Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Official 2017 r/NFL Top 100 Players (of the 2016 Season) - #90-81

Hello and welcome again to the r/NFL Top 100 Countdown!

Today we bring you Part II of our series, revealing players 90-81 as voted on by our rankers, as well as the Ranking Predictor (if you can come up with a better name, please let me know… please?) for the players ranked 100-91.

#100 - Xavier Rhodes - CB - Minnesota Vikings 76.06% 14.08% 9.86%
#99 - Dont'a Hightower - 4-3 MLB - New England Patriots 46.48% 35.21% 18.31%
#98 - Russell Wilson - QB - Seattle Seahawks 84.51% 8.45% 7.04%
#97 - Jurrell Casey - 3-4 DT - Tennessee Titans 36.62% 49.30% 14.08%
#96 - Marcus Cannon - Tackle - New England Patriots 2.82% 35.21% 61.97%
#95 - Gerald McCoy - 4-3 DT - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45.07% 43.66% 11.27%
#94 - Brandon Brooks - Guard - Philadelphia Eagles 16.90% 46.48% 36.62%
#93 - Doug Baldwin - WR - Seattle Seahawks 32.39% 45.07% 22.54%
#92 - Paul Pozluzny - 4-3 MLB - Jacksonville Jaguars 11.27% 23.94% 64.79%
#91 - Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix - FS - Green Bay Packers 52.11% 19.72% 28.17%

Before we start, we have two things we need to touch on:

1- I can’t believe we still have to say this one every single post but these rankings are based 100% on the 2016 season, so all players are listed with their 2016 teams. (Thankfully no one on today’s list changed teams!)
2- We all understand that you may not agree with the way a player is ranked but please don’t attack individual rankers for their own opinions simply because they differ from yours. We are a community here, am I right?

And now, Part II of the Top 100 Players (of the 2016 Season). Players ranked #90-81!

#90 - Rodney Hudson - Guard - Oakland Raiders - Previous Rank: N/R

Check out Rodney Hudson’s stats here!

Written by /u/Trapline *

I’m sure there are some familiar Raiders players on this list but Rodney Hudson could be an unknown name to some. Hudson was signed to a large deal (for a Center at the time) after his rookie deal with Kansas City expired and he has been an integral part in the Raiders offensive prowess ever since. There was a dramatic reduction in snap related fumbles and pass protection especially has been bolstered with him in the lineup.

He offers tremendous pass protection and consistent drive in the run game. Hudson saw 629 pass protection snaps in 2016 and allowed precisely 0 sacks. Per PFF his pass blocking efficiency was highest in the league among centers (for the 2nd year in a row) and 3rd highest among any offensive line player. While Kelechi Osemele is the primary road grader on the Raiders OL, Hudson offers power and speed in his role in a diverse Raiders running attack.

His biggest contribution, though, could be as a leader and strategist. Rodney and Derek Carr work to diagnose and attack defenses tremendously well together. Former OC Bill Musgrave said as much at one point calling Hudson and Carr “a dynamic duo, like having two quarterbacks on the field.” Hudson is a film junkie and isn’t one for small talk. Jalen Richard on talking with Hudson “Not chitchat. He takes the job seriously and he is brilliant.”

If this list was based purely on PFF grades Hudson would find himself the 2nd highest rated Raider on the entire list after Khalil Mack. I’m happy with simply appearing on the list and entrenching his name as one of the best Centers in the NFL.

#89 - Devonta Freeman - RB - Atlanta Falcons - Previous Rank: 86

Check out Devonta Freeman’s stats here!

Written by */u/Steffnov *

At 5’8, it’s very possible that Devonta Freeman is the smallest player in the entire top 100 (or not, I didn’t check). Don’t make fun of him for that though, he might break your ankles. Despite dropping three spots compared to 2015 (when he exploded onto the scene), Falcons fans will be pleased to see that Freeman wasn’t a one-year wonder, as he racked up 1079 rushing yards at 4.8 YPC and 11 rushing TDs, alongside 462 receiving yards and 2 receiving TDs, all of which were top 10 numbers among running backs in 2016. In the postseason, he also added 3 TDs and 330 yards. He did all this while being part of arguable the most electrifying RB tandem in the NFL, alongside Tevin Coleman.

