Earlier this month, we mentioned how the fine folks at Pro Football Focus think very highly of Bills DT Kyle Williams. VERY highly. As in “think he’s the third-best player in the entire league” highly. PFF’s Khaled Elsayed recently wrote a defense of Williams’s high ranking for any doubters.
I love PFF and the work they’re doing. We’ve talked a bit about the site before, but basically PFF’s mission is to break down every single NFL snap, player by player, and truly evaluate each NFL competitor. The results sometimes fly completely in the face of ”conventional” NFL wisdom. Definitely worth a look if you’re interested in a different way to analyze NFL action.
Anyway, in a not at all surprising story, the “mainstream” bloggers at ESPN.com don’t think nearly as highly of Williams. In fact, they don’t really think about him at all.
The eight divisional bloggers at ESPN.com recently took a poll amongst themselves to see who they consider the best defensive player in the league. They each picked a top ten. Williams did not receive a single vote. Troy Polamalu won the poll, followed by DeMarcus Ware, Darrelle Revis, Patrick Willis, Clay Matthews, James Harrison, Nnamdi Asomugha, Julius Peppers, Haloti Ngata, and Ed Reed.
I can’t really argue too much with that list: those are all great players. But it just goes to show Williams has a long way to go before gaining mainstream respect.
Interestingly, Williams wasn’t the only PFF favorite snubbed by ESPN. San Francisco’s Justin Smith (#2 on PFF’s list of top NFL players), Philadelphia’s Trent Cole (#4), and Carolina’s Charles Johnson (#6) were left out of the top ten as well. Only Smith received any votes at all.