Taking a look at the NFL Networks awful Top 100 Players of 2012

For the second year in a row, the NFL put out a Top 100 Players of 2012 list. The idea is solid, but it’s very flawed. They give NFL players ballots to fill out and they use the one’s they get to put together this list.

Like many other NFL fans, I have a big problem with this list. So much so, that for the second year I’ll be putting out my own list. For now though, let’s look at where they went wrong with their list.

They actually did a pretty good job with their Top 20. While I would move people around, the group they have in the Top 20 isn’t bad. There’s one name in particular that’s missing though, that just isn’t right. The most dominant TE in the game, Rob Gronkowski is ranked 21. While that’s just outside of the Top 20, he deserves to be in their if not in the top 15. Especially because they found room to put Jimmy Graham in at 14.

Jimmy Graham is a great tight end, but he’s not on the level of Gronk. Gronk had more yards and touchdowns than Graham last season and was unstoppable in the Saints offense.

After his spectacular 2011 season which ended in a Super Bowl, nobody was questioning the talent of Eli Manning. I wasn’t going to mention the fact that he wasn’t even on their list last year, but they put him at 31 this year? 31? Manning threw for almost 5,000 yards last year on his way to his second Super Bowl, yet he’s the 31st best player in the league? You cannot be serious.

While I can’t blame them, the players did put a little too much stock into the past of some of these players. This list is supposed to be the Top players of 2012 though, so some people like Ed Reed are ranked too high. Another example of that is Tony Gonzalez, who was ranked at 53. While Gonzo is one of the best TE’s of all time, he’s no longer a factor like he once was. And he isn’t in the top 53, probably 100 players in the league.

Also not one of the best players in the league is who the players ranked at 95 and 92. At 95 is everybody’s favorite QB, Tim Tebow. According to the list, Tim Tebow(a backup) is one of the top 100 players in the league. Not on the list? Many other deserving QB’s, including Matt Ryan. The absurd player that was ranked at 92 was Packers fullback John Kuhn. Yes, John Kuhn who has 8 career touchdowns. Unlike Vonta Leach-the other fullback on the list-Kuhn isn’t an elite blocker and has no business on the list. Somehow he snuck in, and I’m not even sure you can attribute it to popularity because not a lot of fans even know who John Kuhn is.

My final problem with the list is the overreaction and high ranking of rookies. Some examples of this is Patrick Peterson at 55, Von Miller at 52 and AJ Green at 77. If anybody deserves their position it’s Green at 77, but still I don’t think one good season deserves a spot in the Top 100. Of course the exception to that is Cam Newton, because I’m pretty sure him breaking records isn’t a fluke. The other problem with the rookies rank is who they’re ahead of. Patrick Peterson is 24 spots ahead of Nnamdi Asomugha, who we were calling the best CB in the NFL just last year.

While the NFL tries to put together a legitimate list, they didn’t do a great job this year. Part of the list is good, but overall the NFL Networks Top 100 Players of 2012 list was a waste of time.

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7 Responses to Taking a look at the NFL Networks awful Top 100 Players of 2012

  1. Steven Jeffries says:

    I like Welker on the list at about 25-30, and Witten at 20-25. And Timmy Tebow is right about where he should be…

  2. Gronk had an awesome year. Now if you look at it as putting Jimmy Graham in his role on that team, how would he fair? I think at a minimum similar, but probably even better. Put Gronk on the Saints in Graham’s role and I don’t think he does as well as Graham.

    If you think of it as the viewpoint of the player and not the stats they had (systems, opponents, teammates…too many different variables), which you are supposed to be looking at the player, then I think that they got it right putting Graham ahead of Gronk. Although I would have put Manning ahead of Graham and Gronk. I’m guessing part of the thing that players are looking at is who they would rather face. Thinking about facing Graham, you can plan for defending a guy his size, with his speed. You can’t plan for defending a vertical leap without making contact.

    • stephenchott says:

      You make a good point Lee and while I’ll give Graham a speed advantage over Gronk I’m not sure he’s that much of a bigger matchup problem. I think your selling Gronk short when you say that he wouldn’t be able to produce with the Saints. While Brees does spread the ball around more than Brady, I’m not sure that their would be a huge difference in production with them flipped. They’re both great but I’d give Gronk the slight edge, but we really don’t know how they would fair if they were flipped.

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