This week, Last Word On Sports is reviewing the NFL’s top 100 list. Although each player on the list is likely deserving in a way, there are several players that could use a reality check. Here, I discuss five overrated players on the NFL’s top 100 list. These players are either too high on the list or should be on a list that that includes rankings 101-200.
Overrated Players On The NFL’s Top 100 List
5. Todd Gurley
NFL Rank: 21
LWOS Rank: 41
The least overrated player on this list because of obvious ability and skill is Todd Gurley. Gurley is an extremely gifted running back that has shown he can do everything asked of him. However, the main reason for him being overrated is because he has only played in thirteen games. His numbers are great and he has proven that he can be a workhorse for the Rams.
My issue is that he has not played enough games to warrant being number 21 overall in the entire NFL. Being ranked ahead of players like Doug Martin and Le’Veon Bell this early in his career is unrealistic. If the list was a list for potential success, then I would understand his high ranking. However, not having been ranked in the top ten for rushing ability, pass-catching ability, or pass blocking according to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Gurley’s name and fame contribute to his NFL ranking.
Can Gurley be considered the best running back in the NFL one day? Yes, of course. Just not after thirteen games.
NFL Rank: 12
LWOS Rank: 28
Another player on the list that deserves to be here, just not so high, is Carson Palmer. Palmer and the Cardinals had a great season in 2015 and are destined to have another in 2016. However, it is difficult to convince me that he is better than Russell Wilson right now. I believe that every coach and general manager in the league outside of Arizona would say they would rather have Wilson.
When I think of Palmer, I equate his current ability and skill to a player like Drew Brees. Palmer had 35 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and 4,671 yards passing last season while Brees had 32 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and 4,870 yards passing. Although in different situations, these two players are very comparable.
Palmer’s 12th overall ranking however is 18 spots higher than Brees’ 30th overall ranking. Again, there is no doubt that Palmer deserves to be considered a top 100 player, but 12 is just way too high. When he and the Cardinals don’t get completely embarrassed by the Panthers in the playoffs, maybe he will break the top 20.
3. Allen Hurns
NFL Rank: 89
LWOS Rank: 118
Allen Hurns’ fantasy football owners will not like it but it’s true, he’s overrated. There are so many receivers that have been left off of this list, and that is okay. But for Hurns to make it is ridiculous. Amari Cooper is losing sleep seeing Hurns’ name on the list and not his own. Also, Sammy Watkins, Jeremy Maclin, and Jarvis Landry are probably wondering how they dropped below Hurns as well. Cooper, Maclin, and Landry each had more receptions and more yards than Hurns this past season, yet are ranked lower. Stats are not everything but how can Hurns be ranked ahead of players that have done more and have gone against better defensive competition?
Hurns can absolutely have a good career in the NFL and may do so, but there is no way he is currently a top 100 player. He does a great job of being the counterpart to Allen Robinson by creating space and finishing plays. It’s a good reason why he has caught the eye of many people around the league. Although ranked as the 14th best wide receiver on this list, he might not even be a top 25 receiver when all things are considered.
NFL Rank: 94
LWOS Rank: 134
If Gary Barnidge was a wide receiver, he might be underrated on this list. Especially when he can make catches like this. However, as a tight end he is responsible for occasionally blocking. Unfortunately for Barnidge, he was not able to fulfill this responsibility to his team. Typically if a tight end struggles with blocking, it is run blocking that is most difficult. On the rare occasion when a receiving tight end like Barnidge is able to run block, then it is likely his pass blocking will struggle.
Regrettably, Barnidge was the one of the worst blocking tight ends in each of those categories this past season. Out of 120 qualifying tight ends, Barnidge’s run blocking and pass blocking each ranked 114th according to PFF. A player who is that one-sided in his responsibilities cannot possibly be ranked as one of the top 100 players in the NFL. Hopefully during this off-season, Barnidge is working on his post-steps and kick-slides. If not, we may have to change his position from tight end to wide receiver.
NFL Rank: 61
LWOS Rank: 122
Here we have a popularity contest winner in NaVorro Bowman. Another list that Bowman was ranked on was PFF’s position rankings. When compared to other linebackers in categories including run defense, pass coverage, and pass rush, Bowman was ranked 51st. It is very difficult to say that the 51st ranked linebacker can be the 61st best overall player. Is Bowman’s comeback from his injury impressive? Without a doubt. When he sustained that injury, it looked to be possibly career ending.
After Eric Berry, Bowman was an obvious candidate for comeback player of the year in 2015. Only missing one season and coming back to make 154 tackles last season was certainly impressive. Considering that this list was voted on by the players, it makes sense as to how Bowman got on it. However, that doesn’t mean he was deserving.
Although solid against the run, Bowman’s pass coverage was abysmal in 2015. Bowman was given a grade of 38.6 (out of 100) for his coverage in 627 offensive passing downs. That grade was good enough for 165th overall. Yikes. Bowman may be able to complete his comeback in 2016 and get himself to that defensive player of year candidate he was in 2013. Seeing how far he has come, it would not be surprising if he did accomplished that feat. However, that has yet to be proven so as of this moment, he is outside the top 100.