The NFL Network announces its best of the best: The top 100 players of 2011

In the midst of a season-threatening lockout, the NFL Network recently compiled its list of the league’s best 100 players, as voted on by the players.  It’s a dastardly and devious attempt to take our minds off the lockout, while simultaneously reminding us how much we miss the sport.  Cunning move, Monsieur Goodell.

Most of us already side with the players in the current dispute.  After all, it’s not the owners’ jerseys we accidentally spill wing sauce on every Sunday afternoon.  We don’t need that much more propaganda to remind us how badly we crave resolution, but lists like these always make for fun debate.

So until we have real football to talk about, let’s continue living in denial.  Here’s the Top 100 list the good folks at the NFL Network have compiled, along with my own personal commentary:

  • 100.D. McNabb Redskins, QB – Sympathy vote, right?  Oh, and where would players rank Brett Favre had he re-unretired in 2011… which still might happen, by the way.  Keep your fingers crossed.

  • 99.C. Clifton Packers, OT

  • 98.D. McFadden Raiders, RB – McFadden hasn’t quite lived up to his potential as Oakland’s #4 pick, but hey, at least he’s no Jamarcus Russell!

  • 97.S. Phillips Chargers, DE

  • 96.N. Collins Packers, S

  • 95.J. Beason Panthers, LB

  • 94.F. Gore 49ers, RB – A few years ago, he’d have to be Top 50, right?

  • 93.E. Berry Chiefs, S – 93rd already?  The kid just got in the league last year! The future looks bright in Kansas City.

  • 92.L. Briggs Bears, LB

  • 91.T. Owens Bengals, WR – Terrelle Owens?  Really?  Isn’t that popcorn stale yet?

  • 90.J. Flacco Ravens, QB

  • 89.A. Wilson Cardinals, S

  • 88.V. Davis 49ers, TE – I WANT WINNERS!!!

  • 87.J. Gross Panthers, OT

  • 86.J. Freeman Buccaneers, QB – As a Bucs fan, me likey mucho!!

  • 85.J. Babin Titans, DE

  • 84.J. Cribbs Browns, WR – Surprisingly low.  Who’d he piss off?

  • 83.M. Williams Buccaneers, WR

  • 82.L. Woodley Steelers, LB

  • 81.B. Raji Packers, DT – Time to start adding up the Packers’ defensive players

  • 80.J. Allen Vikings, DE – And probably looks the best in jorts

  • 79.D. Ferguson Jets, OT

  • 78.D. Clark Colts, TE

  • 77.C. Snee Giants, G

  • 76.S. Holmes Jets, WR – Also surprisingly low, but we know who he pissed off.

  • 75.J. Ratliff Cowboys, DE

  • 74.G. Jennings Packers, WR

  • 73.T. Cole Eagles, DE

  • 72.T. Romo Cowboys, QB – Did Jessica Simpson get a vote?

  • 71.M. Williams Texans, DE

  • 70.M. Austin Cowboys, WR – Did Kim Kardashian get a vote?

  • 69.J. Abraham Falcons, DE

  • 68.A. Rolle Giants, S

  • 67.B. Waters Chiefs, G

  • 66.R. Seymour Raiders, DE – Seymour is 31 years old, people, and still amazingly bad ass.

  • 65.V. Leach Texans, RB

  • 64.T. Hali Chiefs, DE

  • 63.C. Wake Dolphins, LB

  • 62.J. Mayo Patriots, LB

  • 61.B. Marshall Dolphins, WR – Marshall’s the kind of guy you think should be in the top 20, but aren’t surprised at all to find him at 61

  • 60.J. Tuck Giants, DE

  • 59.J. Saturday Colts, C – Saturday’s 36 years old meaning there’s hope for us old guys yet.

  • 58.B. Lloyd Broncos, WR

  • 57.A. Gurode Cowboys, C

  • 56.R. Rice Ravens, RB

  • 55.C. Nicks Saints, G

  • 54.A. Samuel Eagles, CB

  • 53.M. Colston Saints, WR

  • 52.M. Ryan Falcons, QB

  • 51.N. Suh Lions, DT – Like every other football fan out there, we’re all looking to see how good this guy can get

  • 50.W. Welker Patriots, WR – Short white guys rule!

