This is absolutely crazy. NFL Media has announced the teams for the players ranked 11th through 20th in the NFL Top 100 of 2016 rankings. The Patriots are not included.
This means that the teams of the players ranked 11th through 100th are known.
Only one member of the Patriots has made the list: WR Julian Edelman at 87th overall.
We know that QB Tom Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski will be in the top 10. Sleuths have been able to figure out the remaining 20 players based upon those that have not been listed, including pass rushers Von Miller and Khalil Mack, linebacker Luke Kuechly, and wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and DeAndre Hopkins.
Not a single member of the Patriots defense is expected to make the top 100.
Safeties Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung were ignored. Cornerback Malcolm Butler didn’t make it. Linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins are nowhere to be found.
I’m not saying that any of these players should be in the top 20, or even in the top 50, but leaving every single one of them off the list is absurd.
This is a list voted by the players, with 56 players on offense and 44 on defense. 17 wide receivers and 15 quarterbacks are making the list. The same number of tight ends made the list as offensive linemen: seven.
On the defensive side, 15 defensive backs made the list and 22 defensive linemen. Just seven stand-up linebackers made the list.
But even so, McCourty and Chung are better than Broncos S T.J. Ward. Hightower and Collins are better than Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson and Jaguars LB Telvin Smith. Butler is certainly a better player than Browns TE Gary Barnidge.
This list is made for those that collect splashy stats like sacks and touchdowns, but it ignores some of the best football players on the planet.
I hope that defensive coordinator Matt Patricia takes this list and posts it in the locker room for the entire season. This defense- coming off its best season since 2007- just received another chip to put on their shoulder. They deserve more respect than this.
Expected players in the final 20, in alphabetical order:
Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr., Patriots QB Tom Brady, Steelers WR Antonio Brown, Rams DT Aaron Donald, Bengals WR A.J. Green, Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski, Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins, Falcons WR Julio Jones, Panthers LB Luke Kuechly, Raiders ED Khalil Mack, Broncos ED Von Miller, Panthers QB Cam Newton, Washington CB Josh Norman, Cardinals QB Carson Palmer, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, Seahawks CB Richard Sherman, Texans DL J.J. Watt, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson