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Monday open thread: Who is the best player in the NFL?

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Which player tops the league’s best?

NFL: SEP 29 Chiefs at Lions Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NFL rankings and lists are a common sight during an offseason, and given the uncertainty surrounding the year ahead, we might be in store for more.

Power rankings are used as a look ahead, seeing which teams could fare best in the upcoming season. Rankings can also be used to differentiate between rival teams, as our own Mansur Shaheen has been doing with his NFC North positional rankings. Lists can also be used for humorous effects, like Mansur’s NFL Dog Logos list — we all need a bit of a laugh every once in awhile.

The list that captures the most attention, however, is a player ranking list. CBS’s Pete Prisco published his top 100 players a little over a week ago, and it has stirred up much debate. No Detroit Lions appeared on the list, a notable snub for Matthew Stafford and Kenny Golladay. The NFL Network’s own NFL Top 100 will likely air in the next month or so, who chose Aaron Donald as the top player in 2019. We as fans love to speculate and compare. Which player brings more value to their team? Which player is the best at their position? Who is overrated, and who is underrated? All of these are questions and debates that arise from player rankings.

There will never be a consensus top 100 list, nor even a top 10 list. But can we agree on who is the best player in the league? Let’s see.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

Who is the best player in the NFL?

My answer: I believe Aaron Donald is the league’s best player.

It’s hard not to overvalue quarterbacks, given that they often receive praise for a team’s success. However, a player like Patrick Mahomes has been utterly dominant since his rookie season ended, and is well deserving of being called the league’s best. Meanwhile, positions like offensive line rarely get the love they deserve, and while guard is not a flashy position, Quenton Nelson has become one of the best young players we have seen in recent memory.

Regardless, my vote still goes to Aaron Donald. Donald has been incredible since entering the league. He has a Pro Bowl appearance each year. He has a first-team All Pro nod in every year except his rookie season. He has multiple double-digit sack seasons as a defensive tackle, including a 20.5-sack season in 2018. He could retire this season and you could make a case for him as a Hall of Famer. Even with the Los Angeles Rams primed for a regression this season, Donald figures to remain a game-changing presence on their defense.

Your turn.