WASHINGTON — There are several Redskins players that always crack league-wide rankings.
Jordan Reed and Trent Williams are two of them. Ryan Kerrigan sometimes joins them, as does DeSean Jackson, and Josh Norman is a new addition to that group. Bashaud Breeland and Kirk Cousins could appear alongside them eventually, and promising young players such as Preston Smith and Su’a Cravens have flashed some upside.
ESPN released the first half of its top 100 players Monday, Nos. 100-51, and just two Redskins make appearances: Reed and Williams.
The good news to come from the two appearances is each player is in the top tier of the initial 50. Reed checks in at 55th overall, while Williams is one spot ahead at No. 54.
Reed’s average rating is an 83.44, on a scale of 1-100, given by a panel of more than 50 voters. The voters are made up of “NFL analysts, reporters and statisticians — both from ESPN and outside ESPN — including former players and NFL front-office members.” Reed wasn’t ranked in the top 100 last year, but he broke out with a career year last year.
Williams is rated an 83.56, and he improved his ranking more than 30 spots, from No. 86 last year. John Keim, the Redskins beat reporter for ESPN.com, mentioned Williams’ athleticism and his ability to block downfield as the primary reason he’s often placed higher than other top-tier offensive tackles.
On Tuesday, Nos. 26-50 were released. That’s where Norman makes his appearance. He’s rated an 88.31, and he’s tied for 26th overall with, interestingly enough, Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant. With Norman and Bryant set to go head-to-head twice this season, and for each of the next few seasons, it’ll be fun to see who comes out on top between the evenly-rated stars.
For what it’s worth, New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is ranked 30th. No other cornerbacks appear in the 26-50 section.
The top 25 players will be released later this week. It’s unlikely any Redskins will make appearances.