The NFL Network started their NFL 100, so I decided to do my own top 100 rankings. Here is the debut of the DTR 100. The only thing is this, NFL does their rankings based on the past 2017 season. As for my rankings, this is where I rank the top 100 players in the league factoring the recent past few years. 2017 does play a big part in these rankings but so do injuries that leave out some marquee names. Enjoy and let me know your thoughts!
Eric Berry, FS, Kansas City Chiefs – ACL injury
Kam Chancellor, SS, Seattle Seahawks – Neck injury
Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots – ACL injury
Reuben Foster, ILB, San Francisco 49ers – Career in question
Richie Incognito, LG, Buffalo Bills – Retirement
Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts – Shoulder Injury
Jason Peters, LT, Philadelphia Eagles – ACL injury
Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears – ACL injury
Ryan Shazier, ILB, Pittsburgh Steelers – Spinal Injury
Richard Sherman, CB, San Francisco 49ers – Achilles injury
Joe Thomas, LT, Cleveland Browns – Injury and Retirement
J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans – Multiple Injuries
100.Rodger Saffold, LG, Los Angeles Rams
Sure, I’ll get pushback on this pick, but make no mistake Rodger Saffold is a borderline elite player in this league. The Rams have not had the fortunes of having a healthy Saffold but this past season, Saffold was a gigantic part of the best offense in football. Saffold’s ability to get to the second half and multi-task is what makes him stand out. Just ask Todd Gurley.
99.Kevin Zeitler, RG, Cleveland Browns
Unlike Saffold, Zeitler’s bread and butter is his ability in pass protection. While the Browns did go 0-16, it’s important to not lump everyone together. Make no mistake, regardless of who is the signal-caller whether it’s Tyrod Taylor or Baker Mayfield, Zeitler makes up a nice offensive line.
98.Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams franchise Pro Bowl QB had himself a season in year two under Sean McVay. Due to his first season, I could not rank him up with the Russell Wilson’s of the world but Goff absolutely has to make the list. 28 touchdowns and 7 interceptions while almost throwing for 4,000 yards? Goff is only going to continue to move up this list as he grows and learns in this offense.
97.Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers
There is a reason that the Chargers had no issue moving on from Antonio Gates. The former Arkansas Razorback has been a gem ever since being drafted in the 2016 NFL Draft. Do not underestimate Henry, his film is legit. While he only ended up with 45 catches for 579 and others ended up with higher totals, I was extremely impressed with how quickly he emerged as one of the best run blockers in the league. He’s a complete Tight end who will be eyeing 800-plus yards this season.
96.Brandon Brooks, RG, Philadelphia Eagles
This list is going to give the offensive lineman more credit than the NFL Network list. Brandon Brooks is as balanced as it gets. The monster guard does it all but he really has no weakness. You know with many guards they will be great run blockers but they have no ability to pass block? Yeah, Brooks doesn’t even know how you could be that kind of player.
95.Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Zach Ertz is turning into a star and the play above definitely helped with that. Ertz has consistently produced as a receiving threat, he just simply doesn’t block well. That’s why someone with 74 catches for 824 yards and eight touchdowns isn’t higher. I really like Ertz but he needs to improve his blocking because he’s already a top-five Tight end as a receiver.
94.Tyron Smith, LT, Dallas Cowboys
There is some reason to worry about Tyron Smith. Before this past season, Smith would have been the top Left Tackle for many, but he suffered a back injury that clearly disrupted his play this season. Smith still had a solid year but he is not quite what he was a year ago due to the injury. The Cowboys will certainly be hoping he comes back 100% in 2018.
93.Taylor Lewan, LT, Tennessee Titans
Taylor Lewan is by far the baddest tackle on the planet. He’s mean, he’s a captain and while he is a jerk on the football field, he might be the most likable guy off the field. Lewan had a bit of a down year to his standards this past year which is why he fell in this spot, still, Lewan is one of the best Left tackles in the game.
92.Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Allen is such a fun receiver to watch and even more fun to root for after all of the injuries he’s battled in his young but talented career. Allen is one of the more underrated receivers in the league but it was obvious he was going to make an impact coming off that serious injury he suffered the year before. That’s just Keenan Allen for you.
91.Jason Peters, LT, Philadelphia Eagles
Jason Peters is a captain for the reigning Super Bowl champions, unfortunately, he went down with a torn ACL right before the game. Peters has been a model of consistency and has held up extremely well at the blindspot protector spot. Peters is a better pass blocker than run blocker but he was elite at both for a while. Even still, the 36-year old Peters continues to play at a high level.
90.Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins is a fun QB to watch but the knock on him has been the lack of success his team has had despite the statistics Cousins has continuously put up. He was one of the underrated QB’s in the game until he became the highest paid QB in league history. Cousins shows solid mobility, toughness and accuracy which has made him into arguably a top 10 QB.
89.Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland Browns
A rookie pass rusher that will stay in people’s memory for a while. Despite the fact Garrett played on an 0-16 team, he was still extremely fun to watch and flashed elite edge rusher potential in his rookie season. It’s fair to say Garrett is already one of the best young pass rushers in this league. He’s only going to get better and that will go on for another five years, that’s what’s scary.
88.Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns
Jarvis Landry has been a receiving machine since joining the league. He has exactly 400 receptions for just over 4,000 yards and 22 touchdowns. He was traded to the Cleveland Browns in the off-season and it will be exciting watching him around talent like Josh Gordon, David Njoku, Corey Coleman, Nick Chubb & Antonio Callaway.
87.Brandin Cooks, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Brandin Cooks has had quite the career and at only age 24, he has a ton of room to continue to grow. Cooks is a speed demon that shows the ability to win with route running, open field vision and his smooth hands. There is a reason the Rams traded a 1st-round pick away for Cooks, almost 4,000 yards receiving and 27 touchdowns in two seasons is very impressive.
86.Andrew Whitworth, LT, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams were 4-12 and had a pitiful offensive line and just offense in general. We all know Sean McVay and what was brought in helped, but a lot of that resurgence was due to the presence of Andrew Whitworth. A staple for the Bengals offensive line for years decided to head to Los Angeles and found himself leading an offense to their best output since the Greatest Show on Turf. Whitworth’s awareness and a nonstop motor is what makes him so special.
85.DeMarcus Lawrence, DE, Dallas Cowboys
I have Lawrence here and not near the top due to the lack of consistency. This is someone that had just one sack in 2016 and went from that to having 14.5 in 2017. It was also his contract year, regardless, Lawrence looked like he legitimately found his stride and although it looks a little flukey, Lawrence is likely here to stay as one of the young star sack artists in the league.
84.Josh Sitton, LG, Miami Dolphins
He’s just so good…Josh Sitton no matter the season has been one of the best in the league at his position. Another extremely balanced guard that does everything exceptionally well. Sitton is 31 years old and probably has another six years left with the way he is playing.
83.Joe Staley, LT, San Francisco 49ers
Joe Staley is the definition of the heart and soul for the 49ers. He’s been consistently great for a long time. The 49ers will likely need to replace the 33-year old someday soon but for now, Staley does not show any sign of slowing down.
82.Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers
Greg Olsen is one of the league’s best Tight end’s, for some reason the Chicago Bears drafted him and let him go off to team up with Cam Newton in Carolina and it’s been a ride ever since. Olsen has 639 receptions for over 7,000 yards and 53 touchdowns in his impressive career.
81.Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Perhaps one of the league’s top route runners in the game, Doug Baldwin and his “undersized” frame has been catching passes from Russell Wilson for years now. Baldwin is by far and has been by far the best weapon for Wilson in Seattle for a while now. His ability to separate consistently and make plays after the catch is what has turned him into a top receiver.
80.Mike Daniels, DE, Green Bay Packers
He’s an absolute force, he’s an All-Pro capable talent but he has been limited for years in Dom Capers defensive system. Now, Mike Pettine is the DC in Green Bay and that means look out for Mike Daniels to break out even more.
79.Chandler Jones, OLB, Arizona Cardinals
Chandler Jones has some of the quickest and strongest hands which is one of the main reasons he wins and beats his man so much. Jones was great in New England, he had a monster 2017 season with the Cardinals and as Arizona continues to add more talent, Jones will likely have more opportunities and less double teams to take on.
78.William Jackson III, CB, Cincinnati Bengals
William Jackson III is criminally underrated. The young CB is one of the best already and no one wants to utter a sound about him. When you watch the film he’s as shutdown as anyone in the league. The only issue for people about why they do not notice Jackson? His turnovers aren’t what they were at Houston when he took in five interceptions. Once he starts breaking the game open with his ball skills Jackson will be in the conversation for best CB.
77.Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings
I used to think this was the most underrated receiver in the game. He finally started getting his recognition this past year after another impressive season that was even better than his coming out party. The former special teams ace turned great receiver shows elite route-running ability and excellent hands. Where is Stefon Diggs? He just missed the list, Thielen is the better receiver, it’s close. However, the edge goes to Thielen.
76.Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
Travis Kelce has the superstar look with a giant Gronkowski-like frame catching the football and breaking tackles like nobody. Kelce led the league in receptions and was second in receiving yards. With second-year QB Patrick Mahomes II now under center Kelce’s production could triple. Why is he so low? He’s a great receiving Tight end but his blocking needs improvement. Which is why he falls behind Delanie Walker of the Tennessee Titans.
75.Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans
At one point Delanie Walker was just a blocking TE behind Vernon Davis on the 49ers. Over time Davis’ play declined and Walker evolved into one of the best Tight ends in the entire league. He was targeted just 214 times in San Francisco over the course of seven years and since entering Tennessee, he has been targeted 538 in two fewer seasons. Great blocker but an even better receiver that understands the game. It’s a shame he didn’t get to start sooner.
74.Melvin Ingram, DE, Los Angeles Chargers
It’s crazy when watching Melvin Ingram you’d like to think he’s in a top tier of EDGE rushers but with Ingram, he honestly only has a career season-high of 10.5 sacks. He’s gotten better every season though and has been one of the more rock solid edge run defenders in the league.
73.Andrew Norwell, LG, Jacksonville Jaguars
Another young player that has just ascended over his career. Andrew Norwell became the highest-paid offensive guard in the league this off-season and it’s not hard to see why when you turn on the tape. He’s the best pass blocking offensive guard in the league and is a stud run blocker as well. He has a nasty edge about him and is going to be a breath of fresh air for the Jaguars.
72.Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
Now, the highest-paid player in the NFL, Matt Ryan has been a huge part of bringing the Falcons into relevancy. He is one year removed from winning the MVP in a season in which he took his team to the Super Bowl and lost in overtime. He has thrown for over 4,000 yards in each of the last seven seasons. Ryan has led his Falcons to a career record of 95-63 and is one of the top bunch of QB’s in this league.
71.Linval Joseph, DT, Minnesota Vikings
Hard to believe the Giants had Linval Joseph, let him go in free agency and then passed on the best defensive tackle in football that same year in the draft. If they didn’t get Odell Beckham Jr, that would have been a total disgrace. Joseph is just a run-mauler and has turned himself into a top-tier one at that. He offers some ability as a pass rusher but since he’s next to guys like Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter it’s not really a necessity.
70. Earl Thomas, FS, Seattle Seahawks
Earl Thomas has been an absolute monster in this league playing next to Kam Chancellor at the backend of the Legion of Boom secondary. Thomas has battled some unfortunate injuries but he’s still one of the top players at his position. He’s one of the best cover safeties the game has seen in quite awhile.
69.Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford has been an absolute gunslinger over the course of his career while playing with Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. The unfair thing about it all is that Stafford was always considered the guy that was bailed out by Megatron. He proved once Johnson retired that it was no fluke. The only true knock on Stafford is the lack of postseason success but he’s one of more talented QB’s in this league and with the addition of Kerryon Johnson at RB he’s going to be even better this season.
68.Justin Houston, OLB, Kansas City Chiefs
The unfortunate thing is that Justin Houston had 22 sacks in 2014 but since he has fallen off in that department due to the injuries he’s suffered. Still, he’s one of the best at his position and offers help in all areas as an outside backer. Hopefully, he can stay healthy and get back to the 2014 season.
67.LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills
With six seasons of 1,000 yards rushing under his belt, including a 17 touchdown season back in 2011 and over 400 receptions, LeSean McCoy has been a nightmare for defenses. I was skeptical about how someone like McCoy would fit a ground and pound running game but since coming to the Bills, McCoy has continued his career campaign as one of the top backs in the game.
66.Sean Lee, OLB, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have a hard time winning when Sean Lee is not on the field and that’s understandable. Lee is everywhere on the field. He has accumulated 13 interceptions and over 400 tackles in his career. The issue with Lee is that he missed an entire season in 2014 and 25 other games. He’s just had a hard time staying healthy and it’s robbed him big time.
65.Tre’Davious White, CB, Buffalo Bills
Tre’Davious White went from a rookie out of LSU right into becoming a top CB in this league. He was phenomenal in coverage, he started every game, had four interceptions, 18 pass breakups, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and 53 tackles. White is primed for just as good of a season in year two and he will likely be higher on this list once he shows that type of production again.
64.Marshon Lattimore, CB, New Orleans Saints
It’s as if this Saints first-round pick became a star overnight. Lattimore in his rookie year was extremely important to leading the Saints defense. You saw how out of funk the defense was without him. Lattimore heads into year two of which could be a season where he proves he is the best CB in football.
63.Landon Collins, SS, New York Giants
The Giants were pitiful last year but Landon Collins is an absolute stud. Collins displays the ability to be a leader, a playmaker and franchise player. The Giants will need to find someone to put next to Collins but the young star has blossomed into one of the top players at his position even after his position change.
62.Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Larry Fitzgerald regardless of who throws him the ball is spectacular. Just how spectacular? Larry has a total of 28 drops over 2,000-plus targets. Fitzgerald is still widely regarded as a top-tier receiver and that won’t change until he has hung up his cleats and has retired from the league.
61.Darius Slay, CB, Detroit Lions
For a while I felt like Darius Slay was severely underrated but I think people are starting to catch on to just how good Slay really is. Slay finished this past season with eight interceptions and has turned into one of the most feared cornerbacks to throw at in the game.
60.Kevin Byard, FS, Tennessee Titans
From NFL Draft sleeper out of Middle Tennessee State to Pro Bowl Safety for the Tennessee Titans. It’s been a crazy start to the young career of Kevin Byard. Even though Deion Sanders doesn’t seem to know who Byard is, the rest of the NFL fans out there are starting to. Byard is a top-five player at his position and he’s only 24 years old.
59.Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Remember when people called Mike Evans overrated and a product of Johnny Manziel? Yeah, well, that’s simply not the case as Evans has proven. That was never the case. Mike Evans is a physical freak and just a rare type of receiver but he continues to get better and grow year in and year out alongside QB Jameis Winston. Four straight thousand yard seasons and 32 total touchdowns in his career says a lot.
58.Jadeveon Clowney, OLB, Houston Texans
The former number one overall selection has been a star at the next level. He isn’t quite Aaron Donald, Odell Beckham Jr. or Khalil Mack from that class but he’s not far from them either. The stats aren’t really there yet but they are coming, without Watt, Clowney has continued to show he is the future of the defense in Houston.
57.Jurrell Casey, DE, Tennessee Titans
For some reason, Jurrell Casey has been criminally underrated for years. He’s been the anchor on that defensive line for years and his play has been consistently great. He’s not Aaron Donald, he’s not Geno Atkins or Fletcher Cox but he’s a top-tier player at his position and should be respected as one.
56.LaMarcus Joyner, FS, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams traded up and stole LaMarcus Joyner from the Baltimore Ravens in the 2014 NFL Draft. Now, at first, that looked like a mistake but once he was given the opportunity to play the nickel corner spot, he found his rhythm. He ascended into an elite level player once the new regime took over and he switched to Free Safety. He’s 5-foot-8 but make no mistake Joyner is one of the best safeties in the league and should only improve.
55.Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
He never fumbled at Toledo and the first carry he had in the NFL he fumbled it away. If Spencer Ware didn’t go down in preseason we never would have known exactly what Kareem Hunt could have been. After that fumble week one in New England, Hunt exploded and it didn’t stop as he went onto win the rushing title.
54.DeForest Buckner, DT, San Francisco 49ers
DeForest Buckner is an incredible talent that fell into San Francisco’s lap. Buckner is a physical specimen that has the monster build and athletic physical traits to boot. Buckner plays on a line with Soloman Thomas and Arik Armstead that just continues to get better. The former Oregon Duck is already one of the best young defensive players in football.
53.Deion Jones, MLB, Atlanta Falcons
He’s one of the most exciting linebackers in the league. Deion Jones is part of the new age of ultra-athletic linebackers that are vertically challenged. He’s a tackling machine that has all the ability in the world to cover the field. He’s the middleman in what is the fastest defense in football.
52.Adrian Amos, FS, Chicago Bears
The former fifth-round pick out of Penn State took a couple of years to get going but he emerged as a star Safety this past year. He’s part of a defense that is up and coming and could be a force in 2018.
51.Xavier Rhodes, CB, Minnesota Vikings
For some, Xavier Rhodes might be the best cornerback in the league. I don’t quite agree with that but he is great regardless of position on a list. He’s the number one corner on one of the best defenses in the league.
50.Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
The highest graded RB I’ve ever scouted by far has to be Leonard Fournette (until Saquon Barkley came into existence). Still, Fournette was a. huge acquisition by the Jaguars and is already one of the best running backs in the NFL.
49.Aqib Talib, CB, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams had a loud off-season that involved in trading for one of the best corners in the league. Aqib Talib has been an elite cornerback for the majority of his career. He was part of the best cornerback duo in football with Chris Harris Jr. and now he’s part of likely another top duo with Marcus Peters.
48.Lane Johnson, RT, Philadelphia Eagles
Perhaps the best Right Tackle in the sport, Lane Johnson has been an absolute lock on the right side of the line for Carson Wentz. When Wentz went down, the same thing for Nick Foles. Johnson’s only issue is that he keeps getting suspended. That has to stop.
47.David DeCastro, RG, Pittsburgh Steelers
David DeCastro is a dominant guard on a Super Bowl contender that really doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He’s an absolute mauler on film and opens up a lot for not only Le’Veon Bell but let’s not forget how vital his pass protection is for Big Ben.
46.Telvin Smith, OLB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Telvin Smith is just a phenomenal player. While it was a total low blow to call himself “the real 50” which he geared at nearly-paralyzed Ryan Shazier, he’s still one of the best in the game. A healthy Shazier would give him a run for his money but Smith is one of the key cogs on the league’s best defense.
45.Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
He had a fantastic year behind a fantastic offensive line to start off his career. The second year, however, he missed tons of time due to a suspension by the league and it’s why he fell to 45 on this list.
44.David Bakhtiari, LT, Green Bay Packers
Once again, offensive linemen exist on my top 100. David Bakhtiari has been sensational while being in charge of protecting Aaron Rodgers’ blindside. He does not get enough credit and if he continues to improve, he might end up as the best Left Tackle in football.
43.Brandon Graham, DE, Philadelphia Eagles
This is the player that many Eagles fans disliked because he was taken over Earl Thomas in the draft. Well, he finds himself ahead of Thomas in my rankings now. Brandon Graham was a superhero in the Super Bowl and has been one on that Philly defense for the last few years now. He has truly ascended into an elite or near-elite player.
42.Lavonte David, OLB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
We talked about how Eagles fans for a while didn’t like Brandon Graham because he was picked before Earl Thomas. Well, I didn’t give Brian Quick a chance because the Rams picked him instead of Lavonte David. David of course, has been an absolute stud in the NFL. Recently he took stud and turned himself into a bonafide elite level player.
41.Gerald McCoy, DT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Another elite player on that Buccaneers defense is none other than Gerald McCoy. McCoy has been underrated for quite some time and a lot of that has to do with the lack of success the Bucs have established. Now, the Bucs have added Jason Pierre-Paul, Vita Vea and Vinny Curry to help the one-man wrecking crew which is sure to help the team turn it around.
40.Marcus Peters, CB, Los Angeles Rams
The Chiefs gave up on a star CB because he simply isn’t a yes man and the fact he does things his way. Marcus Peters is a highly emotional player and that’s his game. His game also relies on him gambling big time on plays. No conservative ounce exists in Peters’ body which has quickly ascended him into one the game’s fiercest game-breaking corners. He and Talib are going to be a QB’s nightmare this year.
39.Casey Hayward, CB, Los Angeles Chargers
Last year’s most impressive CB in my mind was Casey Hayward. Hayward was all over the field and while he has plenty of ball skills to make a play and force turnovers, one cannot underrate how important his game is as simply someone that can shut down receivers. His versatility to play out of the nickel or on the outside adds more to his value.
38.Jason Kelce, C, Philadelphia Eagles
Jason Kelce might be everyone’s favorite center in the league after the speech he made post-Super Bowl. However, he is one of the best centers in the league just off his consistency, power and technique. Kelce has been the anchor on that offensive line in Philly along with fellow teammate Jason Peters for a long time.
37.Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
He was knocked for running too slow of a 40-time but Michael Thomas was destined to be a star in the NFL. When you watched his film in college, the way he is able to win off the line of scrimmage and the footwork he displays while completely deceiving the cornerback and bluffing his route is incredible. As expected, it all translated into the NFL and Thomas continues to dominate the competition.
36.Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees would have been higher on this list a year ago but I felt like as great as he is, you did see a slight decline in his ability this past season. You can’t really blame the 39-year old who is simply wearing down after a long Hall of Fame career. There was a reason the Saints when run-heavy with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. Besides their production, they were the best option over Brees. Still, Brees is right up there with the top QB’s and it’s not worth arguing that.
35.Travis Frederick, C, Dallas Cowboys
The best center in the league, on the best offensive line in the league, is just disastrous for defenses. Travis Frederick is as rock solid as you can find at the center position. He’s durable, he’s reliable, he’s intelligent and he has developed great chemistry playing next to another elite player in Zack Martin on the right side of the Cowboys line.
34.Damon Harrison, NT, New York Giants
I don’t care what anyone says Damon Harrison is the best run mauler in the NFL and he’s an absolute force for the Giants but he is still being criminally underrated. The man they call Snacks went from stocking shelves to agreeing to go to a college he knew nothing about to becoming the best nose tackle in the sport.
33.A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
A.J. Green was a rare high school WR prospect and has been an elite force in the NFL. I feel as though he still isn’t up with Odell Beckham Jr, Antonio Brown, Julio Jones or DeAndre Hopkins though. Why? It’s not really entirely his fault, his QB is Andy Dalton. I hope someday A.J. Green gets to play in Green Bay and we are able to see just how great Green can really become.
32.Fletcher Cox, DT, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have a mammoth on their defense and that’s Fletcher Cox. He’s one of the best defensive interior linemen in the league. Eagles fans want to put him ahead of Aaron Donald but Cox just isn’t that type of player. Donald is in a league of his own but Cox is a phenomenal player and is an elite level player.
31.Joey Bosa, DE, Los Angeles Chargers
Joey Bosa was someone I called overrated coming out of the draft but wow was I wrong. Bosa is not only a rising star, he’s already one of the best pass rushers in football. His brother Nick is likely going to be a top-five pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. It’s safe to say the name Bosa means legit pass rusher.
30.Trent Williams, LT, Washington Redskins
Some may fight me on this but the Silverback has been the best Left Tackle in the league for a while now. He’s the most consistent, he’s durable for a tackle and he’s just flat-out dominant. He’s been the anchor on the most underrated offensive line in football.
29.Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
Alvin Kamara was one of those players I knew I would end up being right about coming out of college. Kamara has been accused of having success based entirely on Mark Ingram. Ingram was just suspended for four games and while that theory, in my opinion, is total rubbish…Kamara will have a chance to show it in the first four games of the season.
28.Zack Martin, RG, Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys struck gold on this guy but they weren’t far from making the biggest mistake and drafting Johnny Manziel. Luckily for Dallas Cowboys fans, Stephen Jones saved the franchise by snatched the draft card from Jerry Jones’ hands. Reportedly… Anyway, Zack Martin is the best offensive lineman in the game. He allowed the fewest pressures on the QB among all guards last season
27.Ndamukong Suh, DT, Los Angeles Rams
Ndamukong Suh is just an absolute physical freak. He can rush the passer, he can stop the run and he’s very intelligent on the football field. He just happened to join the Rams and will now line up next to Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers. Yes, that actually happened.
26.Kawann Short, DT, Carolina Panthers
I’m a little confused that somehow Kawann Short is underrated. Short has been dominant for the Panthers for a while now. Short has not missed a game and has started every game for the last three consecutive seasons. Due to the dominance, Aaron Donald has displayed, people have stopped noticing the brilliance of play that Short brings to the table.
25.Calais Campbell, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars
Calais Campbell blossomed into one of the best defensive players in the league. He also left the Cardinals and played them this past year. Campbell was one of the runners-up to Donald for the Defensive Player of. the Year award. Campbell is just another rare player.
24.Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Le’Veon Bell is the most patient back in the league (besides when it comes to getting paid). Bell does it all as a receiver and a runner not to mention as a blocker. The reason he’s not higher? Injuries have always bothered him and the Steelers record without him proves he isn’t as valuable as Big Ben.
23.Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
He’s going to end up leaving the game as one of the most underrated QBs of all time. He played in the same era as Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and for some reason despite having Super Bowl success, Ben is left out of serious discussions. Roethlisberger just had one of the most remarkable performances against the best defense in the league in the playoffs.
22.Chris Harris Jr, CB, Denver Broncos
He had his worst season this past year but Chris Harris Jr. has been the most consistent CB in the game. He just has never received the credit he deserves. He went a long time without giving up a touchdown and simply is as versatile as it gets. Harris Jr. has been the most underrated cornerback in the league.
21.David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
When David Johnson had just as good of a season as Ezekiel Elliot with a terrible offensive line, it was Elliott who received MVP votes. No one batted an eye at Johnson, but when the Cardinals lost him early in the season you saw their offense absolutely stifle. Johnson is the best RB that no one talks about anymore.
20.Geno Atkins, DT, Cincinnati Bengals
Before Aaron Donald, Geno Atkins was the quick-footed and undersized defensive tackle wrecking offensive interiors. Donald ascended and people started to forget just how great Atkins was. Atkins is the second best defensive tackle in the league. It’s just a shame he doesn’t play on a team that gets more exposure.
19.Cameron Jordan, DE, New Orleans Saints
Cameron Jordan has been an absolute force for the Saints defense that has tried to improve for years. This past year, they finally broke through and Jordan had another elite season. He’s been doing it since he entered the league but people are just now noticing.
18.A.J. Bouye, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Talk about a player that seemingly came out of nowhere. A.J. Bouye got his shot after first-round pick Kevin Johnson broke his foot. The Texans found a gem but refused to pay Bouye just what he wanted and now he is on the Jaguars next to Jalen Ramsey which together, forms the best cornerback duo we may have ever seen.
17.Bobby Wagner, MLB, Seattle Seahawks
Bobby Wagner is the heart and soul of the Seahawks. No matter how bad or good they play you know he’s never going to take a play off. Wagner has 507 career tackles and 15.5 sacks. He’s been the exact leader the former Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks needed.
16.Luke Kuechly, MLB, Carolina Panthers
The best linebacker in the NFL is and has been Luke Kuechly. You talk about the most intelligent, sound and fierce linebacker in the game? That’s Kuechly. He does it all and has been the heart and soul of the Panthers. He helped lead their young defense to the Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos.
15.DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
I just continue to marvel at DeAndre Hopkins. No matter who is at QB, Hopkins puts on a show. He has turned himself into an elite player and the argument for best 50/50 ball receiver is now heated between him and the man listed a spot ahead of him, Julio Jones. With Deshaun Watson healthy, Hopkins could ascend into the NFL’s most dynamic receiver.
14.Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones has been a top WR at every level he’s competed at. The Falcons star has over 9,000 yards receiving on 585 receptions and 43 touchdowns for his career. It’s quite honestly insane the fact Julio averages 15.5 yards per catch. Matt Ryan has been one of the luckier QBs being able to have someone like Jones to lean on.
13.Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson is a Super Bowl champion and the only reason the Seahawks have been able to stay above water during their fall from grace. Wilson has over 22,000 passing yards and 3,000 rushing yards for his career which also goes right along with his 161 touchdowns and 64 percent completion rate. He’s started every. single. game since coming into the NFL as a third-round pick in 2012.
12.Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
He’s the greatest TE of all time and has played with one of the greatest QBs of all time while forming one of the most incredible duos of all time. What makes Gronk so great? He’s an athletic freak, he’s an elite receiver and he’s an elite blocker. He just dominates in every phase of being a Tight End. He’s racked up over 7,000 receiving yards and 76 touchdowns in his career. Only issue? His injuries.
11.Khalil Mack, DE, Oakland Raiders
The man that came from Buffalo college won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2016. Khalil Mack has been one of the most dominant pass rushing forces in the game. He has 304 tackles and 40.5 sacks. Even though Mack had a down year to his standards he still ended up with more pressures and stops combined than Von Miller.
10.Harrison Smith, FS, Minnesota Vikings
According to Pro Football Focus Harrison Smith allowed the lowest passer rating for a safety the website has ever charted dating back to 2006. With the ability to cover and turn the ball over like Smith has, it just underrates his other great attributes like his ability to read the play and react but also his top-notch tackling efficiency that allows him to stop the run as well as anyone.
9.Von Miller, OLB, Denver Broncos
As mentioned earlier Khalil Mack had more stops and pressures combined than Von Miller. However, I think Miller is the overall more dominant player and pass rusher. Let’s also factor in the fact he helped win the Denver Broncos a Super Bowl with his dominance against the Panthers all night long which included the famous game-clinching strip-sack on Cam Newton. Miller’s 83.5 sacks at age 29 reminds us we are looking at one of the most dominant sack artists in league history.
8.Jalen Ramsey, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jalen Ramsey came into the league as the best Safety in the draft coming out of Florida State. Well, the Jaguars had other plans and decided to utilize his talents at CB. His only knock is that he isn’t as much of a ballhawk as everyone wants the best CB in football to be. Regardless, his range, his recognition, his closing speed, smooth hips and his eyes are the reason Ramsey is the best lockdown CB in the NFL.
7.Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Antonio Brown is an incredible receiver and just because he places as my number two receiver does not mean I feel he isn’t worthy to be considered the top receiver. Brown has 733 receptions, nearly 10,000 receiving yards and 59 touchdowns in his career. He’s also just 29 years old and has formed a rare duo with Ben Roethlisberger. He’s the Steelers best player right now and might be the best player the Steelers have had since Troy Polamalu or even further back. Brown is a legendary player for a legendary organization.
6.Odell Beckham Jr, WR, New York Giants
Odell Beckham Jr. suffered an unfortunate 2017 season but the young 25-year old star WR has accumulated over 4,000 yards and is nearing 40 touchdowns in 47 games which is on par with how Jerry Rice’s career went down. OBJ might be called a diva, he might be knocked for being selfish but OBJ is the best receiver this game has seen since Calvin Johnson came into the league and took it by storm. Odell isn’t anywhere near as physically gifted as Megatron though which makes it more impressive.
5.Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
I know I am going to get a ton of flac for putting Todd Gurley at number five but I don’t really care. His 2016 season was an anomaly and he played in what he called a high school offense. Todd Gurley proved this past year he is the best RB in the game today. He’s just beyond valuable and should have won the MVP. Gurley have almost 800 yards receiving and 1,300 rushing. The yards generated after the catch, whether he was hurdling defenders, stiff-arming them, running them over or just juking through them Gurley proved he’s on another level. He single-handedly took over in vital games near the end of the season in Seattle and Tennessee and proved he’s the best RB in the league. Gurley is a more compact Steven Jackson and a bigger Marshall Faulk.
4.Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
If Wentz did not tear his ACL he would have won the MVP no questions asked. Wentz might be the best player in the league if it’s not Rodgers but with the ACL tear I felt I needed to drop him a tad on this list. Wentz is just a special talent and is primed for greatness as long as he stays healthy. What he does as a pure thrower of the football and the way he is able to shake out of sacks and extend plays is just rare.
3.Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
I know I said Todd Gurley should have been MVP but it’s only fair to put Tom Brady ahead of him on this list. I think Tom Brady after this past Super Bowl proved he still has it. Sure, he lost but Brady was sensational throwing for over 500 yards in the game that he came about a play or two short of winning it all again. Brady led all QBs with a 96.6 passer rating under pressure according to Pro Football Focus. You might hate him but he’s an incredible talent and keeps trucking along even at the age of 40.
2.Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams
Aaron Donald. What can you say? He’s the best defensive player in the league and it’s not even close. He’s been a top five defensive player since he came into the league. The once “undersized” defensive tackle is now getting the last laugh. The Rams lost their playoff game this season but it wasn’t at the fault of Donald who pressured Matt Ryan over 10 times in the first half. Donald’s first and only career playoff game was one of the most physically imposing performances you will ever see a defensive player play. Donald has had eight games since 2016 with at least nine or more pressures on the QB. To go with that per PFF, Donald led the league with 91 total pressures on the QB which is more than Miller and Mack who line up on the edge. When you talk about Donald, you talk about a legendary player that forces you to scrap your plans of attack after the first 30 minutes of a game. It’s quite honestly criminal he just received his first Defensive Player of the Year award.
1.Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
Yes, I know Rodgers was injured last season and his Green Bay Packers didn’t make the playoffs. He even struggled after returning to early. However, no one was more valuable to his team than Rodgers. Without Rodgers the Packers crumbled and were unable to make it to the postseason. Aaron Rodgers is the Greatest QB of all time for my measure. Chris Simms and Adam Lefkoe praise it all of the time on their Simms and Lefkoe podcast. It’s not crazy. Rodgers has everything you could ask for in a QB. He’s accounted for 38,502 passing yards, a career 65.1 completion percentage, 313 touchdowns and just 78 interceptions. This is essentially the game’s most unbelievable QB. He has 235 more touchdowns than interceptions. His pocket mobility, improvisational skills, football IQ, deception, arm velocity, accuracy and awareness is what makes Rodgers not only the best QB today but the best QB of all time. Rings aside (and he has one) we all know deep down Rodgers has not played with a Gronkowski, a Moss or a Jerry Rice. Maybe someday he will get to throw to a receiver like A.J. Green as I previously mentioned.
That’s it folks… Thanks for reading this and before you start @ing me @JKBogenDTR or @DowntownRams on Twitter or Facebook or wherever you are reading this please realize this is my list and it in no way reflects how the NFL or the consensus itself views these players. Lastly, I compiled a nice little shoutout list for the honorable mentions that just missed the final 100 spots.
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders
Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans
Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
Phil Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
Alex Smith, QB, Washington Redskins
Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears
Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints
Dion Lewis, RB, Tennessee Titans
Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos
Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants
Terron Armstead, LT, New Orleans Saints
Demar Dotson, RT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Marcus Gilbert, RT, Pittsburgh Steelers
Ryan Ramczyk, RT, New Orleans Saints
Daryl Williams, RT, Carolina Panthers
Joel Bitonio, LG, Cleveland Browns
Kelechi Osemele, LG, Oakland Raiders
T.J. Lang, RG, Detroit Lions
Brandon Scherff, RG, Washington Redskins
Rodney Hudson, C, Oakland Raiders
Brandon Linder, C, Jacksonville Jaguars
Alex Mack, C, Atlanta Falcons
Matt Paradis, C, Denver Broncos
Akiem Hicks, DE, Chicago Bears
Cameron Heyward, DE, Pittsburgh Steelers
Chris Jones, DE, Kansas City Chiefs
Robert Ayers, DE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Trey Flowers, DE, New England Patriots
Everson Griffen, DE, Minnesota Vikings
Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jabaal Sheard, DE, Indianapolis Colts
Stephon Tuitt, DE, Pittsburgh Steelers
Leonard Williams, DE, New York Jets
Michael Brockers, DT, Los Angeles Rams
Kenny Clark, DT, Green Bay Packers
Grady Jarrett, DT, Atlanta Falcons
Malik Jackson, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars
Brandon Williams, DT, Baltimore Ravens
NaVorro Bowman, ILB, Free Agent
Demario Davis, ILB, New Orleans Saints
Avery Williamson, ILB, New York Jets
Vontaze Burfict, OLB, Cincinnati Bengals
Malcolm Butler, CB, Tennessee Titans
Kendall Fuller, CB, Kansas City Chiefs
Janoris Jenkins, CB, New York Giants
Trumaine Johnson, CB, New York Jets
Desmond King, CB, Los Angeles Chargers
Josh Norman, CB, Washington Redskins
Patrick Peterson, CB, Arizona Cardinals
Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB, Los Angeles Rams
Jimmy Smith, CB, Baltimore Ravens
Desmond Trufant, CB, Atlanta Falcons
Trevor Williams, CB, Los Angeles Chargers
HaHa Clinton-Dix, FS, Green Bay Packers
Reshad Jones, FS, Miami Dolphins
Devin McCourty, FS, New England Patriots
Glover Quin, FS, Detroit Lions
Eric Weddle, FS, Baltimore Ravens
Marcus Williams, FS, New Orleans Saints
Jamal Adams, SS, New York Jets
Tyvon Branch, SS, Arizona Cardinals
Tony Jefferson, SS, Baltimore Ravens
Malcolm Jenkins, SS, Philadelphia Eagles
John Johnson III, SS, Los Angeles Rams
Robbie Gould, K, San Francisco 49ers
Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England Patriots
Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens
Greg Zuerlein, K, Los Angeles Rams
Johnny Hekker, P, Los Angeles Rams
Brett Kern, P, Tennessee Titans
Marquette King, P, Denver Broncos