Pat Kirwan of NFL.com's lockout material for the offseason has been ranking the best NFL players by position group. We've disagreed with his assessment that RB Jamaal Charles isn't a top-five running back and now we're going to strongly disagree with his ranking of the league's top pass-rushers.
Kansas City Chiefs LB Tamba Hali comes in at 16th in Kirwan's rankings.
The switch to the 3-4 and outside linebacker was just what the doctor ordered to get Hali's game moving in the right direction. He jumped from three sacks in 2008 to 8.5 in 2009 to second in the league in 2010 with 14.5.
Only one person had more sacks than Hali last year. According to Pro Football Focus, a stats-based website, he was the most productive pass-rusher in the league last year on a per-snap basis. He disrupted the quarterback more than any other pass-rusher last season. Football Outsiders predicted (correctly) last August that Hali would surpass LB Elvis Dumervil, who is ranked ahead of Hali on Kirwan's list. His peers recognize his violent hands and relentless pass-rushing ability.
Statistically, Hali was at worst a top-five pass-rusher last season. When you look at who was opposite him -- who again? -- it's more impressive. Hali needs to be ranked higher on Kirwan's list, in my opinion.
(H/T jmcgoblue in the FanShots)