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Fifty Sense

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A little while back, CBS Sportsline's Pete Prisco put out his list of the Top 50 players in the NFL.  Two of the beloved Vikings made the list.

18. Kevin Williams, DT, Minnesota Vikings: Playing next to Pat Williams, he's a big reason why the Vikings led the NFL in run defense.

35. Steve Hutchinson, G, Minnesota Vikings: Some scouts say he didn't play as well with the Vikings as he did with Seattle, but he remains among the top at his position.

The only DT listed above K-Dub was Jacksonville's John Henderson, and the only guard listed ahead of Hutch was Philadelphia's Shawn Andrews.  Andrews is rated at #31, 4 spots above Hutchinson, so they're not saying he's significantly better, but Hutch is still one of the top 2-3 guards in the NFL.

If you look at #93's ranking at DT, however, you have to go all the way down to #28 to find another DT at all, never mind another NFC DT.  So, Prisco's saying that Kevin Williams is pretty clearly the best DT in the NFC, which he is.  I can't think of a convincing argument against him.

Actually, I take that back.  I can think of a couple questions that could be raised.

  1.  Is Kevin Williams the best DT on his own team?
  2.  Is Kevin Williams the best DT named Williams on his own team?
In my somewhat biased (and quite correct) opinion, there isn't a team in the league that boasts a pair of defensive tackles as good as the law firm of Williams and Williams.  Jacksonville's DTs are very good, but I don't think they're as good as #93 and #94.  However, you could very easily ask "Which Williams is better?"  And, quite frankly, the answer to that question is the same as the answer to the question of "Who is the best defensive tackle in the NFC?"

And the best part?  There really isn't a wrong answer.

Prisco seems to have overlooked Phat Pat on his list of the Top 50 players in the league.  He didn't even manage to put him on the "just missed" list.  He did throw in this comment on another player.

50. Jamal Williams, DT, San Diego Chargers: He's the best run-stuffing nose tackle in the league. He makes it tough to run on the Chargers.

Hey, uh. . .Pete?  No. . .no he's not.

The Chargers gave up nearly a yard and a half more per carry than the Vikings did.  4.2 yards/carry does not mean you're tough to run on.  It means you're tied for 19th in the league in terms of yards/carry.  Last time I checked, being 19th in a 32-team league in a category means that you're below average.

2.8 yards/carry, on the other hand, means you're tough to run on.  Pat Williams was a part of that.  So, again, he's not the best run-stuffing nose tackle in the league.

And, again, he's not even the best run-stuffing nose tackle in the league with the last name of Williams.

So, while I'm happy that the two Vikings that are on the list made it on there, it should have been three, because Pat Williams should have been on there as well.  You could make an argument that he should have even been ranked higher than Kevin Williams.

Man, it almost seems unfair to have the two best defensive tackles in the conference (and, arguably, the top 2 in the league) on the same team.  But, that's the luxury we have.  I think we can live with that.