The Gridiron Palace's NFL Top 100, Pt. 1 (100-91)
Has the NFL's players Top 100 list made you do a double take? If you are a fan of the sport, the chances you said yes are high.
Thus, thegridironpalace.com presents you with a list of their own to combat the ill-offerings of the NFL Network version. The Top 100 is brought to you by long time member and NFL enthusiast RazorStar. Presentations of each player were given by fellow members volunteering to do write-ups for each player on the list.
Without further ado, here is an introduction from the Czar of Canada...The Sultan of the Swing Play...The Master of the List, RazorStar:
As you all know, the players (roughly 400 of them) made their own list of top 100 players. I believe they were asked to submit their top 20 players and have that reflect the list.
Naturally, that leads to a few problems—the criteria for rating players changes for each guy polled. Do you put up their body of work or just their last season? Anyway you put it, I don’t like the list and I thought I could make a much better one.
So I’ll do my best to explain the criteria of this list.
First of all, I kept in mind what a player has done over a three year window or so, if they have a truly impressive season they can subvert a one year wonder policy, but it doesn't happen too often. Consistency is rewarded and is much more valuable than peaks and valleys in play.
Lastly, a player with a great body of work who starts to show decline will be ranked lower than his peak. It’s only fair and it gives a better idea of which player will be better right now—and for the near future.
There are nine QB’s*, four HB’s, six WR’s, five TE’s, eight OT’s, six OG’s, five C’s, nine DE’s, 10 DT’s, 13 OLB’s, 10 ILB’s, seven CB’s and eight S’s who made my list.
I’m a lot harder on skill positions because it’s well established that HB’s and WR’s are mostly products of the team around them, and they need to be truly impressive to make this list.
100. Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Written by GoodellFTL and AirMcnair
Joe Flacco seems to have become quickly overshadowed by Matt Ryan, mostly due to the Falcons’ 13-3 season last year. However, Flacco’s play has shown that he and Matt Ryan are pretty close to each other and not leagues apart, like some would have you believe.
If people weren’t so obsessed with the “glitz and glamor” QBs of this league, they would notice that Joe Flacco posted a 25-10 TD-INT ratio last year to go along with a 62.6 completion percentage. Combine that with his 6’6, 230 pound frame and his outstanding composure, and you’re going to tell me you don’t want that on your team?
More people should take the time to watch Flacco. If you do, you might be surprised in what you see…and that’s a QB who is only going to improve off of what was a fantastic 2010 campaign.
When the Falcons drafted Matt Ryan in 2008 they were hoping to get a franchise QB who could turn the team around. They hit the jackpot. In the three years he has been with the Falcons, Ryan has gotten them to the playoffs twice.
Ryan seems to be getting better and better every year. This past season he set career highs in TD’s, passing yards and QB rating, and also had an impressive 3:1 TD to INT ratio. Ryan stands tall in the pocket and has a very strong, accurate throw.
Ryan is looked at as one of the best young QB’s in the NFL. The only thing he needs to do now is start winning playoff games.
99. Ray Lewis
Larry French/Getty Images
Written by AirMcNair
What isn’t great about? He’s got the passion that rivals any Hall of Fame player in history. He’s got the toughness that would make you think he belongs in the 1970's NFL, not today’s. And most important of all, he’s got the leadership that you need in a MLB.
Nothing I tell you about Ray Lewis will be something you don’t already know. That’s just a testament to the work he’s put in and the success he’s had since coming in to the league. You always hear that NFL players make way too much money and don’t deserve even half of that pay check, but if ANYONE in the NFL earns their pay, it’s Ray Lewis.
Even with his slight decline he’s still one of the best players in the game, and still plays the position with nearlyI’m not sure he’ll ever NOT be a great player.
98. London Fletcher
Larry French/Getty Images
Written by Stevo
When you think about some of the more underrated players in the NFL, London Fletcher has to be a guy who comes to mind. He has constantly been one of the league’s best and most productive middle linebackers for what seems like an eternity. From 2001 through 2010 Fletcher built one of the best career resumes you could ask for, averaging 138 tackles per season and never getting less than 116.
Oh, and during that time period Fletcher played for three different teams—and started sixteen games every year.
Though Fletcher’s run of great seasons went through 2009, he had something of a step down in play in 2010, despite still being productive. Having recently turned 36, age could certainly be a factor, but keep in mind the other variables at work here.
Under new head coach Mike Shanahan, the Redskins took what had been a perennial top ten defense and inverted it to a 3-4 base scheme. Also, let’s not forget how bad that Redskins defense is on paper. How much help does Fletcher have in that front seven besides? Not much.
Another offseason in the 3-4 defense should help Fletcher get acclimated to the scheme, but you have to wonder how much longer it will be until his age completely catches up to him.’s best days may be behind him and it’s a shame that he’s never gotten the national recognition he deserves.
When he becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame, they’re going to have to take a really long, hard look at this guy.
97. DJ Williams
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Written by RazorStar
DJ is the overshadowed player on the Broncos and he has been his entire career, really. When you bring up the Broncos it’s about Ryan Clady’s pass blocking skills,as a pass rusher, destroying what looked to be a good young nucleus for the future and Champ Bailey’s claim to fame as the best corner in the league (though his age has put him down a bit).
