Not too long ago, the NFL came out with its annual rankings of players voted on by the players. The Patriots had four players make the NFL Top 100 list. Here I will review why each made the list and if they deserved a different spot.
Minitron has had an up and down career to this point injury-wise. But Julian Edelman’s big game impact as well as his ability to get open is undeniable. This most recent season was a bit short due to injury, but he was still able to reach 850 yards and six touchdowns. If he had played all 16 games than he would have most likely broke his career records for receiving yards AND touchdowns. His postseason was arguably as good as the one leading up to the championship win vs the Atlanta Falcons.
This is not his first time on the NFL Top 100 list, as he made it in 2015, 2016, and 2017 between spots #91 and #71. Now on the topic of if he deserved a higher or lower spot, I believe he got almost exactly the ranking he deserved. He was sandwiched between Landry and Lockett, all three players similar in value. I feel like he will not yet drop off, and will show us more of his talent next year.
Devin McCourty, a man who may be the most underappreciated defensive star in the league. Another big-game player, McCourty does not balk under pressure. He is eighth all time in playoff games started, and Devin has made the most of it. McCourty has 105 combined tackles in his playoff career, along with two interceptions and ten passes defensed. Last year he had 82 tackles, one interception, and four PD, yet even that doesn’t show his true value.
Like Edelman, this is not McCourty’s first time on the list. It is only his second. He is finally getting the respect he deserves, being placed between fellow safeties Eric Weddle and Harrison Smith. This placement is apt in that regard, but comparing him to other players is a bit different. I would say that McCourty could probably move up past Cam Newton, Darius Slay, Frank Clark, and Jarvis Landry. Cameron Hayward deserves a far better spot, but thats not what we are discussing. In all, I see McCourty deserving about four spots higher than what he got. But hey, at least people actually realized his skill this year!
I, like many others, believe that this may be Bill Belichick’s best free agent signing ever. He just may be after this surprising season. Stephon Gilmore’s first year in New England was good, but not good enough to live up to his contract. This year though he shut up all of the haters and was easily the best cornerback in the game. Gilmore had 45 combined tackles, two interceptions, and an insane 20 passes defended. He was given an approximate value of 14 by PFR, and a 90.7 rating by PFF. These were good enough to be the best corner ratings in the league(by starting players)
Gilmore was rated the best cornerback in the league, deservedly in front of Jalen Ramsey on the NFL Top 100 list. I believe that he not only was worth his 22 spot, but even deserved 19. He is easily better than Luck, and has a slight edge on Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. While he probably shouldn’t be past Ezekiel Elliot, Rivers, or Barkley, I think it says something to even compare them to one another. Since he is just entering his prime, he will probably follow up this season with an equally good one next year. We will be hearing a lot more of Gilmore in the future.
The Goat took a step back on the list this year, getting sixth. Tom Brady has acquired quite a streak, making the list every year since the NFL Top 100 started. Not only that, but he hasn’t dropped out of the top ten! His placings goes as follows: 1, 4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 1, 1, and this year’s six. He was ranked the third best QB, which I would say is pretty accurate for this year. While this sixth place hurts compared to prior years, I think he deserves the place. Gurley(5th) was a bit better than Tom, and Antonio Brown(7th) was slightly worse.
While Brady had a “down year” last year, he still was easily the most valuable player on the Patriots roster. He once again made a pro bowl, thanks to being seventh in passing yards and tenth in touchdowns. He had more interceptions than usual, as his decision making was a bit worse this year. But despite some issues, he still lead the Patriots to another Super Bowl championship. Now he is going for ring #7, with the help of the three other Pats players on the NFL Top 100.