Athlon reached out to me to contribute to their rankings of the top 15 ACC players recently. The Post-Gazette's Sam Werner and I were the two Pitt guys.
These types of things are always a little difficult. First, it's a preseason list and so much of it is based off of success players had the year before. It's also hard to compare players at different positions - I mean, how easy is it to compare the top wide receivers to the top offensive linemen. Along those lines, a lot of very good players at the non-skill positions get left out.
Still, I generally like participating in these types of things and I did for Athlon. Here was my Top 15 list:
1. Jameis Winston, QB, FSU
2. Vic Beasley, DL, Clemson
3. Jamison Crowder, WR, Duke
4. Duke Johnson, RB, Miami
5. Cameron Erving, OL, FSU
6. P.J. Williams, CB, FSU
7. Tyler Boyd, WR, Pitt
8. Rashad Greene, WR, FSU
9. Kendall Fuller, CB, VT
10. Anthony Harris S, Virginia
11. Denzel Perryman, LB, Miami
12. Karlos Williams, RB, FSU
13. Devante Parker, WR, Louisville
14. Ryan Switzer, WR/Returner, NC
15. Mario Edwards, DE, FSU
And, for the record, you can see the entire voting here on Athlon's site.
I won't spend a ton of time explaining all of my picks, but as you can see, I've got Tyler Boyd seventh. That was about where he finished (he was eighth on the overall list), so my placement of him was pretty standard. While my placement of Boyd was about where he was, it should be noted that I had him ahead of Florida State's Rashad Greene, while Greene was ahead of Boyd on the overall list.
Greene is a huge talent, obviously, but I gave Boy the nod for a few reasons. For starters, Boyd had more catches and more yardage than Greene, despite playing in one fewer game. Greene also was a bit more inconsistent throughout the year. In seven of his 13 games, he had fewer than five catches - Boyd had only four such games.
Also, while Greene factored in as a punt returner in the past, he didn't do so in 2013. Boyd not only returned kicks, but also was a factor on some running plays as well. Overall, he was just a slightly bigger overall threat last year.
Because of all of that, I thought it was fair to he be ranked ahead of Greene.
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