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Top 100 Players Of The Past NFL Season: Numbers 41-60

With the new NFL season fast approaching here are 100 players, and about 10 honorable mentions from this past NFL season. Big names tend to take over most top 100 player lists, which is usually acceptable. Except there are always a handful of players who make the NFL top 100 list but didn’t really have a great season because of injury or just bad play. My list is made up of NFL players who I believed impacted their teams greatly on and off the field, were stat leaders, and simply balled out this past season. This does mean that players like JJ Watt and Odell Beckham Jr. won’t make this list because they missed most of the season. A lot of this list is based off of my own judgment, and not just the stats itself. I’ll go down the list 20 players at a time mostly explaining why I had some players above others and so forth. Look out for a consensus top 100 NFL players list of 2017 brought to you from me, and fellow writer Kodey Stauffer coming soon.

41. LeSean McCoy
42. Damon Harrison
43. Stefon Diggs
44. Cam Heyward
45. Harrison Smith
46. Xavier Rhodes
47. Fletcher Cox
48. Cam Newton
49. Micah Hyde
50. Ryan Shazier
51. Mark Ingram
52. Bobby Wagner
53. Zack Martin
54. Alex Smith
55. Linval Joseph
56. Landon Collins
57. Ezekiel Elliott
58. Jason Kelce
59. Lane Johnson
60. CJ Mosley

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Cam Newton was somebody that a lot of people would’ve left off an NFL top 100 player list if they look at his passing stats only. He only threw for 22 touchdowns compared to 16 interceptions this past season. Except people tend to forget that he also rushed for 754 rushing yards and had 6 rushing touchdowns as well. Any quarterback who has numbers like those I believe should be considered a top 100 player. Cam Newton is no exception. He’s the leader of a Carolina Panthers offense that would struggle mightily without him. He will be considered one of the greatest dual-threat quarterbacks in history if he retired today, and I simply don’t see him slowing down anytime soon.

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Fittingly I put Ryan Shazier at 50. Obviously, he missed games this season, so his stats don’t look that great. I did put him here because he was on a tear before he got hurt. Shazier was the leader of a dominant Steelers defense that appeared to finally have been revived after years of rebuilding. Shazier was a speedy linebacker who had excellent instincts stopping the run, and defending the pass. There were plenty of plays where Shazier would simply clean up plays that should’ve went for more yards if he wasn’t there. When Shazier got hurt, it also severely hurt the Steelers. Vince Williams was a good backup, but the key word there is back up. For the rest of the season, the Steelers struggled to stop the run, and the absence of Ryan Shazier became even more of a glaring problem as the season went on. Shazier may never be on a top 100 NFL player list again, but his contributions this past season when he was on the field are simply undeniable.

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The last person I’ll talk about in this section is Ezekiel Elliott. An argument can be made that Zeke doesn’t deserve to be on this list at all, but once again I’m considering the impact these players have on their team when they’re not on the field.  The Cowboys may have won 9 games, but it still feels like they lost more than 7. Their struggles were primarily due to Zeke being suspended 6 games. Despite that Zeke still put up 983 rushing yards, 7 rushing touchdowns, 269 receiving yards, and 2 rushing touchdowns in 10 games. Those numbers are very good for a running back who only played 10 games. Dak Prescott is a decent quarterback, but it’s obvious that Ezekiel Elliott carries that Cowboys offense. Prescott was not in a place to carry that Dallas offense without Zeke, as he struggled to play efficiently. Three games into Zeke’s suspension Dak became the first Cowboys quarterback in almost 30 years to throw back to back games with no touchdowns and multiple interceptions. In that stretch Zeke was suspended, they also scored fewer than 10 points in 3 consecutive regular-season games for the first time in team history. If that doesn’t show how much the Cowboys needed Ezekiel Elliott I don’t know what will.

To see see numbers 61-80 click here.

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