Listen, I know there are many NFL experts out there and they all have a right to their own opinions. However, CBS Sports Senior Writer Pete Prisco’s list of his top 100 NFL players is all kinds of wrong, once you get past the initial top 10, which itself is seriously flawed. Now, I am a Cleveland Browns fan, and I am a little bit bias, but the fact that Baker Mayfield didn’t make the top-100 players in the NFL is a crime.
Mayfield isn’t the only Browns player who didn’t make the top-100 that should have. John Johnson III, who the Browns signed from the Los Angeles Rams in free agency, didn’t make the cut, even though he was PFF’s third-highest rated safety last year. Along with Johnson, third-year cornerback Denzel Ward also did not make the list. Ward not making the top-100 isn’t as surprising as Mayfield not making it, but it’s still pretty shocking.
Pete Prisco’s Top-100 NFL Players List Mistakes
Myles Garrett Makes Top-10
The only Browns player to make the top-10 was Myles Garrett. He came in at nine on Prisco’s list. The only two defenders ahead of Garrett are Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald and Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt. Personally, I believe Garrett is better than both of them, but Garrett has had injury issues, so ranking him ninth is okay with me. However, I would say that as a defensive end, he’s a better overall football player than Russell Wilson and Davante Adams, who came in at eighth and seventh, respectively. In the end, Garrett is a top-10 player in the NFL, and you probably won’t find many people complaining about Prisco’s top-10; the issues start a bit later.
Nick Chubb Somehow Comes in at 63
I fully understand that the running back position isn’t as highly regarded as other positions, but to have Nick Chubb outside of the top-50 is down right ludicrous. Derrick Henry of the Titans is the highest-rated running back, slotting in at 11th. Dalvin Cook of the Vikings is the next running back off the board, at 19. Panthers running back Christian McCaffery came in at 21. I can understand Henry, Cook and McCaffery coming in ahead of Chubb, because of their versatility. After them, it’s a pretty steep drop to the next running back, Alvin Kamara, who slips in at 37. Kamara is a fantastic player, but with Drew Brees retiring, he has more pressure on him this year. I can wrap my head around Kamara, Henry, McCaffery and Cook. However, what comes next is down right insane.
Coming in at 57th is Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. That’s six spots higher than Chubb. There is absolutely no reasoning or data to back this ranking up. I mean, look at both of their performances from last year. Elliott had career lows in yards per carry (4.0) and rushing yards overall (979). Now, let’s compare that to Chubb, who also only played in 12 games, while Elliott played in 15. Chubb averaged 5.2 yards per carry in 2020, along with rushing for a total of 1,076 yards. Prisco putting Elliott in front of Chubb is nonsense.
Baker Mayfield Misses the Cut
The Chubb ranking was my biggest gripe with the list, simply because I honestly think Prisco just forgot about Baker Mayfield. The quarterbacks who are ranked 30 and above, I can understand. Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes are incredible and deserve to be ranked where they are. I have some issues with how high Russell Wilson and Josh Allen were ranked, but that’s a topic for a different time. After the top-30, the quarterbacks are ranked like this: (38) Justin Herbert, (50) Dak Prescott, (83) Matt Ryan, (88) Matthew Stafford, (93) Kirk Cousins, (94) Kyler Murray and finally (95) Joe Burrow.
If these were my rankings, I would have Mayfield right around Prescott, in the 40-55 range. The fact that Prisco ranked second-year quarterback Justin Herbert at 38 is beyond questionable. Not only was the Chargers’ record worse than the Browns, which I agree isn’t really a statistic, but Herbert threw more interceptions and had a lower QBR. However, the real travesties here are the fact that Cousins and Ryan even made the list. Cousins has been a mediocre quarterback his entire career, and Ryan is getting worse year by year.
Other Puzzling NFL Players Rankings
Pete Prisco is a respected writer, so he deserves some credit, because he usually knows what he’s talking about. However, players from the Browns weren’t the only players that may have questioned their own ranking. For instance, take a look at Deshaun Watson, who comes in at 23rd on his list. Either Watson should not be on the list, because it seems the NFL needs to figure out if he will play this year or not, or he should have been higher if he’s active, in my opinion. Josh Allen, who slotted in at 10th, is a good quarterback, but Watson is just better than the rocket-armed Bills passer.
In the end, I have to give Pete Prisco some credit, he has people talking about his NFL players rankings. He has guys like me around the country who are absolutely fuming at his list. To be honest, that’s his job, to keep the conversation going. So kudos to you, Pete Prisco, but let’s put out some better rankings next year.
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