The NFL Network is presenting the NFL’s Top 100 Players of 2012. Ranked at number 63 is Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley. This is the second year that Woodley has been on the list of the top 100 best NFL players. Despite not playing in six regular season games due to a hamstring injury, Woodley still managed to improve from last year’s ranking of 82.
Woodley played his best football during the four-game span where fellow linebacker James Harrison was injured. Woodley recorded 7.5 sacks during this span, which helped the Steelers win those four games in the absence of Harrison. The former University of Michigan Wolverine finished the season with nine sacks.
The six-year pro is the first Steeler to appear on the list this year. Other Steelers that should be revealed on the list in the near future are quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, safety Troy Polamalu, and wide receiver Mike Wallace. It would be only fair to have those players at least in the top 30.
I think it is amazing that Woodley went up 19 spots from last year after a shortened season due to injury. Just imagine where he would have been ranked had he played the entire season. Woodley’s production from last season definitely should give Pittsburgh’s defense a jolt of optimism for the 2012 NFL season.
Assuming that the 2007 second-round pick continues to play at this level this upcoming season, I can only see it fit that Woodley will be ranked even higher next year in the top 100. This will without a doubt put him in the category of one of the best linebackers in the game today.
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