All 106 Super Bowl XLIII players ranked
We ranked all 106 players in Super Bowl XLVIII. Larry Fitzgerald is a no-brainer at No. 1, but who rounds out the top 10?
Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald led the NFL in receiving touchdowns and just broke Jerry Rice's postseason receiving yards record, so it stands to reason that he would top our rankings of the Super Bowl XLIII participants. But what about the other 105 players who are expected to suit up Feb. 1 in Tampa, Fla.? Who follows Fitzgerald? And who's No. 106?
In determining our rankings, we took into consideration the player's current performance, as well as his play throughout the season. A player's special-teams contribution also influenced our decision.
1. WR Larry Fitzgerald -- CardinalsHe is the best pure receiver in the NFL. His outstanding size, strength and ability to catch a pass at its highest point allow him to create mismatches versus zone or man coverage.
2. LB James Harrison -- SteelersHe is this season's defensive MVP and an excellent rusher off the edge. Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will move him all over the field to create pressure and disrupt the rhythm of Arizona's passing game.
3. S Troy Polamalu -- SteelersHis versatility and instincts make him one of the best in the NFL at his position. Kurt Warner must identify him pre-snap every time he comes to the line of scrimmage.
4. QB Kurt Warner -- CardinalsHe has found the fountain of youth in this offensive system under head coach Ken Whisenhunt. The Cardinals will rely on his skills and Super Bowl experience.
5. QB Ben Roethlisberger -- SteelersHe is playing his best football at the right time of the year. Mentally, this game will present a major challenge for Roethlisberger, because he will see many different fronts.
6. WR Anquan Boldin -- CardinalsHe has been quiet in the postseason because he has been limited by a hamstring injury, but with Fitzgerald expected to draw a lot of double coverage, Boldin will have a great opportunity to take center stage.
7. DT Darnell Dockett -- CardinalsHe has an excellent combination of size, strength and quickness. He must be disruptive if the Cardinals are going to pull off an upset.
8. LB LaMarr Woodley -- SteelersWhile Harrison will spend a lot of time rushing the passer, Woodley might have to drop into coverage at times. If that is the case, he must use his size and intimidating style to take away the Cardinals' underneath crossing routes.
9. S Adrian Wilson -- CardinalsHe is one of the most underrated players in the NFL. His ability to blitz and play in halves or thirds allows him to dictate the offense.
10. LB Karlos Dansby -- CardinalsHe is a sideline-to-sideline player with very good speed and range. While Pittsburgh has a more physical defense overall, look for Dansby to try and establish the Cardinals' physical presence early in the game.
11. LB James Farrior -- SteelersHe does not possess the speed or range he once had, but he is still a physical presence inside. He will play a key role in trying to take away the surprisingly effective Cardinals run game.
12. WR Hines Ward -- SteelersHe injured his right knee in the AFC Championship Game but is expected to play. His physical style could present issues for the Cardinals' corners.
13. TE Heath Miller -- SteelersHe is an athletic tight end who is very good in the intermediate passing game and can create issues versus an Arizona defense that does not match up well with tight ends in coverage.
14. WR Santonio Holmes -- SteelersHe is the fastest receiver in this game, and his ability to take short underneath throws and turn them into big plays might cause problems for an attacking Arizona defense.
15. DE Aaron Smith -- SteelersAn unheralded player in the Steelers' defense, he is stout versus the run and can get a push as a pass-rusher.
16. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie -- CardinalsThis rookie cornerback has been outstanding in the second half of the season. He is the best pure man-to-man coverage corner in this game.
17. RB Willie Parker -- SteelersOne of the biggest reasons the Steelers' offense has been effective in the postseason has been its commitment to stick to the run with a fast and healthy Parker.
18. OT Mike Gandy -- CardinalsHe is the best offensive lineman in this game and has been solid in the postseason. However, he will have the unenviable task of trying to deal with Harrison one-on-one in pass-rushing situations.
19. S Antrel Rolle -- CardinalsHe looks like he is starting to adapt to free safety after starting his career at corner. Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast will move him all over the field to try to confuse Roethlisberger.
20. DT Casey Hampton -- SteelersHe is not the dominant player he once was, but he has played well in the postseason. He is a block-gobbler who does an outstanding job of protecting the Steelers' inside linebackers.
21. DE Antonio Smith -- CardinalsHe has been a force in the postseason. He is a high-motor player who can turn the corner as a pass-rusher and play on the edges in the run game.
22. LB Larry Foote -- SteelersHe is a versatile player who does a nice job of playing off the backside of Farrior.
23. LB Gerald Hayes -- CardinalsHe is another Arizona defender who has taken his game to another level this season. Pittsburgh will try to expose him in coverage because he is much better versus the run.
