NFL Network Finalizes 'Top 100 Players of 2011' List; Tom Brady No. 1

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Tonight, the NFL Network finally concluded their ten-part series, “Top 100 Players of 2011.”. The rankings were decided by votes submitted from current NFL players. Tonight’s episode revealed the top ten players and, as was expected, Tom Brady comes in at number one edging Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. The top ten rankings look as follows:

  1. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
  2. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts
  3. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
  4. Ray Lewis, LB, Baltimore Ravens
  5. Ed Reed, S, Baltimore Ravens
  6. Troy Polamalu, S, Pittsburgh Steelers
  7. Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans
  8. Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets
  9. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
  10. Julius Peppers, DE, Chicago Bears

 

It comes as no shock that the top two players were Brady and Manning, but the low placement of Drew Brees and seemingly high rankings of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed can raise a few eyebrows. Perhaps the most shocking placement in the top ten is that Jets corner Darrelle Revis is not the top-ranked defensive back.

Lewis and Reed are clearly on the downside of their careers, but they were still ranked in the top 5 by their peers. The list is clearly not the be all end all of player rankings, but what it can be used for is seeing which current NFL players are respected by their peers. The pair of Ravens have long been looked at as top motivators and leaders in the league and their reputations helped them in this list.

Names like Troy Polamalu, Andre Johnson and Darrelle Revis are all deserving of top ten rankings. Their placement — like that of Brady and Manning — comes as no shock. Surprisingly, Drew Brees came in near the bottom of the top ten. Many speculated he would be ranked in the top five, however, it seems the players had other ideas.

When all is said and done, this list really just gave us some football related news to look forward to this offseason. The discussion that has generated from these rankings has given us football die-hards plenty of conversation and topics of debate to carry us through the lockout.

Now that the list has been finalized, hopefully the NFL owners and players can finalize an agreement so we can have some meaningful football dialogue.

If you’re interested in the full list, you can see the entire top 100 here.

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Tags: Adrian Peterson Andre Johnson Baltimore Ravens Chicago Bears Darrelle Revis Drew Brees Ed Reed Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Julius Peppers Minnesota Vikings New England Patriots New Orleans Saints New York Jets NFL Nfl Network Nfl Network Top 100 List Nfl Top 100 Nfl Top 100 List Peyton Manning Pittsburgh Steelers Ray Lewis Tom Brady Troy Polamalu

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