As a running back, the man can do it all. He can outrun you, He can run through you, he can stiff-arm you to the ground, he can catch better than you and like I said, he can break your ankles. Devonta Freeman had two signature games in 2016. In week 3, he ran all over the Saints for 152 yards on just 14 carries and added 55 yards and a TD through the air. In week 15, he scored a hattrick and 139 yards on the poor 49ers defense.

Despite having the year he’s had, most fans will remember Devonta is a bystander on what might be the most impactful play in the Super Bowl, his missed block on the Dont’a Hightower strip-sack, on a play that originally wasn’t even his. Or they might remember him for the contract discussion that emerged on the week leading up to the Super Bowl, even though he’s always said he doesn’t bother with that and leaves that up to his (horrible…just horrible) agents. You shouldn’t let this distract you from the fact that Devonta Freeman solidified his position as one of the top RBs in the league, and he's fully deserving of this spot on /r/NFL’s top 100.

Did I mention he breaks ankles?

#88 - C.J. Mosley - 3-4 ILB - Baltimore Ravens - Previous Rank: N/R

Check out C.J. Mosley’s stats here!

Written by /u/jusper10

Clint Joseph Mosley is often considered one of the best inside/middle linebackers in the game (Although THE best is pretty far ahead of him) and in 2016 he once again proved why. He played sideline to sideline and was one of the two most important players on the Ravens Top 10 D all season long.

All throughout the season he made key plays to keep the Ravens in games or even better, seal the win. He tied a career high in pass deflections and posted a career high in interceptions that included an incredible one-handed grab. Mosley didn't just impress with his ability to make great picks but was also amazing against the run, posting the third highest PFF run defense grade for an interior linebacker.

Going into the 2017 season, expectations are once again high for him and he has a little bit of help with a replenished defense. However, for the second straight season he has a huge question mark going into training camp about who will be the linebacker beside him. Regardless, he should still be able to perform to his high standards from his first three seasons and hopes to once again be a key part in a top defense.

#87 - Matthew Stafford - QB - Detroit Lions - Previous Rank: N/R

Check out Matthew Stafford’s stats here! (ed note: That’s a nice player card you have there. It’s be a shame if someone made another one. - MJP)

Written by /u/MetaBoss84

Third and five from his own 14, step back, eye Anquan Boldin on an out-route, ignoring 22 for Chicago covering underneath…. And a pick six. Chicago goes up 17-13 with about seven minutes left in the game. However, as the memes prophesize, our next QB on the top 100 players of 2016 almost needs to be down by one score in the 4th quarter in order to demonstrate his greatness. For he answers that terrible mistake with some easy passes to Jones and Boldin, as well as baiting pass interference twice to set up a Russell Wilson type, game-winning touchdown run emphasized by trucking teammate Eric Ebron in the turf.

Stafford made plays like that all season long, tallying 7 4th quarter comeback wins in total. A couple of which, he did so with an injury to his throwing hand, an injury which Stafford played through, which is possibly one of the most Matt Stafford things possible. While his 2016 season may not stand out in the grand scheme of his career (which includes some of the most dramatic moments in NFL films, as well as being one of the extremely few QBs to post a 5000-yard season), as his team limped into the playoffs, it once again demonstrated why Detroit spent a #1 overall pick to get him. Matthew Stafford’s ability to make fantastic plays as well as memes, as well as put together an MVP argument before his injury, earned enough respect for him to land here on this list.

#86 - Delanie Walker - TE - Tennessee Titans - Previous Rank: 52

Check out Delanie Walker’s stats here!

Written by /u/broccolibush42

Delanie Walker is the weapon to surpass metal gear. A Human machine, who is too big for corners to fight for the ball with, too fast for Linebackers to keep up with, he leaves defenses beaten and battered in his wake. He is a man who can do it all at the TE position. Constantly reigning down on his opponents with aggression haven't seen in Tennessee since Eddie George was our starting RB. His skills as a run blocker are no joke, as he helped pave way for Murray and Henry to the league’s 3rd best rushing attack. As a pass catcher, he rarely drops the ball and makes the most of every opportunity he is given. He punishes corners for those extra three to four yards. Ha-Ha Clinton Dix knows. As a matter of fact, the entire Packers defense knows.

With one more year of Great play, Delanie can cement himself as the best TE in Titans history, over the great Frank Wychek, who both played very similarly might I say. Now that the Titans have more weapons at the receiver, I can only predict that opens things up for our M1 Abrams at the TE position.