What most people neglect to mention is that there has been an incredibly versatile linebacker who has just been getting the job done the entire time he’s been here.
DJ has played three positions in his career: Weak Side Linebacker in the 4-3, Mike in the 4-3 and Inside in the 3-4 experiment. Yet he doesn’t complain about constantly switching roles, he just goes to work, puts his head down and does what he needs to do. He can blitz, cover and he’s a damn good tackler too. He might not be the best in any of those categories, but when you can do them all well you can play anywhere on defense.
He’ll be going back to the Weak Side this year, and with Dumervil healthy, Ayers moving to his natural position and the acquisition of Von Miller in the draft, DJ will be going back to doing what he does best: stopping the ball carrier, making the stops when they’re needed and playing up to the level of the true greats in this game.
96. Kris Dielman
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Written by RazorStar
Dielman drives the Charger offense.
For years the Chargers have been known for their strong running game behind guys like LT and. Dielman is the primary guy they ran behind back then.
Now the offense revolves around Philip Rivers and his arm, but Dielman’s pass blocking is almost as good as his head hunting in the run game. Even if guys like Tolbert and Mathews seem like second class running backs, behind Dielman they’re everything LT was and could be.
While the offensive line around Rivers and the rest of their offense was in constant flux, Dielman was the one constant. And he was a constant pain for the AFC West, aside from Richard Seymour, who is about the only player who can consistently get under his skin. He’s hardly penalized, but he’s a rough player who knows how to skirt the rules just enough.
I really hate this guy, but he’s a damn good football player.
95. Aubrayo Franklin
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Written By BayAreaBomber
Aubrayo Franklin stops the run as well as any nose tackle—if not better. He is the reason the 49ers had the seventh best run defense in the NFL in 2010. He also makes Patrick Willis’ life much easier.
How many teams held the great Adrian Peterson to 17 total rushing yards? The did a couple seasons ago.
He’s up there with the B.J. Raji and Antonio Garay as the best 3-4 nose tackle in the game today.
94. David Stewart
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Written by AirMcNair
Often underrated in this league is the importance of a good right tackle on your offensive line. The left tackle gets all the love and respect because he’s usually the one protecting the QB’s blindside. However, just because the right tackle doesn’t have that responsibility it doesn’t mean he isn’t important.
is a fantastic example of this. In the Titans run first and run often offensive scheme, David Stewart has become a fan favorite in Tennessee and is considered the best player on the line...even though he plays across from an pro bowl LT.
Stewart’s biggest talents lie in his upper body, with outstanding strength and a mauler type of personality making him a beast to run behind. While he may not have the footwork it would take to be a LT, I’m not sure there’s anyone in the league better at run blocking than this man.
93. Tony Romo
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Written by Stevo
Tony Romo has come a long way from being an undrafted free agent from Eastern Illinois, now entrenched as the franchise signal caller of the . His regular season success has been impressive, so let’s go right to the core of his polarizing reputation: postseason football.
Romo was launched into infamy in 2008 by botching the snap of an extra-point attempt and losing a playoff game in the process. But place-holding is not something you askto do in the playoffs, so let’s throw that one out.
In 2009 the Cowboys earned homefield advantage, but lost their first playoff game to the New York Giants—a Romo interception was Dallas’ final play of the game. But again, perspective: that’s the same Giants team that went on to beat the then 18-0 Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. And when you get the #1 seed, the last thing you want is to play a division rival with your first playoff game.
The following season was cut short by a humiliating 44-6 week 17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles where the Cowboys got thoroughly outplayed. Again, you can’t put it all on Romo here.
In 2010 the Cowboys finally got a playoff win, but were then crushed by the Minnesota Vikings in the divisional round.
So what’s the silver lining here? Some have criticized Romo for his lack of leadership, but anyone who’s ever seen him mic’d up knows that’s total crap.
Leadership starts at the top, and Wade Phillips was a glorified defensive coordinator when he ran things in Dallas. Anyone who doubted that was quickly silenced when the Cowboys suddenly woke up under and put together some impressive garbage time wins, with—wait for it—John Kitna as their quarterback.
So while the debate rages on as to how good a quarterbackactually is, a full healthy season under Jason Garrett may prove to be his most telling season yet.
Although he’s going to need to put together some impressive postseason success if he wants to silence his critics.
92. Ndamukong Suh
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Written by DMac4HOF
Lions’ rookie defensive tacklewas one of the most disruptive 4-3 interior linemen in the NFL in 2010.
Using a combination of explosion, strength and hustle, he constantly got into the opponents backfield, causing havoc and leading to double digit sacks. Despite having many moments where he flashed signs of still being a rookie and making rookie mistakes, it didn’t stop him from posting up all-pro type numbers.
Moving forward Suh needs to learn to be more consistent—in both the run and the pass.
91. James Anderson
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
One of the bigger playmaking LBs in the NFL, Anderson came out of almost nowhere to perform at great levels last year.
Anderson got sacks, ints, TFls, PDs and he was all over the field. He was stellar in the running game, where he made a ton of tackles.
Thanks for Reading
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That wraps up the first installment of The Gridiron Palace NFL Top 100. If you have any comments, questions or would like to simply voice your feedback, please post here or come visit us at:
The next installment will be here before you know it.