NFL Top 100 Players of 2020: 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 other critiques of the Top 100 NFL Players of 2012, the Top 100 NFL Players of 2013, the Top 100 NFL Players of 2014, the Top 100 NFL Players of 2015, the Top 100 NFL Players of 2016, the Top 100 NFL Players of 2017, the Top 100 NFL Players of 2018 and the the Top 100 NFL Players of 2019. I've gotten many requests to do the same for the 2020 version, so here we are.
I really find it amazing how NFL players can screw up these rankings. 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. They ranked Michael Turner in the top 100 eight years ago, yet the guy couldn't even move. Four years ago, Carson Palmer was 12th, Blake Bortles was 56th, and Chris Ivory was 78th! Here was my reaction:
OH MY GOD. CHRIS IVORY IS 78TH?!??!?! ARE YOU F***ING SERIOUS??? CHRIS IVORY... IS 78TH!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!
Three years ago, DeMarco Murray was voted in as the 31st-best player in the NFL. Yes, DeMarco Murray, the guy who lost his job during the year. The NFL players ranked Murray ahead of Kam Chancellor, Joey Bosa, Bobby Wagner, Trent Williams and Jadeveon Clowney.
The following year, Case Keenum was 51st. Let me repeat that. Case Keenum was 51st. Here's what I wrote:
CASE KEENUM IS 51ST!? WHAT!?!?!?!? HOW IN HELL IS CASE KEENUM BETTER THAN PHILIP RIVERS!?!?!?!?
The NFL players thought that Case Keenum was a better player than Philip Rivers. It was almost as bad in 2019, when Jared Goff was slotted in 32nd place. Yes, NFL players thought Goff was the 32nd-best player in the NFL. Like I said, these players have no clue.
Predictably, there were some very dumb choices in the NFL Top 100 Players of 2020. I've highlighted them, marking the underrated players in blue and overrated players in red.
NFL Top 100 Players of 2020: 100-91:
100. Lavonte David, LB, Buccaneers
99. Darren Waller, TE, Raiders
98. Brandon Brooks, G, Eagles
97. Budda Baker, S, Cardinals
96. Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks
95. Frank Clark, DE, Chiefs
94. Jason Kelce, C, Eagles
93. Allen Robinson, WR, Bears
92. Darius Slay, CB, Eagles
91. Grady Jarrett, DT, Falcons
96. Chris Carson: The NFL players aren't off to a bad start, though I question the Chris Carson placement. Carson is not a better football player than Brandon Brooks or Lavonte David. I don't think Carson is a top-100 player, but I wouldn't say this ranking is egregious.
94. Jason Kelce: The best player at his position should be rated higher than 94th.
NFL Top 100 Players of 2020: 90-81:
90. Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals
89. Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams
88. Jaylon Smith, LB, Cowboys
87. Josh Allen, QB, Bills
86. Marlon Humphrey, CB, Ravens
85. Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles
84. Cameron Heyward, DE/DT, Steelers
83. Eric Kendricks, LB, Vikings
82. Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Saints
81. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seahaks
89. Cooper Kupp: This is all fantasy football. Cooper Kupp posts great stats, but he's a system receiver. He's not even the best player at his position on his team. That would be Robert Woods, who didn't make this list.
I've heard some complaints about Josh Allen being in the top 100, but I think it's fine. This is a top 100 for 2020, which indicates that Allen can develop and be ranked inside the top 90.
NFL Top 100 Players of 2020: 80-71:
80. Myles Garrett, DE, Browns
79. Calais Campbell, DT, Ravens
78. Tyron Smith, OT, Cowboys
77. Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
76. Marshon Lattimore, CB, Saints
75. Earl Thomas, S, Ravens
74. Ronnie Stanley, OT, Ravens
73. Fletcher Cox, DT, Eagles
72. Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
71. Jurrell Casey, DT, Broncos
There's nothing egregiously wrong in this range, save for Myles Garrett being too low. I also question Jurrell Casey being better than Ronnie Stanley and Fletcher Cox. Casey belongs in the top 100, but I just disagree with the order.
