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Published on 08/25/2011 at Thu Aug 25 15:26.
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Champ Bailey

Michael Lombardi, “NFL Network Insider,” has dropped a pair of “Blue Chip/Red Chip” pieces on NFL.com. The articles (offense/defense), which rank the NFL’s premier players by position, gives the cream of the crop a “Blue chip” rating (usually 5 guys) and the next tier of players a “Red chip” rating (5-10 more).

In other words, this is a Top 10 Players by Position list, wrapped in a poker metaphor.

Well, the Denver Broncos just busted out. Not a single Broncos athlete is a blue chip or red chip player, according to Lombardi.

No Brandon Lloyd. No Ryan Clady. No Elvis Dumervil.

No Champ Bailey

The Broncos certainly aren’t that devoid of talent, correct? This must have been an oversight on Lombardi’s part, right? Dumervil’s absence is explained (he’s a tough player to categorize), but the other three are omitted and not mentioned.

No oversight here, folks. Lombardi insists all Broncos players were considered, by himself and NFL Network colleague Brian Baldinger. We took our critique of these players being missing to Twitter and Lombardi replied:

lombardi_tweet

Slipped out of Best Cornerback in the League status? Maybe. Slipped out of the Top 15? Ridiculous.

That’s right, Lombardi has these 15 cornerbacks valued higher than Champ:

Blue Chips
Darrelle Revis, Jets
Nnamdi Asomugha, Eagles
Charles Woodson, Packers
Aqib Talib, Buccaneers
Devin McCourty, Patriots

Red Chips
Leon Hall, Bengals
Antonio Cromartie, Jets
Asante Samuel, Eagles
Brandon Flowers, Chiefs
Tramon Williams, Packers
Brent Grimes, Falcons
Jonathan Joseph, Texans
Vontae Davis, Dolphins
Quentin Jammer, Chargers
Charles Tillman, Bears

Antonio Cromartie over Champ Bailey?! CHARLES TILLMAN?!! That’s laughable. The three most avoided cornerbacks in football are Darrelle Revis, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Champ. Cromartie plays opposite one of them, surely had more targets, covered #2 receivers, and had only one more interception than Champ last season.

One can only imagine the numbers Bailey would tally playing opposite Revis (and vice-versa).

You can read both lists in their entirety in the links provided, but needless to say, Lombardi and Baldinger, in all of their scouting prowess, do not have a high opinion of many (any) Broncos players.

That’s our take. We respect the hell out of Lombardi for responding to us on Twitter and recognize that’s what these lists are about — to debate and discuss and consider another’s point of view. We really can’t disagree with Lombardi loudly enough, though. These are some massive oversights. As objectively as possible, we say the Broncos are not this bad. We’re looking forward to this supposedly talentless team surprising a lot of people this year.

  • http://manchester-architects.com T-Money

    Wow.  That's a whole bunch of disrespect pointed at champ.  Sure, he only shuts down half the field.  Yes, he is just as good at tackling a running back as he is defending a pass.  You got it, 10 pro bowls.  Yes indeed, he's only missed 9 games in his career.  I know 48 picks is a lot.  Yes, he was ranked the 48th  best player in the NFL.  

    Top 15 corner back in the league?  Nope.  Due to the lack of a pass rush and the worst ranked defense in the league… He's slipped well beyond the top 10, 15…. 

    I hope he has a career year this year just because people continue to think he's falling off the horse.  That would be so awesome.

  • http://ehalseymiles.com E. Halsey Miles

    Well, when a defense ranks last/next to last and a team ends the season with the #2 draft spot, all the pundits are going to take a long, hard look at the talent, when ranking it, and ignore what they see. Last year's Broncos were losers, as a team. Of course no one takes them seriously.

    I wouldn't expect anyone to believe in anything the Broncos say or do until they're able to put up a few wins. Sure, I think Bailey, Clady and Dumervil absolutely belong in these lists. At one point DJ Williams did too, though I think he's got a lot to prove to get back on the list. Chris Kuper, also, is very solid and is being underrated.

    That said, the Broncos O-line last year was awful. Flat out awful. Admittedly, it was coaching.

    The Broncos D-line last year was awful. No Dum, Ayers not really ready. The awful D-line put too much stress on the secondary and Bailey has been hurt a lot the last few years.

    Maybe Denver should take this article and post this on the locker room of every player with a yellow post it note written with a black sharpie: “Why aren't you on this list? Don't you deserve some respect? Well go earn it!” Get 'em good and mad.

  • http://broncotalk.net Kyle

    Awesome E. Simple awesome.

  • herc_rock

    I think Baldinger's pinky made these picks.

  • LarryB

    Lombardi has said a few things lately that have made me wonder about him. Well, I don't wonder any more. Lombardi has lost it.

  • Awsome246

    champ is better then charles woodson yeah nnamdi asosumgha and darrelle revis has a upper hand nowadays but not anyone else on that list not yet

  • http://www.broncotalk.net Josh Temple

    Somehow the offensive tackle listing pisses me off more than cornerback, don't ask me how.  There are two tackles that are maybe better than Clady at this point, Joe Thomas and Jake Long.  I'm not even sure Long is better, in fact I know he's not, he's given up more sacks.

  • TheTroglodyte

    Lombardi is one of the smartest guys in the NFL but the fact is he dislikes the Broncos. He was a huge McD homer and was very outspokenly upset about him being fired and since that time has had nothing bad negative things to say about the Broncos. 

    I like the guy and overall respect his analysis but much like anyone else, he can become jaded and bias. Anything he says about the Broncos should be taken with a grain of salt.

  • Cdub12344321

    I'm excited I'm ready to get the show going I see so much potential in our team it's ridiculous it is payback season come Monday night against the raiders at home!!!!

  • VinceMarine

    Lombardi is an idiot!

  • 5280

    Quintin Jammer is the one that just gets me bubbling. how on earth is quintin freakin jammer any where near Bailey's level?!?!? and how can you put asante sammuel in the top 15 but not bailey?!? they basicly have they exact same career, except that bailey has played on worse defences and has had the same steadily high numbers. 

    This is the status quo when it comes to the NFL and their lack of respect for the Denver Broncos. It upsets us but it shouldnt be shocking. From Terrel davis not being seriously considered for the hall, to this list, the NFL alumn have always spat on Denver. There has never been a clear reason why, but even after almost reaching a dynasty level in the mid '90's the Denver Broncos are still the most disrespected, underappreciated team in all of sports, much less just the NFL. 

    If this defence comes back this year and destroys teams the way they did the bills last week then we can shove it in their faces.  We dont have to hope Bailey has a great season because its almost garuanteed. he has a great season every year.  What needs to happen for it to get noticed is the whole defence has to crack the top ten.  If that happens, Mr. Kyle Montgomery,  you should get back on twitter and seek out Lombardi and make him eat his words for the whole world to see on the internet.

  • 5280

    and who the F is brent grimes?!?! Really?!? cant get anymore disrespectful then Brent Freakin Grimes.  Ryan Clady has only aloud, what, 2-3 sack his since he's been in the league? and he made the pro bowl in his second season. how on earth does that not qualify him for the top 10 at his position? Elway will ge us a dynasty and then they'll have no choice but to quit hatin on Denver. it may not come right this second, but it will happen.

  • http://twitter.com/amcfarla Aaron McFarland

    Champ is not in the top 15 cornerbacks in the NFL?  That pretty much invalidates anything Michael Lombardi has to say.  Even the players in the NFL ranked Champ 48th best player in the NFL.

  • AtomicLeo

    Lombardi has been down on the Broncos since they fired McDaniels. He's written several times that the organization walked away from McD too soon.  Whatever. Shrug. Clady has slipped from the top 15 LT because Lombardi doesn't like that the team dumped his man crush.

    This and the Tebow crap spewed the past 2 weeks is a delayed reaction to the past 10 years. The talking heads (and many Bronco fans) gave Shanahan a pass and McD was a media darling. Very few were taking a hard look at what was actually happening on the field and in the locker room. They are repeating this mistake again. No one outside of the Denver media seems to have noticed that 3 rookies will be starting Week 1. How many teams can make that claim? Instead they are focusing on the third string QB and beating up the FO for not taking a DT in the draft.

  • http://thingsatrexdoes.tumblr.com Mike Birtwistle

    If he's that bad, maybe Rivers, Pryor and Cassel will actually throw at him????  Nah, didn't think so.

  • http://manchester-architects.com T-Money

    We can only hope!

  • dolph50

    Maybe Lombardi thinks it's the Michael Lombardi trophy and it's gone to his head.

  • http://broncotalk.net Kyle

    I went a little soft on my critique of Lombardi yesterday. Given a day to think about it, it's clear his objectivity is gone and he's bitter against the Broncos. Probably since he was a big McDaniels supporter. Ranking Champ that low? What a joke.

    Shame he let his opinion of a team get in the way of a “player evaluation” piece. I've lost respect for the guy.

  • http://twitter.com/MalikG Malik Grady

    ESPN Insider's Scouts, Inc. has Champ rated as the 6th-best corner in the NFL, for what that's worth.

  • http://twitter.com/MalikG Malik Grady

    Scouts, Inc. top 6 CBs:

    Revis (NJ)
    Nhamdi (NJ)
    Woodson (GB)
    Williams (GB)
    Winfield (MIN)
    Champ (DEN)

  • http://twitter.com/MalikG Malik Grady

    ESPN Insider's Scouts, Inc. has Champ rated as the 6th-best corner in the NFL, for what that's worth.

  • http://twitter.com/MalikG Malik Grady

    Scouts, Inc. top 6 CBs:

    Revis (NJ)
    Nhamdi (NJ)
    Woodson (GB)
    Williams (GB)
    Winfield (MIN)
    Champ (DEN)