would also be included. An offensive linemen that could be a starter or one of the two reserves normally active on Sundays would be also be considered a role player and so on and so forth for other position groups.
These figures are then factored together in a formula to give a player a grade from 1-100.
But there were also up to ten bonus points added that would factor in a player’s youth and the position they played. Up to five points were based purely off their position. All starting quarterbacks earned a bonus of five points, while backups got four. Premium positions such as left tackle, edge-rusher and cornerback also received four bonus points. Most other positions earned three points, with the exception of kickers, punters and fullbacks.
For youth, I factored in what I considered the number of “peak” years of production left for a player. For quarterbacks, I deemed that a quality starter like Matt Ryan can maintain a high level of production until age 38. For every two years left until reaching that peak, players received one bonus point. For example, Peyton Manning is 38 years old and thus received no bonus. While Aaron Rodgers, who is only 30 years old, received four bonus points for peak production. On a different end of the spectrum, running backs were deemed to have peak potential until age 28 or 29.
It probably sounds more complicated than it was, but in the end a player should have a grade somewhere between 1-100 to determine their value although in the case of elite quarterbacks like Manning and Rodgers, their total grades reached 103 and 104, respectively.