Jun 10, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) speaks to reporters after mini camp drills at the Broncos practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Why NFL Network's "Top 100 Players" Is A Joke

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.

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!



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Tags: Denver Broncos NFL Network Peyton Manning Top 100 Players Of 2014

  • Erick Trickel

    The biggest issue is that it isnt the top 100 players for last year, it is the top 100 players of the upcoming season. An interesting concept but one that can never be done accurately and one that is rather pointless since no one knows just what will happen in the future. NFLN has tried to make it clear that it is for the upcoming season and have been unsuccessful. Basically, its an interesting concept that is based one opinion but is one that shouldnt be such the big tv show that NFL has made it to be.

    Now basing a top 100 players of the previous season, then Von and Clady shouldnt be on there. Neither should anyone who missed significant time. No matter how great the player is, they arent great if they are hurt or suspended and unable to see the field. So no Gronk, no Atkins, no Aldon either. Also its all opinion based from other NFL players, which is cool to see what they think, but even then it isnt accurate. Some players may vote for players who dont actually make the list, or base it off of “im friend with him so I am going to vote for him” even NFL players can succumb to bias. I personally like the PFF list as it is statistic based and while many dont agree with it because so and so is ahead of so and so or isnt on there, its based off of stats. While stats dont always tell the whole story, they provide a solid base that people can look at or someone can show to back why player x is rated and spot x.

    • Chad Jensen

      Well put. It’s an interesting premise.

    • anon76returns

      PFFs metric is better, no doubt, but from reading their list I get the impression that it isn’t just grades, but that there is also some subjectivity going on there.

      • Erick Trickel

        No it’s all stats based. Someone with a high grade could’ve missed serious time which would drop them some or have a higher grade in a certain area than another. Like with pass rushers they look at pass rush grade more than overall and run grade. Also look at their pass rush efficiency.

        • anon76returns

          I recall reading in the list some comment that made me think that they were putting their thumbs on the scale a bit. I do remember reading for Peyton that they ~”wouldn’t let his play in the SB influence his grade too much” which seemed to indicate they were weighting the grades, but I remember something even more directly stated. Will go look.

          • Erick Trickel

            Sorry I shouldve clarified what I was meant. Some of them do stat a personal opinion but they need to have some stat to back up their reasoning on why one player should be higher than another. It cant be just, he should be here because I watched him play and saw he was better. There has to be something to backup their personal opinion/bias.

  • SayreBedinger

    Turns out Manning is ranked 2nd. Who had a better season than Manning?? The rankings are an absolute crock and NFLN should be ashamed they didn’t modify it, if even for just Manning’s ranking.

    The other joke is, as you pointed out, there aren’t enough Broncos on the list. Three of the players are those who played elsewhere in 2013.

    No Knighton? Trevathan? What about Julius? Joke. Well said.

    • Chad Jensen

      Yeah. Pot Roast. I didn’t mention him, only because he didn’t really ignite til the Broncos were down the stretch and absolutely exploded in the playoffs. He and Trevathan will be Pro Bowlers in 2014.

  • Opthomas Prime

    Players vote by listing their top twenty players, regardless of position. Then 1-20 are given a point value 1st- 20 pts 2nd- 19 pts ect… Then the player voter explains why they put each player at their respective spot on camera. Those interviews are then played if they make the top 100. 100 players are reached by adding up everyones points. Theoretically if a portion of each interview given for a player makes the broadcast a formula could be used to detirmine the exact ballots for every player voter

    • Opthomas Prime

      The specific rank 1-20 given taken out during the editing process for obvious reasons

    • Chad Jensen

      Sick handle, dude. Thanks for reading. Yeah, I know, first world problems. It still irks me though (obviously). Still, do you really think that all 100 players that the show presents are mentioned, at least once, on every ballot? I wonder….if some form of editorial prerogative is exercised by the producers to get to 100.

      • Opthomas Prime

        Not quite, for example lets say Danny Trevathan put Von Miller #1 on his list. Von would then have 20 points. Now lets say 10 other players voted their top 5 as following:
        Player 1-
        JJ Watt (20 pts)
        Manning (19 pts)
        Rodgers (18 pts)
        A.P. (17 pts)
        Brady (16 pts)

        Player 2-
        Manning (20 pts)
        McCoy (19 pts)
        Brady (18 pts)
        Suggs (17 pts)
        Von Miller (16 pts)

        Final Results-
        1st- Manning (39 pts)
        2nd- Von Miller (36 pts)
        3rd- Brady (34 pts)
        4th- JJ Watt (20 pts)
        …. So on and so forth
        The top 100 is just a full 20 player ballot with many more players filling those ballots.
        For clarity- pts=points

        • Opthomas Prime

          *Edit* 2 other players not 10 other players

  • Opthomas Prime

    Also idk why people are so pissed off, 8 is still good for most in the afc.

  • Amar S.

    I stopped taking the list seriously after Jimmy Graham was left out last season. Instead, I only use the segment to watch clips and listen to the sounds of my favorite players while other players or coaches say a couple of nice things about them.

    And whoever is league MVP is automatically #1 I think.

  • Bob

    Ranking before the season makes no sense. Schaub would have been ranked in the top 100 last year and had a horrible season.

  • joe f.

    This top 100 list is getting way out of hand now. Some people are making there list from last year and some how some are picking people from 2014 season that hasn’t even started yet.

  • Derek J

    If Manning truly does come in at #2, then that must mean that #1 is J.J. I suppose I cannot argue with that..

    • Chad Jensen

      If J.J. truly is #1, his team wouldn’t have sucked last year.

  • Donald Johnson

    Terrence Knighton Is Another Player Left Off…I Cant Believe Julius Thomas Didnt Make iT…Ryan Clady Has NEVER MADE TOP 100? Dude Has Like 3 Seperate Years On All Pro Team…Danny Trevathon Has Another 2014 Like 2013 He Should Be On Here DeAndre Lvy Made It Off One Year…Demaryuis Ranked Too Low For Super Bowl Record Game And 5 Playoff Games In A Row With Touchdowns!!! BRoNCoS Had Best O Line Production In NFL And Only 1 Pro Bowler, Who Else Does That Happen To? 18 Sacks Least QB Hits 13th Best Rush Offense Outta 32 And Without Their Best Lineman Mind You…Chris Harris Jr. Didnt Play Better Than CB Brandon Flowers Pro Bowl Man? Its Stupid Crazy I Mean If This Happened To Chiefs Players It Would Be Sac-Religious And Chiefs Won 2 Games Only A Year Ago…Demaryuis Is Better Than Brandon Marshall And Vincent Jackson LED NFL WR’S IN TDS!!! Terrence Knighton Didnt Do For Denver What Kyle Williams Did For Buffalo? Yet Donatie Poe And Marcel Daruis Are Ranked…Its Laughable…BRoNCoS True Fans Should Be Pissed With PR Games And Biases!!! Is Eric Weddle Really Better Than Rahim Moore? Chargers D Performance Sucked In 2013 And Weddle Couldnt Stick Julius In Playoffs!!! DRC Played Better Than Flowers Last Year As Well!!!

  • Yensen Dubrovich

    Considering how badly every single player on the Broncos roster was dominated in the Super Bowl (the score was 43 to 8) do you really have room to gripe?

    • Yensen Dubrovich


  • Rob

    This is voted BY THE PLAYERS, not fans, thank goodness!