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NFL Top 100 players: Patrick Peterson makes top 20

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The 4-time Pro Bowler is 19th.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

We figured it had to come at some point, but the NFL released the next ten of their Top 100 players, as voted by the players. On Wednesday, the players ranked 11-20 were revealed and Patrick Peterson was one of them, coming in at No. 19.

This, coming after a season many would call disappointing, was an move up in the rankings. He was 22nd a year ago. He is ranked ahead of safety Earl Thomas, who was ahead of him last year and also ahead of cornerback Joe Haden. He is behind Seattle corner Richard Sherman, who also was revealed to be 11th.

However, in the featured video about Peterson, the theme was the same -- Peterson's peers really respect the fact he plays all over the field an not just one side.

Teammate Justin Bethel said, "We played a lot of zero (no safety help over the top), a lot of man, and with Pat, he was always the guy on the best receiver."

Rams receiver Tavon Austin went a step further calling him "the best defensive player in the league," and the reason is "just because he plays wide receivers, slot receivers and tight ends."

Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders compared Peterson and Sherman.

"Richard Sherman is a really good corner, but he doesn't travel," he said. "When I was on the right side, I was going against Sherman, but when I was on the left, I didn't go against him.

"Patrick Peterson, he traveled everywhere with me and he definitely gave me a battle."

Lions receiver Golden Tate said, "you never know when he's going to intercept a ball or affect a play."

Colts wideout T.Y. Hilton called Peterson the toughest corner he has faced, citing his competitiveness and how much he talks. He also described a particular play.

"I remember I had him beat on a go ball (a deep throw)," he said. "I ran past him and he was still on my hip, as and I went to reach for the ball, he did his little signature move and grabbed my hand. I could only go with one hand. That was so unique."

Another Rams player, tight end Jared Cook, who has given the Cardinals all sorts of trouble, said the Cardinals "use him really well" in their defensive schemes.

He described perhaps the most athletic play we have seen from Peterson in his career, when he tipped a pass to himself and intercepted it, returning it for a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams.

"We were playing them in Arizona and Kenny (Britt) was running a shallow when I was running over above him," Cook described. "He (Peterson) was supposed to be manned up on the receiver outside. He just jumped the shallow on Kenny, picked it off and took it to the house."

Whether that was designed to have it look like man coverage on the outside and have him stay in zone (announcer Ron Wolfley said it was zone coverage), or whether Peterson simply recognized what the play was going to be, it is exactly the sort of play the team believes can be a regular thing.

Peterson might not have had his best season in 2014, but his talent is undeniable. The players around him and against him all recognize it. He is one of the best players in the league.