The NFL is starting their announcement of the Top 100 on Sunday night, an annual list that has certainly been successful for the league in terms of generating offseason news. What the list really is: some sort of haywire judgment of the most talented players in the league but only based on player votes and last season’s production with little ability to predict what will transpire in the following season.
A year ago, the NFL Top 100 had Todd Gurley at five and Derrick Henry at 99. Just as one of hundreds of examples.
That being said, it does make for interesting discussion sometimes and it looks as though the LA Chargers will have two players on the NFL Top 100 this year. Quite a change of pace when they had six in 2019 because again, this is not predictive of anything. Last year, Chargers on the Top 100 included Philip Rivers, Derwin James, Melvin Gordon, Keenan Allen, Melvin Ingram, and Joey Bosa, in that order. They were all in the top 60.
Rivers and Gordon left in free agency. James missed most of the season with an injury. Ingram missed three games and didn’t stand out in 2019 compared to many other edge rushers in the league. The most likely two to repeat then would be Allen and Bosa.
Allen had almost the exact same statistical season as he did the year prior and Bosa, if anything, should be moving up the list.
Obviously that would mean that Austin Ekeler’s 92-catch, 993 yard, eight touchdown season as a receiver out of the backfield was not enough to squeeze into the Top 100. Though he was ninth in yards from scrimmage and eighth in touchdowns, and 10 running backs made the list in 2019, it seems as though Ekeler will only be in there if Allen or Bosa are not.
Clearly neither is Hunter Henry but that’s not surprising. Only four tight ends made the list a year ago and Henry wasn’t productive enough after missing four games. Trai Turner and Bryan Bulaga and Chris Harris would all qualify as Chargers on the list but weren’t dominant enough at their positions a year ago. Mike Williams only scored two touchdowns, not getting him onto the list quite yet. Casey Hayward may get respect as one of the best corners by his peers, but that’s not as justifiable when some corners have respect and more counting stats like interceptions and passes defensed.
So it would look to me as though Ekeler is left off and perhaps is the only snub on LA’s roster this year but a lot can change in 2021.