As the National Football League gets ready to kickoff training camps in about a month, every major media outlet will put out their Top 100 player’s lists, which usually means a few Atlanta Falcons players will be disrespected.
Pete Prisco from CBS, put out his Top 100 NFL players list on Monday and there were four Atlanta Falcons players to make the list and one glaring omission. Given the 7-9 record in 2018, there should only be a handful of Falcons on any of these lists, but people have to stop equating the team record/achievements with a player’s talent.
Here are the four players that made Pete Prisco’s list and the lone Falcons player that should have made the top 100.
Not surprising to see Julio as the top rated Falcons player and getting love in the top 10 on any list. He is by far the best player on this roster and one that has helped win a lot of games during his time in the NFL.
Julio checked in at number seven and was the top listed wide receiver. That itself is shocking given the year that DeAndre Hopkins had in 2018 when he caught 115 balls and no drops. During the reveal, there was debate whether Hopkins or Jones should have been WR 1. No doubt that Prisco got this ranking correct.
Matt’s name is always going to bring both criticism and praise. You either love Matt or you think he is nothing more than a system QB that has had the good fortune of working with some of the best WR’s during his career.
However, Matt comes in at number 27 and behind 5 other quarterbacks. This is ridiculous. There are not five quarterbacks better than Matt Ryan in the National Football League. The five ranked ahead of Matt are:
I get it; there is no doubt that Mahomes had an all-time year in the NFL in 2018. He threw 50 TD’s for heaven’s sake. However, there is not a single football fan that is taking Mahomes over Ryan in the fourth quarter. Not one.
Andrew Luck ranked ahead of Matt Ryan too has to be the most nonsensical ranking I have seen in some time. Since we are being honest, Matt Ryan passed Aaron Rodgers in 2016 as well. Only Brady and Brees should be ahead of Matt Ryan and every metric one can measure, backs that up.
Grady checked in at number 66 after having a monstrous season last year for the Falcons, no matter what definition you use. When these lists are published, one never knows how lineman on either side of the ball will be valued. I think Pete almost got this one correct.
There were six other defensive tackles ranked ahead Grady on this list.
- Aaron Donald – 1
- Fletcher Cox – 18
- Geno Atkins – 37
- Akiem Hicks – 46
- DeForest Buckner – 51
- Kenny Clark – 60
The only issue I have with those in front of Grady is Kenny Clark. Both had identical seasons, but Grady had slightly higher totals across the board than Clark did and for that, I would have swapped Grady and Kenny Clark.
There was a moment of shock to see Deion Jones on this list at all given he missed most of the season with an injury; this tells me how great others think Deion really is. There is no doubt that when healthy, Jones is the top LB in the National Football League overall and no one comes close in his coverage ability.
While being ranked at 96th overall in 2019, that number will dramatically increase this time next year after Deion has the bounce back year we are all expecting.
Lone Falcons Omission
As stated earlier, one never knows how lineman are going to be valued when analysts put out their subjective rankings on the talent in the NFL. The center position is one that is rarely valued or talked about unless things go terribly wrong.
Pete Prisco had three different centers on this list and not one of them was Alex Mack. That is beyond ridiculous; he had Jason Kelce (83), Rodney Hudson (93) and Travis Frederick (99) on this list. No doubt, Jason Kelce should be on this list and should be much higher, but Alex Mack is better than either Hudson or Frederick and to leave him off this list is ridiculous.
All in all, having four Falcons on this list is a good thing. Fans are never going to be happy unless their guys are atop the rankings. If these four players can stay healthy in 2019, expect there to be quite a few more Falcons on this list next year when they are the reining Super Bowl champions.