Posted on July 7, 2016, by Travis Pulver
At this time of year, the media doesn’t have a lot to talk about when it comes to the NFL unless guys get in trouble with the law. If they don’t—well, the coverage of the league can be dull. So to spice it up a little, the NFL Network decided to create something people love to talk about—a top 100 list.
Whether it is because someone is ranked too low, too high, or not at all, everyone loves to talk about the list. While many like to complain about the list, it is a little hard to argue with it since the players make the rankings.
After releasing the list ten at a time once a week starting on May 4, the top ten was finally released Thursday. Many will argue with who went where in the top ten, but it is hard to argue that any of them don’t belong (change from last season’s rank):
- Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (up 72)
- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (up 1)
- Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt (down 2)
- Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (up 4)
- Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (up 57)
- Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (down 4)
- Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly (up 7)
- Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (up 5)
- New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (up 1)
- New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (up 22)
Cam Newton made the biggest jump, moving up 72 spots to the No. 1 slot. Andrew Luck had the biggest fall (85 spots) down to No. 92. Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman was the highest debuting player at No. 11 (one spot behind his nemesis, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.).
For the sixth consecutive year, Tom Brady ranked inside the top five.
Some of the reactions to the list were cordial like Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr who made his debut on the list at No. 100:
Thank you to everyone that voted 4 me! It means a lot to me coming from teammates and opp players. Now that we have made it time to climb it
Other guys were not as happy with it. Not because of their spot, but because they were left out.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith wasn’t very happy with it:
You got guys who didn’t even play this season F___ UR#NFLtop100 16yrs vote on that https://sqor.com/posts/a8fff359-3e58-4792-a5e9-68e1b2da8368/uid/57479 …pic.twitter.com/UBNLKWWD6I
Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson expressed his displeasure on Instagram:
“They still count me out. What they thought I ain’t Still one of the SiCcest Wideouts In Tha Game ?? Jus watch & See They ain’t Neva Love a Real one anyway My Family taken Care of 4 life & Ima continue 2 ball on they [backside].”
To create the list, the network asked players to name who they thought were the top 20 players in the league off of the top of their heads. So it should come as no surprise that the list leans heavily on “What have you done for me lately?” logic. It certainly explains Andrew Luck’s fall after missing much of the season with an injury and Cam Newton’s rise after winning the MVP last season.
The season can’t start soon enough, right sports fans?