After nearly three months, countless debates, and a fair share of controversy, our countdown of the top 100 NFL players of 2011 has finally reached the cream of the crop.
These guys are the very best of the best, and have helped raise the bar as to how greatness is measured at their particular positions.
So without further delay, here are our top 10.
10. Rob Gronkowski - TE, New England Patriots: Last year, in just his second season in the league, "Gronk" set the single-year record for total touchdowns (18) and receiving yards (1,327) by a tight end. He also became the first tight end in NFL history to lead the league in TD receptions (17).
|Photo by: Rick Stewart|
8. Patrick Willis - LB, San Francisco 49ers: In 2011, Willis was the dominant figure on a San Francisco defense that didn't allow a rushing touchdown until Week 16 -- an NFL single-season record. On the year, he recorded 97 total tackles, 2 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and an interception for good measure.
7. Maurice Jones-Drew - RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: MJD outdistanced the field with 1,606 rushing yards last season, a career-high. He also added 43 catches and 11 total touchdowns (8 rushing, 3 receiving). Jones-Drew has now cracked the 1000-yard mark in each of the last three years.
6. DeMarcus Ware - DE, Dallas Cowboys: Ware could very well be the premier pass rusher of the NFL. He finished second in the league with 19.5 sacks in 2011, and has averaged 14 sacks per season over the course of his career. Last year, Ware had a 4-sack performance (albeit in a losing effort) against the Eagles in Week 8.
5. Terrell Suggs - LB, Baltimore Ravens: The former Arizona State Sun Devil had his finest season as a pro in 2011, registering 70 tackles, 14 sacks, 7 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions. Suggs' stellar performance earned him NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors.
4. Calvin Johnson - WR, Detroit Lions: "Megatron" has long been considered one of the most dominant receivers in the NFL, but he hadn't quite broken through -- until last season. In helping the Lions reach the postseason for the first time in over a decade, Johnson set career-highs in receptions (96), yards (1,681), and touchdowns (16).
|Photo by: Getty Images|
2. Tom Brady - QB, New England Patriots: Brady is rapidly approaching "greatest signal caller of all-time" status. In leading New England to the Super Bowl for the fifth time in his ten seasons as a starter, Brady threw for 5,235 yards (second highest total in history) and 39 touchdowns. He also registered a quarterback rating of 105.6, the second consecutive year he topped the 100 mark.
1. Aaron Rodgers - QB, Green Bay Packers: Rodgers has been nothing short of brilliant since taking the reins from Brett Favre in Green Bay. The reigning NFL MVP, Rodgers broke Peyton Manning's single-season record for passing efficiency last year with a 122.5 rating. In leading the Packers to a league-best 15-1 record, Rodgers threw for 4,643 yards and 45 touchdowns -- in only 15 games.
|Photo by: Jamie Squire|
Are you ready for some football?
For the record, that was a rhetorical question.