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NFL Network Top 100 Players: Aaron Hernandez Ranked No. 77

The NFL players have spoken, and have appointed another New England Patriots player to the NFL Network's Top 100 players of 2012 list. This time, it's tight end Aaron Hernandez who gets the honors; being named the seventy-seventh best player of 2012.

Last season was a bit of a struggle for Hernandez, who missed six games with a shoulder injury. He was still able to put together a sound 51 catch, 483 receiving yard season while hauling in five touchdowns. Hernandez became the Patriots' primary tight end target after teammate Rob Gronkowski went down with an injury of his own in Week 5.

While 2012 was Hernandez' worse career season by far, he did battle an injured shoulder that still hasn't fully healed, and ended up putting up numbers that some 16-game starting tight ends couldn't put up.

Hurt or not hurt, Hernandez is no doubt a top tight end in this league. Herndo making the Top 100 list is in my mind, long overdue. Props to the players for getting it right this time, after leaving him off in 2011.

With his appointment, Hernandez joins Logan Mankins as the only two Patriots currently on the list. They certainly won't be the last New England players on the 2012 list.