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Naming 100 players in the NFL could be a daunting task for some, but most everyone would agree that ranking the 100 best players is a difficult task for anyone. Any list that tries to rank the best players in a sport will likely meet with contention and debate but at the same time people love lists. They are simple, easy to read, and most importantly they get the competitive and analytical juices flowing.
Two people could have very different takes on what it means to be a top player which is likely why when two CBSSports.com writers compiled recent lists, there were a disparate number of Patriots on each. Pete Prisco included four current Patriots while his colleague Pat Kirwan was able to squeeze in six from New England.
One reason for the difference is that Kirwan’s list appears to be based off of observation and opinion. I say this because the player write-ups are very subjective and the top teams in the league tend to have more players on the list. For instance, San Francisco leads with 10, followed by Denver (7), New England/Seattle (6), and Kansas City/New Orleans (5). Of Kirwan’s top five teams, four were in their respective championship games last season. Cleveland is the anomaly with five players as well. Kirwan’s list of Patriots was:
1. Tom Brady
21. Darelle Revis
54. Rob Gronkowski
58. Logan Mankins
77. Jerod Mayo
92. Vince Wilfork
Prisco, on the other hand, put together a list and then ran it by several different types in the NFL to include general managers, coaches, offensive coordinators and a handful of offensive players. Prisco’s player write ups include a quote from one of said personnel to back up his placement. More opinions by various people is likely why two less Patriots made it on Prisco’s list. However, one Patriot that didn’t crack Kirwan’s top 100 was able to sneak onto Prisco’s. Prisco’s list of Patriots was:
5. Tom Brady
24. Rob Gronkowski
28. Darelle Revis
62. Devin McCourty
The important take away from all of this, the silly Tom Brady is no longer elite “controversy” appears to be a faux story line created by ESPN in order to generate buzz.
Tags: cleveland, Darelle Revis, Denver, Devin McCourty, ESPN, Jerod Mayo, kansas city, Logan Mankins, New England, New Orleans, Pat Kirwan, Patriots, Pete Prisco, Rob Gronkowski, San Francisco, seattle, Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork