Only 2 Saints make NFL Top 100

Kansas City leads the player-voted survey with nine
Drew Brees was ranked No. 30 in the NFL’s Top 100 players going into the 2016 season.

      NFL MVP Cam Newton, quarterback of the Carolina Panters, was named the top player in the NFL going into the 2016 season Wednesday in the sixth-annual NFL Network survey of current league players.

      The players surveyed didn’t think too much of the Saints’ roster as only two Who Dats – Drew Brees (ranked 30) and Cam Jordan (99), represent New Orleans.

      Fourteen NFC South players made the list. The Panthers, reigning NFC and division champions, had seven players on the list, including Newton (1), LB Luke Kuechly (7), TE Greg Olsen (38), LB Thomas Davis (54), DT Kawann Short (58), C Ryan Kalil (79), and RB Jonathan Stewart (86). The Tampa Bay  Buccaneers landed three players on the list – RB Doug Martin (33), LB Lavonte David, and DT Gerald McCoy. The arch-rival Atlanta Falcons matched the Saints with two – WR Julio Jones (8) and RB Devonta Freeman (50).

      Kansas City, surprisingly, led the league with nine players in the Top 100, including LB Justin Houston (26), S Eric Berry (55), CB Marcus Peters (65), RB Jamaal Charles (75), LB Derrick Johnson (80), QB Alex Smith (81), LB Tamba Hali (84), TE Travis Kelce (91), and WR Jeremy Maclin (93).

      The Chiefs outpaced the reigning Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos, who landed seven on the list – LB Von Miller (15), CB Aqib Talib (34), LB DeMarcus Ware (36), CB Chris Harris Jr. (52), WR Demaryius Thomas (62), S T.J. Ward (68), and WR Emmanuel Sanders (74).

      Each of the league’s 32 teams landed at least one player on the list. Ten teams have four or more players on the list, while eight teams have just a single player.

      Notable players left off this year’s edition include quarterbacks – Dallas’ Tony Romo, Detroit’s Matthew Stafford, Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, Chicago’s Jay Cutler and Baltimore’s Joe Flacco.

      While they are some of the league’s highest-paid players, only seven offensive linemen made the Top 100. The results appear to be heavily skewed toward so-called “skill-position” players, who light up fantasy football scorecards or make the highlight real on the many 24-hour sports networks and social media sites.

      The Saints face the fourth toughest schedule in the NFL going in to 2016. That’s rough for a team looking to pick up the pieces on back-to-back 7-9 campaigns. Drew Brees alone can’t be expected to conjure up the magic that makes the Saints offense so precise. And if New Orleans expects to improve, Cam Jordan will need help in creating multiple pressure points on opposing offenses.

      It looks like not much is expected of the Saints this year. It’s not fun being in the underdog role one more.  But time and again, Sean Payton’s teams seem to do best when they’re not expected to do much. Hopefully this can work to the Black & Gold’s advantage, and the Saints can catch some opponents with their pants down and get some unexpected wins while teams look past them to focus on bigger matchups on their schedules. Lord knows, New Orleans is ready for the Saints to get back to their winning ways.


NFC South in the NFL Top 100

      The NFC South has 14 players in the 2016 edition of the NFL Top 100, as voted on by current players. The Carolina Panthers have seven players on the list. The Tampa Bay  Buccaneers landed three, while the arch-rival Atlanta Falcons matched the Saints with two.


1 Cam Newton QB Panthers 73
7 Luke Kuechly LB Panthers 14
8 Julio Jones WR Falcons 13
30 Drew Brees QB Saints 30
33 Doug Martin RB Buccaneers
38 Greg Olsen TE Panthers 89
50 Devonta Freeman RB Falcons
53 Lavonte David LB Buccaneers 56
54 Thomas Davis LB Panthers
58 Kawann Short DT Panthers
63 Gerald McCoy DT Buccaneers 28
79 Ryan Kalil C Panthers
86 Jonathan Stewart RB Panthers
99 Cameron Jordan DE Saints



Categories: The Pennant Chase