Starting on Monday, fans will be able to vote at ESPN.com on which NFL players get the rare "100" rating in certain attributes in Madden NFL 12. I don't know about all this Madden voting business -- I don't know why they can't just have some experts rank the players as accurately as possible and do things that way -- but if a ballot's out there, I'll probably cast one. Here's how the options break down.
Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers
I'd be pretty much OK with any or all of these guys getting the 100 rating in throwing accuracy. It's really hard to parse through this list, and determine that one has better pure accuracy than another. Put a gun to my head, and I'll give Drew Brees the 100, but I couldn't possibly defend that selection against anyone else on that list.
Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Danny Woodhead
Danny Woodhead? Really? We're going to let the general public decide if Danny Woodhead can have a 100 elusiveness rating, when Chris Johnson, Arian Foster, Maurice Jones-Drew and Michael Vick are completely eliminated from the equation? I like Danny Woodhead and everything, but maybe we should calm down before we crown him the most elusive runner in the NFL. I'll take Ray Rice.
James Harrison, Ray Lewis, Clay Matthews, Rey Maualuga, Patrick Willis
Everyone on this list hits hard, obviously, but guys like Willis and Lewis, I think of more as guys who run a defense and use speed and anticipation to make plays all over the field. Matthews, I think of more as a guy who chases down quarterbacks. When I think of James Harrison, I think of violence and destruction. I wouldn't be opposed to pushing his hit power rating up to the 145 range.
Dez Bryant, Braylon Edwards, Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Lloyd
I see Johnson and Fitzgerald as the clear-cut choices here, though I think it'll be Dez Bryant in Madden NFL '14. It's almost impossible to pick between Johnson and Fitzgerald -- kind of like the throwing accuracy category. Pressed to choose one, I'll go with Calvin Johnson because of his strength and ability to win balls because of his sheer physical presence. I couldn't argue against Fitzgerald, though.
Jamaal Charles, Jacoby Ford, Devin Hester, DeSean Jackson, Chris Johnson
This one, I kind of don't get, because there's an indisputable correct answer to the question of which one of these guys is the fastest, right? I don't know what that answer is, and I doubt that the EA people can get them all together to run a 40-yard dash in full pads, but someone in this group is faster than everyone else. It seems like there should be a way to figure that out. My guess is DeSean Jackson.
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