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NFL Top 100 Players of 2011: Analysis

NFL players are some of the smartest people in the world, so you can imagine my shock when they put together a horrific Top 100 Players of 2011 list.

I'm not as intelligent as these guys, so I won't be making my own list. After all, how do you differentiate between the eighth-best linebacker and eighth-best wide receiver? This sort of list is so subjective that there are numerous acceptable ways you could put it together.

However, there were some really dumb choices in the NFL Top 100 Players of 2011. I'll list them below:

NFL Top 100 Players of 2011: 100-91:

100. Donovan McNabb, QB, TBA
99. Chad Clifton, OT, Packers
98. Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders
97. Shaun Phillips, DE/OLB, Chargers
96. Nick Collins, S, Packers
95. Jon Beason, LB, Panthers
94. Frank Gore, RB, 49ers
93. Eric Berry, S, Chiefs
92. Lance Briggs, LB, Bears
91. Terrell Owens, WR, Bengals

If you couldn't tell, I've outlined the really stupid selections in red.

100. Donovan McNabb: Rush Limbaugh is turning in his grave right now. If this were a 2006 list, Donovan McNabb would definitely deserve a spot in the top 100. But right now? I wouldn't place McNabb in the top 300. He's a fat, pompous, lazy, washed-up quarterback who doesn't deserve to start ever again. There's a reason the Eagles jettisoned him last year, as the Redskins quickly found out.

96. Nick Collins: The third-best safety in the NFL is No. 96 and behind some overrated rookie? How interesting. Speaking of which...

93. Eric Berry: I realize this list is for 2011, but Eric Berry wasn't very good as a rookie. Of course, the players wouldn't know this, since all they can remember is the draft hype surrounding Berry.

Did you know that Berry surrendered more touchdown passes (7) than any other safety in the NFL in 2010? Also, Berry missed 11 tackles - which would put him amongst the league leaders in that dubious category.

91. Terrell Owens: Terrell Owens is one of the greatest receivers in NFL history, but he doesn't deserve a spot in the top 100 projecting for 2011 - even before his ACL tear. Owens is 37 and has been responsible more interceptions than any receiver in the past few years. Like McNabb, there's more than one reason Owens is unwanted.

NFL Top 100 Players of 2011: 90-81:

90. Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens
89. Adrian Wilson, S, Cardinals
88. Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers
87. Jordan Gross, OT, Panthers
86. Josh Freeman, QB, Buccaneers
85. Jason Babin, DE, Titans
84. Joshua Cribbs, KR, Browns
83. Mike Williams, WR, Buccaneers
82. LaMarr Woodley, DE/OLB, Steelers
81. B.J. Raji, NT, Packers

85. Jason Babin: I don't have much of an issue with these 10 players. Jason Babin, however, doesn't deserve a spot at No. 85 because he's only had one good year in the NFL. Babin was dominant in 2010, as he recorded 12.5 sacks. However, his previous high was five. I'd like to see him piece together two good seasons before giving him a spot in the top 100.

NFL Top 100 Players of 2011: 80-71:

80. Jared Allen, DE, Vikings
79. D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Jets
78. Dallas Clark, TE, Colts
77. Chris Snee, G, Giants
76. Santonio Holmes, WR, Jets
75. Jay Ratliff, NT, Cowboys
74. Greg Jennings, WR, Packers
73. Trent Cole, DE, Eagles
72. Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys
71. Mario Williams, DE, Texans

Everything here looks good to me, though I would have placed Mario Williams and Trent Cole much further down the list. But whatever. Let's move on to worse rankings.

NFL Top 100 Players of 2011: 70-61:

70. Miles Austin-Jones, WR, Cowboys
69. John Abraham, DE, Falcons
68. Antrel Rolle, S, Giants
67. Brian Waters, G, Chiefs
66. Richard Seymour, DE/DT, Raiders
65. Vonta Leach, FB, Texans
64. Tamba Hali, DE/OLB, Chiefs
63. Cameron Wake, DE/OLB, Dolphins
62. Jerod Mayo, ILB, Patriots
61. Brandon Marshall, WR, Dolphins

68. Antrel Rolle: Umm... what the hell is Antrel "I blow dozens of coverages every single week" Rolle doing in the top 400? Rolle is one of the worst starting safeties in the NFL. He tied Eric Berry with 11 missed tackles, as opposing quarterbacks torched him almost every game. This clearly shows that NFL players don't pay much attention to what's going on.

61. Brandon Marshall: Brandon Marshall has the talent to be the 61st-ranked player in the NFL, but his head is never in the game. Marshall has more dropped passes (37) than any receiver in the past three years. I'd rather have Greg Jennings. Marshall belongs on this list; but not this low given all the headaches he causes.

NFL Top 100 Players of 2011: 60-51:

60. Justin Tuck, DE, Giants
59. Jeff Saturday, C, Colts
58. Brandon Lloyd, WR, Broncos
57. Andre Gurode, C, Cowboys
56. Ray Rice, RB, Ravens
55. Carl Nicks, G, Saints
54. Asante Samuel, CB, Eagles
53. Marques Colston, WR, Saints
52. Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
51. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Lions

58. Brandon Lloyd: This goes along with what I said about Jason Babin. I'd like to see two quality seasons out of Brandon Lloyd before giving him a spot in the top 100. No. 58 is way too low for him.

NFL Top 100 Players of 2011: 50-41:

50. Wes Welker, WR, Patriots
49. Brian Urlacher, LB, Bears
48. Champ Bailey, CB, Broncos
47. Nick Mangold, C, Jets
46. Tony Gonzalez, TE, Falcons
45. Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs
44. Robert Mathis, DE, Colts
43. Joe Thomas, OT, Browns
42. Michael Turner, RB, Falcons
41. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers

42 & 46. Michael Turner and Tony Gonzalez: Way to rank two washed-up guys in the top 50, NFL players! As his 2010 fantasy owners very well know, Michael Turner is pretty much done. Turner couldn't average more than four yards per carry in any of his final six games last year because he had nothing in the tank. Turner contributes zilch in the passing game as well, so ranking him at No. 42 is pretty asinine.

Tony Gonzalez, meanwhile, is a slow fossil. He's a shell of his former self, and belongs nowhere near the top 400; let alone top 50.

44. Robert Mathis: Robert Mathis is a good player, but I'd like to see what he'd do without Dwight Freeney on the other side of the line of scrimmage. I have a real problem with ranking Mathis ahead of Mario Williams, Trent Cole, Justin Tuck, etc.

43. Joe Thomas: Joe Thomas is the best left tackle in the NFL. What the hell is he doing outside of the top 20?

41. Ben Roethlisberger: As you can tell, the guys in blue are way too high. Ben Roethlisberger has two Super Bowl rings and nearly won his third this past February. What is he doing ranked higher than Philip Rivers and QB Dog Killer?

NFL Top 100 Players of 2011: 40-31:

40. Terrell Suggs, DE/OLB, Ravens
39. Logan Mankins, G, Patriots
38. Steven Jackson, RB, Rams
37. Jonathan Vilma, LB, Saints
36. Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys
35. Vince Wilfork, NT, Patriots
34. Jahri Evans, G, Saints
33. Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs
32. Devin Hester, KR, Bears
31. Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts

37. Jonathan Vilma: Jonathan Vilma was AWFUL last year. Just awful. Maybe it was just one bad season, so he still deserves a spot in the top 100. Ranking him at No. 37, however, is just ignorant. And where the hell is Lawrence Timmons, by the way? He's infinitely better than Vilma, yet he's been excluded from the top 100 all together.

NFL Top 100 Players of 2011: 30-21:

30. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars
29. DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles
28. Jake Long, OT, Dolphins
27. Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions
26. Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers
25. Arian Foster, RB, Texans
24. Roddy White, WR, Falcons
23. Patrick Willis, ILB, 49ers
22. Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers
21. James Harrison, DE/OLB, Steelers

29. DeSean Jackson: No. A receiver who runs nothing but go routes can't be No. 29. DeSean Jackson is good at what he does, but he shouldn't be in the top 30.

27. Calvin Johnson: And how the hell is Calvin Johnson only two spots better than Jackson? The three best receivers in the NFL, in any order, are Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. All three should be in the top 20.

25. Arian Foster: Arian Foster is legit. He had more broken tackles (45) than any running back last year. However, as what I said with Brandon Lloyd and Jason Babin, Foster needs more than one great season to be slotted so low.

NFL Top 100 Players of 2011: 20-11:

20. QB Eagles No. 7, QB, Eagles
19. Clay Matthews, DE/OLB, Packers
18. Nnamdi Asomugha, CB, Raiders
17. Haloti Ngata, NT, Ravens
16. Charles Woodson, CB, Packers
15. Dwight Freeney, DE, Colts
14. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
13. Chris Johnson, RB, Titans
12. DeMarcus Ware, DE/OLB, Cowboys
11. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

20. QB Eagles No. 7: Yeah, OK. According to this list, QB Eagles No. 7 is the fifth best quarterback in the NFL - despite the fact that he can't read defenses or recognize the blitz. Oh, and he just turned 31, so we're bound to see somewhat of a regression in terms of his speed and elusiveness next year. And, by the way, I'm never buying any Nike product ever again.

17. Haloti Ngata: What is the best defensive lineman in the NFL doing outside the top 10? I really don't understand the thinking here.

16. Charles Woodson: Whoa... Charles Woodson is No. 16, yet Tramon Williams is nowhere to be found on this God forsaken Top 100 list? The NFL players do know that Williams outplayed Woodson last year, right? Or were they too busy preparing for a standoff with the owners that they had no chance of winning?

By the way, here are some players who should have been on this list (in order):

Lawrence Timmons, ILB, Steelers (top 35)
Brandon Flowers, CB, Chiefs (35-50)
Justin Smith, DE/DT, 49ers (35-50)
Kevin Williams, DT, Vikings (35-50)
Joe Haden, CB, Browns (51-70)
Andrew Whitworth, OT, Bengals (51-70)
Kyle Williams, NT, Bills (61-80)
Chad Greenway, OLB, Vikings (61-80)
Tramon Williams, CB, Packers (61-80)
Matt Schaub, QB, Texans (81-100)
Rolando McClain, ILB, Raiders (if Eric Berry is ranked, McClain should be)
Devin McCourty, CB, Patriots (same as McClain)

NFL Top 100 Players of 2011: 10-1:

10. Julius Peppers, DE, Bears
9. Drew Brees, QB, Saints
8. Darrelle Revis, CB, Jets
7. Andre Johnson, WR, Texans
6. Troy Polamalu, S, Steelers
5. Ed Reed, S, Ravens
4. Ray Lewis, ILB, Ravens
3. Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
2. Peyton Manning, QB, Colts
1. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots

8. Darrelle Revis: Forum member Joe Legend made a great point when he said that Darrelle Revis should be ranked better than Andre Johnson, since Revis shuts down Johnson whenever they match up. Can't argue with that.

4. Ray Lewis: The players need to put down the crack pipe. Ray Lewis is a first-ballot Hall of Famer and is still getting it done at the age of 36, but he isn't anywhere close to being the fourth-best player in the NFL right now. Haloti Ngata is the superior talent. In fact, without Ngata, Lewis would frequently be exposed.

3. Adrian Peterson: I'm not doubting Adrian Peterson's talents as a pure runner, but in today's NFL, you need to be a factor in the passing game. Peterson does not excel in that area, so I think putting him at No. 3 was a mistake.

Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady: Despite numerous mistakes in the NFL Top 100 Players of 2011, the top two picks were correct. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning should be Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. It's good to see that the players weren't entirely focused on the lockout when compiling this list.

Go here to read the feedback received for my analysis of the NFL Top 100 Players of 2011 list.

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Walter 07-05-2011 06:19 pm (total posts: 24)
19     18

@Jake - I've never once heard any Chiefs fan say Carr was better than Flowers. I watched every Chiefs game last year, and I can tell you confidently that Flowers is unquestionably better.

Peyton Manning had a great 2010 season as far as I'm concerned. 4,700 yards and 33 touchdowns with absolutely nothing around him beyond Reggie Wayne? He carried that team.

Bailey just turned 33. He could easily fall off.

You can't look at tackle numbers in determining how good a defensive player is. Lawrence Timmons is one of the top linebackers in the NFL. Watch him play. He's awesome.

Was Ray Lewis convicted? Was Roethlisberger convicted? I'm sorry, I thought we lived in America, where we're innocent until proven guilty. Not sure what happened with Lewis, but they found no male DNA inside Roethlisberger's accuser, which is why he was found innocent.
Steven 07-05-2011 06:18 pm (total posts: 1)
18     19

Why are Lloyd, Babin, and Foster singled out as one-year wonders but Mike Williams and Suh aren't? Is it because they're rookies? Although I tend to believe whether one is a rookie or not has nothing to do with being a one-year wonder. We've seen rookie one-year wonders before.
Jake 07-05-2011 06:12 pm (total posts: 3)
18     18

Carr did give up more touchdowns, but in between the twenties Carr would cover receivers better. Flowers is a great player, but in the middle of the field he gets worked.

Peyton Manning was god awful by his standards which is what I was implying. Manning's huge contract is the sole reason he had no receivers and offensive line, so don't tell me that wasn't his fault.

Bailey will have two premier pass rushers next season in Von and Doom, if anything he should have a better season.

Timmons had nearly half as many tackles in '09 then in '10. Didn't realize 80 tackles as a 3-4 jack linebacker was now considered awesome. My mistake.

Ray Lewis killed a man. Ben Roethlisberger raped 2 chicks. Michael Vick sponsored dog fights. No I'm not saying you should support him, again just stay consistent. In my opinion dogs and humans are equally important, quit acting like a PETA supporting child and realize that he has made mistake. He is genuinely sorry about that. And he has had adequate punishment for that mistake.
Walter 07-05-2011 05:57 pm (total posts: 24)
18     19

@Jake - No way is Brandon Carr better than Brandon Flowers. Carr surrendered five touchdowns last year. Flowers gave up one. Carr had 10 missed tackles. Flowers had one.

Saying Peyton Manning was "God awful" last year is really ignorant. Manning was missing everyone except for Reggie Wayne, and his offensive line was garbage. Yet he completed 66 percent of his passes and threw 33 touchdowns. That's God awful? Really? Then I'll take God awful any day of the week.

I didn't mention Bailey because of age. He could decline.

Lawrence Timmons was awesome in 2009, so I don't understand why he's a "one-year wonder?"

I will never stop with the QB Dog Killer s***. Sorry to disappoint you, but I do not support sick psychopaths who drown dogs and take bets on how long they'll last.
Pachzoh 07-05-2011 05:39 pm (total posts: 1)
22     18

Walter, JaMarcus just retired so he cant be in the top ten of current players. But he should be in the top ten all time right next to ryan leaf and ki jana carter
NNN 07-05-2011 05:37 pm (total posts: 1)
19     18

no Dumervil?
Jake 07-05-2011 05:35 pm (total posts: 3)
18     18

So Walt, you decide to critique this list with some fiery analysis. Did you seriously not see all the crap on twitter the players were saying after the list? Many were upset about how it turned out and couldn't believe the players had actually ranked it. Ok, so maybe you missed it. But that isn't too bad.

You say Ray Lewis is not getting it done anymore due to his old age... But you say its ok to see Peyton Manning at 2, even though he was god awful last season? He declined, and you didn't mention it.

