PFT’s Top 100, 26-50


Three quarterbacks drafted in 2012 make the latest installment of our PFT Top 100 countdown.

We probably don’t have to tell you who those three quarterbacks are, and we probably won’t get many arguments about whether they belong on the Top 100 list at all. But the order of the three rookie quarterbacks who took the NFL by storm last season will be good for plenty of argument. The latest rankings begin with a certain tight end whose recovery from back surgery is very important for an AFC contender and also include a wide receiver who left that AFC contender for another AFC contender. You’ll also see three players on the Bears and three on the 49ers.

We’ll unveil the full Top 100, as voted on by a panel of media members, in one week. The 75 we’ve unveiled so far are below.

26 Rob Gronkowski, tight end, Patriots

27 Duane Brown, offensive tackle, Texans

28 Justin Smith, defensive end, 49ers

29 Brandon Marshall, receiver, Bears

30 Robert Griffin III, quarterback, Redskins

31 Julio Jones, receiver, Falcons

32 NaVorro Bowman, linebacker, 49ers

33 Arian Foster, running back, Texans

34 Jason Pierre-Paul, defensive end, Giants

35 Andrew Luck, quarterback, Colts

36 Ryan Clady, offensive tackle, Broncos

37 Patrick Peterson, cornerback, Cardinals

38 Jimmy Graham, tight end, Saints

39 Marshawn Lynch, running back, Seahawks

40 Jared Allen, defensive end, Vikings

41 Russell Wilson, quarterback, Seahawks

42 Joe Staley, offensive tackle, 49ers

43 Julius Peppers, defensive end, Bears

44 Charles Tillman, cornerback, Bears

45 Vince Wilfork, defensive tackle, Patriots

46 Wes Welker, receiver, Broncos

47 Ray Rice, running back, Ravens

48 Eric Weddle, safety, Chargers

49 Earl Thomas, safety, Seahawks

50 Jamaal Charles, running back, Chiefs

51 Demaryius Thomas, receiver, Broncos

52 Colin Kaepernick, quarterback, 49ers

53 Percy Harvin, receiver, Seahawks

54 Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle, Lions

55 Cam Newton, quarterback, Panthers

56 Dez Bryant, receiver, Cowboys

57 Gerald McCoy, defensive tackle, Buccaneers

58 Marshal Yanda, guard, Ravens

59 Roddy White, receiver, Falcons

60 Vincent Jackson, receiver, Buccaneers

61 Daryl Washington, linebacker, Cardinals

62 Jason Witten, tight end, Cowboys

63 Jahri Evans, guard, Saints

64 Mike Iupati, guard, 49ers

65 Jerod Mayo, linebacker, Patriots

66 Terrell Suggs, outside linebacker, Ravens

67 Tony Gonzalez, tight end, Falcons

68 Logan Mankins, guard, Patriots

69 Luke Kuechly, linebacker, Panthers

70 Jairus Byrd, safety, Bills

71 LeSean McCoy, running back, Eagles

72 Troy Polamalu, safety, Steelers

73 Muhammad Wilkerson, defensive end, Jets

74 Maurkice Pouncey, center, Steelers

75 Victor Cruz, receiver, Giants

76 Tony Romo, quarterback, Cowboys

77 Doug Martin, running back, Buccaneers

78 Frank Gore, running back, 49ers

79 Carl Nicks, guard, Buccaneers

80 Maurice Jones-Drew, running back, Jaguars

81 Vernon Davis, tight end, 49ers

82 Evan Mathis, guard, Eagles

83 Alfred Morris, running back, Redskins

84 Joe Haden, cornerback, Browns

85 C.J. Spiller, running back, Bills

86 Calais Campbell, defensive end, Cardinals

87 Matthew Stafford, quarterback, Lions

88 Antonio Cromartie, cornerback, Jets

89 Jason Peters, offensive tackle, Eagles

90 Jordan Gross, offensive tackle, Panthers

91 Mike Pouncey, center, Dolphins

92 Mike Wallace, receiver, Dolphins

93 Reggie Wayne, receiver, Colts

94 Ed Reed, safety, Texans

95 Henry Melton, defensive tackle, Bears

96 Lance Briggs, linebacker, Bears

97 Steve Smith, receiver, Panthers

98 Antoine Winfield, cornerback, Seahawks

99 Max Unger, center, Seahawks

100 Matt Forte, running back, Bears

86 responses to “PFT’s Top 100, 26-50

  1. It appears you have a few defensive ends ahead of Jared Allen.

    I was led to believe that he was hands down the best defensive end in football by some trustworthy Vikings fans, who would never let homerism affect their integrity.

    What gives?

    Also, I can’t wait to see a few of them blow their top when clay Matthews is listed in the top 25, well above Jared.

  2. Russell Wilson at 41 and Colin Kaepernick at 52?

    So basically, if you put every NFL player into a draft and all the teams had to rebuild, you think Wilson and Kaepernick would be second-round picks?

    No way. There is zero chance you’d get through the first round of that draft with Kaepernick and Wilson still on the board.

  3. Arian Foster #33??? Wow…. Seems low to me…

    Wondering what RB’s you have ahead of Arian…. Surely AD, but can’t really think of too many more…

    I’m really interested in what LTs he has above Duane Brown….

  4. Nope. Wrong, Wrong, wrong.

    Robert Griffin pound for pound the best player to step on a football field since Elway and it’s not even close to how much better he is from everyone else. This list is a hachet job on knowledgable football fans. #RespectRGIIIandtheREDSKINS

  5. Not a single Bengal yet. Interesting.

    I’d expect Geno and AJ Green to make it in the top 25.

    I would have also expected Michael Johnson to be on the list, but i doubt he’ll be in the top 25 so it looks like a snub for him.

  6. This list needs to stop now! How is Arian Foster and Wilfork not ranked in the top 25?!? I also think Welker and Jared Allen should’ve been ranked higher. Smh

  7. Although I’m guessing Rodgers and Matthews will make the top 25, the absence from any other Packers on this list is completely unacceptable and pretty much ruins its credibility.

  8. CJ Spiller should be top 10 and you guys have him at 85. Maybe you don’t know how good he is.

  9. Well I was hoping some underrated Bengals would get some love… Hall, Whit, M.J, Dunlap, Nelson, Zeitler. But looks like giving Cinci players any props outside of the ones who force it (Green, Atkins) just isn’t going to generate to much excitement.

  10. I liked Kaep, but so many have crowned him after 10 starts that you almost ruin it for those outside of San Fran who like the guy. I’m almost sick of him now and it isn’t even August.

  11. This is a pretty accurate list, besides CJ Spiller at #85. Slotting Spiller at #85 is a joke right? CJ and AP had identical YPC averages at 6.0. Spiller also doubled AP in the receiving categories.

    It has been proven that #28 can carry the full load at running back and also line up at receiver when needed. The more carries he gets, the more dangerous he is to opposing defenses.

    At worse, slot him in the 50’s, but I and many others believe he belongs in the top 25, with absolutely no doubt.

  12. Still can’t believe you have Frank Gore at #78 when the NFL Network has him at #32…

  13. Brandon Marshall ahead of Russell Wilson? Roflmao…… seriously? give me 32 expansion teams with 32 general managers and hold a draft. I guarantee you EVERY single GM takes Wilson and not Marshall. these rankings are silly. QB is such an important position, that even above average – good qbs are more important than all pros at other positions.

  14. belichekdominatedjoemontana says:

    “Dez Bryant ranked #56?

    And Lance Briggs is #96?

    I would take Briggs at 33 years old on my team over a Dez Bryant every day and twice on Sunday.”

    And every fan is rejoicing that u are not the GM of their team. My vote for dumbest post of the day.

