NFL Network’s annual “Top 100” show, which counts down the 100 best players in the NFL as voted on by their peers, is a fun little program to while away the slowest time of the offseason. But anyone who actually takes the rankings seriously needs to realize that the players who vote in the poll don’t seem to watch much football.
Consider this: In the episode that aired on Thursday night, Ravens receiver and return man Jacoby Jones came in at No. 88, while Seahawks receiver and return man Percy Harvin came in at No. 90.
Does anyone seriously believe that Jacoby Jones is better than Percy Harvin?
In 2012, Jones played in all 16 games and his offensive output consisted of 30 catches for 406 yards, one carry for six yards, and one touchdown. Harvin’s season was cut short by an ankle injury in the ninth game of the year, but before he got hurt he already had 62 catches for 677 yards, 22 carries for 96 yards, and four touchdowns. And while Jones is a very good return man, Harvin averaged more than five yards per kickoff return better than Jones (35.9 to 30.7) last year.
Jones had three big plays in the postseason (an overtime-forcing touchdown against the Broncos and a long touchdown catch and long touchdown return in the Super Bowl), and those plays were probably fresh in the players’ minds when they voted. But three big plays don’t make Jones better than Harvin. Do three big plays make up for the fact that Jones has been in the league two years longer than Harvin has, but Harvin has more than 100 more catches than Jones and has more than 1,000 more receiving yards?
And here’s how you know how ridiculous the notion of Jones being better than Harvin is: A year ago, the Texans cut Jones, and in free agency he got a two-year, $7 million contract from the Ravens. This year, the Seahawks gave up first-, third- and seventh-round picks for Harvin and gave him a six-year, $67 million contract. When Jones and Harvin changed teams, the market spoke. And it spoke clearly that Harvin is better than Jones.
A final word on how ridiculous the NFL players’ votes are: Two years ago, Donovan McNabb made the list after a season in which he had been benched by the Redskins and before a season in which he would be benched by the Vikings. And last year, Tim Tebow made the list. Tebow was cut by the Jets this week, and his only offer has been to make $75 a game as a backup for the Omaha Beef.