|Vince Wilfork at No. 35 and Logan Mankins at No. 39 in ‘NFL Network’ Top 100 series||06.12.11 at 9:24 pm ET|
Two Patriots players highlighted this week’s edition of the NFL Network’s “Top 100″ series, a players-only poll on who’s the best in the game. Offensive lineman Logan Mankins was slotted at No. 39, while defensive lineman Vince Wilfork was at No. 35.
Mankins was presented by coach Bill Belichick, and here are a few highlights of what Belichick said about New England’s first-round pick in 2005:
•“There are tough players and then there are the super tough guys. I’d say Mankins would go into [the second] category. Both physically and mentally, he’s as tough as they come. … You could honestly pick out any one of 30 plays of him in any game and find him really dominating guys.”
•“He played left tackle at Fresno State. He made the move inside right away and became an immediate starter for us from the first preseason game, the first year he’s out there. He’s been our most durable and consistent performer on the offensive line for several years.”
•“With a quarterback like Tom Brady who needs to step up into the pocket — who likes to step up into the pocket — there has to be somewhere to step up into. Logan does a great job of that, of staying firm on the line of scrimmage and not getting driven back, so that Tom can step up and avoid the rush and make the throw.”
•“I think Logan is really a force in the running game because he’s able to play with great leverage and power, and get movement. A lot of plays that run to our left side, you see him getting push at the line of scrimmage and creating seams for the back. He’s also a very good puller, and a lot of plays to the right, he ends up pulling around and leading the runner through the hole. A lot of times Logan is at the point of attack in the running game regardless of where the play is called.”
Wilfork was at No. 35, and presented by former college teammate and current New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma. Here’s Vilma’s take on Wilfork:
•“He was with me in college for three years, I played against him twice a year when I was with the Jets, and the best thing about him is that as big as he’s gotten, it looks sloppy, but when you watch him on film it’s not. He’s very explosive, very athletic.”
•“From college, we knew he had good feet, which is pretty impressive for a guy his size to have feet like that. All those things you want in a defensive tackle, that rough, down-in-the-trenches-type mentality, he has that. He’s going to disrupt it. If you’re one-on-one, he’s going to make the tackle. You have to double him. … You turn on the film and watch that and you know, that was because of him. [Someone else] may have gotten the stats, but that was because of Vince.”
•“He lets you know ‘this is how I’m going to set the tone,’ and you love that, especially in a d-lineman, where it’s that big personality. He wants to be that guy who takes the leadership as far as being on the field and showing you how I’m going to play. … He’s a helluva player.”
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