1. QB (I have some caveats though)-this position seems to be diminishing in importance because of how much the league protects the position coupled with how much easier it is to complete passes and gain yardage (with decades of rule changes designed to increase scoring). There are an extremely small number of QB’s worthy of a second contract (3-6). Cooper Rush and Brock Purdy proved again that NFL teams can win lots of games with backup QBs by running the ball lots, playing good defense, and not making huge mistakes.
2. Offensive tackle/Edge Rusher. Both positions compete against each other to control the line of scrimmage and directly affect the outcome of the game every non-special team’s play like the QB. Very hard to find guys that can dominate in the run and pass game. Probably 20-30 guys total combined of the elite quality.
3. Wide receiver/Corner. Again, the pair competes against each other and a great wide receiver does not always trump the great corner even with the unfair rules. There are far fewer great corners than great wide receivers. Neither can affect every play due to some play designs. Also, they both depend heavily on their lineman and the passer to determine play outcome. Probably 15-20 elite wide receivers. 5-7 elite corners.
4. Interior offensive line/Interior defensive line. Extremely rare to have elite traits in these lineman. Most guys are just okay/good/very good. Perhaps 4-7 elite interior offensive lineman. 3-5 elite interior defensive lineman. Affect every single non-special team’s play.
5. Punter/kicker. Very few elite players in these positions. 0-2 punters, 0-2 kickers. These positions have quite a bit of influence on games. An accurate always gutsy kicker is extremely rare. A highly accurate, power punter that can put the ball in a 5 yard square with great hang time is just as rare.
6. Running back/linebacker. Another set of positions that are extremely dependent on play on respective lines of scrimmage. 0-3 elite running backs. 0-3 linebackers (these are those elite at defending the pass and the run).
7. Safety/Tight-end. 1-3 elite tight ends. 0-2 elite safeties.
8. Returner. 0-2 guys any given year. Extremely rare guy that is actually elite.
9. Special teams players (offense/defense). Most of these guys cannot impact the game much unless they really mess up.
10. Long-snapper/holder. These guys have to be basically perfect to avoid losing their job quickly. No one stands out unless they mess up.
This is not to say that I dismiss very good players because they are not elite. It’s basically a list of general positional impact. Build from the top down (trying to hit on as many elite players as possible, then as many very good players, followed by good then okay players. Tomorrow the draft will tell us if the Cowboys value their own points of view more than statistical facts. Hoping for highest impact on winning games.