The CFC Top 100 Players of 2012: 80-61

When the NFL Network released their Top 100 Players of 2012, I wasn’t a fan so I decided to make my own list. You can catch the first 20 here, along with some more explanation on how the players are picked.

80: Eric Weddle, S, San Diego Chargers

Tied for the league lead in INT’s in 2011, Eric Weddle had his best season after getting a new contract in the offseason. Weddle also made his first Pro Bowl in 2011 and his second consecutive All Pro team. Weddle is one of the best upcoming safeties in the NFL.

79: Jay Ratliff, DT, Dallas Cowboys

Since entering the league, Jay Ratliff has been a big part of the Cowboys defense in the middle. He’s a four time Pro Bowler and was an All Pro in 2009.

78: Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vincent Jackson got paid big this past offseason, and he got paid like one of the league’s best WR’s. While he is very good, he was defintley overpaid by the Bucs. He’s been to the Pro Bowl twice but also has held out for a contract and tends to disappear at times. His best season was in 2009 when he caught 68 passes for 1,167 yards and 9 touchdowns. He followed that up by playing in 5 games in 2010.

77: Brian Cushing, LB, Houston Texans

After being drafted in the 1st round of the 2009 draft, Brian Cushing wasted no time and won the defensive rookie of the year award. He’s been a 2 time All Pro player in his short NFL career including this past year when he racked up 81 tackles and 4 sacks.

76: Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers

Everybody knows how talented Jermichael Finley is, but he has yet to make use of his full potential. He’s a very athletic TE and had his best season this past year with 767 yards and 8 touchdowns. Things should only go up from here for Finley, as he’s getting more experience and playing with Aaron Rodgers.

75: Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

Dwayne Bowe followed up his career best 201o season-in which he caught a league leading 15 touchdowns-with another great season despite not having the teams starting QB Matt Cassel. Bowe is one of the league’s best young WR’s and with Cassel back this season he’s in for another great season, and a potentially big payday in 2013.

74: Adrian Wilson, S, Arizona Cardinals

Adrian Wilson has been one of the league’s best safeties during his 10 year career in the NFL so far. A 5 time Pro Bowler, Wilson has been an important part of the Cardinals defense during his NFL career. Wilson appears to be on the way down though, with his tackle and interception numbers going down in each of the past two seasons.

73: Ryan Clady, T, Denver Broncos

In his rookie season, Ryan Clady finished third in the Rookie of the year voting behind Chris Johnson and Matt Ryan. He was the only lineman to receive a vote. During that rookie season he only allowed .5 sacks which is an incredible number for any lineman let alone a rookie. While his sack numbers have gone up considerably since his rookie year, Clady is still a premier tackle and will be a big part of keeping Peyton Manning healthy this upcoming season.

72: Ryan Kalil, C, Carolina Panthers

The Panthers have had success over the past couple of years running the ball with DeAngelo Williams and Johnathan Stewart, and a big part of that is Ryan Kalil at the middle of their O line. Kalil is a three time Pro Bowler and one of the best centers. Kalil also received a 6 year, $49 million deal making him the highest paid center in the league.

71: Brandon Flowers, CB, Kansas City Chiefs

Before 2011, Brandon Flowers received a nice new 5 year, $50 million contract. Even though he has yet to make a Pro Bowl in his 4 year career, Flowers has been a reliable corner for the Chiefs and could become an elite corner in the next couple of years.

70: Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys

Since 2007, Jason Witten has been consistently one of the best TE’s in the league. He’s had 900 yards in every year since 2007 and had 9 touchdowns in 2010. He’s been reliable and a top target for Tony Romo, and things should stay that way.

69: Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills

Through 10 games in 2011, Fred Jackson was the top back in all of the NFL. 934 yards and 6 touchdowns, Jackson was a big reason that the Bills were a surprise team in the first part of the 2011 season. When Jackson went down though, so did the Bills. If Jackson can stay healthy and stay on the pace he was setting last year, he will rise on the list of the best players in the league and could become recognized as one of the best running backs.

68: Jason Babin, DE, Philadelphia Eagles

After a big season in 2010 for the Titans in which he racked up 12.5 sacks, Jason Babin was able to get a nice payday, joining the Eagles for 5 years and $28 million. Babin proved to be worth that in his first season with the team, getting a career high 18 sacks on his way to his second straight Pro Bowl.

67: Logan Mankins, G, New England Patriots

When Tom Brady gets all the time he gets in the pocket, Logan Mankins is one of the reasons why. A 4 time Pro Bowler and a 3 time All Pro, Mankins was deserving of the contract he got before the 2011 season that made him the 2nd highest guard in the NFL.

66: Lance Briggs, LB, Chicago Bears

Along with Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs has been a big part of the feared Chicago Bears defense. Briggs is a 7 time Pro Bowler and has had over 80 tackles in all of his NFL seasons except for his rookie year.

65: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Detroit Lions

After an incredible first season in which he won rookie of the year, Ndamukong Suh fell off in 2011. Often in trouble with the NFL law, Suh is now on their list of “dirty” players in the NFL which isn’t good. He had only 4 sacks in 2011 compared to the 10 he had in his rookie year. If he can get back to his rookie year form though he’s one of the most feared defensive lineman in the league.

64: Jonathan Joseph, CB, Houston Texans

One of the best corners in the league, Jonathan Joseph started to be recognized as one in 2011. He was voted to the Pro Bowl and more importantly got a big payday from the Texans in the way of 5 years and $48 million.

63: Richard Seymour, DE, Oakland Raiders

Usually when the Patriots ship someone out of town, it means they’re done. While Seymour hasn’t been as great of the player he was with the Pats, Seymour has still been very effective for an average Raiders defense. His sack totals have gone up in each of his three seasons with the Raiders while he still proves that he’s a valuable player on this team.

62: Brian Urlacher, LB, Chicago Bears

For the past decade, Brian Urlacher has been the anchor on the Chicago Bears defense and was a big part of them making it to Super Bowl XLI. Urlacher has been a consistent force in his career and has been the reason the Bears have had a feared defense. Urlacher has a very good chance at the Hall of Fame when he finally decides to end his career.

61: Justin Tuck, DE, New York Giants

Justin Tuck has had an up and down last couple of years sack wise, but when he’s on the top he’s among the best. It’s easy to see why this has happened to him too, with all the other talent that the Giants cycle in on the D-Line. Tuck has had over 10 sacks in three seasons since 2007 and had 6 and 5 in the other two seasons.

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