UA-59049186-1 Top 100 NFL Players of 2016: 10-1 - Good if it Goes

Top 100 NFL Players of 2016: 10-1

10. QB. Russell Wilson

russell

If there was any doubt that Wilson is a top NFL QB and not just a product of the team around him, he without question put that to rest last season. He threw 34 TDs and only 8 interceptions. He also completed 68% and had a 110 passer rating. He might not be able to break tackles and run QB power plays like Cam, but he’s still an elite dual threat that can hurt teams with his legs. Wilson has become a dangerously accurate passer not just on the move, but from the pocket which is something people use to criticize him for. The only real negative about him as a player is that he’s 5’11, other than that I can’t think of anything.

[The rest of the list after the jump]

9. LB. Luke Kuechly

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Luke Kuechly is the best linebacker in the NFL and it’s not even a debate. At this point I believe the question is where Kuechly ranks among the all-time great linebackers in terms of who was best in their primes. He hasn’t played long enough to be considered all-time great in terms of his career but if we’re talking just in their primes, a case can already be made Kuechly is the most talented linebacker ever. Kuechly is a monster against the run but so are a lot of linebackers. Yes he has great pursuit, recognition skills, and instincts, but that’s not what puts Kuechly on another level. What makes Kuechly special is his cover ability. He’s the best cover linebacker I’ve ever seen. In zone, he absolutely thrives and he has the ability to stay with tight ends and running backs man to man. He’s 1 of the top 10 players in this league period.

8. WR. Antonio Brown

antonio brown

Brown is the best receiver in the NFL and honestly it’s not close. Had Big Ben not gotten hurt this past year who knows what kinda records AB would have set. He has so many great traits, but at the top of the list has to be his route running. Despite not having the great size that other elite receivers have, Brown really doesn’t need it because all he does is get open. And when he has to, Brown is more than capable of going up and catching 50/50 balls. He has the speed to be a deep threat that can stretch the field. He also has the hands and toughness to be a reliable target over the middle and has no trouble making contested catches in a crowd. The only time he was stopped all year was when the Bengals took him out with an illegal hit. I guess the only way to stop this guy is to go outside the rules.

7. TE. Rob Gronkowski

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The discussion about who the best tight end in the NFL is has become incredibly 1-sided. It’s Gronk and there’s nothing to debate. He’s a huge tight end that is an elite receiving option and blocker. If you watched the AFC title game, you know that this guy can’t really be contained, even by double teams. Not only does Gronk excel at catching passes, running routes, and blocking, he is excellent with the ball in his hands and is 1 of the best run after catch tight ends I’ve ever seen. And of course there is no bigger threat in the red zone than this man.

6. OLB. Von Miller

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I think Mack is the better all-around player, but if we’re talking pass rush only, then Von Miller is the best edge rusher in the NFL. It’s rare that you find a guy that’s 250 pounds that has 4.4 speed, but Miller is that guy. He might be the best all-around athlete on this list. His physical attributes are simply off the charts and those alone are often too much for opposing tackles to deal with. But Miller is more than a work out warrior as he has a very impressive arsenal of rush moves that he executes that simply make him unblockable.

5. QB. Cam Newton

cam newton

Cam was the 2015 NFL MVP and it was well-deserved. One could make a case that he is the best quarterback just because of his size and dual threat ability. With most QBs, you hold your breath when they take off running and get tackled by a linebacker. However, with Cam he can often be seen breaking those tackles and if he is brought down he just pops back up like its nothing. Cam made huge strides as a passer last year and somehow lead the Panthers to leading the league in points per game with his best receiver out for the year. He still has work to do to improve with accuracy and ball placement, but he can now be considered a good passer. If he had a better receiving corps, his completion percentage would have been a lot better.

4. QB. Tom Brady

tom brady

He might not have won MVP, but Brady was the most valuable player in the NFL last year in my opinion. The Patriots offensive line played more lineups than any other team and was a revolving door of injuries. Also all of the Patriots’ top skill players were hurt at one point or another during the year. With all of those injuries, the Patriots never really missed a beat on offense and teams still couldn’t get pressure on Brady consistently (except the Broncos of course) and it really speaks to how great Brady is. He’s the most accurate passer of the football in the short and intermediate range in the league and when you combine that with his lightning quick release and high football IQ, he simply gets it done by being 1 step ahead of most defenses.

3. DE. Khalil Mack

khalil mack

Khalil Mack has developed into the best all-around edge defender in the NFL. As a pass rusher, Mack is simply relentless. Game after game, teams try to double Mack and all he does is fight his way through them and still finds a way to put pressure on the QB regardless of whether he gets a sack or not. As great as Mack is rushing the passer, I think he’s even better against the run. Whether he’s playing linebacker or defensive end, it’s never in opposing offenses’ best interest to run the ball in Mack’s direction.

2. DE. J.J. Watt

New England Patriots v Houston Texans

Last year Watt was my number 1 guy; this year he comes in at 2. Watt is still the man, he just isn’t quite Donald. He still remains 1 of the game’s top 5 players and, like Donald, is elite in every phase of the game. I gave Donald the nod over Watt because I think his physical tools are better but as far as technique goes Watt has become a defensive line master whose tape should be showed to aspiring high school defensive lineman across the nation. His hand work is absolutely phenomenal and it remains the most impressive part of his game in my opinion. The dude just never stops working and he brings active violent hands every play for 4 quarters.

1. DT. Aaron Donald

Aaron Donald

He’s only played 2 seasons and I’m already comfortable telling you Aaron Donald is not only the best defensive lineman in the NFL, he’s the best player period. I can’t think of a single player that has a better skill set at their position than Donald. The 69 tackles and 11 sacks he posted last year were very nice, but it doesn’t begin to describe how dominant this dude is. He might be the fastest defensive tackle in the NFL and his acceleration is even more impressive. Donald explodes out of his stance like a rocket and before opposing guards know what has hit them he’s already all over them before there comfortably out of their stance. He’s elite against the run, he’s an elite pass rusher, and he’s a great tackler. What more can you ask for?

Twitter: @The_Coach_Buck

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