Watch CBS News

Patriots land just one player on NFL Top 100 list of league's best players

Matthew Judon grateful for reworked contract with Patriots
Matthew Judon grateful for reworked contract with Patriots 00:28

BOSTON -- The NFL has concluded its countdown of the top 100 players, as voted on by the players themselves. It was a list that was not heavy on Patriots.

The list included just one Patriots player in Matthew Judon, who checked in at No. 33. Judon moved up 19 spots on the list from a season ago, as he made his fourth straight Pro Bowl while recording a career-high 15.5 sacks.

After Judon, though, the Patriots had no representation. 

There aren't too many players who can have a rightful gripe, either. Safety Kyle Dugger comes to mind as player on the cusp of this list, but San Francisco's Talanoa Hufanga (No. 78) and Minnesota's Harrison Smith (No. 97) were the last two safeties named to the list. (The other safeties on the list were Minkah Fitzpatrick at No. 18, Derwin James at No. 30, Jordan Poyer at No. 57, Justin Simmons at No. 59 and Budda Baker at No. 73.)

Rhamondre Stevenson is certainly an important player on the Patriots, but he ranked 13th in rushing yards and tied for 25th in rushing touchdowns last year, while ranking seventh among running backs in receiving yards. He could be on the list next year, but his work last year wasn't enough to land him on this year's list. (The running backs who did make the list were Josh Jacobs at No. 12, Austin Ekeler at No. 21, Derrick Henry at No. 25, Nick Chubb at No. 29, Saquon Barkley at No. 31, Christian McCaffrey at No. 35, Tony Pollard at No. 55, Aaron Jones at No. 64, Dalvin Cook at No. 91 and Jamaal Williams at No. 95.)

It would have been hard for any offensive player to have put forth enough production in the Matt Patricia-led offense last year to rightfully earn a spot on the list, and the defense lacked major game-changers outside of Judon. (Josh Uche recorded an impressive 11.5 sacks, but he also played just 33 percent of the team's snaps.) 

The lack of New England representation on this list continues a trend of the Patriots not really registering on too many national radars these days. ESPN's list of best roster cores ranked the Patriots at No. 27, Judon was the only player to land in the top 10 at his position in ESPN's poll of NFL decision-makers, and the Patriots ranked 26th on another ESPN list of best skill position groups across the NFL. And the days of the Patriots being well-represented on the NFL Top 100 list -- like when they had six players make the list in 2017, while also regularly having Tom Brady clock in at No. 1 in the league -- are clearly in the past, too.

Based on the commentary from Kendrick Bourne and DeVante Parker this week, it's clear that the Patriots players are tuning in to some of the criticisms levied against them. The lack of voting from fellow players can now be added to their running list.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.