  • 49.B. Urlacher Bears, LB

  • 48.C. Bailey Broncos, CB

  • 47.N. Mangold Jets, C

  • 46.T. Gonzalez Falcons, TE – Gonzalez is also 36 and probably the greatest tight end ever but 46th best player in the game at this point in his career might be a stretch

  • 45.D. Bowe Chiefs, WR – Interesting considering nobody had heard of this guy prior to last year

  • 44.R. Mathis Colts, DE

  • 43.J. Thomas Browns, T

  • 42.M. Turner Falcons, RB

  • 41.B. Roethlisberger Steelers, QB – But number one in womens’ restrooms nationwide

  • 40.T. Suggs Ravens, LB

  • 39.L. Mankins Patriots, G

  • 38.S. Jackson Rams, RB

  • 37.J. Vilma Saints, LB

  • 36.J. Witten Cowboys, TE

  • 35.V. Wilfork Patriots, DT

  • 34.J. Evans Saints, T

  • 33.J. Charles Chiefs, RB

  • 32.D. Hester Bears, WR – Again, a few years ago, Hester probably ranks higher.

  • 31.R. Wayne Colts, WR

  • 30.M. Jones-Drew Jaguars, RB – At 5’4”, MJD ranks number one in the ranking per inch category.

  • 29.D. Jackson Eagles, WR

  • 28.J. Long Dolphins, T – I still remember how no Florida Gator could get around this guy in the 2008 Capital One Bowl.

  • 27.C. Johnson Lions, WR

  • 26.P. Rivers Chargers, QB

  • 25.A. Foster Texans, RB

  • 24.R. White Falcons, WR

  • 23.P. Willis 49ers, LB

  • 22.A. Gates Chargers, TE

  • 21.J. Harrison Steelers, LB – The league fined him for appearing on this list

  • 20.M. Vick Eagles, QB – Interesting to consider where Vick would have ranked pre-Leavenworth.

  • 19.C. Matthews Packers, LB – After only two years in the league?  Frightening!

  • 18.N. Asomugha Raiders, CB

  • 17.H. Ngata Ravens, DT

  • 16.C. Woodson Packers, CB

  • 15.D. Freeney Colts, DE

  • 14.L. Fitzgerald Cardinals, WR

  • 13.C. Johnson Titans, RB

  • 12.D. Ware Cowboys, LB

  • 11.A. Rodgers Packers, QB – This means Favre HAS to be top ten, right?

  • 10.J. Peppers Bears, DE – Carolina Panther fans everywhere are shivering

  • 9.D. Brees Saints, QB

  • 8.D. Revis Jets, CB

  • 7.A. Johnson Texans, WR

  • 6.T. Polamalu Steelers, S

  • 5.E. Reed Ravens, S

  • 4.R. Lewis Ravens, LB

  • 3.A. Peterson Vikings, RB – Upon hearing the news of being ranked so high, Peterson fumbled the honor shortly thereafter

  • 2.P. Manning Colts, QB

  • 1.T. Brady Patriots, QB – Giselle Bunchen obviously had more than one vote.

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35 Replies to “The NFL Network announces its best of the best: The top 100 players of 2011”

  1. A few things that stuck out at first glance…

    Can anyone find a Florida Gator on this list?

    No Percy Harvin. No Reggie Bush and no Shawne Merriman?

    Anyone else surprised at any of that?

  2. Pingback: The NFL Network announces its best of the best: The top 100 players of 2011, NFL | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  3. Seymour is only 31. Seems like he’s been around since Brett was a back up.Speaking as a father of 2 daughters, that punch he landed on Big Ben put him in my top 10.

  4. There’s no truth to the rumor that the NFL Network’s list of 100 all but 45 of them are prepared to come out of retirement to play this season should there still be a lockout .

