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NFL Top 100: Packers' Julius Peppers comes in at 71

The future Hall of Fame edge rusher returns to the NFL Top 100 after a one-year absence.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

During his final season with the Chicago Bears, edge rusher Julius Peppers failed to make the annual NFL Top 100 list. Now, one year into his tenure with the Green Bay Packers, the future Hall of Famer has made a return, coming in at No. 71.

Peppers made an instant impact with the Packers despite playing outside linebacker for the first time in his career. The 6'7", 287-pound defender set a personal best for defensive touchdowns in a single season, both pick sixes. He combined with linebacker Clay Matthews to form one of the best pass rushing tandems in the league.

While Peppers' selection as the 71st best player in the NFL represents a considerable improvement over his unranked campaign the year before, it falls behind his No. 54 finish for the 2013 list.

In his first year with the Packers, Peppers tallied 44 tackles, seven sacks, four forced fumbles, three recoveries, two interceptions and two defensive touchdowns. The team also selected him as a captain for Green Bay's playoff run.

Jason B. Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He also serves as an SB Nation newsdesk contributor and NFL writer for Sports on Earth.