Earlier today, USA Today's For The Win released their ranking of the top 100 players for the 2016 NFL season. Given that the rankings are for the upcoming season, they are based on projection and account for injury concerns more than they rely on performance from the 2015 season. That would likely net you a rather different list.
Only two San Diego Chargers made the top 100, but both were in the top 50. There was also no surprise at the selections. Philip Rivers and Jason Verrett are clearly the two best players on the roster going into this season, and both of them are among the very best at their position.
Rivers was ranked 35th behind only six other quarterbacks (Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger, and Russell Wilson) while Verrett was ranked 45th but third at his position (behind Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman).
Here's what the author of the piece, Steven Ruiz, had to say about Philip Rivers:
Rivers finished second in the league in passing behind a terrible offensive line, throwing to group of no-name receivers and without much of a run game to fall back on. He is as good as any quarterback at working the pocket and finding the second and third receivers in his progressions.
That description is both uniformly positive and completely accurate. Rivers has been one of the very best throughout his career and there is little reason to think that changes in 2016, especially behind an upgraded (and hopefully healthier) offensive line.
And here is what they wrote about Jason Verrett:
Verrett is the complete package at corner. He can run with the fastest receivers and get physical with the strong ones. He needs to stay healthy to play up to this ranking.
At this point, the only thing holding Verrett back on a list like this is the fact that he has not yet played a complete 16-game season. Hopefully, 2016 will be the year that changes and we see Verrett stake a claim to being the best corner in the NFL.
What do you think about the list? Who's rated too high? Too low?