    It’s far better to do a list on 100 NFL players who’ve fallen afoul of the law and the reasons why ! Can you imagine who’d be on the list and the various reasons behind the notations in question ? Rae Carruthers and OJ would definitely be atop of that list for sure !

    ‘I killed the bi_ch because I didn’t want to pay child support and the fact that my son has ended up with cerebral palsy doesn’t mean I don’t love him at all ‘! Rae Carruthers

    In OJ’s own words “If I Did It” and that’s a mighty big if ….” I’d have done it like this “. Thank God there was a jury out there that sent his a_s to prison even if it was for a lesser charge .

    tophatal ………..

  5. I’m kinda surprised Desean Jackson didn’t make the list. As well as Mendenhall. Seems like there’s going to be snubs in any list like this, but that’s my two cents…

  6. Harvin was hurt for a lot of last year… Don’t think he deserves it, same situation with Bush…

    Merriman got cut from the Chargers before the season even ended, so that might tell you how much his skills have eroded without being able to use roids anymore…

  7. I know, Aer.

    I actually thought Seymour was older than that as well.

    Maybe that’s the reason New England chose not to resign him. He wasn’t old enough, he he.

  8. Chap…

    Funny you should mention that. Jackson made the list at 29 but I also missed his name the first time I went through it.

    And good call on Mendenhall. Surprised not to see him up there and would think he, at this point, would get enough respect in the league to be voted on.

  9. Chap…

    I was really surprised to not see any Florida Gators on this list.

    There’s gotta be at least one up there, no?

    And when healthy, Harvin’s one of the most dangerous weapons in football.

    And where the hell was Tebow?!? (Just kidding)

  10. I know I am a homer but Josh Freeman put up some awesome numbers last year, much better than many of the other guys ahead of him. I also thought Talib, shooting incident aside could have made the list. Tony Gonzalez and Reggie Wayne are on the down slope, Devin Hester is a great PR but WR, not so much. McNabb is a joke and can anyone explain to me how Romo is higher than Flacco?? How many playoff games has Romo won again??

  11. Oh and as for gators, Pouncy (obviously Steelers not Dolphins)should have made the list.

  12. Yeah no doubt Harvin is a stud when he doesn’t have migranes, but last year he missed too much time for me to agree with putting him on the list.

    Rashard carried the Steelers offense when Big Ben was suspended those first four games. I guess that was ten years ago in this information age…

    I completely missed Desean. I like how the Pac-12 is widely viewed as a “weak” conference, but looking at this list you see tons of players from the schools out here. If Tebow wasn’t on the Broncos, I’d be rooting for him to succeed.

  13. Biggest travesty is Suh at 51! He’s better than at least 20 ahead of him.

    Ray Lewis, #4 ?!?!?! Was this list prepared 8 years ago?

    Polamalu definitely needs an * next to his spot so high on the list. It’s been 2-3 years since he was a game changer.

    Three Canes in the top 7. No Gators? No surprise. No Gamecocks? Now there’s a shocker!

  14. SK…

    Looking forward to another solid year of growth for Freeman, that’s for sure. This community is totally behind this young team.

    Now all we need is for there to be a season.

  15. True on Pouncey, SK. Another friend mentioned that to me when we were discussing the list. Guess he just hasn’t been around that long yet.

    And I imagine it won’t be long before Joe Haden becomes a permanent resident on here.

  16. I don’t know, Chap.

    Polamalu missed time last year and still made top ten. I’m not saying Percy’s Troy, but still. Despite the migraines and foot injuries, I’d take him on my squad in a heartbeat, as I’m sure every general manager in the NFL would.

    And ya’ know what? The more I think about it, the more I’m pissed Mendenhall isn’t on this list. Thanks for getting me worked up.

    I mean, all he did was score 13 touchdowns and rush for 1300 yards last year. Congrats on spotting the biggest snub not on the list.

