Westbrook not an elite player?

'Tis the season for NFL previews, predictions and prognostication ...

And while we're on the subject, the Daily News annual Eagles/NFL preview section is available in the Thursday, Sept. 4 newspaper, followed by the first Eagles Playbook of the season in the Friday, Sept. 5 newspaper.

ESPN.com has its preseason preview up and has the Eagles as the consensus second choice in the NFC East, although many on the panel have them finishing third and Seth Wickersham predicts the Birds will win the division.

What struck us more than that, however, were the player rankings done by Scout Inc. Their experts rank Brian Westbrook as the best player on the Eagles. No argument here or anywhere, for that matter. They have Westbrook graded out as an 88 on a scale of 1-100. That 88 puts Westbrook on the high end of "Outstanding." However, it puts him shy of "Elite."

So we wondered, what else does Westbrook have to do to prove his is among the "elite" players in the NFL? His numbers certainly say he is an elite player. His contract certainly says he is being paid like one. His value to the Eagles is obvious.

Thirty-two players received higher grades than Westbrook, although only LaDainian Tomlinson (94) and Adrian Peterson (89) among running backs.