For the 10th consecutive year, the NFL players have ranked the top 100 players in the league. The list has often been revealed once a week over a 10-week period. However, NFL Network, this year, decided to release the list within the span of a few days, giving us the list right as training camps begin to open. The entire list is now out and here are my thoughts.
Lamar Jackson being number one is an absolute joke for several reasons. First, he should not be ahead of Russell Wilson. Wilson is a more accurate and composed quarterback than Jackson. Wilson took an average all-around team to the divisional playoff round and would have won if Seattle had any resemblance of a secondary. Meanwhile, Jackson had a loaded backfield with a great offensive line and a plethora of weapons at receiver and tight end. What did Jackson do with that? Became arrogant, cocky, and proceeded to get humiliated by the sixth-seeded Tennessee Titans. I guess regular season only matters for this list.
Also, let’s not forget about the one person who has had a perfect 2020 in Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes. He led three double-digit comebacks in the playoffs and is easily the most talented quarterback in the league right now. He earned the richest contract in sports by being a starter for only two years. He’s also a part-owner of a baseball team, the Kansas City Royals, while being in the NFL for only three years. I understand Jackson deserved to win MVP, but him being above Mahomes is baffling to me. I can understand Wilson above Mahomes since Wilson is efficient and constantly elevates his team, but not Jackson.
While we are at it with quarterbacks, I hate Aaron Rodgers being above Deshaun Watson. Rodgers was decent by his standards last season and anyone who watched the Green Bay Packers last season knows that the Packers offense was rarely, if ever, in rhythm. Rodgers had Aaron Jones, a good offensive mind in Matt LeFleur, and the biggest injury luck I’ve ever seen. Watson had to deal with Bill O’Brien, a terrible secondary and a brutal schedule. Watson had to carry the team while Rodgers was a glorified game manager.
Comparing players of different positions is a difficult task. However, there are two comparisons that act as exceptions. First, San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo being above Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White is ridiculous. Garoppolo is a good QB but not a great one. He proved this in Super Bowl 54 when in the final two minutes, he threw a pick and overthrew Emmanuel Sanders on a pass that could have given the 49ers the lead. He benefits strongly from having the best offensive mind in the NFL as coach and personnel giving the offense an aura of mystery.
White is an elite corner and elevated the Bills’ defense to top-tier status as they guided the Bills to a 10-win season and the playoffs. He elevated his unit unlike Garoppolo, emphasizing why White should be above Jimmy G.
The other comparison is Michael Thomas and Christian McCaffrey. Thomas is a record-breaking receiver and McCaffrey did not make the playoffs. However, McCaffrey should easily be above Thomas because McCaffrey is an ultimate Swiss-Army knife.
McCaffrey is a fantastic running back along with being a stout receiver. He basically was most of the offense for the Carolina Panthers last season as he did his best to produce with Kyle Allen at QB. Thomas, on the other hand, is in a Sean Payton-led offense with Drew Brees at QB, do-it-all QB Taysom Hill and running back Alvin Kamara. Thomas is great, absolutely, but I feel like the player who must do more should be higher than the player that largely benefits from his system.
As far as positives go, I love seeing 49ers TE George Kittle and Titans RB Derrick Henry in the top 10. They elevated their teams to championship contention status last season and I’m glad their efforts were recognized. TJ Watt being above Von Miller is also smart as Watt simply made more of an impact last season.
Cardinals pass rusher Chandler Jones is finally getting respect as he lands above Khalil Mack. Mack is the bigger name but Jones had a much better season last year. He has been a fantastic player since joining Arizona in 2016 and I’m very happy he is starting to get the recognition he deserves.
Overall, the list was baffling with many more aspects I disagree with aside from the previously mentioned but there were parts I respected as well. Let’s see if Lamar Jackson can play this season and postseason like the top player in the NFL.