The NFL season is right around the corner and all the lists of top players of the NFL are out. There is only one problem with these lists: they look back on the 2017 season too much. This list will look forward to the 2018 season and predict who will be the top 100 players for the 2018 season. The Game Haus staff compiled their lists together to rank who they think will be the top 100 players this upcoming season.
This is the second installment, containing players 90-81.
90. Taylor Lewan, OT, Tennessee Titans
2017 stats: 16 games started, 4 sacks allowed
Lewan has been one of the most impressive young linemen in the league. He has made two straight Pro Bowls and looks like he is well on his way to many more. The Titans made the playoffs last season in large part due to their offensive line, with a lot of that credit going to Lewan.
If he protects Mariota’s blindside well again next season, he will rise even higher up this list.
Comments: “Lewan has made two straight Pro Bowls and looks as if he will make many more in his career. He doesn’t have popularity he deserves yet, but that will come with time and more good play.” -Joe DiTullio
89. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
2017 stats: N/A
This is where this list is separated from others. Barkley hasn’t taken an NFL snap, but there is a lot of hype around him. He is a do-it-all running back out of Penn State, who figures to be a big part of the Giants’ offense. The Giants have lacked a good running back for a long time and if Barkley can have somewhat of a good year, it would be a huge help to the whole offense.
Comments: “Obviously Barkley has no NFL experience, so this ranking is all based on potential. Drafting a running back early in the first round has been becoming more of a popular move after Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette’s early success. Barkley will most likely make the move to take him second overall worth it. Like many of the league’s top running backs, he brings versatility. And his performance at the NFL Combine showed he is one of the most athletic backs in the game.” -Josh Burris
“There are some players who are just physical freaks. Barkley is up there with the rest of the recent running backs that were drafted early and be a top 100 player for sure.” -Joe DiTullio
88. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
2017 stats: 865 rushing yards, 7 rushing touchdowns, 317 receiving yards, 1 touchdown reception
Freeman is in a timeshare with Tevin Coleman, but gets the bulk of the work. He can run in between the tackles and catch the ball out of the backfield. Although he only played in 14 games last season, he still accrued over 1,000 total yards. If healthy, Freeman can have even more of a productive season.
Comments: “While he is listed as the number one in the Falcons running back depth chart, he doesn’t have the workload that other number ones have. He’s no doubt talented, but his split load with Tevin Coleman hinders his season totals to really show how good Freeman is. He runs very hard and aggressively. Any team would be satisfied with him as their starting back” -Jay Louden
87. Kevin Byard, S, Tennessee Titans
2017 stats: 87 total tackles, 8 interceptions, 16 passes defended, 2 fumble recoveries
The second-year player out of Middle Tennessee really burst onto the scene this season. He was a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro first team selection. He was all over the field with his eight interceptions and 16 passes defended. Byard was once an unknown commodity but is now an intriguing young player with a lot of potential.
Comments: “Byard has exceeded all expectations so far in his career. He plays with a chip on his shoulder. If he continues to do that then he will be a name to know for years to come.” -Joe DiTullio
86. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
2017 stats: 74 receptions, 885 receiving yards, 10 receiving touchdowns
When Aaron Rodgers went down, Adams’ numbers took a hit. With Aaron Rodgers back this season, and Jordy Nelson in Oakland, Adams is the go-to-target for the Packers. He has yet to eclipse 1,000 yards receiving in a season but should have a real opportunity to do that this season. His 22 receiving touchdowns over the last two seasons are among the NFL’s best.
Comments: “Adams is a budding star in this league. He is a threat to score on any play and can tear the heart out of an opponent with his timely touchdowns. With Rodgers healthy, Adams will have a monster year. This is his first crack at being the number one target for Rodgers and his body of work suggests that he will knock this opportunity out of the park.” -Joe DiTullio
85. Gerald McCoy, DT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2017 stats: 47 total tackles, 6 sacks, 1 pass defended
As with most defensive tackles, McCoy’s impact on the game doesn’t always show up in the stat sheet. He had the second most tackles in his career but had his lowest sack total since 2012. McCoy may not have had his best season statistically, but without him, the Bucs would have finished much lower than 22nd in total yards allowed.
McCoy is primed for a bounce back season. This defensive line unit added Jason Pierre-Paul via free agency and Vita Via after trading back in this past draft. With such an infusion of talent, McCoy will see less double teams and have ample opportunities to pressure the quarterback and planting running backs in the backfield.
Comments: “McCoy is routinely among the NFL’s best interior defensive linemen. Despite not playing a full season since 2014 or making the playoffs, he’s managed to make the pro bowl six of his eight seasons, including an all-pro selection in 2013.” – Braxton Angle
84. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers
2017 stats: 1,560 passing yards, 7 passing touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 67.4% completion
Garoppolo hasn’t even started a full season yet but has people buzzing about what could be. He has a 7-0 career record, which includes five wins last season as the starter for the 49ers. The last three games of last season, he impressively beat Tennessee, Jacksonville and the Los Angeles Rams, all of which were playoff teams.
There is some serious talk of the 49ers making the playoffs. It would be a stunning turnaround but Garoppolo has made people believe.
Comments: “Jimmy Garoppolo has spent most of his career on the sidelines, but his starts at the end of last season gave 49ers fans something to be excited about for this coming season. He is definitely ready to go and become a future Pro Bowler.” – Josh Burris
83. Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers
2017 stats: 7 receptions, 191 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
Olsen played in seven games last season but wasn’t 100% for a lot of those games. With an offseason of rest and recuperation, Olsen should start looking like his old self. Before last season he had three straight 1,000 yard receiving seasons. Cam Newton will need Olsen to step up this season, as he has been without great receivers for a while now.
Comments: “We got to see how important Greg Olsen was to the Panthers’ offense last season, and specifically, Cam Newton. His big frame gives Newton the flexibility to not be as accurate, which he isn’t, and attack the middle of the field.” – Braxton Angle
82. Brandon Brooks, OG, Philadelphia Eagles
2017 stats: 16 games started, 3 sacks allowed
When Jason Peters went down with injury, the rest of the Philadelphia offensive line had to step up. They were successful in staying together and playing well, which resulted in a Super Bowl victory. Brooks is one of the best guards in the NFL and without him, the Eagles could still be searching for their first Super Bowl.
Brooks will be tasked with keeping Carson Wentz healthy when he returns this season.
Comments: “Brooks is one of the best guards in the league and really helped keep the line together when Peters went down. He should be in store for another great season where his team is competitive.” -Joe DiTullio
”After being a big piece for the Texans, Brooks has shown more of the same for the Eagles.” -Robert Hanes
81. Marcus Peters, CB, Los Angeles Rams
2017 stats: 46 total tackles, 5 interceptions, 9 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries
Peters has new digs in Los Angeles after spending his first three seasons in Kansas City, becoming a Pro-Bowl cornerback. The move to L.A. was one that was thought to be both beneficial to him and the Chiefs, as he has had some hot-headed moments early in his career. He specifically has excelled at being a ball-hawk with 19 career interceptions so far.
For the Rams, he will play on the opposite side of the field as Aqib Talib, which could be one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL this season.
Comments: “While Peters’ talent is undeniable, Andy Reid has a history of working with players who have questionable character or bad attitudes and he still decided to wash his hands of Peters. If McVay and Phillips can keep him in line, it’s likely he’ll be much higher on this list.” – Braxton Angle
For players 100-91: click here