Splash’s Top 100 (2019): Criteria and Honorable Mentions

Splash’s Top 100 (2019): Criteria and Honorable Mentions

by June 3, 2019 0 comments

Before you bring out the pitchforks and the nasty tweets, the basis for the top 100 needs to be laid out.

The original 115 players included in the preliminary list were organized by position and ordered based on a variety of factors with 2018 performance being a massive piece of the ranking. While there are players present who played sparingly in the 2018 season (yes, Le’Veon Bell, this is where you come in), the list does factor inconsistency on a year-to-year basis. In filling out the middle portion of the list, ability prior to 2018 played a large role in organizing the players.

Injuries are a reality in the NFL. While the perfect league would have no injuries and no suspensions, that is simply not the case in the NFL. With that said, some injuries were more catastrophic to players and their ranking. While a certain Rams running back fell heavily compared to where he could have been, other players did not experience large drop-offs because the injury was more based on chance than consistent injury concern.

While the list is by no means a perfect list, care was made to include the 100 players that deserve to be on the list. The following set of honorable mentions had serious consideration, but at the end of the day, they just missed the ranking. Many of the players are young and will feature in the 2020 pre-season installment of the Splash Top 100, but as of June 2019, they do not belong in the top 100.

The honorable mentions are in no particular order.

Carson Wentz, Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles:

The 2017 MVP candidate was a tough out in terms of the list. However impactful Wentz was in 2017, his 2018 body of work did not compare favorably to his other quarterback companions. Every quarterback in the Top 100 (besides a certain 2018 MVP) has been consistently excellent for the last few seasons at a minimum. Wentz should return to the Top 100 by the end of the season.

Landon Collins, Safety, Washington Redskins:

Collins is a great player who was overshadowed by a bad situation in New York. There is a serious argument to be had he’s among the best safeties in the NFL, but this list prioritized the other members of the defense more than safeties.

Tyrann Mathieu, Safety, Kansas City Chiefs:

In an almost opposite situation to Collins, Mathieu’s good play was overshadowed by the presence of a good situation in Houston. Houston’s defense has two of the best players in the NFL, so Mathieu was lost in the shuffle. Heading into 2019, Mathieu has a good chance to regain his spot in the Top 100 based on how pitiful the Chiefs defense was in 2018.

Trey Flowers, EDGE, Detroit Lions:

The Detroit Lions made a play at the former Super Bowl champion in free agency. While Flowers was very good in 2018, there are doubts if he can work without the high-end secondary play and presence of Bill Belichick on the sideline.

Patrick Peterson, Cornerback, Arizona Cardinals:

This one is outrage worthy, but Peterson will miss the first six weeks of the season due to a suspension. Without the suspension, he might stay in the Top 100, but the upper echelon cornerbacks were too impressive for Peterson to slide in with just 10 games on the docket in 2019.

Blake Martinez, Linebacker, Green Bay Packers:

Martinez is a case of a middle linebacker loading up on tackles simply because he is there to make said tackles. Martinez is by no means a bad player, but his spot in the Top 100 was snatched by more all-around linebackers who shine on the field more than the box score.

Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, Houston Texans:

While the state of Texas is ready to burn this list, Watson caused many of the sack problems he fought through in 2019. While the offensive line in Houston was as bad as anyone’s Watson’s ability to extend plays left him vulnerable to countless sacks of the 62 total that he took in the season. A subpar playoff performance accompanied by a reliance on DeAndre Hopkins take Watson out of the top 100.

Darius Slay, Cornerback, Detroit Lions:

Slay is a terrific player at the back end of the Lions defense, but he does not compare favorably to the cornerbacks who made the list. Slay is a great ball hawk with good cover skills, but each cornerback in the top 100 possesses a swagger and an electricity to the cornerback position.

David Johnson, Running Back, Arizona Cardinals:

David Johnson wasn’t good in 2018. While much of his struggles can be attributed to a pee-wee level offensive line, terrible play calling, and Josh Rosen resembling elephant dung at times, Johnson did himself no favors. Johnson is an incredibly talented back who can certainly jump back into the Top 100, but he should be docked for a pitiful season.

Marshal Yanda, Offensive Guard, Baltimore Ravens:

Yanda is a legend of the game. However, he is no longer the force he once was. While very good wherever he is used on the line, Yanda lacks the high-end ability that his compatriots in the Top 100 have. Yanda is a terrific player, but his future appearances in the Top 100 may be limited due to age and other blockers in the Ravens line.

Eric Ebron, Tight End, Indianapolis Colts:

Ebron needs one more effective season to cement his spot in the Top 100. The fourth best tight end according to the player rankings, Ebron faces a large climb to the likes of Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, and George Kittle, but an effective 2019 will put him in the Top 100.

Marshon Lattimore, Cornerback, New Orleans Saints:

Lattimore would’ve been Top 100 had this list been made in June 2018, but a sophomore slump of sorts knocks him out of the Top 100. Lattimore is the gem of the Saints back seven, but he needs to return to his rookie form in order to cash in on the Top 100.

James Conner, Running back, Pittsburgh Steelers:

With no Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh, it is James Conner’s responsibility to prevent a dip in form for the black and gold brigade. Conner has the added benefit of a pass-first offense with one of the best offensive lines in football, but he could solidify himself in the Top 100 if he consistently produces as he did in the 2018 season.

Julian Edelman, Wide Receiver, New England Patriots:

The Super Bowl MVP is the perfect receiver for the Patriots. With the exception of Ryan Allen, Sam Hekker, and Cory Littleton, Edelman was the catalyst of all of the action in Super Bowl LIII. Edelman’s only downside is the system and the plethora of tremendously talented wide receivers who criss-cross the Top 100. Edelman is great, but he just isn’t better than any receiver ahead of him.

Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Cleveland Browns:

Hold the hype train Cleveland fans. Mayfield shined in his rookie season, breaking the rookie touchdown record. However, Mayfield right now is simply not a Top 100 player. While he almost certainly will be by the time the next installation of the Top 100 comes out, he should not be in the same category as the quarterbacks ahead of him. While he is the class of the 2018 quarterback quintet, he must reduce mistakes to slide into the Top 100.

Be sure to send me why you think these players deserve to be in the Top 100 on Twitter or in the comment section. The first ten players (100-91) of the 100 will be released in the coming days.

I’m Ryan Potts. Some people affectionately call me Splash. I am renowned for being a misplaced Ravens, Cavs, Wings & Braves fan. Twitter: MrSplashMan19

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