Tonight, the NFL Network announced selections 50-41 on its Top Players of 2011 list. The two remaining Eagles on the list – Michael Vick and Desean Jackson – were not included. Both are now officially in the top 40, and I’d be surprised if Vick doesn’t land in the top 20.
Receivers like Wes Welker and Dawyne Bowe, along with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, were revealed in tonight’s show, landing them below Vick and Jackson according to active NFL players. A debate has sprung up, inevitably, regarding Big Ben’s failure to outpace his number 7 counterpart in Philadelphia, regardless of the fact that he has won multiple Superbowls in his relatively short career. Luckily for Vick, however, the ranking is based on predictions for 2011, not the results of the past decade, and in this regard I completely agree with the players’ decision. Vick is simply better than everyone (except maybe Tom Brady and Peyton Manning) right now, and I’m glad this list isn’t afraid to say it.
Congrats, too, to DJax, who’s been routinely snubbed or underrated by analysts and reporters in the dozen or so “best wide receivers” lists published so far this offseason. I’m very, very tired of seeing Reggie Wayne ranked one or even two spots higher (take away Peyton and he’s little more than average), and while he still has a chance to beat out number 10 on this list, I’m happy to see the little guy land closer to the top than most people predicted. This doesn’t mean I won’t fly off the handle next week, however, if Desean ultimately lands lower than my liking, but for now I’m happy.