The Runner Sports

NFL Network Reveals 2017 Top 100 20-11

The NFL offseason may be entering the “Dark Period” where every player and staff member goes on vacation until Training Camp, but that doesn’t mean that the news is over. The NFL Network is still revealing the Top 100 Players of 2017, and the end is drawing ever closer. Numbers 20-11 were revealed Monday night, and the list included some heavy hitters.

#20 – Luke Kuechly, LB Carolina Panthers

One of the more dominant linebackers in the NFL, Luke Kuechly has been outstanding as both a tackler and in pass coverage. This versatility was shown during a Thanksgiving Day game against Dallas in 2015. Kuechly intercepted Tony Romo twice, returning one for a touchdown. Kuechly directs the Panthers defense, calling plays and reading quarterbacks. A three-time First-Team All-Pro, Kuechly has only been held back by concussions, missing nine games in the past two years.

#19 – Patrick Peterson, CB Arizona Cardinals

The highest-rated corner on the NFL’s Top 100, Patrick Peterson has been locking down Arizona’s secondary since being drafted fifth overall in 2011. The talented corner has been facing off against number one receivers en route to being named First-Team All-Pro three times. A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Peterson showed off his talent by winning games for head coach Bruce Arians with both punt returns and key interceptions. Nothing seems to slow down Peterson, including Diabetes.

#18 – Tyron Smith, T Dallas Cowboys

Making the leap from 42nd overall to 18th, Tyron Smith is the top-ranked offensive lineman on the Top 100. Smith has lined up some of the best pass rushers in the league including Everson Griffen, Clay Matthews, and Gerald McCoy without giving any ground. His mix of power, speed, and footwork is nigh unbeatable and has earned him praise from teammates and opponents alike.

#17 – AJ Green, WR Cincinnati Bengals

The third straight player on the list from the 2011 NFL Draft’s first round, AJ Green’s highlight reel started with him making a fool of corner Josh Norman. The play was immediately followed by Norman discussing why watching the play “pisses him off.” Norman may be a talker, but he does have a point in that Green has been nearly impossible to cover since his first professional catch. Juggling catches are his forte, as are Hail Mary receptions, and he has made both Andy Dalton and AJ McCarron look better by extension.

#16 – Drew Brees, QB New Orleans Saints

He may not be an amazing actor–just watch those Tide commercials–but Brees is one of the best quarterbacks in recent memory. The former Charger and current Saints quarterback has led the NFL in passing yards a record seven times and has thrown for more than 5,000 yards in a season five times. Brees doesn’t seem to be slowing down, despite being 38 years old, and he works well with a constantly rotating cast of receivers.

#15 – Aaron Donald, DT Los Angeles Rams

Down one spot from his 2016 ranking, Aaron Donald is the scariest part of the Rams defense. Despite being fairly undersized for the position at 6-feet and 284-lbs., Donald has still made a name for himself with a never-ending motor and pure viciousness. The big defensive tackle won Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2014 and hasn’t slowed down since.

#14 – Dak Prescott, QB Dallas Cowboys

Making his debut at a ridiculously high spot, quarterback Dak Prescott somehow made every Cowboys fan forget about Tony Romo by helping lead his team to a 13-3 record. Prescott displayed tremendous athleticism, pinpoint accuracy, and surprising leadership. He also achieved all of this without having a rapport with receiver Dez Bryant for the majority of the season. Prescott had some inconsistent moments during his rookie season, especially against the Giants, but he is only improving into one of the better quarterbacks.

#13 – Eric Berry, S Kansas City Chiefs

Fully cured of cancer, Eric Berry has been on a mission to prove his greatness for the past two seasons. And he has done just that by tallying six interceptions, one forced fumble, and two touchdowns in 2015 and 2016. Berry is also the sole owner of the NFL’s only interception for a two-point conversion in league history. The playmaking safety has totaled 158 combined tackles in the past two seasons while locking down the Chiefs back end.

#12 – David Johnson, RB Arizona Cardinals

Anyone who has watched the Amazon series “All Or Nothing” knows that the Cardinals didn’t actually intend to draft Johnson at first. He was the backup plan to Ameer Abdullah. As it turns out, the Cardinals were infinitely lucky that Johnson fell into their laps considering that he has been a scoring machine and the picture of reliability. Johnson is the first player in NFL history to total 15 straight games with 100 yards from scrimmage, and he has done so in spectacular, tackle-breaking style.

#11 – Derek Carr, QB Oakland Raiders

Want to know Derek Carr’s importance to the Raiders? Just look at the playoff loss to the Houston Texans. Carr led the Raiders to a 12-4 record but missed the playoffs with a broken leg. The team brought out Connor Cook in an effort to take down Bill O’Brien’s squad during the Wild Card round, but the rookie had no answer for an overwhelming defense. Carr, on the other hand, found ways to fight back against Houston’s defense during the regular season Monday night game from Mexico City. Carr is only entering his fourth season as a pro, but he has been the best quarterback from a class including Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, and Johnny Manziel.

With 10 players left to reveal, the march to unveil Tom Brady at #1 ends next Monday.

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John Newby

A Minnesota Vikings fan from Oregon who writes about the Houston Texans and discusses nerdy topics.
Quite fond of my wife, video games, and Blue Heelers.
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