  15. PFT were about to put some Packers on the list 26-100 but thought the extra whine & cheese on the comment section would be far more entertaining. Packer fans never miss a chance

  16. Julius: flawed logic, I’m pretty sure the top 100 players in the NFL are 1st round quality.

  17. A few things I may disagree with bit this list is a gazillion times better than that rubbish on NFL Network

  18. I am a little surprised Randall Cobb didn’t make the top 100 (he won’t be in the top 25). He seems like a Percy Harvin type talent with less baggage.

  19. Hate the Packers with a passion but are you telling me that none of their receivers are top 100? They shouldn’t be top 25 so should be listed already.

    And how about some love for Kyle Rudolph? He should have cracked the 95-100 mark. Second most TDs for a TE in the league and we have Ponder for a QB.

  20. juliusanonymous says:
    Jul 15, 2013 12:11 PM
    Russell Wilson at 41 and Colin Kaepernick at 52?

    So basically, if you put every NFL player into a draft and all the teams had to rebuild, you think Wilson and Kaepernick would be second-round picks?

    No way. There is zero chance you’d get through the first round of that draft with Kaepernick and Wilson still on the board.


    I understand your logic here but if teams are drafting based on proven NFL QB’s, the first round would be almost entirely QB’s because you have no chance of winning without a competent one. Half the round would be QB’s at least. You’d have 1 or 2 great WR’s, CB’s, LT’s, DE’s, DT’s but that’s probably where it would end IMO. I couldn’t see a team drafting a RB, TE, any OL , except LT, LB (maybe a couple 3-4 outside).

  21. unless the draft was done fantasy football style, which it would almost have to be. BTW, I like this hypothetical situation, let’s discuss.

  22. As a Seahawks fan, I love Russell Wilson and yet I have no problem with where you rank him. I think RG3 had a better overall season than Wilson, although Wilson had a better second half of the season when it counts. (But please let’s get real–Andrew Luck did not have a good season. Did you see all the INTs he threw? And tell me again how many postseason victories that RG3 and Luck had combined. You know, total them all up and then compare it to Wilson’s total.)

    But here is why I have no problem with the rankings. The proof is in the pudding. Let’s see where you rank them at the end of the year.

  23. Why do you guys spell out the position in lower case? Just put:

    Troy Polamalu – SS, Steelers

    Takes up less room and looks nicer.

  24. Damn how good is the Packers coaching staff if they have no players ranked in 26-100
    Wow 5 bears 26-100 Really? Well we know who will win the NFC North this year
    Brandon Marshall 11 TD
    James Jones 14 TD
    Maybe Jones is in the top 25 I mean more touchdowns and there are alot more targets than just Jones

  25. I have no problem with including the three rookie QBs, but no way Matthew Stafford belongs on this list ahead of Jay Cutler. (And knowing how the scribes on this site feel about Jay, I doubt he makes the Top 25, and I don’t expect this post to see the light of day, either.)

    But let’s compare, shall we?

    Cutler – 10-5 record…255-for-434, 3,033 passing yards, 250 rushing yards…19 TDs & 14 INTs…81.3 QB rating

    Stafford – 4-12 record…435-for-727, 4,967 passing yards, 212 rushing yards…20 TDs & 17 INTs…79.8 QB rating

    It took Stafford 293 more passes to throw one more TD and pad his yards-passing total…So who really deserves to be on this list?

  26. In what world is Brandon Marshall better than EITHER Roddy White or Julio Jones? There’s a reason he’s been on so many different teams.

  27. And for you Packer fans whining about noe of your heroes making the list so far…I’m sure Rodgers and Matthews will make the Top 25…What more do you want?

  28. I’m disappointed that London Fletcher didn’t crack the top 100 players! The guy is constantly underrated.

  29. grendelg says: Jul 15, 2013 1:23 PM

    “In what world is Brandon Marshall better than EITHER Roddy White or Julio Jones?”

