NFL: My Top 10 Players of 2017
Over the last few months, the NFL has been running the annual edition of its program "The Top 100 Players of ." The players in the top 10 are revealed on Monday, July 26th, and the players are: Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Le'Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, Von Miller, and Khalil Mack. I don't entirely agree with these, so here is MY top 10 list for 2017.
10. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons - Ryan had a great season, but he's below Brees and Carr here for me because I think he won't replicate that season this year, at least to the same dynamic. Don't get me wrong, he's a great quarterback, but not in that class that's going to the Hall of Fame on their first ballot (Brady, Brees, etc.) who is in their prime or whatnot. Nonetheless, Ryan is a stellar quarterback with a great arm and ability to heave one downfield.
9. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants - Beckham is a superstar by nature and talent. His mentality could improve, but on the field he's the game's most explosive receiver who can make plays happen from all over the field.
8. Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders - This guy is the 125-million-dollar man for a reason. He's a talented young quarterback with a lot ahead of him who should have a great career.
7. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons - Jones had a monster year and is a monster talent. His work in the Super Bowl spoke for him, making tough catch after tough catch against the NFL's top ranked defense.
6. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints - Brees has more 5,000 yard seasons than the NFL without him. That's Top 10 right there.
5. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers - Antonio Brown is the NFL's best wide receiver right now. He's not big, but he just has it. His routes are great, his hands are great, his footwork is great, his fundamentals are great, what's not to love? Maybe his Facebook Live stunts. But on the field, Brown is elite.
4. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers - Aaron Rodgers is the NFL's supreme athletic quarterback, but I don't think he's above Brady. However, Rodgers has a tremendous arm and the strength to heave a 60-yard, off-platform bomb to the end zone. He can execute the most difficult of throws, be it under pressure or while running, and can beat guys on the ground too.
3. Khalil Mack, DE, Oakland Raiders - Khalil Mack is a monster defensive end. He has a lot of things that no other guy (except maybe J.J. Watt) has. To put it briefly, there's a reason Derek Carr said he has "30-sack potential." Mack is explosive off the edge and has elite strength and power. He's fast in his maneuvering and gets to the quarterback with a hell of a finish every time.
2. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals - Johnson is underrated. His peers ranked him no. 12 on the Top 100, behind both Le'Veon Bell and rookie Ezekiel Elliott at his position. I disagree greatly with this. Johnson is more elusive and agile than Elliott, and he packs a bigger punch than Bell. He has a lot of skills and traits that no other player really has, so I think only the G.O.A.T. could knock him off right now. Johnson is a great receiver out of the backfield and is elusive, heavy-hitting, and agile in his style. He's patient and racks up yards like nobody else. David Johnson is something special, and I think he's the NFL's 2nd best player.
1. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots - We will see if Brady is ranked here on Monday night. He proved he deserves it, and launched himself among Jerry Rice and Jim Brown as arguably the greatest football player in league history, with the now-infamous comeback in Super Bowl LI from a deficit of 28-3. Brady has the ability to make quick decisions with more accuracy than any other quarterback in league history, as evidenced by his NFL-record 14:1 TD-to-INT ratio in 2016. And without one throw, that could have been 28:1. Brady not only had a great season, but is a phenomenal player. There's a reason the man has 5 rings.