Top 100 NFL Players - 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Last year's list was here.

NFL Network is about to begin its countdown of the hundred best players in the league for the upcoming season; I added my own list a year ago, but didn't rank them, instead just listing the top 100.

Largely, I'm doing the same here, cross-position ranking in super hard, so the only delineation I'm making is between upper 50 and lower 50.  Between now and September, it's likely I make some changes, and once the NFL Network list is announced, I'll add it below.(The NFL Network Countdown is underway, if you want those numbers they're at the bottom of the post)

The only weird, largely unwarranted thing I do here is have a member of each team in the top hundred.

So - here, unranked, is my bottom 50.

Aaron Hernandez
Vince Wilfork 
Logan Mankins 
Lamar Woodley
Tamba Hali
Roddy White 
Jake Long
Mario Williams 
Fred Jackson 
Maurkice Pouncey 
Lawrence Timmons 
Mike Wallace 
Joe Flacco 
Marshall Yanda 
Ray Lewis
AJ Green 
Leon Hall 
D’Qwell Jackson
Joe Thomas 
Nick Mangold 
Chris Johnson 
Dwight Freeney 
Elvis Dumervil 
Peyton Manning 
Antonio Gates 
Ryan Mathews 
Eric Weddle
Richard Seymour 
Victor Cruz 
LeSean McCoy 
Nnamdi Asomugha
London Fletcher
Tony Romo 
Charles Woodson
Lance Briggs 
Brandon Marshall 
Jermichael Finley 
Jordy Nelson 
Brian Urlacher 
Adrian Peterson
Marques Colston 
Julius Peppers 
Michael Turner
Julio Jones
Vernon Davis
Joe Staley
James Harrison
Carlos Rogers 
James Laurinaitis
Hakeem Nicks

And here - my 50 Best Players in the NFL, 2012:
Tom Brady 
Rob Gronkowski
Wes Welker 
Darrelle Revis 
Troy Polamalu 
Ben Roethlisberger 
Haloti Ngata 
Ed Reed 
Ray Rice 
Terrell Suggs  
Geno Atkins 
Brian Cushing 
Arian Foster 
Johnathan Joseph
Andre Johnson 
Maurice Jones Drew
Von Miller
Philip Rivers
Jamaal Charles
Derrick O Johnson 
Eli Manning 
Jason Pierre Paul
Jason Babin 
Michael Vick 
DeMarcus Ware 
Greg Jennings 
Clay Matthews
Aaron Rodgers 
Scott Wells      
Calvin Johnson 
Matthew Stafford
Jared Allen 
Drew Brees 
Jermon Bushrod
Jahri Evans 
Jimmy Graham 
Carl Nicks 
Matt Ryan   
Justin Tuck
Ryan Kalil 
Cam Newton 
Vincent Jackson
Navorro Bowman
Justin Smith
Patrick Willis
Larry Fitzgerald 
Patrick Peterson
Earl Thomas 
Steven Jackson   
Steve Smith

NFL Network List:
#100 Chris Johnson(in my bottom 50, I'd have him a little higher)
#99 Ryan Kalil (in my top 50, so I'd have him solidly higher)
#98 Willis McGahee (my list is intentionally light on backs, McGahee had a helluva year and would be close to my top 100, say top 125)
#97 Donald Penn (I like Penn, he was on my list until the final edit, I have my guy Staley on the list instead, but I'd get a switch)
#96 D'Quell Jackson (in my bottom 50)
#95 Tim Tebow (here comes the run of backup quarterbacks with career completion percentages under 50%)
#94 Marshawn Lynch (like McGahee, a really good 2011 would, for me, place Lynch in the top 125 for 2012, but not the top 100)
#93 Courtland Finnegan(like Penn, one of my very, very last cuts, if you think that Woodson's age or Hall's injury should kick him from the list, a Finnegan replacement wouldn't bother me)
#92 John Kuhn (uh, no, it would be like picking a kicker)
#91 Tony Romo (sure, in my bottom 50, I'd have him higher than this)
#90 Hakeem Nicks (and this is right about where I'd have him, maybe in the bottom ten slots)
#89 Dwight Freeney(no higher than this; Freeney made my list because I wanted a player from every team, but right now he'd be right at the bottom of the top 100 if that)
#88 Michael Turner(he's just barely in my top 100, he really made it at the end when I decided I didn't have enough backs)
#87 London Fletcher (absolutely, if anything, he's a little low)
#86 Darren Sproles (on my list and right about here makes sense)
#85 Navorro Bowman (in my top 50, so I'd have him solidly higher; he might have been the best linebacker in football last year)
#84 Chris Long( I went back and forth between he and Road Warrior Animal's kid, finally choosing the linebacker, but I could see it going the other way)
#83 Fred Jackson (I'd have him right about here)
#82 Joe Thomas (I'd have him a tick lower, but like Jackson, he's in my bottom 50)
#81 Vince Wilfork (in my bottom fifty, I'd have him maybe a tick higher)
#80 Jordy Nelson (in my bottom fifty, this is good)
#79 Nnamdi Asomugha (in my bottom 50, this is good)
#78 Derrick Johnson (in my top 50, so I'd have him higher; maybe in the 30s)
#77 AJ Green (in my bottom 50, this is a little high)
#76 Carl Nicks (in my top 50, I'd have him right around DJohnson)
#75 Jason Witten (I had my guy VD in this spot, it is 2012 after all, but I wouldn't stand on the table in protest, although this is too high)
#74 Joe Flacco (in my bottom 50, this is a little high, I might flip he and Romo)
#73 Johnathan Joseph (in my top 50)
#72 Lance Briggs (in my bottom 50, this makes sense)
#71 DeSean Jackson (nope; I have Victor Cruz in my bottom 50 instead)
#70 Michael Vick(in my top 50)
#69 Carlos Rogers (in my bottom 50, I'd have him lower than this until demonstrating he's not a one year wonder)
#68 Elvis Dumervill (in my bottom 50, this is about right)
#67 Joe Staley (this is the 49er section apparently; I have him in the bottom fifty, but he'd be lower on my list)
#66 Earl Thomas(in my top 50, I'd bump him up about 20 slots)
#65 Roddy White (wasn't on my list but should have been, just an oversight and now I'm editing him in)
#64 Logan Mankins(in my bottom 50, this makes sense)
#63 Lamar Woodley (did not make my list - unlike White it wasnt an oversight, but it was an error in judgment, he should be in ahead of David Harris and I'll make that change)
#62 Justin Tuck (in my top 50, he'd be 20 spots higher on my list)
#61 Phillip Rivers (in my top 50, he'd be 25 spots higher on my list)
#60 Darren McFadden (not on my list; health is a skill)
#59 Jake Long (in my bottom 50, he'd be lower on my list than this)
#58 Jonathan Vilma (not on my list, their poll clearly done before the suspension)
#57 Trent Cole (not on my list, he'd be right on the outside for me)
#56 Greg Jennings (in my top 50, he'd be just on the other side of the 50 line)
#55 Patrick Peterson (in my top 50, he'd be in my top 20, if its a year from now and he does 2011 again, he's in my top ten)
#54 Brian Cushing (in my top 50, he'd be just on the other side of the line)
#53 Tony Gonzalez (the greatest TE ever and he's a reasonable choice, but he's not on my list because he's a million years old)
#52 Von Miller (in my top 50, he'd be about ten spots higher)
#51 Brian Urlacher (in my bottom 50, he'd be about 30 spots lower at this point in his career for me)
#50 Peyton Manning (in my bottom 50, just super hard to evaluate, for obvious reasons; I might put him at #51)
#49 Maurkice Pouncey (in my bottom 50, he's be 40 spots lower on my list)
#48 Devin Hester (not on my list, not that close)
#47 Mike Wallace (in my bottom 50, he'd be 30 spots lower)
#46 Champ Bailey (not on my list, he turns 34 this year, like Tony Gonzalez I don't think he's a top 100 player anymore in 2012)
#45 Vonta Leach (no, no specialists, no - it's the top 100 football players in the league)
#44 Jason Babin (in my top 50, here makes sense, but I might like him a tick higher)
#43 Vernon Davis (in my bottom 50, he'd be 40 spots lower)
#42 Jason Peters (my list was post injury, so he's not there)
#41 Matthew Stafford (in my top 50, he wouldn't be higher than this)
#40 Cam Newton (in my top 50, I'd have him right at 50)
#39 Victor Cruz (in my bottom 50, the players are a little bit captive to one year wonders; I thought I was overly weighing them)
#38 Ndamukong Suh (didn't make my list on the final edit, he's a little more noise than production)
#37 Stephen Jackson (in my top 50, he'd be lower than this)
#36 Charles Woodson(in my bottom 50, he's 36 this year, but he has been great as a Packer, the best half dozen years of his career have been his first three and his last three)
#35 Steve Smith(in my top 50, he'd be lower than this)
#34 Tamba Hali(in my bottom 50)
#33 Matt Forte(not on my list - you know who else's list Forte wouldn't be on?  The Bears)
#32 Jahri Evans (in my top 50 and here sounds good)
#31 Eli Manning(in my top 50, I'd have him a tick lower)
#30 Ben Roethlisberger (in my top 50, I'd have him a tick lower)
#29 James Harrison (in my bottom 50, he's 34, I don't know that he's this player anymore)
#28 Frank Gore (not in my top 100; I'm a Niner fan, Gore's a timeshare going forward)
#27 Clay Matthews (in my top 50, I'd have him a tiny bit higher)
#26 Julius Peppers (in my bottom 50, right next to Harrison)
#25 Arian Foster (in my top 50, he'd be lower on my list)
#24 Jason Pierre Paul (in my top 50, this seems about right)
#23 Wes Welker (in my top 50, he'd be higher on my list, he's a top 15 player)
#22 Ray Rice (in my top 50, he'd be a little lower)
#21 Rob Gronkowski (in my top 50, he'd be lower)
#20 Ray Lewis(at 37 years old, Lewis is in my bottom 50 for 2012)
#19 Troy Polamalu(in my top 50, given injuries, this is high)
#18 LeSean McCoy (in my bottom 50, I have the backs significantly lower than do the players)
#17 Justin Smith (he should be in the top 10)
#16 Ed Reed(in my top 50, but 34 year old Ed Reed shouldn't be this high)
#15 Andre Johnson(yeah, this is good)
#14 Jimmy Graham (in my top 50, this is too high)
#13 Jared Allen (yeah, in my top 10, he'd be next to Smith)
#12 MJD (this is about right; I'll say he's 10th)
#11 Terrell Suggs (on my list at about this spot too - but not anymore)
#10 Patrick Willis (I'll say he should be 4th; lets say Smith is 8, Allen is 6, Willis is 4)
#9 Haloti Ngata(I'll say he should be 7th)
#8 Adrian Peterson (the players heard he blew out his knee, right?  In my bottom 50)
#7 Larry Fitzgerald (in my top 50, but I think he'd be next to Andre Johnson somewhere in the second ten, right with Welker)
#6 DeMarcus Ware (in my top 50, but he's not a top ten player)
#5 Darrelle Revis(I'll say 3rd)
#4 Tom Brady (I'll say second)
#3 Calvin Johnson(I'll say 6th)
#2 Drew Brees (I'll say 9th)
#1 Aaron Rodgers (I concur.)

1 comment

Nate said...

No Joe Haden ? Vincent Jackson and many others are overrated

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