NFL Top 100 Players of 2016: Analysis
I berated the players for their crappy rankings in the Top 100 NFL Players of 2011 and people seemed to like that. I ran four other critiques of the Top 100 NFL Players of 2012, the Top 100 NFL Players of 2013, the Top 100 NFL Players of 2014, and the Top 100 NFL Players of 2015. I've gotten many requests to do the same for the 2016 version, so here we are.
I really find it amazing how NFL players can screw these rankings up. As I pointed out before, if you're in an office, you and your other co-workers can probably rank the best employees and come to a smart consensus. NFL players, however, continuously bungle things like this, probably because many of them don't watch film or pay attention to the other games. I mean, they ranked Michael Turner in the top 100 four years ago, yet the guy couldn't even move. Two summers ago, the fossilized Jared Allen was voted 68th. When he tackled players, he had to find his walker afterward. Last year, DeMarco Murray was fourth. FOURTH!!!
Predictably, there were some really dumb choices in the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016. I've highlighted them, marking the underrated players in blue and overrated players in red:
NFL Top 100 Players of 2016: 100-91:
100. Derek Carr, QB, Raiders
99. Cameron Jordan, DE, Saints
98. Jarvis Landry, WR, Dolphins
97. Richie Incognito, G, Bills
96. Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills
95. Mike Daniels, DT, Packers
94. Gary Barnidge, TE, Browns
93. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Chiefs
92. Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
91. Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
92. Andrew Luck: No one seems to be ranked too highly in this segment, so my apologies for being somewhat boring to begin this article. However, the one glaring issue in the 100-91 bracket is Andrew Luck being at No. 92, which is just insane. Luck is arguably one of the top three quarterbacks in the NFL, and coaches and scouts have told us that if all the players were put into a pool for the taking for the next decade, Luck would be the top choice. Luck didn't have a good 2015 campaign, but dealt with shoulder and spleen injuries the entire year.
NFL Top 100 Players of 2016: 90-81:
90. Matt Forte, RB, Jets
89. Allen Hurns, WR, Jaguars
88. Cameron Heyward, DE, Steelers
87. Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots
86. Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers
85. Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins
84. Tamba Hali, DE/OLB, Chiefs
83. Telvin Smith, LB, Jaguars
82. Delanie Walker, TE, Titans
81. Alex Smith, QB, Chiefs
90. Matt Forte: Forte once belonged on this list. In fact, he probably could've been in the top 50. However, that's not the case anymore. He's no longer the player he once was; Forte, 31 in December, averaged just 4.1 yards per carry in 2015.
87. Julian Edelman: Just like Wes Welker was overrated years ago, Edelman is getting the same treatment. He's just a system slot receiver who would be almost worthless on many other teams.
85. Kirk Cousins: Kirk Cousins is apparently better than Andrew Luck now. Wow. Just wow.
83. Telvin Smith: Is it sad that the players in the 100-91 range are collectively better than those ranked 90-81? Telvin Smith is a big liability in run support... so... why is he 83rd?
81. Alex Smith: Ladies and gentlemen, the most mediocre quarterback in the NFL has been declared to be the 81st-best player in the league. I think the NFL players have reached a new low with this ranking. This is completely embarrassing.
NFL Top 100 Players of 2016: 80-71:
80. Derrick Johnson, LB, Chiefs
79. Ryan Kalil, C, Panthers
78. Chris Ivory, RB, Jaguars
77. Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins
76. Linval Joseph, DT, Vikings
75. Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs
74. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos
73. Harrison Smith, S, Vikings
72. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks
71. Calais Campbell, DE, Cardinals
78. Chris Ivory: OH MY GOD. CHRIS IVORY IS 78TH?!??!?! ARE YOU F***ING SERIOUS??? CHRIS IVORY... IS 78TH!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!
What the hell is going on here? I mean, seriously? Do NFL players not watch any other games? Did they not pay attention to how Ivory was so bad at the end of this past season that he was BENCHED? Ivory had ONE 100-yard game after Week 6, and that was against the horrible Titans. I don't understand what the hell these players are thinking with these asinine rankings. Forget what I said about Alex Smith being the new all-time low. This definitely takes the cake. Jesus Christ.
77. Jordan Reed: Breathe, Walt, breathe. Breathe...
OK... OK... I've calmed down. I feel like Jordan Reed should be ranked higher. He's such an incredible play-maker. Still, this isn't a crazy gripe. Not like Chris Ivory being 78th. LOL. I'm literally laughing out loud right now. HOW THE HELL CAN THEY PUT CHRIS IVORY 78TH!?!? HOLY S*** WHAT THE F*** IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE THAT THEY CAN'T IDENTIFY IF A PLAYER IS GOOD OR NOT!?!?! I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT'S GOING ON!?!?!?!?! CHRIS IVORY IS A BETTER PLAYER THAN ANDREW LUCK HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
72. Doug Baldwin: Breathe... breathe... breathe... breathe... breathe...
OK, so this doesn't seem right. I know Doug Baldwin had a great finish to his 2015 season, but he doesn't seem like a better receiver than Jeremy Maclin or Sammy Watkins. I need to see Baldwin be highly productive for another year to warrant him being this high.
