On Monday night, the NFL wrapped up their top 100 players countdown. Here is my personal take on the top ten players selected by the NFL, and if their ranking is too high, low, or just right:
#10 : Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
Only a few players can only play in seven games and end up in the top ten of the NFL’s top 100. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is one of those very few people. I think the consensus among NFL fans is that Aaron Rodgers is way too high on this list, and I would have to agree. Breaking his collarbone last season and missing a massive chunk of the season, then coming back for one game in a loss to Carolina in hopes of keeping their playoff hopes alive, just to go back on the injured reserve doesn’t scream “top ten” caliber.
Rodgers is undoubtedly one of the greatest quarterbacks of our generation, but this past season was one to forget for the 33 year-old. He will look to come back to a team without his seemingly favorite target, Jordy Nelson, and with new addition TE Jimmy Graham.
#9 : Von Miller, OLB, Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos former Super Bowl MVP has not slowed down since that dominant 2015-16 season where the Broncos marched all the way to Super Bowl 50 on the back of that highly-touted defense. Von Miller has been dominant in the past few seasons, and he deserves this spot at #9. His stats are just remarkable, as he racked up 10 sacks and 51 tackles.
Next season should be fun for Denver’s pass rush with the new addition of Bradley Chubb, who was referred to as a mixture of Von Miller and Khalil Mack. Broncos fans have plenty of reasons to be excited this upcoming season.
#8: Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
Last season, 39 year-old Drew Brees did things we’ve only seen by none other than Tom Brady at this age. The New Orleans Saints were NFC South champions, with an 11-5 regular season record behind Drew Brees passing for 4,334 yards, 23 TDs, and 8 INTs. With a supportive backfield in rookie Alvin Kamara and veteran Mark Ingram, Brees belongs in this spot.
Coming into next season, New Orleans hasn’t had any major losses, but contains a great addition in WR Cameron Meredith. If healthy, Meredith has the potential to play a huge role in this New Orleans repeat effort.
#7: Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams
Aaron Donald has taken the NFL by storm in his young career, and 2017 was no different for the defensive lineman. Last season, Donald posted 11 sacks and 32 total tackles with 5 forced fumbles. He has been impressive, and still has a long way to go.
The Los Angeles Rams did a ton this offseason to bolster this defense, with additions such as DT Ndamukong Suh and CB Aqib Talib. If the Los Angeles offense can hold its own, there is no reason the Rams can’t sneak their way back into the postseason.
#6: Todd Gurley III, HB, Los Angeles Rams
Todd Gurley III is the only player that I feel is too low on this list, considering he was a MVP candidate and was what I believe to be the best running back last season. Gurley was the main source of life for the Rams offense, rushing for 1,305 yards and 13 TDs while containing 788 yards receiving and 6 TDs. Ranking at #6 isn’t an insult for Gurley, but he outplayed Le’Veon Bell, who is ranked one spot higher.
Coming into 2018, it’s possible that the Rams have more of a focus on the passing game with the addition of former Patriots and Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks. This won’t kill how great Gurley is, as he should be expected to produce as a top tier running back.
#5 : Le’Veon Bell, HB, Pittsburgh Steelers
As stated previously, I don’t think Le’Veon Bell outplayed Todd Gurley last season, but that doesn’t mean Bell wasn’t amazing nonetheless. Bell loaded the stat chart with 1,291 rushing yards and 9 TDs to go with 655 receiving yards and 2 TDs. Bell is a top tier running back in the NFL, and has been a cornerstone of Pittsburgh’s AFC success.
As for this upcoming season, not much has changed for the Pittsburgh offense, so expect more of the same from the “Killer B” trio (Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell). It seems as though Roethlisberger is slowly regressing, so perhaps Bell plays a larger role in 2018.
#4 : Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones was ranked as the second-best WR on this list, and the fourth-best overall player, and I think that this is a bit of an exaggeration. After his 2017-18 campaign, Jones had one of the slowest starts for a wide receiver of his caliber, not catching his first touchdown until week 7 in garbage time against the New England Patriots in a 23-7 loss.
Jones finished his campaign with 1,444 receiving yards and 3 TDs. These statistics don’t scream top four to me, and he deserved to be bumped down a few slots for his lack of production.
Jones is in need of a major comeback in 2018, but with the addition of rookie Calvin Ridley, he could lose a few reps in select weeks. It still stands that Jones is one of the most talented athletes in the NFL, could we finally start to see some regression?
#3 : Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
If Carson Wentz didn’t suffer a torn ACL in week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams, he would be the MVP of the NFL. The fact of the matter is that Wentz was a absolute monster when on the field, passing for 3,296 yards and 33 TDs with 7 INTs. It seemed almost unanimous among NFL fans that Wentz was the best player in 2017, but the injury late into the season hindered his chances.
In the 2018 season, Wentz is accompanied by a team with Super Bowl aspirations. With the new addition of Michael Bennett, most believe Philadelphia is the favorite to secure the NFC East once again.
#2 : Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Antonio Brown being the top rated WR in the NFL isn’t surprising, and I stand beside this ranking wholeheartedly. In 2017, Brown lived up to his standards with 1,533 receiving yards and 9 TDs. Brown was extremely efficient all season, and was Roethlisberger’s most reliable target. There is a reason Brown is regarded as the best in the NFL, and it’s because of his consistency.
Even at the age of 30, Brown is still capable of finishing as the top receiver at the end of the 2018 season. The regression of Roethlisberger could hurt his production, but Brown is going to find a way to get his touches.
#1 : Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
Tom Brady ranked at #1 came as a surprise to none, as the 40-year old secured his third MVP, and made it to his eighth career Super Bowl. By the end of the regular season, Brady tossed for 4,577 yards and 32 TDs with just 8 INTs. After leading the Patriots to a 13-3 record and yet another AFC Championship title, Brady is stuck on waiting for his sixth Super Bowl ring.
At the moment, Tom Brady will have his reliable WR Julian Edelman back by Week 5, as he is scheduled to serve a four-game suspension. In the meantime, New England added new offensive weapons in Jordan Matthews and Jeremy Hill. Although tensions seem to be rising in the New England front offices, the Patriots are a heavy AFC favorite heading into 2018.
Photo Source : SI.com