#85 - Michael Thomas - WR - New Orleans Saints - Previous Rank: N/R

Check out Michael Thomas’ stats here!

Written by /u/jusper10

A lot of Saints receivers' accomplishments over the last decade are overlooked due to belief that Brees is the reason they are so good. For Michael Thomas, this couldn't be further from the truth. Sure, Brees definitely helped him out, but he was a legitimately great receiver all season long. Thomas finished the season with the highest percentage of targets caught at 76% (minimum 100 targets), highest percentage of targets caught for a first down at 51.2% (minimum 100 targets), and was the sixth highest ranked WR in PFF.

Michael Thomas isn't the biggest or fastest receiver you will ever see but he still made amazing plays. He started off the season with an impressive 17 catches over the first three weeks but in week 4 he had his first highlight reel catch with a fourth down grab in the end zone. However, his best TD grab came a month later when he made a spectacular catch over a defender. Those are just two of the examples of some the great plays he was making for Brees last season. For a more in-depth review of how underrated and good Thomas was last year give /u/Barian_Fostate’s video a look. He goes in depth on how, despite being a rookie, Thomas was able to make great reads on defense and gain a trust with Brees. With Brandin Cooks gone, that trust will be imperative for the Saints to have success and Thomas has shown that he is more than capable of being a No 1 receiver.

#84 - Malcolm Butler - CB - New England Patriots - Previous Rank: N/R

Check out Malcolm Butler’s stats here!

Written by /u/ward0630

From undrafted free agent to Super Bowl hero to a spot on the r/NFL top 100, Malcolm Butler’s prestige and performance has risen with every year in the league.

This past season he was the best corner on a secondary that ranked 3rd in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. Butler also received the top coverage grade on the team and 3rd best in the NFL while earning the fourth best overall grade among players in the secondary.

Within those stats were some significant performances from Butler against NFL receivers who are ranked much higher than him on this list. For example, after back to back 100 yard games in the playoffs, Antonio Brown was held to 7 catches for 77 scoreless yards in the AFC Championship game.

Butler’s name was rumored to be brought up in trade talks earlier this offseason and went far enough that Butler went to New Orleans to discuss the possibility of a contract extension if he were traded to the Saints or if the Patriots did not match their offer sheet. Ultimately Butler remains a Patriot with an uncertain future, but what is certain is his ability, versatility, and importance to the New England Patriots.

#83 - Jimmy Graham - TE - Seattle Seahawks - Previous Rank: NR

Check out Jimmy Graham’s stats here!

Written by /u/Super_Nerd92

Jimmy Graham's 2016 season requires the context of his Week 12 patellar tendon injury in 2015... the same injury that sidelined Victor Cruz for 2 years. Fans scoffed all off-season at head coach Pete Carroll's assurances that Graham would be ready by week 1, but incredibly, Graham actually was. And he wasn't 100%--he barely even practiced, spending each week just recovering from the last game. But he suited up for every game, and he produced, both as a more integrated part of the passing game and a better blocker than last year.

Even though he was powering through a potential career-ending injury, Graham still put up the 3rd most yards of any other Tight End last season, and he tied Delaine Walker for the 8th most receptions. His 6 total touchdowns tie him for 7th, with Jordan Reed, but indicate he was a much higher priority in the red zone than in 2015, when the offense seemed to struggle to properly integrate him. (For context, the also-injury-slowed Russell Wilson threw just 21 TDs in 2016). And it doesn't show up on the stat sheet, but Graham reliably drew double coverage in key situations, particularly the red zone, freeing up other passing game weapons.

His best game was easily Week 9 vs the Buffalo Bills, when Graham put up 8 receptions (on 8 targets) for 2 TDs and 103 yards. Check out the two TDs from that game.

#82 - Jason Peters - Tackle - Philadelphia Eagles - Previous Rank: N/R

[Check out Jason Peters’ stats here!(

Written by /u/MikeTysonChicken

After a down 2015 campaign, Jason Peters made his return as one of the premier tackles in the NFL in 2016. Suffice it to say, The Bodyguard has reestablished himself as a strong force at left tackle.

Let me get this out of the way right now: Jason Peters is 35 years old.

