Id define "elite" as someone who consistently, over the years, been the difference between a win or a loss or, for those that play less obvious roles, someone who has played at a extremely high level for their position.
For the Bills, the only player i might give that title to is Kyle Williams.
Guys that could earn it as soon as this coming season: Spiller, Byrd(who i apparently like more then most), Dareus, and Mario Williams.
For the Jets, id give it to Mangold and David Harris.
Those that could grab it this season and the next: Cromartie and Wilkerson.
Patriots: Brady, Logan Mankins, and Wilfork.
They have a few guys that i believe could grab it in a few seasons, but dont feel as strongly about for various reasons, such as Gronk(health), Hightower, and Chandler Jones.
Dolphins: Wake, Fields, and Starks.
Cusp: Pouncey, Wallace, Grimes, and Keller.
Wake and Fields should be obvious, so moving on. Starks because hes was absolutely dominate during the '09 season. He won games for us that year. While he certainly peaked that season, his play hasnt diminished much and hes performed at a consistently high level. If teams dont account for him while game planning, i know he will wreck them on sunday.
Why not Pouncey in the "elite" catagory? Simply due to his relative inexperience. If im holding off credit to Wilkerson, i should hold it off for Pouncey. I have no doubt i'll bump him up after the season, barring an injury.
Wallace is inconsistent but has put up huge numbers. I want to see more on a regular basis from him before bumping him up. Holmes has made some huge plays for the Jets and Steelers, but im not putting him on the list for reasons similar to Wallace.
Grimes is obvious. Hes played at a high level for years. Show hes recovered from his injury and i'll throw him up there.
Keller was held back by buttfumble. If he shows he can consistently make plays with a real quarterback, i'll happily add him in, but would probably wait 2 seasons.
I believe any man's finest hour - his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle...Victorious
In hindsight i probably shouldnt have included Bryd. Not that i dont think hes on the cusp, but its looking more and more like he and the Bills are going to go through a nasty divorce. They apparently wont even speak to him about an extension, which could be a distraction this season.
Byrd gets the picks, but that shouldn't over shadow is ehh run support.
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In the 2nd year of their careers Marino clearly had the best year but Eason, O'Brien and Kelly (different league) all out played Elway, only Blackledge was a bust. By their 5th year in the league Marino and Elway had distance themselves substantially over the rest with only Kelly coming close to the same level and Eason, O'Brien and Blackledge were all meh.
So while players might have "elite" years to be truly "elite" you have to stand the test of time and there was only two elite QB from the 1983 class and they were Marino and Elway.
"Martining" things is no way to go through life.
Don't be a Martin.