January 26, 2014; Honolulu, HI, USA; Team Sanders quarterback Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles (9) is pressured by Team Rice defensive tackle Jason Hatcher of the Dallas Cowboys (97) in the fourth quarter during the 2014 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Team Rice defeated Team Sanders 22-21. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Top 100 Players of 2014 Reveals No.61-No.70: And Still No St. Louis Rams...


Another release, another week of snubbing for the St. Louis Rams on NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2014 list. Yesterday, the league revealed their player-voted ranking from No.61-No.70. The selections at the one-third mark of the countdown are a prestigious grouping, riddled with 2013 All-Pros and Pro Bowlers, including a handful of NFC West players. So, since we already know who is on the list, which doesn’t include anyone in golden horns, why are we even bring it up?

Well, based off of the revealed names, there is still some hope for the St. Louis Rams to rank multiple players in the Top 100. How?

Every year, a handful of players undeservedly see their names ranked highly on this list. Typically, these are multiple-time All-Pro selections, that are still playing at a relatively high level, but have long-since seen the peak of their careers. This week, three such players were given their due: Jared Allen, Troy Polamalu, and Justin Smith.  To be fair, all three had above-average years in 2013, in terms of production. However, both linemen failed to grade out in the Top 15 at their respective positions, according to Pro Football Focus, finishing the season with production well below their “averages” in the past. Polamalu was somewhat of a “standout,” especially after a dreadful, injury-plagued 2012 performance. Still, the multi-talented safety failed to replicate his typical Top 5 numbers, yet still managed to jump nearly 30 spots from his place in the 2012 rankings.

Aside from most recent 10 players being packed with a handful of borderline-deserving veterans, it also included only two additional “skill” players: Nick Foles and DeSean Jackson. What does that mean?

Well, it means that there is still hope for Zac Stacy, as there remains only four running backs listed thus far in the Top 100 Players of 2014. As previously mentioned in our No.71-No.80 breakdown, every year since the inception of the ranking, there have been, at least, 10 running backs that made the cut, including 12 last season. So, with no “new” backs list in the No.61-No.70 range, the chance for Stacy to break into the Top 100 is still there. In fact, the largest cluster of “mid-level” running backs in 2013 came in the No.55-No.65 range; in 2012, that cluster was in the No.25-No.40 range, including Steven Jackson at No.37.

We also have Robert Quinn’s ranking to look forward to, likely being slotted somewhere in the Top 25. Last year, the Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt, ranked No.5 overall on the list. Aldon Smith, Von Miller, and Patrick Willis rounded out of the rest of the defensemen in the Top 10. With those names in mind, it wouldn’t be unfathomable for Quinn to jump from unranked last year to within the Top 10 projected player this year. Guess we’ll have to wait to find out!


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