The NFL Network has created Top 100 lists for the past six seasons. Eleven players have the honor of appearing on every list. Only three have ranked inside the top 50 every year.
Just one has been ranked inside the top 10 of every list, and this player has never left the top five.
New England Patriots QB Tom Brady checks in at number two on the list behind only Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who won the league MVP award and Offensive Player of the Year award. Brady continues to sit atop the list after ranking #1 in 2011, #4 in 2012, #4 in 2013, #3 in 2014, and #3 in 2015.
There are not a lot of – if any – players in NFL history that have been able to do what New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has done over the course of his career: rise from late round draft pick to arguably the greatest player his position has ever seen.
His 2015 season showed this once again: Brady started the year on fire and led the Patriots to a 10-0 record, all while putting up MVP-worthy numbers. While he was unable to keep up the pace due to injuries and inexperience within his supporting cast, he still had one of the best seasons of his 16-year career.
Multiple players talk about Brady and what makes him probably the best quarterback to ever play the game. They talk about his preparation, his drive and – in the case of Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins – his abilities in the pocket.
Cousins sums up Brady’s play perfectly: "It’s like poetry in motion."
"Tom does the same thing he does every year: take over the world," Texans cornerback Charles James II said about Brady.
"It seems like he hasn't aged a bit since I got in the league," Bills center Eric Wood said about his division rival. "Tom gets better each and every year. That's remarkable."
"Just his competitiveness, and his fire, and his drive, the chip on his shoulder he's always had really separates him," Cousins added. "Although he's not considered fast, I consider him to be very mobile because of the way he can slide and keep his eyes down the field and feel the pass rush, get rid of the football and avoid the sacks. It's hard to understand. It's like the game is in slow motion for him when he's dropping back and reading the coverages because of the way he's able to dissect things so well.
"What amazes about Tom Brady is the revolving door they've had at offensive line, at the wide receiver position, at the running back position, it's always next man up, and yet the next man up always plays like a Pro Bowler. And I think the one steady piece through all these years has been #12 at quarterback."
"I was in New England a short time this year after leaving New Orleans," RB Travaris Cadet said about Brady. "He's always striving for perfection during workouts. I watched him run shuttles until he ran the time he wanted. I watched him run 110 shuttles. That's just the drive and the competitive nature that he has."
"He's mastered the game," Washington DL Ricky Jean-Francois said. "This man has seen every coverage, he's seen every type of game plan you can come up against him with. You might as well stop wasting your time."
Overall, Brady is the fourth player to play for New England in 2015 to be ranked on the list:
#02: QB Tom Brady
#09: TE Rob Gronkowski
#48: DE Chandler Jones
#87: WR Julian Edelman