We've reached one of the slow points of the NFL offseason.
The OTAs are over and training camps don't start until July. Therefore, unveiling the "top players in the league rankings" (and other such lists) is a good way to pass the time and stir up some healthy debate.
Pro Football Focus released its Top 50 NFL players entering 2019 list Thursday, and three New England Patriots stars made the cut. Here's the list:
50. Shaq Mason, OG
14. Stephon Gilmore, CB
2. Tom Brady, QB
Brady is the top quarterback and No. 1 offensive player on PFF's ranking. The only player ahead of him is Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald. Gilmore is the top-ranked cornerback on the PFF list, which makes sense after he was named to the league's All-Pro team in 2018. The veteran defensive back also gave a fantastic performance in the Patriots' Super Bowl LIII win over the Rams, during which he had a late interception in the fourth quarter that helped seal the victory. Mason at No. 50 is a deserved ranking as well. He had a tremendous 2018 season and cemented his place among the league's elite offensive guards.
Julian Edelman's absence from the list was pretty interesting. The 33-year-old is the most clutch wide receiver in the league, evidenced by his Super Bowl LIII MVP performance (among other stellar playoff games). He managed to tally 74 receptions for 850 yards and six touchdowns in 2018 despite missing four games due to suspension.
These individual honors are nice, but the Patriots' mantra always has been about the team. It's one reason why they've won six Super Bowl championships since 2000, and it's also why they're among the favorites to claim a seventh next season.
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