NFL Top 100 Players of 2020: 70-61:
70. Fred Warner, LB, 49ers
69. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
68. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans
67. Demario Davis, LB, Saints
66. Laremy Tunsil, OT, Texans
65. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks
64. Harrison Smith, S, Vikings
63. Preston Smith, DE/OLB, Packers
62. David Bakhtiari, OT, Packers
61. Jarvis Landry, WR, Browns
69. Larry Fitzgerald: It almost pains me to bad-mouth anything having to do with Larry Fitzgerald. He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and he's also a class act off the field. However, he's nearing retirement, and he's not nearly the player he once was. He doesn't belong in the top 100 anymore.
68. Ryan Tannehill: WHAT!? In what universe is Ryan Tannehill a better player than Ronnie Stanley, Fletcher Cox, Marshon Lattimore and Myles Garrett? If Baker Mayfield were to retire, and the Titans offered Tannehill to the Browns for Myles Garrett, Cleveland's front office would laugh in their face. Come on. How can anyone take this list seriously with Tannehill being slotted as the 68th-best player in the NFL?
63. Preston Smith: Preston Smith is 17 spots better than Myles Garrett? Uhh... OK?
NFL Top 100 Players of 2020: 60-51:
60. Logan Ryan, CB, Titans
59. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Browns
58. Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings
57. Davante Adams, WR, Packers
56. DeForest Buckner, DT, Colts
55. Zack Martin, G, Cowboys
54. Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills
53. Marcus Peters, CB, Ravens
52. Chris Jones, DT, Chiefs
51. Todd Gurley, RB, Falcons
60. Logan Ryan: The players may like Logan Ryan, but personnel men don't. There's a reason why Logan Ryan has been a free agent all this time. Ryan being in the top 100, let alone at No. 60, doesn't make much sense.
58. Kirk Cousins: Can we please stop it with Kirk Cousins? He's not good. Here's what I wrote last year when he was 78th. "If Kirk Cousins is the 78th-best player in the NFL, then I'm the Queen of England. Cousins is a mediocre starting quarterback who has an extensive history of choking in late-season games. I don't know if he'd make my top-150 list, so I don't know what in the world he's doing at No. 78."
51. Todd Gurley: Did the pandemic cause everyone to forget about Todd Gurley's arthritic knees? A running back who can't carry a full workload shouldn't be ranked as the 51st-best player in the NFL.
NFL Top 100 Players of 2020: 50-41:
50. Darius Leonard, LB, Colts
49. Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys
48. Za'Darius Smith, DE/OLB, Packers
47. Tre'Davious White, CB, Bills
46. Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys
45. J.J. Watt, DE, Texans
44. Mark Ingram, RB, Ravens
43. Jimmy Garapoolo, QB, 49ers
42. Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
41. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, TBA
46. Dak Prescott: Conspiracy theory time: Are the players ranking Dak Prescott much higher than he should be so that he gets a mega contract? We know that Prescott doesn't belong in the top 100, so it seems as though his peers are attempting to do him a favor.
44. Mark Ingram: What year is this? Mark Ingram is nearing the twilight of his career. Why do NFL players believe he's a top-50 talent? That's just dumb.
43. Jimmy Garoppolo: HAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!1
WHAT THE F**K IS THIS!? BUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! WOWOWOWOWOWOWOW HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAH LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLLLL!!!!!
NFL PLAYERS THINK JIMMY GAROPPOLO IS BETTER THAN J.J. WATT!!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAAHHAAHAHHAALAOALAOLOLOLOLAHAHAHAHAHALOLOOLLLHAHAHA!!!!!
NFL Top 100 Players of 2020: 40-31:
40. Danielle Hunter, DE, Vikings
39. Tyrann Mathieu, S, Chiefs
38. Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers
37. Jalen Ramsey, CB, Rams
36. Nick Chubb, RB, Browns
35. Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Steelers
34. Joey Bosa, DE, Chargers
33. Aaron Jones, RB, Packers
32. Shaq Barrett, DE/OLB, Buccaneers
31. Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
33. Aaron Jones: I like Aaron Jones quite a bit, but he's not a better football player than the likes of Jalen Ramsey, Joey Bosa and Minkah Fitzpatrick.
