Normally when we reach NFL training camps and the preseason, the time for silly player rankings is over. the NFL’s Top 100 has come and gone, and most columnists are moving on to talk about real football things.
ESPN, however, decided to revive the “100 best players” concept one last time with two weeks to go in the preseason, ranking players solely on their ability. Three Green Bay Packers showed up on this year’s ranking, but a couple of the omissions were disappointing. ESPN broke down their rankings into three groups, 51-100, 26-50, and 1-25, and the Packers landed one player in each block.
Naturally, Aaron Rodgers was ranked near the very top - he came in at the #2 spot behind only Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. That top two was in the same order as they were after 2014, and Rodgers’ ranking came in at 97.02 out of 100 - just 0.85 points behind Watt.
The Packers’ top defensive player barely snuck in under the top 50 cutoff line as Clay Matthews was ranked 48th with an 84.24 grade. Meanwhile, Jordy Nelson earned a 76th-place ranking at 81.96. Somehow, neither of the Packers’ guards made the list, however, nor did defenders on the rise like Mike Daniels or Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Then again, the fact that Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang did not make the cut should probably not come as a surprise. The two are perennially overlooked, and only four guards made the list at all: Dallas’ Zack Martin (#34), Baltimore’s Marshal Yanda (#38), Arizona’s Mike Iupati (#68), and Oakland’s Kelechi Osemele (#83).
Who are the biggest Packers snubs on this list, in your opinion?