    In the real world that exists outside of Atlanta…

    Marshall – 118 receptions, 1,508 yards, 11 TDs
    White – 92 receptions, 1,351 yards, 7 TDs
    Jones – 79 receptions, 1,198 yards, 10 TDs

    And as for Marshall, he has found a home in Chicago, and successfully controlled his BPD. Since joining the Bears, he has proven to be well-spoken, professional, and compassionate…three traits Roddy White has never possessed.

  30. These lists are so silly (and this is from a Niner fan, whose players have dominated these lists), and this is by far the laziest one yet. Any narrative or criteria for the list?

    I completely agree with Julius. Why not make a list that pretends that every player in the league is eligible for a draft for this next season only. The first round would be dominated by QBs (the first 10 picks would be QBs, at least). Then would come the elite pass rushers and left tackles. Then maybe some corners and maybe the very best of the best WR and RB (CJ and AP).

    These lists, on the other hand, appear to be written by fantasy football fans that WAY overvalue RBs and WRs to the importance of winning football games.

  31. thankheavenfornumber14 says: Jul 15, 2013 1:08 PM

    “Wow 5 bears 26-100 Really?”

    Really, although there’s actually 6…You should learn how to count before posting smack.

  32. mjzaky says: Jul 15, 2013 2:08 PM

    “Eli and Big Ben better be in the top 25.”

    Or else what, exactly?

  33. So frustrating to see so many young and value-priced QBs while us Lions have already given 2 enormous contracts to somebody who contributes uninspiring performance.

  34. How is Jason Peters listed after not playing a snap in 2012 but Brian Cushing is omitted even though he played in 5 games?

  35. dennisatunity says:
    Jul 15, 2013 12:57 PM

    (But please let’s get real–Andrew Luck did not have a good season. Did you see all the INTs he threw? And tell me again how many postseason victories that RG3 and Luck had combined. You know, total them all up and then compare it to Wilson’s total.)


    I love RW as a QB, but you’re way off base here.

    Luck holds the record for most passing yards in a rookie season, and most passing yards in a game for a rookie. Did this on a team that won 2 games the year before…

    Colts had zero running game, swiss cheese defense, and an interim coach…. Luck basically turned a 2 win team into a 11 win team himself… RW didn’t have near the challenges that Luck had. Put Seattle’s defense and running game in Indy and they go just as far in the playoffs if not further.

    And all this coming from a Texans fan….

  36. all these young [mobile] qb’s need to make it through another year ,then we can talk….just injuries wating to happen…

  37. Rating Luck and RG3 above Russell Wilson makes little sense.
    While The Seahawks were playing in the 2nd round of the playoffs both RG3 and Luck were sitting at home watching!

    And if you wanna go on stats it should be:

  38. Self-admitted Bears fan, and I’m not going to talk anyone up, but I’m just genuinely curious where Forte and Cutler will be on this list next year after Trestman guides their offense…

    If he can install the offense and they can learn it in time, I’d expect Forte to be at least as high on the Players’ list as he was a couple years ago, and for Cutler to finally crack the list.

    And I know we all have our teams and there are a lot of arguments for “my player is better than yours”, but one thing we can all agree on, football season is almost here!!!!!!! 🙂

  39. Jason Pierre Paul has 1 good year out of 3 and is rated in the top 35 players in the league??? Y’all are crazy. . .that is WAY to high. Brandon Graham had the same stats as him last year in half the stats. . .get real and get over the hype of 1 good year. Shouldn’t consistency count for something in this list?

  40. I’m not a Colts fan but Reggie Wayne needs to be higher. Even at his age, I don’t think there are 5 receivers better than him. I think the defensive backs of the Packers would agree with me.

  41. Punkhawk9 says
    “And if you wanna go on stats it should be:

    Please pass on your wisdom and lay out the stats that prove your point!!!

