- CLUTCH Summary: The NFL Top 100 list this season had some glaring snubs
- Several players around the league still aren’t getting the credit they deserve
- San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner was the biggest snub
The NFL Top 100 List doesn’t always get it right. It’s not a slight on the placing of the players of this list this year. But it is something involving players that were noticeably left off of the list for this year.
Of course, there are some players on the list ranked there because of the success of the team that they’re on. And in that same case, some players won’t get the benefit of the doubt because of their team’s success despite strong seasons.
It’s something that’s been prevalent on the list for a very long time. And because of this, many players don’t get the recognition they deserve and aren’t on this list.
Because of this, it’s important to give some of these players the credit they’re due.
It’s not all of the players that should be on this NFL Top 100 list, but some notable ones who were snubbed.
5. S Kevin Byard
Byard recently signed a deal making him the highest-paid safety in league history. So it’s quite surprising when looking at what he’s accomplished already in his young career.
After an All-Pro season in 2017 when he led the league in interceptions (eight), he followed it up with another strong campaign. He put together four interceptions and eight pass deflections while also coming away with two sacks. He was a force in the run game as one of the best run-defending safeties in the league and dropping down to covering the slot receivers to great success.
He’s something of a force in Tennessee’s defensive backfield and continues to show that he’s one of the best safeties in the league. But he’s nowhere on the list. Which is shocking enough when taking into account that he was ranked 80th last season.
Byard should be able to get back on the NFL Top 100 list and show why he’s worth all of that money.
4. G Quenton Nelson
It was a big turnaround for the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line from what they were in 2017. They went from one of the weakest units in the league to one of their strongest areas in just one season. And a lot of this is thanks to the incredible play of Quenton Nelson in his rookie season.
He was already highly-rated when coming into the league as a top ten selection in last year’s draft class. And he’s proven his worth by being one of the focal points on the offensive line for the Colts.
He finished with the second-best run-blocking grade at his position according to PFF. Along with that, he was given the highest pass-blocking grade on his team that allowed the least amount of sacks in the league in 2018. Nelson was a major part of that success, as he allowed only 23 pressures to quarterback Andrew Luck on 730 passing plays.
The lack of interior offensive line players on the 2019 list already is staggering.
But to not allow one of the best rookies from last season on the NFL Top 100 list is just a glaring snub.
3. CB Chris Harris Jr.
A lot of this list is about veterans that continue to not get the credit they deserve. And no cornerback in this league exemplifies that more than Harris.
Someone that has revolutionized the nickel corner position and plays the best against some of the best receivers in the league continues to be snubbed by the league. Even though he was limited to only 12 games in 2018 because of a broken fibula, he put together another strong campaign for himself. In his eighth season in the league, he came away with three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and ten pass deflections. And according to Pro Football Focus, he allowed a passer rating of 63.6.
Another incredible season for the veteran defensive back. But unfortunately, he finds himself out of the top 100 after so much sliding on the list.
This is an All-Pro talent that continues to remain one of the most consistent shutdown corners in the league.
And it’s shame to see him amongst the snubs not on the top 100 list.
2. DE Chandler Jones
The Cardinals’ lead pass rusher went from being ranked 28th on the 2018 list to not being ranked. And it’s a shame when looking at his numbers for a very bad Arizona team in the 2018 season. Jones came away with 13 tackles for a loss, 18 QB hits, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and 13 sacks.
These are not the statistics of a player that should be outside of the top 100. He’s still one of the most consistent pass rushers in the league and has produced at least 11 sacks every season for the Cardinals since being traded to them back in 2016.
Jones commands so much attention with his work ethic on the defensive line.
And with the production that he continues to put together with each season he’s in the league, it’s ridiculous to see him being a snub like this.
1. DT DeForest Buckner
Can we stop sleeping on Buckner? He’s been one of the most consistent and productive pieces for the San Francisco 49ers defense. And 2018 was the best year of his career so far.
He came away with 12 sacks and 20 QB hits. The former Oregon Duck had the second-most sacks at his position to only Aaron Donald. Meaning Buckner had more sacks than both Fletcher Cox, Akiem Hicks, and Geno Atkins who are all on the list. He also came away with more QB hits than the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack. And this is all from playing as a defensive tackle.
The help that he has been given as a pass rusher has also been lacking as San Francisco’s secondary was considered the worst last season. Not to mention he’s only had one fellow pass rusher that’s gone over six sacks during his time with the 49ers (Elvis Dumervil).
Going into 2019, he will have plenty of help to provide not only success for the San Francisco 49ers, but for him as well.
With the addition of Dee Ford and rookie Nick Bosa, Buckner will have more chances to get away from double teams and get after the opposing quarterbacks.