You don't even mention Champ Bailey who was dominant all season last year. And he accomplished that feat without any pass rush at all. He shut down every single receiver he played except Dwayne Bowe in the first game. In that game however, the broncos were up early and played heavy prevent the whole game to try to stop deep passes. For you to say that Brandon Flowers should have been ranked as high or higher than the Champ, you're wrong.

Brandon Flowers is a phenomenal young corner, but he wasn't even the best corner on his own team. I live in kansas city, I get to see him every sunday. Brandon Carr gave opponents more problems last year.

Now you also cry about every 1 year wonder on the list... Yet you anoint 1 year wonder Laurence Timmons in the top 35? I will give you he is a great player, but he has only had 1 year of great production. Stay consistent.

And please quit with all the Michael Vick ****. I don't like the eagles. I have a puppy who I would never want to see hurt. But I have forgiven him long ago for his sins. He has decided to be a quality citizen, give him a break already.
Walter 07-05-2011 05:28 pm (total posts: 24)
18     17

Youk, you forgot Jimmy Clausen and JaMarcus Russell.
Youk 07-05-2011 05:25 pm (total posts: 10)
20     19

My top ten:
1. Levi Brown OT Arizona
2. Dimitri Patterson CB Philadelfia
3. Reggie Bush RB New Orleans
4. Aaron Maybin OLB Buffalo
5. Vernon Gholston DE New York Jets
6. Roy Williams WR Dallas
7. Andre Smith OT Cincinnati
8. Darrius Heyward-Bey WR Oakland
9. Derek Anderson QB Arizona
10. Brady Quinn QB Denver
Walter 07-05-2011 05:10 pm (total posts: 24)
18     18

@Omar - So that game-winning drive against the Cardinals meant nothing? He went 21-of-30 for 256 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT in that Super Bowl, and his defense allowed 23 points. Three years earlier, he went 21-of-29, 275 yards, 2 TDs in the AFC Championship.

What has Philip Rivers done in the playoffs? His last appearance, he had three turnovers in a 17-14 loss to the Jets. His defense did a good job there, but he couldn't take care of the football.

I love Rivers, but as far as I'm concerned, Roethlisberger is clearly the superior quarterback.
Chad Clifton's Mom 07-05-2011 05:06 pm (total posts: 10)
15     17

My son is crapping his pants all the week before facing Jared Allen and Julius Peppers, with BOTH of them. Dont you think is kind of crazy one is in 80 and the other one in 10? I am confused
Patrick Willis 07-05-2011 04:58 pm (total posts: 10)
17     16

dont you think I got sunnubed? Come on, Im not the 23th best player in the league, not worse than Lewis, harrison, peppers, maybe ware. Hell, i am way better than that! And come on Lawrence Timmons? Are you kiding me buddy? Dont you believe Lofton, tulloch, harris, laurinaties are way better middle linebackers? I am not saying timmons doesnt deserve a spot in the list, but the guys above deserve even a better one.
Omar 07-05-2011 04:52 pm (total posts: 10)
14     15

Well, I am in love with your mock drafts, but don't you believe the player thought about pure talent when ranking the players? I mean, if Roethlisberger won two superbowls, but his participations his three superbowls were not so shiny, the defense gave Pittsburgh the tittles, Big Ben just did'nt screw it up. Think about it, what could an extremely accurated passer as Phillip Rivers would do with a team like Pittsburgh. It reallybscares me. I think you got that one wrong. Good luck
Joe 07-05-2011 04:03 pm (total posts: 1)
15     16

Keep in mind the special was called top 100 players of 2011. So if we are going by the 2010-2011 season, guys like brandon lloyd and Jason Babin deserve their spots. As well as Roethlisberger not being at a higher spotsinc ehe did miss some time. You can't factor in past accomplishments on this list. Every other criticism is pretty much well called for.
BigPedro2078 07-05-2011 03:43 pm (total posts: 2)
15     15

@ Walter....Roddy put up 1,200 yards with the combination of Joey Harrington, Byron Leftwich ans Chris Redmon!!!

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