NFL Top 100 Players of 2016: 70-61:
70. Carlos Dunlap, DE, Bengals
69. Bobby Wagner, OLB, Seahawks
68. LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills
67. Andrew Whitworth, OT, Bengals
66. Earl Thomas, S, Seahawks
65. Marcus Peters, CB, Chiefs
64. Reshad Jones, S, Dolphins
63. Gerald McCoy, DT, Buccaneers
62. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos
61. NaVorro Bowman, LB, 49ers
61. NaVorro Bowman: Anyone who thinks NaVorro Bowman belongs in the top 100 didn't pay attention to how utterly awful he was last year. Bowman could barely move, as he was a major liability in coverage. Now, maybe that changes because he was two years removed from a devastating knee injury, but it's also possible that he'll never fully recover from it.
NFL Top 100 Players of 2016: 60-51:
60. Reggie Nelson, S, Bengals
59. Michael Bennett, DE, Seahawks
58. Kawann Short, DT, Panthers
57. Clay Matthews, DE/OLB, Packers
56. Blake Bortles, QB, Jaguars
55. Eric Berry, S, Chiefs
54. Thomas Davis, LB, Panthers
53. Lavonte David, LB, Buccaneers
52. Chris Harris, CB, Broncos
51. Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys
60. Reggie Nelson: Reggie Nelson led the NFL in interceptions last season, but the Bengals were willing to part ways with him this offseason without a second thought. The issue is that Nelson is 33, so it's reasonable to expect him to decline soon. I think he belongs in the top 100, but not all the way at 60.
56. Blake Bortles: I almost spit out my gummy worm upon seeing this. I did not expect Blake Bortles to be in the top 100; let alone No. 56. So, let me see if I got this right... Bortles is 56th, while Andrew Luck is 92nd. This means that the Colts would willingly trade Luck to the Jaguars, and Jacksonville would refuse. Yes, this seems very reasonable.
Everyone in Jacksonville's front office would splooge all over their pants if the Colts were dumb enough to propose this sort of deal. I... I just don't know anymore. This ranking makes it seem like NFL players are the dumbest people of all time. I know there are some intelligent players, but man, this is just f***ed up.
52. Antonio Gates: Another old player who's not nearly as good anymore. Yawn. Let's move on.
NFL Top 100 Players of 2016: 50-41:
50. Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons
49. Fletcher Cox, DT, Eagles
48. Chandler Jones, DE, Cardinals
47. Eli Manning, QB, Giants
46. Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers
45. Trent Williams, OT, Redskins
44. Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals
43. Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Lions
42. Tyron Smith, OT, Cowboys
41. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers
50. Devonta Freeman: Quick, without looking, how many times did Devonta Freeman average more than 3.4 yards per carry in a game following Week 8 last year? Just once - and that came when Freeman was given just three attempts versus the Colts. Freeman had some great performances to open the year, but he was absolutely dreadful at the end of it. I'm lower than most on him in my Fantasy Football Rankings.
NFL Top 100 Players of 2016: 40-31:
40. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Dolphins
39. Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/DT, Jets
38. Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers
37. Marshal Yanda, G, Ravens
36. DeMarcus Ware, DE/OLB, Broncos
35. Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals
34. Aqib Talib, CB, Broncos
33. Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers
32. Kam Chancellor, S, Seahawks
31. Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars
36. DeMarcus Ware: Each year, the players vote in someone who is too old, and I say the same thing each time: This list isn't a lifetime achievement award; it's supposed to project who the top 100 players of 2016 will be. Ware probably belongs in the top 100, but at 34, he's no longer the dominant player he once was.
35. Andy Dalton: OH MY F***ING GOD. OH... MY... F***ING... GOD.
WERE THE NFL PLAYERS WHO VOTED IN THIS LIST DRUGGED? I'M SERIOUS. THIS IS F***ING RIDICULOUS. A QUARTERBACK WHO CAN'T WIN IN THE PLAYOFFS BECAUSE OF HIS POP-GUN ARM IS NO. 35!??!?! SO, ANDY DALTON IS BETTER THAN MARSHAL YANDA, MUHAMMAD WILKERSON AND NDAMUKONG SUH!?!?!?! AND HE'S BETTER THAN ANDREW LUCK, PHILIP RIVERS, ELI MANNING AND TYRON SMITH!!?!??!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!??!
