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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.

Leave a comment

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AJ 07-05-2011 12:29 pm (total posts: 1)
14     16

what about peyton hillis? he's probably the strongest running back in the league!
HAHA 07-05-2011 12:23 pm (total posts: 4)
22     22

@Adam C
What on earth are you talking about? I never said the guys I backed up are top 5 on my list.. I thought they deserved to be on the spot they are or be ranked a little bit better. You're not making any sense...
Btw, you said that my opinions are opposites from Herm Edwards's and then you say that my philosophy is in total agreement with his.
Learn to speak/read English properly son.
Adam C 07-05-2011 11:48 am (total posts: 3)
21     22

Herm Edwards played in the NFL and coached in the NFL as well and he has none of your guys in his top 5. I would think a coach and a player would know more than just a player and he has Demarcus Ware #1 on defense and Brady #1 on offense but unlike the players he included 2 left tackles in his top 5 offense. So based on your philosophy you should be in total agreement with Herm Edwards.
JGatt 07-05-2011 11:17 am (total posts: 1)
21     16

David Harris should be on this list. Yet again, he's underrated. You can say he's a liability in the passing game, but he was the monster in the middle of the first ranked pass defense two years ago. And last year? He never blew a game for the Jets. Nor was he frustrating watch. Maybe two plays he blew a coverage noticeably. And he's been second-team all-pro for years now.And if Vilma's on this list, Harris played better than Vilma as a rookie. Completely outplayed Jonathan Vilma. you can put him anywhere from 81-100 but he deserves to be here.
Matt 07-05-2011 11:08 am (total posts: 2)
16     16

I think the NFL (and most of the fans) are confused by the ranking system here. It seems more like a "best of all-time among current players" type list? If so, the Ray lewis #4 ranking would be appropriate. If it is based totally on 2011 numbers, then Lewis at #4 is ridiculous. And Vick at #20 would be too harsh. He was, after all, the MVP runner-up. Based on that logic, Vick could be as high as #2 if it was based solely on 2011. Other guys, Foster for example, should be top ten (maybe top 5) if it was based totally on 2011 production.

But this should be expected. "Respect" absolutely came into play when the players were making their rankings. If the MLB had a similar list Jeter would make the top ten out of respect. Even though Jeter is an average player at best at this point of his career.
3peat2013 07-05-2011 11:01 am (total posts: 1)
21     16

Nick Collins is WAY to low. He's clearly the 3rd best safety in the league and the players rank Berry and Rolle higher? Collins should be top 50.
BigPedro2078 07-05-2011 09:50 am (total posts: 2)
22     22

You obviously hate the Falcons. You complain about Calvin Johnson's placement but make no mention of a receiver that has been much more productive than Calvin..RODDY WHITE. 4 years of production after a rough start. And Calvin's best year was not as good as Roddy's best year!!
HAHA 07-05-2011 09:40 am (total posts: 4)
21     17

agree completely with ironduke
HAHA 07-05-2011 09:39 am (total posts: 4)
20     16

Hey Walt, you play in the NFL? Nah, didn't think so. The players made the list. And what you're doing wrong is looking at the negatives. Obviously the players you don't think deserve the spot they're in have great skills in other areas such as Charles Woodson(2011 DPOY), Robert Mathis, Michael Vick(arguably strongest arm and the BEST DUAL QB)
And you keep saying things like some of these players need to have 2 or more consistent seasons, this list was for 2011... You even typed "Top 100 players of 2011" 10 times.
I do agree though with some players like DeSean, Eric Berry, or Jonothan Vilma
ironduke 07-05-2011 09:28 am (total posts: 1)
18     17

I would put Mike Vick in the top 10. If the Eagles had an average offensive line, he would have been unstoppable.
Kofi 07-05-2011 09:13 am (total posts: 3)
18     18

I see what your saying about McNabb Walt but I don't know if you care more about the body of work that they have or if they had a good year. Just like the players I don't think they shouldn't have put McNabb on the list but I think Brandon Lloyd definetly deserved it because of what he did in 2011
Robb 07-05-2011 08:56 am (total posts: 1)
18     29

Where's the love for Percy Harvin? He's a threat receiving, running, and returning. Hell I'd take him over T.O all day erry day.
Joey 07-05-2011 08:54 am (total posts: 2)
15     17

How about Foster ahead of MJD? MJD played on a knee injury all year, he has a worse OL and QB, and nothing close to Andre Johnson luring defenders away. And yet, Foster had only 6.5 more yards per game.
James 07-05-2011 08:49 am (total posts: 2)
19     20

I'm sure the players were smart enough to not think about stats and the success of the team when ranking these guys. Put Dwayne Bowe in GB with Rodgers, put Jennings in KC with Cassel. Who has the better season then? Thus the ranking.
How is MIKE WILLIAMS Ranked 83rd, and HAKEEM NICKS not ranked? 07-05-2011 04:35 am (total posts: 1)
22     19

Mike Williams of the bucs is 83rd, and hes only played one good yr, and his yr wasen't even as good as Nicks, and Nicks missed 3games? Please tell me, how Mike Williams is ranked 83rd and Hakeem nicks is not on the list?

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