  42. A stab at 1-25:
    1 AP; 2 Rodgers; 3 Brady; 4 Calvin; 5 Peyton; 6 Watt; 7 Brees; 8 VMiller; 9 Sherman; 10 Aldon Smith; 11 Willis; 12 Matt Ryan; 13 AJ Green; 14 Ware; 15 Flacco; 16 Eli; 17 Roethlisberger; 18 Matthews; 19 Revis; 20 Atkins; 21 Fitzgerald; 22 Ngata; 23 Champ; 24 Andre Johnson; 25 Wake

  43. In addition to football, the Vegas odds-makers should allow betting on whose posts will or will not get past the sensitive egos who censor comments at PFT.

    Never ceases to amaze me how logicalvoice’s endless dreck graces every single post on this site, but some of us seem to always have to pass some petty little sniff test before OUR opinions are given the oh-so-elusive green light.

    I bet you guys have big, huge pickup trucks, too.

  44. @PrinceKelby, you’re ignoring JPP’s dominance against the run. To mention Brandon Graham in the same breath as him is an absolute joke.

  45. Glad to have the league’s best tight end on MY team even if he is not the top tight end on YOUR list. At least he actually made your list…

  46. Mo Wilkerson at 73 – good to see a very underrated player receive the recognition he deserves. Tannenbaum has two draft picks in the top 100 players- interesting.

  47. tokyosandblaster says:Jul 15, 2013 2:39 PM

    I’m betting Randall Cobb is 25, Matthews is around 15, and Rodgers is 3.

    And I don’t care. Someone else’s opinion is just that… An opinion.

    Randall…Cobb. I think you’re in for a disappointment.

  48. Being a fan of the Redskins, I naturally rank RGIII higher. Having said that, I DO like where you have the young QBs listed better than where the NFLN list did. They should really all be bunched together. Saying that any one of them just clearly showed himself to be heads and shoulders above the others, is something said by someone blinded by homerism. They are all fantastic and didn’t look close to being 1st year QBs. I’d probably rank Kaepernick lowest, due to a smaller sample size…and then RGIII and Wilson seem interchangeable. Luck did the most with the least, but he is a turnover machine so I’d rank him 3rd. I’d’ve probably had them ranking sequentially from 40-44.

    I don’t remember who said it, but I agree that it is criminal how often London Fletcher is overlooked and overrated. If Adrian Peterson and Aaron Rodgers aren’t 1 and 2 respectively, I feel this list will be invalid.

  49. It seems someone is obviously a Bears fan- lots of Bears, and very few Lions, one Viking, and no Packers…. how do the two playoff NFC North teams have little to no representation in this mix?

  50. paochow says: Jul 15, 2013 7:29 PM

    “It seems someone is obviously a Bears fan…”

    Thanks for noticing!

  51. Gronk ahead of BMarshall HOW? He didn’t even play the whole freakin season, not to mention has become slightly injury prone…if he can put together a full season, which hopefully he does, being one of the best TEs in the game, I don’t want to see him get hurt ..but how is that an accurate assessment and/or prediction??

  52. In order for RG3 to remain relevant, he willl need to change his running style. If he doesn’t change his running style it will mean more trips to the surgery room.
    Going by on field record, RW beat Kaep and RG3. Should be listed above both.
    I do realize that RG3 wasn’t a healthy QB, but a healthy GB is still not a good GB.
    Without RG3 Washington Redskins fail.
    With a healthy one they have a great chance. I don’t see RG3 staying healthy a whole season though.

  53. “asimonetti88 says:
    Jul 15, 2013 12:04 PM
    Russell Wilson ahead of Colin Kaepernick. That’s bold.”

    Not so bold if you think about it. RW played full season, Colin did not.
    On the same field RW outplayed Colin. Yes, Colin had more passing yards, but far fewer touchdowns.

  54. I agree with the poster from a while back that suggested the list be ranked according to position.

    Once the list is complete, it would be great to see a “ranking by position chart” based off the PFT Top 100.

  55. This list is so controversial. You know what they should do? Arrange a way that these guys could actually show what they can do on a field of play rather than have some two bit prognosticator throw darts like this.

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