The NFL Network’s off-season filler show, “The Top 100 Players of 2014“, is a joke. You might say, “But Chad, where do you get off? There are 8 Denver Broncos on their list! You should be happy! Broncos make up 8% of the list!”
And I understand that sentiment. Right now, being a Broncos fan is a dream. And we deserve it, after the hell we endured in the last couple years of the Shanahan administration and the McDaniels regime.
As fans, we’ve got it pretty good. And it is true that the roster of the Denver Broncos features an embarrassment of riches. Hell, that was true last year and the roster has only become more ridiculously stacked in 2014.
NFL Network claims that the formula they use to divine the top 100 features a combination of fan voting and player voting. But of course, we don’t know exactly how that equation shakes out. Tim Tebow made the top 100 in 2012, for crying out loud!
Whatever means they use to make the list, here are the Broncos players that NFL Network has featured in their top 100 of 2014. Peyton Manning has not been mentioned yet, but he will be. Somewhere in the top 5. It’s likely he’ll be #1.
- 97: Louis Vasquez
- 82: T.J. Ward
- 79: Aqib Talib
- 76: Von Miller
- 73: Wes Welker
- 56: DeMarcus Ware
- 49: Demaryius Thomas
- ??: Peyton Manning
That’s a pretty healthy list. And if you’d like to read the full list, currently up to date, click here. If you do, you’ll notice that they have the likes of Justin Smith (69), Jared Allen (68), Cameron Wake (66), Justin Houston (57), Aldon Smith (33) to name a few, ranked ahead of Von Miller. Don’t get me started on Aldon Smith. LOL.
Now, those are all fine players, but better than the Vonster? No way. I understand that Miller’s suspension and his late-season injury have cost him some of his reputation, but come on! Even arguably the best middle linebacker in the history of the NFL says that Miller is the best linebacker in the NFL right now.
Last season, Louis Vasquez was a first team All-Pro and yet they have fellow All-Pro, Marshall Yanda (55), ranked 42 spots higher. Don’t get me started on Demaryius Thomas’ ranking. Not only did he get another Pro Bowl nod last year, but he was also a 2nd team All-Pro. Here’s a list of WRs ranked higher than Bey Bey, keeping in mind that Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green’s positions have not yet been “revealed”:
- 44: Vincent Jackson
- 38: Larry Fitzgerald
- 36: Brandon Marshall
3 Years ago, that would be accurate. And again, those are all fine players, especially Marshall, but better than Thomas? Alshon Jeffery is ranked only 5 spots behind Thomas. Granted, Jeffery had a remarkable 2013. But you’re telling me that he deserves to be on this list? You lost me. Credibility gone. Let’s see you do it again, Alshon, then I’ll be a believer.
Do you notice any glaring omissions in the list of Broncos above? I do. Chris Harris, Jr, for example, is one of the best CBs in the NFL. Am I to believe that Brent Grimes (95), at the very least, is better than Harris? Guys who know what they’re talking about would rank Harris where he belongs.
Julius Thomas. If we’re going to include one-hit-wonders like Jeffery on this list, how could you not rank Orange Julius? With 65 receptions, 788 yards, 12 TDs, and a Pro Bowl nod, that’s not good enough to crack this ridiculous list? Jason Witten (98) caught 8 more balls than Thomas in 2013. But he also had 4 less TDs than Thomas. Vernon Davis had a monster year, with 13 TDs. But he caught 13 less balls than Thomas.
In fairness, the only tight ends you could logically rank higher than Thomas are Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski. I understand the argument for those who’d put Davis, or Cameron Jordan in the conversation, but brass tacks, only 2 TEs could reasonably be ranked above JT. Davis has the talent, but can disappear for long stretches. (Ask anyone who has owned him in Fantasy leagues).
Thomas had a huge season, but people have to remember, he’s not the #1 target in his offense. Gronk? #1 target. Graham? #1 target. Thomas? #4 target and he was still able to produce at such a high level.
Ryan Clady. He was injured in week 2 and missed the rest of the season. This 3-time All-Pro and Pro Bowler misses out on the top 100, but we’re going to grandfather guys like Gronk, Clay Matthews, Justin Houston and Aldon Smith, who all missed SIGNIFICANT time last year? Geno Atkins ranked #48 and he missed half the season.
Maybe the old adage “you don’t look a gift-horse in the mouth” applies to this situation. By the time the list is complete, there will be 8 Broncos in the top 100, but this has been bugging me for a few weeks now and I had to exorcise the demons and let this rant OUT. I realize that none of this meaningful and that this show is simply a filler program to keep football consumers watching NFL Network until the actual season begins.
Am I wrong? Are the Broncos ranked where they should be? Am I wrong in thinking that Chris Harris, Jr, Julius Thomas and Ryan Clady should be on this list? Tell me in the comments!