I don't understand what's going on here. A.J. McCarron wasn't much of a downgrade from Dalton last year, so what, is he going to be No. 45 next year? Do NFL players not understand how mediocre some of these quarterbacks are? S*** that falls out of my anus has a more legitimate claim to being the 35th-best player in the NFL than Andy Dalton. This is f***ing ridiculous, and I'm so close to quitting right now. In fact, I might just give up on life. I never thought that other humans could be so stupid. This is just flat-out depressing.
33. Doug Martin: So, a guy who quit on his team multiple years in a row and only tried when his contract was about to be up is the 33rd-best player in the NFL? That's cool.
NFL Top 100 Players of 2016: 30-21:
30. Drew Brees, QB, Saints
29. Geno Atkins, DT, Bengals
28. Tyrann Mathieu, CB, Cardinals
27. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
26. Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Chiefs
25. Brandon Marshall, WR, Jets
24. Darrelle Revis, CB, Jets
23. Joe Thomas, OT, Browns
22. Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
21. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
30. Drew Brees: What I wrote last year applies because Brees was 30th for the 2015 list: "I lost enough money on the Saints [the past two years] to know that Drew Brees is not the 30th-best player in the NFL anymore. He's quickly declining and is no longer the player he once was. Perhaps NFL players should start gambling so they can make a more-accurate list. Get on that, Goodell."
26. Justin Houston: What I wrote last year applies because Houston was
24. Darrelle Revis: Here's another old guy who shouldn't be ranked so highly. Revis struggled at times last year and has clearly lost a step. He probably should've been in the 60-75 range.
NFL Top 100 Players of 2016: 20-11:
20. Richard Sherman, CB, Seahawks
19. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans
18. Patrick Peterson, CB, Cardinals
17. Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
16. A.J. Green, WR, Bengals
15. Von Miller, DE/OLB, Broncos
14. Aaron Donald, DT, Rams
13. Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Raiders
12. Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals
11. Josh Norman, CB, Panthers
20. Von Miller: Von Miller is probably the best defensive player in the NFL after J.J. Watt. I don't understand why he's ranked 15th, but there are far worse mistakes on this horrific list.
12. Carson Palmer: So, Carson Palmer, the guy who choked like a dying dog in the playoffs, is better than Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, Khalil Mack and Aaron Donald. Yeah, OK. I'd care more about this, but I've given up on life, remember?
NFL Top 100 Players of 2016: 10-1:
10. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants
9. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots
8. Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
7. Luke Kuechly, LB, Panthers
6. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
5. Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
4. Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers
3. J.J. Watt, DE, Texans
2. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
1. Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
5. Adrian Peterson: I don't have a huge problem with this ranking, but at 31, Adrian Peterson could regress this season. I wouldn't put him in the top 10. I'd have more on this, but as I've said... given... up... meh...
NFL Top 100 Players of 2016 - Snubs:
Anthony Barr, LB, Vikings - Two stud linebackers were glaring omissions on this list. Anthony Barr is the first. Barr is terrific in every aspect, so it's apparent that the players voting for this didn't watch too many Minnesota games.
Jamie Collins, LB, Patriots - This linebacker exclusion is even more perplexing. Everyone knows how awesome Collins is. Do the players hate him for some reason? Collins being left off the top 100 list doesn't make any sense.
Travis Frederick, C, Cowboys - The best center in the NFL (aside from maybe Nick Mangold) isn't on this list? Lolwut.
Zack Martin, G, Cowboys - Zack Martin is one of the top five guards in the NFL. He's probably in the top three. Excluding him from this list is pretty irresponsible, but considering how stupidly the players have voted, I can't say I'm surprised.
Devin McCourty, S, Patriots - What I wrote last year applies: "I don't know what Devin McCourty needs to do to get noticed. He's been a stellar safety for the Patriots the past couple of seasons, yet no one ever votes him into the top 100."
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons - Matt Ryan is better than Alex Smith and Andy Dalton. Andy f***ing Dalton, who is somehow 35th. What the f***?
Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys - I know Tony Romo missed most of 2015, but he's better than half of the quarterbacks on this list, including No. 35 Andy Dalton. I can't f***ing take it anymore.
Josh Sitton, G, Packers - What I wrote last year applies, which is funny because I also wrote it in 2014: "I wrote this last year, but no one listened: Josh Sitton is easily a top-five interior lineman in the NFL. He might even be one of the best three. I don't get how he's not a top-100 player."
Desmond Trufant, CB, Falcons - Once again, what I wrote last year applies: "Atlanta's defense has been woeful the past couple of seasons, so maybe that's why Desmond Trufant hasn't been getting noticed. Trufant is one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL, and he definitely deserves a spot on this list."
2023 NFL Mock Draft - March 23
2024 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 19
NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 17
NFL Picks - Feb. 14
Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 7
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