Where are all the stars in Super Bowl LI?

If you scan the rosters of the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots, you realize there aren't as many true stars that will take the field Sunday in Houston as we might normally see in a Super Bowl.

Without injured tight end Rob Gronkowski, how many stars do the Patriots have? Tom Brady is one. Then who?

Is rising corner Malcolm Butler a star? How about linebacker Dont'a Hightower?

Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones and quarterback Matt Ryan are stars, but can second-year pass rusher Vic Beasley be considered one just yet?

It's a tribute to the two quarterbacks and the coaching staffs that these two teams are here.

Great quarterbacks cure ills, and bad ones expose them.

Brady is an all-time great, maybe the best ever. Ryan is having an all-time great season and has elevated his game into being considered among the best in the NFL.

That's why they are No. 1 and No. 3 in my ranking of the 46 Super Bowl LI starters, which includes starters from the two title games and one extra defender for each team.

Brady tops the list, while Ryan checks in one spot behind Jones. They are the stars of this game. After that, it's tough putting together the list because there just isn't a lot of star power.

With that, here are my rankings of the 46 starters in Super Bowl LI:

Super Bowl Starters, Ranked
1
Tom Brady New England Patriots QB
He's not only at the top of the list, but he might be at the top of the all-time quarterback list.
2
Julio Jones Atlanta Falcons WR
He is as good as they come playing his position. Can he be handled one-on-one?
3
Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons QB
He was sensational this season as the likely MVP of the regular season. Can he win one in the Super Bowl as well?
4
Vic Beasley Atlanta Falcons OLB
He led the NFL in sacks with 15½ but doesn't have one in the playoffs. He needs to get it going.
5
Malcolm Butler New England Patriots CB
The last time the Patriots were in the Super Bowl, he was the hero. He was a backup then, and now he's their best cover player.
6
Alex Mack Atlanta Falcons C
He was the best free-agent addition in the league in 2016. He does a nice job in the middle of their line.
7
Dont'a Hightower New England Patriots MLB
He is a play-making linebacker who does a nice job in the run game, can also blitz and is active in coverage.
8
Devin McCourty New England Patriots FS
His ability to cover a lot of ground will be key against Ryan. He will be one of the most important players this week.
9
Julian Edelman New England Patriots WR
He wasn't as dominant this season; he still had 98 catches but only three touchdowns. He has to be big in the slot.
10
Devonta Freeman Atlanta Falcons RB
His ability to run and catch the ball and the matchup issues he creates puts a lot of pressure on a defense.
11
Nate Solder New England Patriots T
After playing just five games because of a torn biceps muscle in 2015, he returned to be an anchor on the left side of the line this season.
12
Deion Jones Atlanta Falcons MLB
Speed, speed and more speed. This rookie flies to the football.
13
Keanu Neal Atlanta Falcons SS
This big-hitting rookie has improved greatly in the second half. He has to come up big in coverage.
14
Shaq Mason New England Patriots G
As a rookie in 2015, he wasn't very good. But he turned it around this season in a big way.
15
Grady Jarrett Atlanta Falcons DT
This penetrating defensive tackle had an impressive season. He isn't big, but he is strong and quick.
16
Trey Flowers New England Patriots DE
This second-year pass rusher has emerged as New England's best edge threat. He has to win to disrupt Ryan.
17
Logan Ryan New England Patriots CB
With Butler getting so much attention now, Ryan gets overlooked. But he is a good player.
18
Ryan Schraeder Atlanta Falcons T
Who? He is not only a good player but also one of the most underrated offensive linemen in the league
19
LeGarrette Blount New England Patriots RB
If the Patriots want to go to a power game this week, it will be about him. He's a touchdown machine too.
20
Mohamed Sanu Atlanta Falcons WR
As a free agent, he had only 59 catches and four touchdowns in the regular season. In two postseason games, he has nine catches and two touchdowns.
21
Marcus Cannon New England Patriots T
He is the most improved player on the Patriots this season after delivering an awful performance in 2015.
22
Malcom Brown New England Patriots DT
He is a power player inside who is really good against the run.
23
Robert Alford Atlanta Falcons CB
With Desmond Trufant out, Alford is their top corner. He is a solid cover player, but a step down from Trufant.
24
Rob Ninkovich New England Patriots OLB
This veteran continues to be a big part of their defense. He is a solid anchor against the run.
25
Jalen Collins Atlanta Falcons CB
Since taking over as the starter when Trufant went down, he has done a nice job. He can get lost in zone sometimes, which could be a factor against New England.
26
Martellus Bennett New England Patriots TE
With Rob Gronkowski out, he is their top tight end. He's a good receiver and a decent blocker.
27
Chris Hogan New England Patriots WR
He is coming off his career-best game against the Steelers. He has proven to be a nice free-agent pickup.
28
Andy Levitre Atlanta Falcons G
He's a good run blocker in their offense, and has been a nice pickup the past two years.
29
De'Vondre Campbell Atlanta Falcons OLB
He might be their most improved defender over the second half of the season. He can fly.
30
Alan Branch New England Patriots DE
He doesn't provide much against the pass, but he is good in the run game. He is a power player.
31
Ra'Shede Hageman Atlanta Falcons DT
After a few so-so seasons, he has improved, and he got a big sack in the NFC title game. His inconsistency is the thing that holds him back.
32
Jake Matthews Atlanta Falcons T
He isn't a dominant player, but he does a solid job in pass protection on the blind side.
33
Ricardo Allen Atlanta Falcons FS
This former corner brings range to the back end in a defense that requires it.
34
Brian Poole Atlanta Falcons CB
Here's another rookie who has been a nice surprise on their defense. He will be big if matched on Julian Edelman.
35
David Andrews New England Patriots C
He's a smart center who gets by without a lot of power. He isn't great in pass protection.
36
Taylor Gabriel Atlanta Falcons WR
They picked him up from Cleveland and he has become a big part of their offense. He is both quick and fast.
37
Dwight Freeney Atlanta Falcons DE
The old man was once a dominant pass rusher, and he can still do that for spurts.
38
Brooks Reed Atlanta Falcons DE
He comes in as a pass rusher in a lot of situations and has had a nice postseason, getting a sack and several hurries.
39
Malcolm Mitchell New England Patriots WR
He is the speed threat on the New England offense. This rookie could be key outside in the passing game.
40
Eric Rowe New England Patriots CB
He came over from the Eagles in a trade and has made himself a valuable part of their defense. Even though he didn't start the AFC title game, he played 88 percent of the snaps.
41
Duron Harmon New England Patriots FS
He is an extra safety in their three-safety package with McCourty and Patrick Chung. He does a nice job against the pass.
42
Chris Chester Atlanta Falcons G
He is the weak link on their line and is starting to look like an aging veteran.
43
Austin Hooper Atlanta Falcons TE
Group Levine Toilolo here, as the two spilt time, but neither is great in terms of being a big-time threat in the passing game. Hooper is the better from that standpoint.
44
Patrick Chung New England Patriots SS
He didn't have a great season, and he can struggle against the pass. He plays a lot in their big-nickel defense as a linebacker, but can also play the slot.
45
Elandon Roberts New England Patriots OLB
The play of this rookie increased with the trade of Jamie Collins. He is a solid in the run game, but can struggle at times against the pass. He comes out in in a lot of passing situations.
46
Joe Thuney New England Patriots G
The rookie guard stepped in and started 16 games. That means something on this team, even if he struggled.