Saturday, June 15, 2019

Players of the Decade—2010s Thus Far

By John Turney
This is the 18th in a series of picking players of the decades. We began with 1915-25, the 1920s, the 1925-35 period, the 1930s1935-45, the 1940s1945-55 the 1950s, 1955-65, the 1960s, 1965-75, the 1970s, 1975-85, the 1980s, 1985-95, the 1990s, 1995-05, 2000s, 2005-15, and now the current decade.

However, there is a caveat. We reserve the right to make changes after the 2019 season. These picks assume the chosen players will have good seasons, doing nothing to hurt their legacy. They do NOT assume an MVP or All-Pro season. With nine of the ten seasons in the bag, a good year cannot change much.

But if a player does have a bad year and he has someone close to him (in our view) the honorable mentions could move up. So, if Aaron Rodgers has a bad (for him season) and maybe Aaron Brown has a 130-catch, 1,800-yard, 15-TD season, maybe, just maybe he overtakes Rodgers.

So, with that explained here are the picks for the 2010s

2010s Player of the Decade
Tom Brady
Again, Brady is #1. He was First from 2005-2015 and second in the 2000s.

2010s Defensive Player of the Decade
J.J. Watt
Watt is an easy choice even with two seasons lost to injury. Three Defensive MVPs in a decade make his peak performance unparalleled by any other defender. If Aaron Donald wins his third Defensive MVP and Watt is out again, then we will revisit. But assuming both are good, Watt has this locked. He was just that much better than the field.

2010s Player of the Decade Runner-Up 
Aaron Rodgers
Two MVPs and a ring plus great stats propel Aaron Rogers to the runner-up slot behind Brady. His star has been tarnished a bit in last year or two but he's been money all decade and he's one of the best quarterbacks we've seen, talent wise. He's like a more accurate John Elway in many ways. Big arm, good legs, comebacks, etc.

Rob Gronkowski is an honorable mention, rare production for a tight end. Julio Jones and Antonio Brown are also honorable mentions.

2010s Defensive Player of the Decade Runner-Up
Aaron Donald
Donald has won two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards in his five seasons and has been named First-team All-Pro four times. The 2019 season will be his sixth season which is our cutoff for our "decade" awards so he just makes it in terms of minimum qualifications.

Von Miller is the top honorable mention for the 2010s and he is followed by Luke KuechlyRichard Sherman, and BobbyWagner but only Miller was close. Sherman had good 2018 season and he had great seasons in his prime but not to the level of Watt or Donald. Same with the middle linebacker Keuchly and Wagner.

Miller was, as we said, the closest. And the difference is their peak performance—Donald has the hardware but Miller does have the jewelry. Donald is ascending and Miller is holding steady. Miller has yet to win a Defensive Player of the Year Award but he was a runner-up once. It's very close but as of now, we go with Donald but this is the most volatile spot because Miller could move into it. However, we don't foresee anything that could knock Watt out of the top defensive slot.

1 comment:

  1. Are we going to see a player like Brady again with greatness that endures this long? Unbelievable that guy.