If you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan, you won’t like the NFL Top 100 ranking.
By now you’ve probably heard or read for yourselves that five Philadelphia Eagles have worked their way onto the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2020 ranking. What’s become an annual tradition has given NFL fans something to look forward to every offseason (and something to argue about), but what makes the list unique is the fact that it’s a list comprised strictly of players votes.
Heading into 2020, a few things are a little different, namely the fact that rather than broadcast ten episodes with ten players unveiled each time, this year, the entire list will be unveiled over the course of three nights, beginning with the premiere which aired at 8 PM EST on July 26th.
As mentioned, five “Birds” made the cut.
Here’s a list of the five Philadelphia Eagles that made the list and a brief explanation for each one’s inclusion.
Brandon Brooks (98): Brandon Brooks has made the last four Pro Bowls but only ranks ahead of two other people on this list.
Brooks’ third consecutive Pro Bowl season has finally earned him a spot on the Top 100. The eight-year veteran hasn’t missed a regular-season start in those three years, but how the Eagles fare without him will be realized in 2020 after an offseason Achilles injury.
Jason Kelce (94): Jason Kelce has been named a First-team All-Pro in each of the last three seasons. He’s a three-time Pro Bowl nod (2014, 2016, 2019), so with that being said, you’d think he’d, at least, find his way out of the nineties. Then again, if no other centers made the list, there may not be much to complain about.
The only center on this year’s Top 100, Kelce notched his third consecutive First-Team All-Pro honor in 2019 and enters 2020 on a year-by-year basis after flirting with retirement. Kelce, 32, who has been the anchor of the Eagles’ O-line the last nine seasons, was ranked No. 72 last year.
Darius Slay (92): Darius Slay makes a third straight appearance. He has a lot of pressure on him coming into 2020, but he should be able to answer the call.
At least we hope so.
Slay makes his third straight appearance on the Top 100, dropping from last year’s No. 86 ranking, but the shutdown corner may be re-energized in 2020 after frustrating years in Detroit. The Eagles filled a major need by trading for Slay in March and rewarded him with a $50 million contract.
Zach Ertz (85): Zach Ertz is seen by many as the game’s third-best tight end behind Travis Kelce and George Kittle. How is he not ranked higher?
In his third consecutive year making the Top 100, Ertz dropped from last year’s No. 40 ranking, but the tight end was appreciated more than ever after leading all Eagles receivers with 88 receptions, 916 yards and six touchdowns in a year when the Philly receiving corps was depleted with injuries.
Fletcher Cox (73): “91” is probably the best player on this Eagles team, and unless you’re of the opinion that Kansas City Chiefs star Chris Jones has overtaken him, Fletcher Cox is universally seen as the NFL’s second-best defensive tackle behind Aaron Donald. How then, is he not in the top 50?
Cox drops 45 spots in the Top 100 after a disappointing season in Philadelphia. Coming off a career-high 10.5 sacks in 2018, Cox managed just 3.5 sacks last season as he battled injuries. He still was selected to the Pro Bowl, his fifth consecutive. Entering his ninth season, expect a healthy Cox to rebound.
If you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan, three things have probably jumped out at you already.
While most won’t complain about the guys who are on the list, where they sit may cause a few arguments if you find yourself in the break room and talking about this ranking with your peers.
Here are three of the most obvious errors.
1. None of the top five Philadelphia Eagles are among the league’s 50 best players.
This one will be debated for a while. All we ever hear is” this player is tops in this category”, and the Eagles defensive line and offensive line are star-studded, among other things. That’s especially true if you read Pro Football Focus. How, then, are none of these guys in the top 50?
2. Cue the snubs. If you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan, there are plenty.
Dallas Goedert is a top-ten tight end now. He should have made this list. You can also argue for the addition of Lane Johnson. He’s just as good as Jason Kelce and Brandon Brooks, and even though we can argue about Brandon Graham being underrated, if you’re a “Birds” fan, you’ve probably gotten used to that. There is one very noticeable snub that can’t be ignored.
3. Where’s Carson Wentz? The Philadelphia Eagles star signal-caller is snubbed again.
If you read ITI frequently, and you’ve seen this printed before, but it bears repeating. By now, something has to have sunk in now if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles or a Carson Wentz fan. He’s never going to get the credit he deserves until he wins a Super Bowl, and even if he does that, he may not get it then.
If you’re still on the fence about “11”, it’s understandable. How good he is or isn’t can be argued, but leaving him off of a list that includes Kyler Murray and Josh Allen is very debatable.