Frequenting plenty of NFL forums all over the Internet, I looked to see how the fans felt about the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2011 list.
Having compiled such a list from 2007 to 2009, I understood how hard it is to create a list a lot of people would agree on but the general consensus seemed to be that I got it right. Such was not the case for the NFL Network’s list unfortunately.
On no forums or websites could I find a consensus that the people for that respective forum or site believed that the players did an excellent job on the list. In fact, most people felt they didn’t even accomplish a good level of acceptance to the list.
The general consensus around the net is that the list is flawed due to the flawed nature in which it was compiled.
In case you didn’t know, the NFL Network’s methodology was to ask 450 random players—most of whom were backups or role players—who their top 20 players were and then arrived at their conclusions based on this.
I don’t have to explain to you the four or five problems inherent with this methodology.
Rather than be pompous and make my own list again, I decided to employ the skills of some of the best posters on the NFL forum I frequent the most—Football’s Future—to help me.
We compiled a list of 24 of the most knowledgeable and least biased posters representing 21 different NFL teams to try and compile a list.
However, we didn’t just vote for our top 20 and go on from there. Rather, we tiered off the voting process via players 1-20, 21-40, 41-60, 61-80 and 81-100.
In each tier, the top finisher on each panelists’ ballot received 20 points all the way down to one point, the totals were found and the players were ranked on total points.
This methodology was done to prevent players from finishing at all extremes throughout the top 100 as well as to allow potential “honorable mentions” for the next section that may have been originally overlooked by other panelists.
For example, Panelist 1 may not have voted for Player X while Panelists 3, 4, 7, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18 and 24 did.
Although Player X did not make the top 20, it would alert Panelist 1 to Player X’s presence and to further examine if they overlooked them.
While this selection process too has its issues, I believe we arrived at a better list than the “official” one posted by the NFL Network as well as many of the ones I’ve witnessed around the Internet.
I also believe that we eliminated bias and hype from the equation for the most part, although I do have my own issues with a few of the players that arrived on the list.
With each selection you will find one or two pros and cons as to why they were ranked so high or low in comparison to where you may believe they should be.
With that said, this is the first draft of the list and the true intention was to unbiasedly compile a starting point so that constructive debate and criticism could be brought about.
You can provide your criticisms in the comments section or you can attempt to make a compelling case for change by posting your stances here.
With that said…on to the list….