24. S Ryan Clark -- SteelersHe is a physical run-support player who packs a punch. He needs to be a physical force and take away the crossing routes that the Cardinals' receivers love to run.
25. RB Edgerrin James -- CardinalsHe has found new life in the postseason and is running as hard as we have seen in a few years. He will be a key player in this game because the Cardinals will seek offensive balance versus the best run defense in the NFL.
26. C Justin Hartwig -- SteelersHe is an experienced center who has stabilized the interior of the offensive line. Hartwig's a smart player who understands good angles and body position.
27. G Reggie Wells -- CardinalsHe has very good size, a physical demeanor and aggressive style. However, he does lack good finish and consistency in the run game.
28. CB Ike Taylor -- SteelersFew cornerbacks in the league have his combination of size, speed and athletic ability. He has adequate ball skills.
29. DE Brett Keisel -- SteelersKeisel is athletic, plays with an excellent motor and is a very solid starting defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. He is a solid technician when controlling the point and maintaining gap discipline.
30. CB Bryant McFadden -- SteelersHe is effective in press- or off-coverage and might be at his best playing in a Cover 2 system. McFadden has solid upside to be a front-line starter in the NFL.
31. WR Steve Breaston -- CardinalsHe has very good straight-line speed to stretch the vertical seam and has shown good improvement in his development as a receiver. Breaston is the third receiver in the Cardinals' explosive multiple packages.
32. OT Levi Brown -- CardinalsHe gets movement in the run game thanks to his good size (6-foot-5, 322). Brown is a young, developing player with a high ceiling, but he must continue to improve his technique.
33. LB Chike Okeafor -- CardinalsHe is an experienced player with excellent size (6-5, 247) for an outside linebacker. He is a tough, physical player with three-down value and the functional strength to play the run. He also is a good pass-rusher.
34. G Deuce Lutui -- CardinalsHe can get good movement in the run game when using his technique and lower-body strength. An average athlete, he is a better run-blocker than pass-blocker.
35. OT Max Starks -- SteelersHe has very good size and functional play strength for a left tackle. He still has a lot of potential, but has struggled throughout the season with consistency. He doesn't always bend well and has limited lateral quickness in pass protection.
36. CB Deshea Townsend -- SteelersHe isn't the biggest (5-10, 190), most explosive or fastest corner out there, and he is getting up in age (33). However, he is a very tough player to get off the field and remains a solid starter.
37. RB Tim Hightower -- CardinalsThis powerful runner has a nose for the end zone in goal-line situations. He is a tough, aggressive runner with decent receiving skills and the ability to lower his shoulder and run through contact on the second level.
38. DE Bertrand Berry -- CardinalsHe is an experienced player who has battled through injuries, but still has the speed and quickness to rush the passer.
39. WR Nate Washington -- SteelersHe is an experienced possession receiver who aligns as the third receiver in the Steelers' multiple-spread sets. He has slowly developed into a reliable target.
40. K Jeff Reed -- SteelersHe is a very solid and reliable kicker who has earned his stripes kicking on one of the worst surfaces in the NFL.
41. DT Bryan Robinson -- CardinalsHe is an experienced player who aligns as the nose tackle in the Cardinals' 3-4 front. He is a better run-defender than pass-rusher.
42. K Neil Rackers -- CardinalsHe is an experienced kicker with excellent leg strength. Rackers gets good hang time on kickoffs.
43. CB Roderick Hood -- CardinalsHe is the starting left corner but only has adequate speed and size (5-11, 198). He is best suited as a backup player in sub package. He also can play on special teams.
44. G Chris Kemoeatu -- SteelersHe is a strong, powerful player who is better in run-blocking situations.
45. LB Lawrence Timmons -- SteelersHe has a very high ceiling, plays the run well, excels in pursuit, covers a lot of ground in man or zone coverage and is a core special-teams player.
46. RB Mewelde Moore -- SteelersHe is a solid third-down option with good hands and run-after-the-catch ability. He is a better outside runner.
47. OT Willie Colon -- SteelersHe is an experienced, versatile player who can play guard and tackle. His technique is raw and he can improve his awareness of picking up blitzers and stunts.
48. TE Leonard Pope -- CardinalsHe is a huge target in the passing game with adequate athletic skills. He shows good effort as a run-blocker, but his change-of-direction skills in space are not very fluid.
49. DE Travis LaBoy -- CardinalsHe has three-down value with adequate size and athletic ability. He plays with a solid motor and displays a good combination of pass-rush skills. He's more of a one-gap player versus the run.
