Since NFL Network began its offseason series of the Top 100 NFL players, many writers have followed suit. The players this year put Larry Fitzgerald, Calais Campbell and Patrick Peterson in the Top 100.
There are 22 players included in the NFL's Top 100 who didn't make it onto my list. Very few of them missed by much. Take the eight wide receivers who crept onto the NFL's Top 100 and didn't make it onto mine. Of DeSean Jackson (no. 50 on the NFL's list), Steve Smith (no. 54), Brandon Marshall (no. 57), Larry Fitzgerald (no. 68), Mike Evans (no. 75), Golden Tate (no. 85), Julian Edelman (no. 91), and Emmanuel Sanders (no. 95), only Fitzgerald stands out as a player who obviously doesn't belong in consideration, and even that is probably in part because his quarterbacks have been so mediocre in recent years.
If you look at production alone, which many do, this make perfect sense. However, when the players still put you in there, there is a definite level of respect for the player and the belief that, with a better QB situation, he would be the player we all believe he still is.
Nonetheless, it is certainly understandable to leave him out .
Patrick Peterson is 47 on this list. He cracked NFL Network's Top 20.
I'm as big a Patrick Peterson fan as anyone, but 2014 was a disappointing season for Arizona's star cornerback. The Cardinals took him off punt-return duties after signing him to a lucrative contract extension, which was smart, but it also removed a way for Peterson to contribute to the team. He wasn't responsible for the 226-yard bomb Demaryius Thomas laid on the Cardinals, as that was mostly Antonio Cromartie's handiwork, but Peterson's early-season struggles were noticeable, even as Arizona's defense continued to play at a high level. An ankle injury couldn't have helped, but Peterson also revealed after the season that he had been diagnosed with diabetes. With Peterson's blood sugar now under control, he expects to play better in 2015.
Again, very reasonable take.
Campbell, who barely cracked the NFL Network Top 100 at 99, gets Top 30 love from Barnwell.
Campbell does not belong 71 spots below McCoy and 75 spots below Suh, that's for sure. He missed two games because Julius Thomas took him out with an illegal block and still managed to lead a mostly anonymous Arizona front seven to the league's sixth-best run defense.
This time, he is with Gerald McCoy and Ndamukong Suh right in succession. Barnwell hits the nail on the head with Campbell. The guy is a baller, as the young people would say these days.
There is still a case to be made with Justin Bethel, but it is hard to put a special teams only guy on a Top 100 list when he can't crack the offensive or defensive rotation.
Who on the Cards might show up on future lists? I would venture to say John Brown, Tyrann Mathieu and Jared Veldheer have the biggest potential. Andre Ellington and Deone Bucannon would be my next tier of players who could make it with big seasons.
What do you think of Barnwell's rankings?