The NFL Network people do a very smart thing every year by unveiling their top 100 players list during the slowest part of the offseason when bloggers like us have little else to write about and are desperate for anything that can make for a post. Of course lists like these aren’t really news, even though people sometimes treat them like they are, but that’s irrelevant. It’s something to talk about and people always like lists. So we do a post, and the list gets a little publicity, and people talk about the NFL even when there’s nothing going on with the NFL (except concussion lawsuits and Lions getting arrested). It’s a win for everyone.
Last night NFL Network brought their endlessly long and much-tweeted-about unveiling to an end by announcing the top 10 players in the NFL as voted on by the players in the NFL. As expected, the Vikings’ own Adrian Peterson was in the mix, finishing at #8. Obviously, Peterson’s peers aren’t concerned about his physical issues and the fact that, with everything that went on, 2011 wasn’t exactly his most productive year. They still consider him elite. They still respect the skills. They expect him to be back and just as good as ever.
And who is the most elite of the elite according to the men who actually suit up each Sunday? That would be Aaron Rodgers. Yup, Rodgers is that guy now. He’s where Peyton Manning was 10 years ago and Tom Brady 5 years ago. You won’t even get that much argument about whether he deserves to be the guy. Who else should it be? Drew Brees? Brady still? Tim Tebow?
Overall, the NFC North was well-represented at the top of the rankings. Rodgers was #1, Calvin Johnson was #3 and Adrian was #8. The only other Viking to make the top 100 was Jared Allen who finished 13th. One guy who got massively robbed? John Kuhn. He only finished 92nd? That dude’s at least top 20. He runs really hard for two yards. That’s a tough job.