The CFC Top 100 Players of 2012: 60-41

My list of the top 100 players of 2012. Players 100-81 with an explanation on the thought process into the list. Players 80-61

60: Jamal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

After a breakout 2010 season, it looked like Jamaal Charles was ready to join the elite runningbacks in the league. He has blazing speed and good moves, but went down with a torn ACL early in the 2011 season. I believe he will bounce back from that injury, but he’s so low on this list because I don’t see it happening this year. ACL injuries take more than one year to recover from and that’s why he’s so low. Expect him to be back strong soon though.

59: Eric Berry, S, Kansas City Chiefs

Just like Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry had his season cut short due to a torn ACL. Picked 5th overall in 2010, Berry played up to expectations in his first season earning himself a Pro Bowl visit. If he’s healthy in 2012, Berry will continue to climb among the ranks as one of league’s best defensive backs.

58: D’Brickashaw Ferguson, T, New York Jets

With a great offensive line, the New York Jets have been trying to build a dominant running game for the past couple of years. Along with Nick Mangold on that line is the 3 time Pro Bowler D’Brickashaw Ferguson. When the Jets revolving door at runningback is going well, he’s a big reason why.

57: Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers

Before 2011, Steve Smith had put together a nice career but it seemed like he was really washed up. In came Cam Newton though, and Smith was revitalized. After putting up 500 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2010, Smith bounced back almost 1400 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2011. He may be getting old, but for now he’s a reliable deep threat for Newton.

56: Champ Bailey, CB, Denver Broncos

When you talk about the best corners in the past decade, no discussion is legitimate unless Champ Bailey is mentioned. He’s been a consistent and dominant corner, earning an NFL record 11 Pro Bowl appearances. Still, Bailey is declining and not on the level that he once was which leaves him at 56 on my list.

55: Ray Lewis, LB, Baltimore Ravens

Another player declining, Ray Lewis is among the best to ever play at his position. He still has the heart and determination he’s had his whole career, but his skills and speed has diminished. Still, based on his past and what he can still bring to the table, he’s #55.

54: Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants

With the emergence of Victor Cruz last season, I heard many people say that he was the best WR on the Giants roster. He’s just as young as Cruz and he’s the more consistent and dominating WR. Cruz is the exciting deep threat, but Nicks is the better WR. Working with Eli Manning will only do wonders for his career moving forward.

53: Jon Beason, LB, Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers defense struggled a lot in 2011 and a big part of that was Jon Beason missing in the middle of the defense. A two time All Pro, Beason is among the league’s best linebackers and he still has a lot of years left in him.

52: Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears

Jay Cutler has always been underrated because he has a bad reputation. Whether it was forcing himself out of Denver or sitting out of a playoff game, people seem to not like Jay Cutler. Despite that, Cutler threw for at least 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in each of his first two seasons in Chicago and was on the way again before getting hurt in 2011. Expect Cutler to have a big 2012 season too, with the return of Brandon Marshall who he played with when he had his career best season.

51: Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers

It’s always nice when you get to be the go to guy for the best QB in the league. Greg Jennings has been Aaron Rodgers top WR since he came into the league and even though Jordy Nelson had a breakout year don’t be fooled; Greg Jennings is his guy.

50: Frank Gore, RB, San Fransisco 49’ers

It appeared like Frank Gore may have been wearing down leading up to this year, but then he came out with 1,200 yards in the 49’ers new offense. There’s no mistaking that father time will catch up with Gore eventually, but I have no doubt he still has a couple 1,000 yard seasons left in him.

49: Ed Reed, S, Baltimore Ravens

One of the best ball hawks that the NFL has seen, quarterbacks need to think twice before throwing his way. In his career he’s been a dangerous defensive back, but I had trouble putting Reed higher than this. He’s declining and getting injured often, not to mention he’s been flirting with retirement in the last couple of years.

48: Wes Welker, WR, New England Patriots

Wes Welker may not be the best WR in the league, but he’s great at what he does. Getting catches and turning them into big plays. Three times since joining the Patriots he’s lead the league in catches and he’s had 1,000 yards in all except 2010, which he missed the end due to injury.

47: Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers

Through the first part of his career, Philip Rivers had high expectations around the league and had played like one of the best QB’s in the league. He took a huge step back in 2011 though throwing 20 interceptions. I don’t think this is a sign of things to come for Rivers, but he may not be as good as we once thought he was.

46: Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta Falcons

Since joining the Falcons, Michael Turner has been a workhorse for them. He’s had three seasons with 300 carries and has had double digit touchdowns in all of them. You have to be concerned about him wearing down soon with that amount of carries, but it hasn’t happened yet and he’s still an effective back for the Falcons.

45: Clay Matthews, LB, Green Bay Packers

Coming from a long line of football players, Clay Matthews had high expectations since entering the league in 2009. He hasn’t disappointed yet, making the Pro Bowl in every season. He took a huge step back in 2011 in his sack numbers, but I wouldn’t expect that to be a trend moving forward.

44: Vernon Davis, TE, San Fransisco 49’ers

Vernon Davis hasn’t been too reliable in his short NFL career, but it seems like under coach Jim Harbaugh that he is finally ready to commit to the work needed towards being a successful player. He should only get better with the improvement of Alex Smith, as he joins the elite TE’s in the league.

43: Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders

Perhaps this is too high for someone who has only rushed for 1,000 yards once in his career, but if Darren McFadden could stay healthy he’d be a very good back. He had 614 yards and 4 touchdowns in 7 games before getting hurt in 2011. If he’s healthy, McFadden is one of the best in the league.

42: Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

Another player who would be one of the best if he stayed healthy, we all know what Michael Vick is capable of. He’s an improved passer since joining the Eagles and still brings a dynamic running game. He could see himself on the way out in Philly if he doesn’t stay healthy this upcoming season though and the Eagles play suffers.

41: Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Roddy White broke out in 2010 with a league leading 115 catches for almost 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns. While he didn’t have quite as impressive numbers in 2011, White has established himself as a legitimate WR and a dangerous target for Matt Ryan.

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2 Responses to The CFC Top 100 Players of 2012: 60-41

  1. Sean Breslin says:

    I think Vick is highly overrated on this list, but that’s just me.

    • stephenchott says:

      When he’s healthy though, he’s a good QB who adds another part to his game by running. If we’re basing it just off of his QB skills, then he’s probably not deserving of being that high. When you add in his running ability though, he deserves to be where he is IMO.

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