  17. What an absolutely ridiculous list. I’m surprised another short(ish) white guy named Eric Weddle didn’t make it.

    Just watch, some team is really going to overpay him in a few weeks. Mark my words…

  18. Glad I could get the anger flowing!

    I agree with you guys about Troy. He probably shouldn’t be that high, but hey, I’m sure if it’s the NFL Network making the list, they need their marketable guys on there!

  19. Chris

    Of course both Vick and Big Ben would make the list how could they not ? Vick is now back in the mainstream having signed a multi year multi million contract with Nike . Now wait for the rest of the commercial flood gates to open for the player .

    I hear that Casey Anthony is now said to be looking for commercial endorsements also ? No truth if Heinz and Gerber are looking to sign her though . But it’s said that cable show hosts Nancy Grace and Jane Velez Mitchell are pi##ed at the not guilty verdict as the ratings for their respective shows are about to decline . ‘nough said ! . I’m so glad that this bull#hit is over ! But at the same time it goes to show how pi@s poor the justice system in the state is ! It’s a damning indictment but mercifully the state DA for Orange County handed in his resignation after the verdict . They should have tried Anthony on a manslaughter charge than a capital murder charge . They’d have obtained a guilty verdict had they gone that route to be sure ! Now downtown Orlando can get back to business as usual instead of the madness of the last few weeks .

    So Clemens’ trial is about to begin ? Oh that’s a comedy of errors that is about to become so laughable to say the very least .

    tophatal ………..

  20. Chris

    The NFL Network is everything that Fox claims it is ….. Fair and Balanced . They’ve got to be kidding right ? Is there a chance however that the analysis can be anymore insightful than the crap that’s served up by Fox ?

    tophatal ………

  21. At this juncture, a top 10 of NFL Cheerleaders would be of more interest.


  22. Peyton Hillis ain’t in the top 100? This list is BS. How does Cribbs make the list after an OFF year but Hillis (who carried the Brown’s on his back) is snubbed? It’s obvious that the voters didn’t see Hillis run last year, the dude is a freak of nature and he plays the game with class.

    They’re going to put a friggin GUARD on the list? WTF? Real suprised we didn’t see a couple of ball-boy’s make the cut.

    The BEST players are those who perform during crunch time, those who lead by example and those who carry themselves with dignity on and off the field. I see about 10 scratches based on that alone.

  23. Chris

    Well thankfully the NFL Network itself wasn’t quick to jump off a cliff and report that an accord had been reached between both sides. What is it with these alleged inside sources that ESPN has ?

    Well at least that the status quo remains the same with regards to both lockouts .

    So now there’s about to be a professional nationwide poker circuit and league ? They’re now said to be looking for a broadcast deal with one of the major cable outlets . Does that now mean the Spelling Bee takes a back seat on ESPN ?

    Pop Goes The Weasel …

    tophatal …

  24. Drew…

    Speaking of short white guys, I don’t happen to see Peyton Hillis’ name on this list either. He’s listed at 6’2″ but I’m not sure I believe that.

    He rushed for 11 touchdowns and 1200 yards last season. What’s up with that?

  25. Justice system in the state, Al? I don’t believe OJ was tried in Florida. This happens to be a federal problem.

    And now on to the Clemens trial? Perhaps he’ll retain the services of Joes Baez.

  26. Yaz…

    Cheerleaders are always of interest, sir.

    I’ll see if I can find you a link or two.

    Even if there’s no football, do you think we could still get the cheerleaders to come out and do their thing on the sidelines?

  27. Good call, ET. I just wrote that above as well.

    Kid was insane last year. He DESTROYED New England in Week 9. 29 carries, 184 yards, 2 touchdowns.

    He also rushed for 144 against Baltimore and um… according to the guys who made this list, they have a pretty good defense.

  28. We’re still sitting idly by, Al, as the league continues to toy with our emotions.

    I’m hearing we’re close… but I’ve been hearing that for weeks.

  29. Ten questions for Selig, Al? Don’t know if I got that link.

    I’ve been working my tail off lately so I’m behind on my reading.

    I’m sure I could come up with a few stumpers for the Crypt-keeper though.

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