31. Saquon Barkley: Saquon Barkley being out of the top 10 is a big mistake. Barkley is a special talent.
NFL Top 100 Players of 2020: 30-21:
30. Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers
29. Quenton Nelson, G, Colts
28. Richard Sherman, CB, 49ers
27. Jamal Adams, S, Seahawks
26. Von Miller, DE/OLB, Broncos
25. T.J. Watt, DE/OLB, Steelers
24. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys
23. Cameron Jordan, DE, Saints
22. Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs
21. Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
21. Dalvin Cook: Is this another conspiracy theory? I think so. Dalvin Cook is certainly a top-100 player, but No. 21 is crazy for someone who has never finished a full NFL season.
NFL Top 100 Players of 2020: 20-11:
20. Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans
19. Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Bears
18. Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
17. Nick Bosa, DE, 49ers
16. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
15. Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Cardinals
14. Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers
13. Bobby Wagner, LB, Seahawks
12. Drew Brees, QB, Saints
11. Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
I have no issues with this group! Let's see how they screwed up the top 10.
NFL Top 100 Players of 2020: 10-1:
10. Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
9. Stephon Gilmore, CB, Patriots
8. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Cardinals
7. George Kittle, TE, 49ers
6. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
5. Michael Thomas, WR, Saints
4. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs
3. Aaron Donald, DT, Rams
2. Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
1. Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens
10. Derrick Henry: Derrick Henry is not 21 spots better than Saquon Barkley. In fact, Barkley is more than 21 spots better than Henry! Putting Henry in the top 10 is insane.
4. Patrick Mahomes: It's official. NFL players, as a whole, are dumb. How can Patrick Mahomes not be voted the best player in the NFL? It's so obvious. Saying otherwise would be like stating, "The sun rises in the south." That makes no sense, and neither does this ranking. I give up.
NFL Top 100 Players of 2020 - Snubs:
A.J. Brown, WR, Titans - I get the feeling A.J. Brown will be a top-50 player on this list next year, barring injury. He was terrific as a rookie last year, justly earning the nickname "Baby Julio." If D.K. Metcalf can be on this list, so can Brown.
Kevin Byard, S, Titans - There's a reason the Titans signed Kevin Byard to a 5-year, $70.5 million contract recently. He's one of the best players at his position. Byard was also left out of the top 100 in 2019, so this is another instance of NFL players being clueless.
La'el Collins, OT, Cowboys - Tyron Smith, despite his bulging
Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions - Kenny Golladay has blossomed into one of the better receivers in the NFL, but because he plays in Detroit, no one seems to have noticed.
Anthony Harris, S, Vikings - Harrison Smith was seeded correctly on this list, but Anthony Harris should've been slotted close to him. Harris is way too good to be excluded from the top 100.
Lane Johnson, OT, Eagles - Lane Johnson is the best right tackle in the NFL. He easily could have made the top 40, yet he was absent from this list entirely. This was also the case last year. Derp dee doo!
Shaq Mason, G, Patriots - It could be argued that Shaq Mason is now the top guard in the NFL, so it's ridiculous that he wasn't slotted into the top 100 at all.
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons - Matt Ryan is now in his mid-30s, but he's still one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. Yet, low-intelligence people think Jimmy Garoppolo, Ryan Tannehill and Kirk Cousins are better than him. Wow.
Justin Simmons, S, Broncos - Justin Simmons is another dynamic safety who didn't get the proper respect he deserves.
Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos - Courtland Sutton was a monster in his second season, especially late in the year when he was finally playing with a quarterback who has talent. He's expected to make a bigger leap in his third year, but NFL players haven't been paying attention to him.
Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles - Carson Wentz single-handedly led the Eagles to the playoffs last year, and he may have won several games in the playoffs had Jadeveon Clowney not knocked him out of the opening playoff game. Wentz was also the front-runner for MVP in 2017 before he got hurt. He's much better than some of the quarterbacks in the top 100.
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