Typically speaking, sports fans tend to worry about two things – the past and the future. They’ll debate who was the greatest player of all-time, while also spending hours discussing whether or not a rookie is going to be develop into an All-Pro.
Both are fun exercises, things that keep fans engaged and the beer flowing at the local tavern. But they miss out on what is most important – the present.
Forget about yesterday. Never mind tomorrow. Let’s talk about today.
Who are the best players in the NFL right now? Who can help a team win the Super Bowl this season? Who is writing a legacy with each passing week?
Those are the questions the editors at cover32 seek to answer in this series, “Top 10 in 2014.” In the coming weeks, every positions – as well as head coach, general manager and other off-field areas – will be graded, evaluated and ranked.
The series continues with a position that is perhaps the most overlooked and under-appreciated in today’s NFL – interior offensive linemen. Skill position players get all of the glory. Offensive tackles get the big contracts. And the guys truly in the trenches, the centers and guards, only get attention when they are getting flagged for some sort of infraction. But they are vital to a team’s success.
Let the debate begin!
10. Travis Frederick
When a team takes an offensive lineman in the first round of the draft, the fan base typically yawns; they want excitement and flashy highlights. When that player is a center, there’s a borderline revolt; that’s a position typically reserved for late-round selections and undrafted free agents. But the Cowboys found a gem with the 31st overall pick in 2013, landing a future anchor in the middle out of Wisconsin.
9. Max Unger
Unger fits the mold of a typical center. He’s a converted guard, meaning that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get on the field. And he’s a little bit of a late bloomer, having been a fairly pedestrian player during his first three seasons in Seattle. But during the past two campaigns, when the fortunes of the Seahawks have really taken off, he’s been in the middle of the success, posting back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons.