View Full Version : Sporting News Top 100 NFL Players

09-16-2010, 12:03 AM
Wonder why Brett Favre decided to un-retire and take one last shot at another Super Bowl ring?

The Vikings are loaded with talent, that's why. Football is the ultimate team game, and the Vikings have elite players at a number of positions.

In Sporting News' annual poll of football experts to select the 100 best players in today's game, 99 former coaches and players — including 25 Hall of Famers — and current general managers named a league-high seven Vikings to the list.

Vikings in the top 100 include running back Adrian Peterson, defensive end Jared Allen, defensive tackle Kevin Williams, guard Steve Hutchinson, wide receivers Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin and, of course, Brett Favre.

"When he first walked into the locker room, I didn't really have any reaction other than, 'That's Brett Favre,' the guy I grew up watching and admiring," Harvin said of his first impression. "I think he prepares so well before every game and knows the opponent so well, it allows him to be so relaxed. It's important for a team to have a quarterback who never gets tense in the toughest situations, and he's the best at that."

The Vikings weren't the only team with a handful or more players on the top 100. The all-star panel of football experts also picked six Ravens and six Steelers plus five Colts and five Cowboys.

"From when it first started out, the offense being the ring leader around here, to us evolving as a pretty even team now as far as being solid on defense and offense, (the front office has) done a tremendous job," Williams said. "Getting guys in here, whether it be through free agency or the draft, and just taking care of business — those guys have really done a great job, surrounding the older guys with young talent that is starting to produce and pay off.

"It's rare that you get that many (Pro Bowlers), and then to return all 22 starters is a big plus for us."

Who is the No. 1 player in the NFL? No surprise, it's Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, the only four-time league MVP. Colts president and general manager Bill Polian built the Colts into an annual contender — winners of 12-plus games for seven years running — and says it was an easy to decision to start with Manning.

"He had a command presence about him that was unique for a rookie," Polian said. "It was in his demeanor. The way he took over, the way he called plays, the way he handled the team. Jim Kelly had the same presence (in Buffalo), but he had been in the USFL for two years (before joining the NFL), so you expected that."


1. Peyton Manning, QB, Colts

2. Drew Brees, QB, Saints

3. Chris Johnson, RB, Titans

4. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals

5. Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings

6. Andre Johnson, WR, Texans

7. Darrelle Revis, CB, Jets

8. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots

9. DeMarcus Ware, OLB, Cowboys

10. Jared Allen, DE, Vikings

11. Dwight Freeney, DE, Colts

12. Patrick Willis, ILB, 49ers

13. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

14. Julius Peppers, DE, Bears

15. Brett Favre, QB, Vikings

16. Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers

17. Joe Thomas, OT, Browns

18. Charles Woodson, CB, Packers

19. Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys

20. Ryan Clady, OT, Broncos

21. Ray Rice, RB, Ravens

22. Wes Welker, WR, Patriots

23. Steve Hutchinson, G, Vikings

24. Brandon Marshall, WR, Dolphins

25. Elvis Dumervil, OLB, Broncos

26. Nnamdi Asomugha, CB, Raiders

27. Steven Jackson, RB, Rams

28. Ed Reed, FS, Ravens

29. Kevin Williams, DT, Vikings

30. Ray Lewis, ILB, Ravens

31. Haloti Ngata, DT, Ravens

32. Steve Smith, WR, Panthers

33. Randy Moss, WR, Patriots

34. Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers

35. Darren Sharper, FS, Saints

36. Dallas Clark, TE, Colts

37. Jake Long, OT, Dolphins

38. Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts

39. Troy Polamalu, SS, Steelers

40. Mario Williams, DE, Texans

41. James Harrison, OLB, Steelers

42. Jahri Evans, G, Saints

43. Miles Austin, WR, Cowboys

44. DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles

45. Josh Cribbs, KR/PR, Browns

46. Vince Wilfork, DT, Patriots

47. Darnell Dockett, DT, Cardinals

48. Adrian Wilson, SS, Cardinals

49. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers

50. Nick Mangold, C, Jets

51. Jay Ratliff, DT, Cowboys

52. Clay Matthews, OLB, Packers

53. Tony Gonzalez, TE, Falcons

54. Justin Tuck, DE, Giants

55. Frank Gore, RB, 49ers

56. DeMeco Ryans, ILB, Texans

57. Asante Samuel, CB, Eagles

58. Albert Haynesworth, DT, Redskins

59. Champ Bailey, CB, Broncos

60. Terrell Suggs, OLB, Ravens

61. Chad Ochocinco, WR, Bengals

62. D’Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Jets

63. Reggie Bush, RB, Saints

64. DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers

65. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars

66. Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys

67. Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons

68. Hines Ward, WR, Steelers

69. Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers

70. Brian Urlacher, ILB, Bears

71. Sidney Rice, WR, Vikings

72. Vincent Jackson, WR, Chargers

73. Lance Briggs, OLB, Bears

74. Eli Manning, QB, Giants

75. Chris Snee, G, Giants

76. Donovan McNabb, QB, Redskins

77. Robert Mathis, DE, Colts

78. Jon Beason, OLB, Panthers

79. London Fletcher, ILB, Redskins

80. LaMarr Woodley, OLB, Steelers

81. Vince Young, QB, Titans

82. Casey Hampton, DT, Steelers

83. Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions

84. Brian Orakpo, OLB, Redskins

85. Kris Jenkins, DT, Jets

86. Michael Roos, OT, Titans

87. Logan Mankins, G, Patriots

88. Shaun O’Hara, C, Giants

89. Cedric Benson, RB, Bengals

90. Brian Dawkins, SS, Broncos

91. Michael Turner, RB, Falcons

92. Anquan Boldin, WR, Ravens

93. Percy Harvin, WR/KR, Vikings

94. Thomas Jones, RB, Chiefs

95. Kyle Vanden Bosch, DE, Lions

96. Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints

97. Matt Schaub, QB, Texans

98. Roddy White, WR, Falcons

99. Jairus Byrd, S, Bills

100. Brian Cushing, OLB, Texans


Hall Of Famers:

Lance Alworth; Chuck Bednarik; Raymond Berry; Dick Butkus; Willie Davis; Dan Dierdorf; Mike Ditka; Art Donovan; Tony Dorsett; Dan Hampton; Ted Hendricks; Paul Hornung; Sam Huff; Leroy Kelly; Steve Largent; Larry Little; James Lofton; Hugh McElhenny; Ron Mix; Mel Renfro; Jackie Slater; Paul Warfield; Dave Wilcox; Kellen Winslow; Ron Yary

Former Stars:

Fred Arbanas; Blaine Bishop; John Brodie; Derrick Brooks; Chad Brown; Isaac Bruce; Michael Carter; Ben Coates; Nolan Cromwell; Clem Daniels; Dermontti Dawson; Lynn Dickey; Boomer Esiason; Rich Gannon; La’Roi Glover; Larry Grantham; Trent Green; Bobby Hebert; Andy Heck; Priest Holmes; Claude Humphrey; Harold Jackson; Joe Jacoby; Vaughan Johnson; Levon Kirkland; Dave Kocourek; Daryle Lamonica; Mo Lewis; Louis Lipps; Neil Lomax; Don Majkowski; Karl Mecklenburg; Jon Morris; Tom Myers; John Offerdahl; Drew Pearson; Art Powell; Willie Roaf; Mickey Shuler; Fred Smerlas; Walt Sweeney; Dave Szott; Darryl Talley; Duane Thomas; Zach Thomas; Chris Warren; Doug Williams; Lee Williams; Louis Wright

General Managers:

Thomas Dimitroff, Falcons; Tom Heckert, Browns; Ozzie Newsome, Ravens; Bill Polian, Colts; Howie Roseman, Eagles; John Schneider, Seahawks; A.J. Smith, Chargers; Rick Spielman, Vikings; Mike Tannenbaum, Jets; Brian Xanders, Broncos

Former Coaches:

Brian Billick; Bruce Coslet; Herm Edwards; Chuck Fairbanks; Tom Flores; Dennis Green; Ted Marchibroda; Jim L. Mora; Jack Pardee; John Ralston; Sam Rutigliano; Buddy Ryan; Marty Schottenheimer; Dick Vermeil; Sam Wyche

http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/feed/20 ... fl-players (http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/feed/2010-09/top-100-nfl-players)

09-16-2010, 02:43 AM
A 28 year old, 2-time Super Bowl WINNING QB, in his prime, is number 49... Nice.

