Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

21 Aug 2012

ESPN: NFL's Most Irreplaceable Players

This is sort of a continuation of last week's ESPN feature about teams with the most and least depth. Here's a look at the "skill players" with the biggest gap between their value and the value of their backups. Bonus obscure Transformers reference included with the wide receiver obviously listed at number one.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 21 Aug 2012

7 comments, Last at 25 Aug 2012, 5:02am by MadPacker


by LionInAZ :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:04pm

I have little doubt that Calvin 'Megatron' Johnson is the obvious choice as most irreplaceable WR. But I think that Aaron Rodgers is the most irreplaceable player in the NFL.

by Jimmy :: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 12:06pm

Matt Flynn did a pretty good job of replacing him last year.

by LionInAZ :: Thu, 08/23/2012 - 4:52pm

And yet the Packers kept Rodgers and let Flynn walk. How shocking.

by tuluse :: Thu, 08/23/2012 - 4:55pm

I'm not sure that means anything.

Taking it to it's full extreme: the Bears let Frank Omiyale leave, I guess that means J'Marcus Webb is irreplaceable.

by MadPacker (not verified) :: Sat, 08/25/2012 - 5:02am

Tell me you didn't compare Oyiyale to Rodgers. Last time I checked I think one of them was at least a starter. That's as far as I'll go on an argument, that should be enough said. Not saying Rodgers is the least replaceable, just saying that comparison made no sense.

by Ryan D. :: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 8:30am

Derek Anderson must be pretty well-regarded, because the difference between Jimmy Clausen and Cam Newton was like night and day.

On different planets.

Clausen is too afraid to step up and throw the ball, and still folds like a cheap tent in the pocket. He just falls over into pressure, taking stupid sacks. Defenses aren't even remotely afraid of this guy doing anything.

by justanothersteve :: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 12:32pm

So is the definition of irreplaceable that they bring such a unique and high level skill set that you're not going to find another guy like him (e.g., pre-injury Randall Cunningham, Marshall Faulk, Revis) or just the team doesn't have an adequate backup.