clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NFL All-Time RAS team: Could you compete with just raw athleticism?

New, comments

What would happen if you put together a team comprised of just the top RAS athletes at every position?

Carolina Panthers v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

We talk about Relative Athletic Scores a lot during the offseason, but sometimes you get a question that’s just too good to put off for long. Ben Noah asked on Twitter if we have an all-time RAS team, and while the answer is no, I realized that it very much should be yes. So we’re doing this. For those unaware, RAS is a relative metric that rates player athleticism based on 10 combine or pro day metrics compared to their position group dating back to 1987, then puts it on a 0 to 10 scale. First, since I’m a math guy, we have to lay down some rules.

Arbitrary Rules

We’re making an all-time RAS team, so we’re going only by how they measured and not by just high RAS guys who I’d like to make a team out of. If some nobody owns the top spot for RAS, it doesn’t matter, that guy is on your team. We’re not doing just starters, though, we’re going to do a full 51 man roster of RAS superstars (leaving 2 spots for a kicker and punter). I’m not discriminating or sorting, just going by the highest scores. It almost worked out perfectly just by sorting from the highest scores and picking the top 51, I only had to drop an extra FB (don’t need two) and pull in an extra DL. In that, it’s going to be broken up this way:
QB - 2
RB - 4
FB - 1
TE - 3
WR - 6
OT - 4
OG - 3
OC - 2
DE - 5
DT - 4
LB - 6
CB - 5
FS - 2
SS - 2

Quarterbacks

Cam Newton (10.00), Josh McCown (9.98), Daunte Culpepper (9.97)

Wow, we managed to get a starting quarterback AND a top backup. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody that Cam is the top guy for RAS all time, nor that Daunte Culpepper once had that honor. Josh McCown may raise a few eyebrows. We’re off to a good start, though!

Running Backs

Justin Fargas (10.00), Jackie Battle (9.99), Edgerrin James (9.98), James Stewart (9.97)

Wow, is this looking good for the offense so far! Not one, not two, but THREE running backs capable of putting together a 1,000-yard season. I’m certain Edge would get the start pretty quickly, but Lions fans know James Stewart enough from how he finished out his career. Fargas posted a 1,000 yard season for the Raiders back in the day, while Battle is at least okay in rotation.

Fullback

Devin Goda (10.00)

I’m not even sure what a Devin Goda is. Apparently he came out of Slippery Rock and converted to WR at some point. We’re so set up at running back, we probably don’t need to use a FB much.

Wide Receiver

Calvin Johnson (10.00), Matt Jones (9.99), Joe Webb (9.99), Andre Johnson (9.98), Moritz Boehringer (9.98), Javon Walker (9.97)

Cam and Daunte would have some pretty impressive targets. Calvin Johnson on one side, Andre Johnson on the other, Javon Walker at third receiver. We even have Joe Webb, so we can pull some gimmick plays out of the book.

Tight End

Anthony Becht (10.00), Jordan Cameron (2011), Vernon Davis (9.97)

Not too bad. Some serious injury concerns in this group, but Davis and Cameron are serious weapons in an offense while Becht played for 11 years.

Offensive Tackle

Taylor Lewan (10.00), Jared Veldheer (9.99), Lydon Murtha (9.98), Brian Mihalik (9.97)

Wow, somehow ended up with two Detroit Lions on here. We netted good starters in Taylor Lewan and Jared Veldheer, but our depth is shaky at this position.

Offensive Guard

Brandon Brooks (10.00), Evan Mathis (9.99), Blake Muir (9.97)

Brooks and Mathis are a good starting pair, but this OL depth is already looking spotty.

Center

Chris Chester (10.00), Will Montgomery (9.97)

Chris Chester is a decent starter, Montgomery a decent backup. Kind of ironic that both our starting guards were Eagles and both our centers were Redskins.

Defensive End

Brian Johnston (10.00), Myles Garrett (9.99), Mario Williams (9.98), Kyle Vanden Bosch (9.97), Jevon Kearse (9.96)

I know what you’re thinking. Who the heck is Brian Johnston? He was a seventh-round pick for the Chiefs a few years back. You probably don’t have to ask who any of the other guys are, this is a dangerous pass rushing group with two different players who were called “The Freak” and two different players who wore red contacts.

Defensive Tackle

Lawrence Okoye (10.00), Igor Olshansky (9.99), Justin Zimmer (9.98), Markus Kuhn (9.97)

Okay, so we’ve finally hit a position group where we missed out on any great starters. Igor Olshansky is okay, but Okoye didn’t do much in the NFL, while Zimmer was converted to fullback. Might have to lean on that elite DE group more than the internal guys.

Linebackers

Manny Lawson (10.00), Raonall Smith (9.99), Luke Kuechly (9.99), Zak DeOssie (9.98), Von Miller (9.97), Bruce Irvin (9.97)

I noted that we were doing 51 players, accounting for kicker and punter. Why not account for long-snapper too? Because we friggin got one! Zak DeOssie came out as a linebacker, but made his career snapping long. This LB group has Miller and Kuechly in nickel sets, Bruce Irvin or Manny Lawson in on base sets. What a group to make up for that poor interior DL and take advantage of that strong pass rushing DE group.

Cornerbacks

Marshon Lattimore (10.00), Darrelle Revis (9.99), Antwaun Molden (9.98), Fabian Moreau (9.98), Josh Robinson (9.97)

Not often you get a group with two rookies in it, but we’ve got Marshon Lattimore already going off on a tear in 2017 starting alongside Darrelle Revis and likely Fabian Moreau in nickel.

Free Safeties

Tank Williams (10.00), Jason Thompson (9.98)

Tank Williams was just a guy for Tennessee back in his day and Jason Thompson is a rookie. We might have some issues at safety.

Strong Safeties

Jarrod Cooper (10.00), Wesly Mallard (9.98)

Cooper was a decent backup a decade ago while Mallard never started a game. Judging by this and our free safeties, those pass rushers better get home quickly or we could have some problems.

Wrap Up

Using RAS solely as a means to build an all-time team, we end up with a pretty potent offense. Aside for a mild weakness at center, the starting lineup is a group that can be counted on to score points. Our all-time defense has a few weaker moments, particularly in the middle of the defensive line and on the back end with the safeties. It’s so strong at defensive end and linebacker, with a strong enough corner group, that it’d still be a dangerous unit.