Considered to be one of the top tackles in the modern NFL and a future Hall of Famer, Peters current reputation is a bit lower than his play from 2016 would indicate. This isn't saying anything negative of other NFL tackles, but his lackluster 2015 campaign has likely had a lingering effect on the perception of his 2016 season. Jason Peters finished as the sixth overall player on the NFL1000 Top 50 list, in addition to finishing third among all left tackles. That wasn't a typo: they graded Peters as a Top-10 player in the NFL this past season. In addition to those accolades, Peters finished as the 8th rated tackle overall per PFF, 6th in pass blocking, and number 78 on the PFF Top 101 players for 2016. Furthermore, Peters only allowed 25 total pressures over the season with 3 perfect games mixed in (per PFF). Long story short, Peters play hasn't just elevated, it returned to the elite tier he occupied for many years. Perception of Peters took a big hit after his shaky and injury-riddled 2015 campaign; but if you look at what he did every Sunday, you can see that he still has quite a bit left in the tank. I guess you can say he's back in business.

I mean seriously, he's like a big choo choo train. Oh, did I mention he is 35? Watch Peters embarrass Jarvis Jones. This one here is just mean. Oh, almost forgot his week 1 touchdown catch.

What makes me happiest of all is Peters and the Eagles coming to terms on a contract extension that not only lessened his current cap hit, but ensures that he retires an Eagle. This one wasn't just PR, Peters is still a top tier tackle and belongs on the blindside.

The Bodyguard is back. And in the words of Whitney Houston: "Annnnddddd IIIIII EEEEE IIIIIIII, WILLLLLL ALLLLLLWAYYYYYSSS LOOOVE YOUUUUUUU." (ed note: He actually recorded a video of himself singing this. We had to burn it, sorry. - MJP)

#81 - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - CB - New York Giants - Previous Rank: N/R

Check out Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s stats here!

Written by ** /u/Yji**

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had a fantastic season in 2016, racking up 6 INTS and 10 PBUs and a 56.6 passer rating when targeted. He was a key member of a Giants secondary that was 2nd in the league in points per game with 17.8, 2nd in the league with only 15 passing touchdowns allowed as opposed to 17 INTs (2nd in the NFL as well) and 3rd in completion percentage against with a mere 58.6 percent of passes completed against them. Basically, they have a top pass defense and he was a MAJOR part of that.

DRC has a lot of excellent traits that allow him to be a top tier corner, including:

  • Athleticism - We all know DRC ran a 4.29 forty-yard dash, making him an incredibly fast player. But what isn't talked about as much about DRC is his ability to stop on a dime and then accelerate. That start/stop athleticism makes it incredibly difficult to complete these kinds of passes on him, and he's broken up his fair share of them when attempted on him, against even the quickest of receivers. His timing is impeccable as well, getting there exactly when the ball does.

  • Play recognition - Similar to the above play, except DRC reads this one the entire way through and basically runs the route for Golden Tate. He processes the play quickly and is there in perfect position to make the play on the ball. Years of experience building that veteran savvy has allowed him to see the play before it happens and be in the right place, at the right time.

  • Size and ball skills - Listed at 6'2" 193, Rodgers-Cromartie also has the size to match up with larger receivers. He's made countless plays using his ability to elevate and attack the ball at the highest point. Here against one of the most physical WRs in the game against Dez Bryant, he uses his athleticism to keep up on a go route and beats Dez in a jump ball situation in the end zone because of how aggressive he plays the ball. This is something he excels and consistently did in 2016.

  • Clutch factor - Usually I wouldn't say this is a thing, but in the case of DRC, he's absolutely a clutch player. Of his 6 INTS, 5 have come in the second half. 4 have come in the final four minutes, and 3 have come in the final two minutes. Whether it's batting down Hail Marys or getting picks to seal wins, DRC is one player who makes plays when it matters most. The given play is a great example. In Week 17 with 1:26 left in a 3-point game, Rodgers-Cromartie in trail coverage accelerates to undercut a pass intended for Pierre Garcon to seal the win. All year he delivered this type of performance, and you can truly label him as clutch.

Overall, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a complete corner. He has the size, the athleticism, the instincts, and the knack for making plays when the team needs it. He was absolutely a Top 100 player and the voters got this one right.

Now that the players are known, it’s time to tell us if you think they’ll be ranked higher, lower or about the same on next year’s list. Go here and submit your answers! (Yes, you need to be signed in. But this is only so people don’t vote twice. We will never collect or store your information!)

And that is today’s list! Tell us what you think in the comments below!

Coming Friday - Players Ranked 80-71!

Submitted June 28, 2017 at 12:00PM by NFL_Top100
via reddit

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.