The NFL Network began releasing its annual list of the top-100 players in the league on Sunday, as selected by the players. For the first time in his career, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen cracked the list coming in at No. 87.
The votes are in…
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) July 27, 2020
Although Allen has been a big topic of debate by analysts since he was drafted out of Wyoming, seemingly representing the battle of philosophies in talent evaluation, players clearly think of him in much higher regard.
In 2019, Allen led the Bills back to their second playoff appearance in three years, winning 10 games in the regular season for the first time since 1999. He threw for over 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. The third-year signal caller also continued to be an elite rushing quarterback, finishing the season with 510 yards and nine touchdowns.
How impressive making the list is, of course, a different discussion. NFL Network has received heavy criticism every year for the list.
Football is unlike other sports where it is difficult to compare positions. Sure, it’s pretty obvious Patrick Mahomes is a better player than Josh Jacobs. However, when the list is in the early stages, there isn’t as much of an obvious separation, which then creates an impossible debate.
How do you determine who is better between defensive tackle Cameron Heyward and wide receiver D.K. Metcalf?
Impact and value is also something the list doesn’t seem to consider. Allen was ranked 87th, but if the NFL did a re-draft, he would likely go in the top-20. Quarterbacks make more of an impact on winning than any individual position.
The list doesn’t know what it wants to be. There doesn’t appear to be any set guidelines for what the ranking is based on. Is it simply the 100 most talented players in football? Are the rankings based on an entire career? Or is it only based on the previous season? It varies with every nomination, thus sparking debate.
The network can always bank on clicks and drawing attention with the list. Maybe that is the point. From a logic standpoint, it might be the worst exercise in the offseason of any sport.
At least Allen got some national recognition from his peers. He has come a long way from being what was determined as a “parody of a prospect” in 2018.
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