Over the past few days, the NFL Network has released players 100-41 on their Top 100 list, which is voted on by the players, and so far, only two Falcons have made it. Grady Jarrett came in at #91, which I thought was criminal, but then stars like Fletcher Cox and Myles Garrett barely made the top 80. Meanwhile, mediocre quarterbacks like Ryan Tannehill and Jimmy G were ranked 68th and 43rd, respectively. Like I said yesterday, this list is always wack, so take it with a grain of salt.
Coming in at #51 was Todd Gurley — a far cry from where he landed on the list last year when he was #5. However, it’s hard not to say the drop was warranted. The two-time First-Team All-Pro running back is suffering from arthritis in his knee, which forced the Rams to limit his workload, resulting in the worst year of his career.
Gurley only carried the ball 223 times (the lowest of his career) for 857 yards (also the lowest of his career) — good for a 3.8 YPC (the second-lowest mark of his career). However, he was able to get in the endzone 14 times, and there were moments when he looked like the same explosive back that was viewed as the best in the league just two years ago. But there were also days where he could only be relied on as a decoy.
As a result, the Rams cut Gurley just two years after making him the highest-paid running back in the league. The Falcons scooped him up on a one-year deal this offseason, and all signs point to him being in the best shape of his life. If that’s the case, this could be a historic bounce-back campaign for Gurley. However, his chronic knee issues will always be a concern, and now another evil could prevent him from being a factor in 2020 — COVID-19.
Gurley said last week that he is prepared to sit out the season if the NFL cannot come up with a safe plan for the players during the pandemic. So far, he hasn’t been impressed, and who can blame him. The NFL had months to learn from other sports leagues about how to handle these unfortunate circumstances, but instead, they seem to have chosen to ignore it, hoping that it might just disappear. That’s not going to happen, so hopefully, the NFL continues to work on making things as safe as possible for the players and their families.
As far as the NFL’s Top 100 goes, there are still a couple of names that should be on this list. Matt Ryan is one of them, especially with Ryan Tannehill and Jimmy G making the cut, but judging by how underrated Ryan is, I wouldn’t be shocked if he missed the list altogether. This is a popularity contest, after all. One name we know will be on there is Julio Jones. He should be the highest-rated wide receiver, but once again, the players have proven to be all over the place when voting for this list.