Building the Best NFL Lineup with Only 1 Player From Each Team

A few months ago, I came across a tweet proposing the challenge of building the best NFL lineup, with the caveat of a max of 1 player per team. At the time, I quickly ran through all the teams and gave a rough estimation, but now, I wanted to go back and dive deeper into it. For this roster, I’ve chosen to do a few things beyond the 1 rule given.

This will be the construction of the roster:
1 QB
2 RBs
4 WRs
2 TEs
5 OL (1 for each position)
2 Interior Defensive Linemen
3 EDGE Rushers
3 Off-Ball Linebackers
3 CBs
1 Slot CB
2 Safeties
1 Kicker
1 Punter

This does mean that 2 teams will be left out, however, this was done in order to not saturate the roster too much. The primary goal of having the roster set up this way was to make it possible to run either a 4-3 or 3-4, as well as different personnel groupings with the secondary. Now, with that out of the way, let’s get into the selections.

Image result for saquon barkley

First off, are the players who were near automatic selections. They will be picked either due to how much better they are than others at their position, or because they are far and away the clear choice for their team. These players are:

Saquon Barkley – RB – New York Giants
DeAndre Hopkins – WR – Houston Texans
Julio Jones – WR – Atlanta Falcons
Antonio Brown – WR – Oakland Raiders
George Kittle – TE – San Francisco 49ers
Quenton Nelson – LG – Indianapolis Colts
David Decastro – RG – Pittsburgh Steelers
Aaron Donald – IDL – Los Angeles Rams
Khalil Mack – EDGE – Chicago Bears
Bobby Wagner – LB – Seattle Seahawks
Patrick Peterson – CB – Arizona Cardinals
Minkah Fitzpatrick – Slot CB – Miami Dolphins
Jamal Adams – S – New York Jets

The next group is players who needed a bit more context to put in. They aren’t complete no brainers, but they are also fairly easy selections given what positions are starting to fill up already, as well as some of the other options available. This group includes:

Alvin Kamara – RB – New Orleans Saints
David Bakhtiari – LT – Green Bay Packers
Travis Frederick – C – Dallas Cowboys
Taylor Lewan – RT – Tennessee Titans
Von Miller – EDGE – Denver Broncos
Luke Kuechly – LB – Carolina Panthers
Lavonte David – LB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jalen Ramsey – CB – Jacksonville Jaguars
Justin Tucker – K – Baltimore Ravens
Tress Way – P – Washington Redskins

Now, onto the last group of selections. These are extremely difficult because there’s so many good players left, which makes it tricky to find the best combination. At this point, we still need 1 QB, WR, TE, DL, EDGE, CB, and S. Given this, and who’s left, I have ruled out the Bills and Bengals as options. These are the 7 remaining teams and players in consideration for the 7 spots

Patriots: Stephon Gilmore
Browns: Odell Beckham Jr, Myles Garrett
Chiefs: Pat Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce
Chargers: Derwin James, Hunter Henry
Eagles: Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz, Fletcher Cox
Lions: Darius Slay, Damon Harrison
Vikings: Adam Thielen, Danielle Hunter, Harrison Smith

Now, Starting to narrow it down, Gilmore will be the 3rd CB since he’s the only one for the Patriots. This means that Harrison will be the pick from the Lions. As much as I wanted Fletcher Cox as my 2nd IDL, this rules him out now. Now, I’m deciding to take Pat Mahomes as my QB which begins a small chain effect. Ertz is the only Eagles player left, so I take him as my 2nd TE, which then leaves Derwin James as my Chargers pick. The last decision is between the WR and EDGE player from the Vikings and Browns. Given the makeup of the team and the lack of a “true” slot receiver, I’ll go with Thielen here, even though Beckham is the better player. This leaves Myles Garrett as my 3rd EDGE player and final selection.

After all the selections and tough choices, here is the final roster that I’ve come up with:

This selection process ended up being a lot more challenging than I initially expected, specifically the last 7 picks, but overall it was a fun challenge and I am very happy with my final team.


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