As this series has unfolded, it's been rather amusing to me to note the readers here trying to guess who would be at the top of this list. Worthy names such as Fred Jackson and Lee Evans were tossed around, as were less worthy names like Leodis McKelvin and Roscoe Parrish.
Very few of you guessed that second-year rush linebacker Arthur Moats would be on this list, let alone rank second on it. To those select few, kudos for understanding how important it is that the Buffalo Bills find a pass rush in the 2011 season. Moats really came on at the end of his rookie season, and to my eye, he's the key to the Bills' pass rushing efforts entering the new season.
Sure, the Bills have more than one iron in the fire at this position. Shawne Merriman was also a Top 5 player on this list, and there are several young prospects at the back end of the depth chart that offer intrigue. Moats, however, has proven he can make plays on the field, and with any luck, the lockout won't severely impact his expected jump in play between his first and second seasons. I strongly believe this, folks: if the Bills are going to field a competent pass rush in 2011, it will be Moats, not Merriman, as the central figure of the efforts.
The No. 1 player on this list will be unveiled shortly, though I'm guessing that most of you already know who it's going to be.