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August 14, 2014

Top 100

With the NFL season starting in just a few weeks I thought it was time I came out of my cave and began writing a little. This summer I have been quite lazy as I was into the World Cup at an unhealthy level and then followed it up with 6 seasons of Mad Men in 3 weeks. Both were done binge style so it is no surprise to find myself in mid August without any noticeable tan, despite living in Texas where the high was a crisp 102 degrees today. I thought I’d dip my toe in the water with a blog entry about the Top 100 NFL players. The NFL Network does a list every year, theirs is here if interested, but I thought I’d take a crack at it with my own perspective. The first controversy will be at the top where Peyton Manning, unanimous MVP in 2013, isn’t 1st or even 2nd. Let’s just say that if Manning had his LT go from Ryan Clady to Brian Bulaga, his #1 WR go from DeMaryius Thomas to Jordy Nelson, his #2 WR go from Wes Welker to Randall Cobb (possibly the first upgrade in the comparison), his #3 WR go from Erick Decker to James Jones and his TE go from Julius Thomas to Jermichael Finley then his numbers would have been different. Manning dominated the 2013 Season except when he played great defenses or played in big games. Going into the season his 2 biggest games on the schedule were his homecoming against the Colts and his yearly game against the Patriots. Despite having a far superior supporting cast around him he still went 0-2 and then of course was humiliated in the Super Bowl. The Broncos style of offense creates epic numbers, even in his 43-8 thrashing against the Seahawks the offense set Super Bowl records of passing yards, completions and receptions showing exactly what I’m talking about when I say that many of Manning’s stats are hollow, yet in the big games he can’t win. He’s still #4 but in a big game or against a tough defense I’d take Rodgers, Brady or Brees any day of the week over Manning. Gordon ahead of Calvin Johnson is also controversial, though it shouldn’t be considering Gordon had better numbers despite a 2 game suspension and Brian Hoyer, Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden as his quarterbacks while Johnson had Matthew Stafford. Robert Quinn might be controversial as a Top 10 player but to me it is Watt and Quinn as the two best defenders in the NFL today and no one else is even close. Chandler Jones at #29 might be my biggest discrepancy with the NFL Network’s Top 100 as he didn’t even make their list but to me Jones is a 3 down DE who is extremely underrated. I suspect that, with Revis and Browner being added to the roster, the Patriots will be a Top 10 D and Jones will finally get the respect he deserves. He is very similar to JPP yet somehow hasn’t received the same fanfare despite similar styles and similar numbers after their first 2 seasons:

Jason Pierre-Paul    116 tackles, 21 sacks, 4 forced fumbles

Chandler Jones       124 tackles, 17.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles

I also thought that having Luck as the #6 player and #5 QB was going to be controversial and it was to some degree, NFL Network had him as the #30 player and #7 QB yet he was the #5 QB on Ron Jaworski’s list of QBs and is quietly rising into the “elite” category. The rest of the list is below, feel free to post comments on who you think is over/under rated on my list.

  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. Tom Brady
  3. Drew Brees
  4. Peyton Manning
  5. JJ Watt
  6. Andrew Luck
  7. Josh Gordon
  8. Adrian Peterson
  9. Calvin Johnson
  10. Robert Quinn
  11. AJ Green
  12. Jimmy Graham
  13. Navarro Bowman
  14. Joe Thomas
  15. Jamaal Charles
  16. Phillip Rivers
  17. Richard Sherman
  18. LeSean McCoy
  19. Rob Gronkowski
  20. Earl Thomas
  21. Joe Haden
  22. Robert Mathis
  23. Aquib Talib
  24. Tony Romo
  25. Mario Williams
  26. Russell Wilson
  27. Jurrell Casey
  28. Greg Hardy
  29. Chandler Jones
  30. Antonio Brown
  31. Ryan Kalil
  32. Matt Ryan
  33. Brandon Marshall
  34. Luke Kuechly
  35. Patrick Peterson
  36. Dez Bryant
  37. Alfred Morris
  38. John Abraham
  39. Evan Mathis
  40. Gerald McCoy
  41. Ben Roethlisberger
  42. Marshawn Lynch
  43. Jordan Cameron
  44. Pierre Garcon
  45. Joe Staley
  46. Nick Foles
  47. Matt Forte
  48. Alshon Jeffery
  49. Alex Mack
  50. Jason Hatcher
  51. Brent Grimes
  52. Kiko Alonso
  53. Eric Weddle
  54. Cameron Jordan
  55. Eddie Lacy
  56. Vincent Jackson
  57. Justin Houston
  58. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
  59. Ndamakong Suh
  60. Muhammad Wilkerson
  61. Charles Johnson
  62. Andrew Whitworth
  63. Logan Mankins
  64. Vontaze Burfict
  65. Karlos Dansby
  66. Troy Polamalu
  67. Tyron Smith
  68. Kam Chancellor
  69. Lavonte David
  70. Darryl Smith
  71. Jason Peters
  72. Trent Williams
  73. CJ Spiller
  74. Louis Vasquez
  75. Kyle Williams
  76. John Sullivan
  77. Colin Kaepernick
  78. Duane Brown
  79. Vernon Davis
  80. Calais Campbell
  81. DeSean Jackson
  82. Jahri Evans
  83. Aldon Smith
  84. DeAndre Levy
  85. Demaryius Thomas
  86. Cameron Wake
  87. Nate Solder
  88. Darryl Washington
  89. Eric Reid
  90. Jared Allen
  91. Sheldon Richardson
  92. Brandon Boykin
  93. Jordy Nelson
  94. Tamba Hali
  95. Alfonzo Dennard
  96. Bobby Wagner
  97. William Moore
  98. Jason Witten
  99. James Ihedigbo

100. Ezekial Ansah

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