50. C Lyle Sendlein -- CardinalsHe is the starting center and has adequate skills for the position. He is a good effort player who lacks the size and bulk on his frame. He must rely on his technique and leverage points to win battles on the interior.
51. RB J.J. Arrington -- CardinalsHe is a backup, change-of-pace runner with kick-return skills. Arrington has good lateral quickness and straight-line speed with good hands and run-after-the-catch ability in space. However, he lacks the size (5-9, 212) to be an every-down back in the NFL.
52. FB Terrelle Smith -- CardinalsHe is strictly a blocking fullback who hits with authority and power, but can struggle to hit targets when he has to adjust in space.
53. OG Darnell Stapleton -- SteelersHe is athletic with quick feet and is a good knee-bender, but lacks overpowering strength.
54. FB Carey Davis -- SteelersHe is an all-purpose fullback with above-average skills as a blocker, runner and receiver. But he does not stand out in any one area.
55. S Tyrone Carter -- SteelersHe is a capable backup who is a bit of a 'tweener because he does not excel at strong or free safety, but can fill in at either position.
56. CB Ralph Brown -- CardinalsHe is a career backup who has good short-area quickness and agility, but lacks the long-range speed and size to compete with bigger receivers.
57. DE Calais Campbell -- CardinalsHe is a rather raw defensive end with a huge upside thanks to his very long arms, good initial quickness and ability to play with a low pad level.
58. S Aaron Francisco -- CardinalsHe is a career backup safety with good size and above-average straight-line speed. However, he lacks the agility and change-of-direction to be a good cover safety.
59. DT Chris Hoke -- SteelersHe is a slightly undersized nose tackle who is a good technician. He plays smart and with a high level of effort, but lacks top physical skills.
60. WR Sean Morey -- CardinalsA career backup, he generally only sees action on special teams. He excels on coverage units and plays with abandon.
61. CB William Gay -- SteelersHe has been one of Pittsburgh's top backup corners. He generally fills the nickel or dime corner package and lacks top-end speed, but is adequate when lining up over slot receivers.
62. QB Byron Leftwich -- SteelersA one-time starter for Jacksonville, he has filled the backup role admirably for the Steelers and still has a big arm, but lacks mobility.
63. DT Gabe Watson -- CardinalsHe is a backup starting nose tackle who is massive (6-3, 332) and naturally strong. He can plug up the middle, but has limited lateral range or upfield speed.
64. DE Travis Kirschke -- SteelersHe is strictly a 3-4 DE who relies on technique and effort more than strength or explosiveness.
65. TE Ben Patrick -- CardinalsHe is a bit of a 'tweener who lacks the size and strength to be a good in-line blocker and the downfield speed to be a top receiving tight end. But he does have soft hands and good receiving skills.
66. CB Eric Green -- CardinalsHe is a part-time starter who has good physical skills that don't always translate to the football field. He also tends to gamble and often shows questionable ball skills.
67. QB Matt Leinart -- CardinalsHe's a former first-round draft pick who has a lot of natural talent but has had to learn how to prepare and play within himself. He should benefit from sitting and watching Warner for the past season.
68. WR Jerheme Urban -- CardinalsHe is a quality backup receiver who uses his size and receiving skills to catch underneath routes. He has decent straight-line speed, but is not real explosive out of his breaks.
69. P Mitch Berger -- SteelersHe is a seasoned veteran with a decent leg, but he is not going to boom any punts and can directionally punt effectively.
70. S Matt Ware -- CardinalsHe is a former cornerback who has been moved to free safety. His straight-line speed and cover skills make him an effective backup.
71. WR Limas Sweed -- SteelersA second-round pick, his rookie season has been a little disappointing. He has speed but did not produce much this season.
72. TE Matt Spaeth -- SteelersHe is a huge target with limited route-running skills and speed, but he is a quality blocker who often comes in as a second tight end.
73. RB Gary Russell -- SteelersHe is a backup who saw limited action except for returning kickoffs. He is an effective returner, but nothing special. He runs hard and with a good pad level.
74. LB Monty Beisel -- CardinalsHe is a career backup linebacker with an excellent temperament for the position and above-average speed and athleticism. He is better in run support than in coverage.
75. OT Trai Essex -- SteelersHe is a massive lineman who has backed up at tackle and guard. He is an above-average athlete with marginal power.
76. G Elton Brown -- CardinalsHe is a massive lineman (6-5, 332) who has been a part-time starter and is a decent athlete with long arms, but tends to play a bit tall and is inconsistent with his techniques.
77. DT Alan Branch -- CardinalsHe is strictly a backup nose tackle who can occupy a lot of space and is relatively ineffective when outside the box.
