New England Patriots guard Logan Mankins has once again made it into NFL Network's Top 100 players list, chiming in as the 82nd best NFL player from the 2012-2013 season. He is the first Patriot to be named to the Network's list.
Mankins has cracked the Top 100 in every year of the countdown's existence, but suffered a steep drop from his ranking a year ago. He checked in at No. 39 on the 2011 list, dropped to No. 64 in 2012, and dropped ever further down to No. 82 this past season.
The 31-year old All-Pro gritty guard is widely considered to be one of the best guards, if not the best, in the NFL today. He has made the All-Pro squad each of the past three seasons and has amassed five Pro-Bowl selections over his eight year NFL career.
The reason for Mankins' drop on the list is likely due to his injury troubles last season. He missed six games this past season due to several injuries. But, to his credit, he played nearly the entire 2011 season with a torn ACL. Certainly no one is questioning his toughness around here.
While I think Mankins should certainly higher than 82 on this list, I understand that lineman are often under appreciated, except by fellow lineman, humble quarterbacks and opposing defensive ends. But a very well deserved appointment indeed.
As for other Patriots to watch out for on the countdown, it's likely that Vince Wilfork, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski make the list. Other notables to watch for include Jerod Mayo and former Patriot Wes Welker.