With the ongoing lockout, NFL Network has had difficulty coming up with programs to show. They have partially fixed this by showing a 10-part series called "NFL Top 100 Players 2011."
Tonight on the series finale, they will reveal the top 10 players in the NFL. By process of elimination, I have discovered the 10 remaining players and have ranked them where I think they should be.
Initially, I was surprised to see that Julius Peppers hadn't appeared on the list yet. I know that he is good, but I'm not sure if he belongs in the NFL's top 10 players.
However, a look at his stats suggests otherwise. Peppers has 435 career tackles, 89 sacks and has been named to six Pro Bowls.
Last year, in his first season as a Chicago Bear, Peppers made a difference helping the Bears defense improve from 17th to ninth. His defensive performance was also key in making this team improve from 6-10 to finishing a few minutes away from playing in the Super Bowl.
The reigning defensive player of the year continues to demonstrate his value to the NFL's best defense.
In 2010, Polamalu played in 17 games, finishing with 63 tackles and seven interceptions. He was named to his sixth Pro Bowl, which he missed due to playing in his third Super Bowl.
Polamalu's value is perhaps demonstrated by when he is off the field. Since 2009, the Steelers are 14-4 when he plays and 7-7 when he doesn't play. When healthy, Polamalu is one of the best players in the game, as evidenced by his important role in the Steelers' 2005 and 2008 Super Bowl victories.
What Revis has done during his brief four years in the league is amazing.
He has become a true shutdown corner, making the opposing team's starting receiver a non-factor. Some of the receivers he marooned on Revis Island last year include Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Mike Wallace and Reggie Wayne.
Even last year where he missed time with a contract dispute and injuries, Revis still was burned less than any other corner. He also has been named to three Pro Bowls and will likely make many more.
Even though he is getting up there in years, Ed Reed is still the best safety in the NFL.
After sitting out the first six games in 2010, he still led the league with eight interceptions. He has 54 career interceptions and a total of 13 touchdowns.
What puts Reed so high on the list is how dangerous he is with the football. His 1,438 interception yards rank second all time. His ability to create turnovers is unmatched by any current NFL player.
Over the past three years, Andre Johnson has solidified his position as the best wide receiver in football.
In 2008 and 2009, Johnson led the league in receiving yards.He has been a standard of consistency, gaining at least 1,000 receiving yards in five of his eight NFL seasons.
Johnson has not received that much attention because of his unselfish behavior and the mediocrity of his team, the Houston Texans. If the Texans can turn things around, hopefully more people will notice this potential hall of famer.
It is difficult to describe the immense value that Ray Lewis brings to a football team. Even now in the twilight of his career, Lewis is among the best defensive players in the NFL.
Lewis had a respectable season in 2010 finishing fifth in tackles with 139. At age 35 he is still playing at an elite level.
What makes Lewis the top defensive player on this list is his leadership abilities. He is the heart and soul of the Ravens defense and arguably their entire team. His football IQ more than makes up for the step he has lost in his game and is a major reason he will be a first-ballot hall of famer when he retires.
Adrian Peterson is currently the best running back in the NFL. After coming out of nowhere to lead the league in rushing in 2007, he has consistently been one of the NFL's best rushers.
"All Day" does it all every week for the Minnesota Vikings offense. He has topped 1200 rushing yards all four years in the NFL and has scored 54 touchdowns in 61 games. He has done all this despite being the only consistent offensive threat on the mostly anemic Vikings offense.
He also has finally cut down on his fumbling problem, only fumbling once in 2010. With the Vikings likely starting a new QB in 2011, Peterson will be asked to help carry the offense. His past performance suggests he'll be up to the task.
The NFL is a quarterback driven league and as a result the top 3 spots in this list all go to quarterbacks. Drew Brees comes in at #3 after another great NFL season
Drew Brees has thrown over 4000 yards all five season in New Orleans. Winning the Super Bowl in 2009 did not slow him down as he responded with 4620 yards and 33 touchdowns.
Brees has been great for awhile however the Saints recent success has propelled him into the top 3 quarterbacks. Now that the Saints look to be a consistently elite NFL team, Brees may have the opportunity to climb higher on this list.
The #1 overall pick in the 1998 draft has lived up to expectations and then some. He holds a record of 4 NFL MVP words and has one of the greatest single seasons with his 2004 season.
Manning has made the Colts the NFL's most constant contenders as they have currently made the playoffs 9 consecutive years. Manning has started every game during that time span now having started 227 games in a row.
Regular season excellence has been both Manning's triumph and his downfall. Year after year he has led the Colts to 12 wins or more only to see them lose in the playoffs. With his many playoff failures and only one Super Bowl ring, he falls behind one quarterback in these rankings.
Yes I am ending this list with the Brady vs. Manning debate. And like so many experts, I think Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the NFL today.
2010 was one of Brady's finest seasons as he won his second NFL MVP award with 3900 yards 36 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Brady also has the best regular season ever by a quarterback in 2007 where he threw a record 50 touchdowns and went 16-0 as a starter.
The main reason I give Brady the edge over Manning is playoff success. Brady has won 3 out of the 4 Super Bowls he's played in and won his first 10 playoff games. Even with recent playoff struggles Brady has a 13-5 playoff record and always gives his team a chance to win with 33 4th quarter comebacks.