09-16-2010, 02:54 AM
49. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers

Yeah, OK. The only multiple SB winner since he was drafted and he's 49 behind guys like Dallas Clark, and a friggin' returner named Josh Cribbs.


09-16-2010, 05:42 AM
The qualifications of the panel seem to be exemplary, but how the **** do you get to #39 before Troy is on this list?


all credibility gone.

09-16-2010, 06:41 AM
snafu by committee

Discipline of Steel
09-16-2010, 07:22 AM
snafu by committee


FUBAR by committee

09-16-2010, 07:45 AM

09-16-2010, 07:48 AM
snafu by committee


FUBAR by committee

Seriously, Ed Reed at #28? Ed Reed who is PUP for at least 6 games and who knows if he can return to his previous level of play. With Troy at #39?

09-16-2010, 07:49 AM
It is a flavor of the month thing and when they voted (probably a month or two ago) Ben's suspension was front and center. If they did this same pole at the end of last season, Ben would have been top twenty at worst, probably top ten.

I have no idea why people keep getting so upset of these silly lists and the even more arbitrary power rankings. None of it means a thing.

09-16-2010, 08:26 AM
Hines Ward only at #68?

Prove the naysayers wrong, Hines!! :stirpot

09-16-2010, 09:16 AM
maybe after he wins his third super bowl this year he will crack the top 40.....

I am surprised they put him ahead of jack delhomme, I mean he did take the panthers to a super bowl 7 years ago...

when I watch bspn (which is not too often) they talk about qb's and they will say stuff like I would not put him in the manning, brady, brees, rodgers, rivers class ....I just shake my head because what has been done ON TH FIELD that does not put him in th elite, he had a better qb rating than manning last year

09-16-2010, 10:05 AM
This list is a complete joke. Rivers, Favre, Freeney and Peppers above Ben and Troy? Not a chance.

09-16-2010, 10:13 AM
Wow, these lists are always fun. There isn't a quarterback in the league I would take over a healthy Ben Roethlisberger. And my number two would be Tom Brady. Give me Quarterbacks that win the big game, anytime.

09-16-2010, 10:31 AM
How is Jason Witten #19, while Gates and Clark are #34 and 36, and Tony Gonzalez is #52? Witten can't stretch a field like Gates or Clark, and I'd still take Gonzalez over him.

I'd easily take Heath over Witten as well, even though I realize these lists are typically more numbers driven.

09-16-2010, 12:55 PM
This is nothing more than a puff piece intended mostly to cause conversation than any attempt at accuracy.

Here is why.......

You have 99 panelists. Of those 99, I will consider 10 of them as "experts". Those would be the 10 current GMs. I would consider 15 to have second rate opinions, those would be the former coaches, many of whom were doing so recently, and some of whom are still involved in the game somehow - mostly in broadcasting.

Then you have 74 former players. To me the fact that they are hall of famers really does not add any credibility. It just looks nice when you publish a poll that has HOFers as voters.

How often does Chuck Bednarik watch every team play at least two or three times a season? How about Raymond Berry, what is his current involvement in player evaluation? Certainly they sought out Bobby Hebert's opinion because of the in depth and unbiased analysis he provides on player development.....or was he just a guy who answered the phone when they called?

I'm guessing that most on the board watch more football than many of the guys who voted in this poll. Most guys would go with two criteria.....name recognition and does he play for a team that I did, or maybe a team that I hate.

May as well have had a man on the street polling random passers by.

09-16-2010, 01:50 PM
Let's see...I'm starting a new franchise and could use a stud RB. I'm torn between Reggie Bush and Maurice Jones-Drew. It's a tough call. On one hand, you've got an overhyped Heisman winner (well, at least until he gave it back in shame), who can't stay healthy and whose numbers have declined every year since his rookie season. Or I could take the guy who is capable of catching the same number of passes out of the backfield as Bush while also rushing for 3 times as many the yards he does. Hmmm... Please, Sporting News, give me some advice about who is better. I'm stumped. :lol:

09-16-2010, 08:43 PM
snafu by committee

minus the sn