78. CB Anthony Madison -- SteelersHe is a backup undersized corner with good quickness and agility. He lacks top-end speed, but is a core special-teams member.
79. LB Patrick Bailey -- SteelersHe is a rookie who made the team as a free agent. He is a tough, high-effort player with good developmental potential, but he hasn't been involved a lot on defense this season.
80. S Anthony Smith -- SteelersHe is a backup free safety with previous experience as a starter. He has good size and athleticism, but lacks ideal speed and awareness in coverage.
81. WR Early Doucet -- CardinalsHe is a rookie who has good short-to-intermediate receiving skills. He is a controlled route-runner who should develop into a solid slot receiver with time, but he's not a big vertical threat.
82. LB Keyaron Fox -- SteelersHe is a backup who excels on special teams. He has good size and toughness and finished second on the team in special-teams tackles.
83. DE Nick Eason -- SteelersHe is a sixth-year backup with good size and strength. He has limited experience as a starter, but provides experienced depth in a rotation.
84. TE Jerame Tuman -- CardinalsHe is a 10-year veteran who has good size and strength. He is better as a blocker than a receiver.
85. CB Fernando Bryant -- SteelersHe is a 10-year veteran whose instincts and experience are relied upon more than his pure speed or athleticism at this point in his career.
86. LS Nathan Hodel -- CardinalsHe's an experienced snapper who is accurate and reliable, but doesn't provide depth anywhere else on the roster.
87. DE Kenny Iwebema -- CardinalsHe's a rookie who has been a backup all season. He is a little raw, but has a good combination of size, strength and speed.
88. FB Tim Castille -- CardinalsHe's a backup who is undersized, but shows good toughness. He's an athletic fullback with good receiving skills, and produces on special teams.
89. DE Orpheus Roye -- SteelersHe's a 35-year-old backup whose production and playing time have been limited all season. He provides experienced depth but doesn't have a big role.
90. TE Sean McHugh -- SteelersHe's a third-string tight end who has good size and strength. He is versatile enough to handle different alignments, and he has good hands in the short-to-intermediate passing game.
91. LB Bruce Davis -- SteelersHe's a backup who was drafted in the third round. He has good size and strength with good hand use near the line of scrimmage. He's a developmental player who is usually inactive on game day.
92. OT Tony Hills -- SteelersHe's a rookie who was drafted in the fourth round. He's a good athlete who lacks experience, but has room to get bigger and stronger.
93. LB Victor Hobson -- CardinalsHe is a six-year veteran who was signed late in the season for depth purposes. He has good instincts and toughness, but he lacks ideal speed.
94. QB Dennis Dixon -- SteelersHe's an athletic rookie who has been the third-string quarterback for most of the season. He has good upside.
95. QB Brian St. Pierre -- CardinalsHe's a six-year veteran who has been with both Pittsburgh and Arizona in a backup role. He's an adequate short-to-intermediate passer .
96. OT Brandon Keith -- CardinalsHe's a backup who was drafted in the seventh round last season. He has good size and strength, but is raw with technique. He was inactive for every game this season.
97. C Pat Ross -- CardinalsHe's a backup in his second season. He has good size, but lacks top strength and quickness. He did not play in a game this season.
98. LB Andre Frazier -- SteelersHe's a backup with good size and speed for the 3-4 scheme. He mainly contributes on special teams, but has no career starts.
99. LS Jared Retkofsky -- SteelersHe's a backup who was signed late in the season because of injuries at long snapper. He has adequate velocity and accuracy.
100. G Jeremy Parquet -- SteelersHe's a backup with very good size. He was a practice-squad player at the beginning of the season and has limited game experience.
101. S Michael Adams -- CardinalsHe's an undersized backup who plays mostly on special teams and occasionally in sub personnel packages.
102. OT Jason Capizzi -- SteelersHe's a backup with very good size, but he plays tall and will struggle with leverage. He has very limited experience.
103. LB Pago Togafau -- CardinalsHe's an undersized backup who plays primarily on special teams when he is active for games.
104. P Ben Graham -- CardinalsHe's a veteran punter who was brought in late in the season. He has good size, but he is inconsistent with hang time and distance.
105. DT Scott Paxson -- SteelersHe's an inexperienced backup who lacks ideal size. He has good toughness and effort, but lacks game experience.
106. OT Elliot Vallejo -- CardinalsHe's a first-year player with good size. He has limited athletic ability and experience. He is raw and is normally inactive on game day.
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SUPER BOWL XLIII
In one of the best Super Bowls ever, the Steelers blew a 13-point lead before they delivered their own comeback to beat Arizona, 27-23. Super Central
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