The NFL Network, based on a survey from the players, has been counting down the top 100 players in the league this summer. Numerous Eagles have already made the list, with Trent Cole (73), Asante Samuel (40), and DeSean Jackson (27) all landing in the top 100.
Michael Vick was voted as the 20th best player in the league by his peers
It was only a matter of time until Michael Vick made his way onto the list, but not many people thought it would be so soon. Vick came in at number 20 this past weekend when numbers 20-11 were announced. Experts and players who have discussed the list thought he may come in as high as number 2, given the huge amount of respect and admiration Vick’s peers have for him.
Coming ahead of Vick were, in order, : Green Bay’s Clay Matthews, Oakland’s Nnamdi Asomugha, Baltimore’s Haloti Ngata, Green Bay’s Charles Woodson, Indianapolis’s Dwight Freeney, Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald, Tennessee’s Chris Johnson, Dallas’s DeMarcus Ware, and finally Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers at 11.
While it is hard to argue that Vick should have came in ahead of Rodgers, you could make a strong case that many of the other players that were ranked ahead of Vick do not belong. In my opinion Vick belongs, at worst, behind only Rodgers and Johnson.
When ranking the best players in the NFL, it should be about one thing: which player has the best chance of single handedly winning a game for me?
Since Vick is a quarterback, he has way more impact on a game than the defensive players that came in ahead of him. Woodson and Freeney are past their prime, and Ware was on one of the worst defenses in the league last year. While Ngata is a defensive force, he is not as talented as Vick, and did not impact as many games as Vick did last season. Vick was the catalyst of one of the best offenses in the game, and single handedly won 2-3 games for the Eagles last year. You can’t say that for any of the defensive players on the list.
Its hard to believe any player or GM would take Freeney over Vick given the choice
Larry Fitzgerald is regarded by many as the best wide receiver in the game, but last year showed how a bad quarterback can completely kill any chance he has of taking over a game. Fitzgerald depends on other people to get him the ball, while Vick touches the ball on every snap. Vick has shown that a bad offensive line, lack of running game, or dropped passes from his receivers does not stop him from making a big play. The same cannot be said for Fitzgerald.
Tennessee’s Chris Johnson has shown he can turn nothing into something, and is the biggest home run threat in the league. Ranking him ahead of Vick is debatable and could go either way. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who would pick Vick over Aaron Rodgers.
But Ngata? Woodson? DeMarucs Ware? I find it hard to believe any of these players would be picked ahead of Vick in a draft amongst players or GM’s.
Since this list was voted on by players, it is only fair to wonder what Vick falling this low means about his perception around the league. After taking the league by storm, Vick was slowed down by hard hits and teams that did a good jobs hiding the oncoming blitz. Could players around the NFL view him as stoppable, while a player like Clay Matthews is impossible to stop unless double teamed?
No player will ever admit it, but Vick falling below the players he did is a travesty, regardless of any logic they might have used when voting.