Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The NFL Top 100 is a joke

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The NFL Top 100 proves nothing about the Buccaneers.

Every year during the preseason, the NFL players vote on who they think the top 100 players in the league are, which inevitably leads to some rather ridiculous results that don’t seem too dissimilar to the kind of chatter one might hear from some locals at a dive bar at about 3AM.

Just ask Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans, who despite having an incredible year in which he had over 1,000 receiving yards for the 7th consecutive season (an NFL record), a career high year for touchdown receptions with 13, and a Super Bowl win to top it all off, still fell 18 spots from last year down to no. 48 on the list.

What was the reason for the drop you may wonder? Who knows, maybe players have become desensitized to the talent Evans displays on the field on a weekly basis. Not to mention, Evans played the better part of the 2021 campaign injured and still put up those numbers.

Yet another example is Michael Thomas, who had an injury-riddled season, which for some reason players thought should drop his value from no. 5 in the 2020 list, all the way to 72 behind the powerhouse talent that is Baker Mayfield. There is not a general manager in football worth their paycheck that would take a mediocre quarterback like Mayfield over a receiver at the caliber of Thomas.

All this supports the point that the entire top 100 is a joke that is less about value and more about what is freshest in people’s minds. It isn’t based on any sense of reality or intelligence, but rather gut decisions, so it should be treated with about the same level of respect as professional curling.

Despite some awful voting on the whole, it was good to see the star-studded Buccaneers defense get some respect. The lack of respect for defensive players will always shine on lists such as these that always tend to place the limelight on the offensive side of the field where all the ESPN highlights are made.

Lavonte David, Jason-Pierre Paul, Devin White, and Shaquil Barrett, all found their way on the list, though nearly all of these Buccaneers were far lower than they deserved.

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