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 2017 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 first installment, containing players 100-91.
100. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
2017 stats: 746 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns, 11 receptions, 136 receiving yards, 1 touchdown reception
Henry has split carries with Demarco Murray in his first two seasons in the league. He is now the “1A” option on the team, which should mean more production in 2018, although the Titans do plan to use Dion Lewis as a “1B” option often. Their running styles compliment each other more than the backfield did with Henry and Murray.
With a solid offensive line and the opportunity to get more carries, Henry slides in as the last player ranked on this list.
Comments: “Henry very well could be on this list after a good season, but we haven’t seen it yet. Maybe he will be a top 100 player with more touches this season, but the Titans want to use Dion Lewis a lot. There are players on the offensive line and defensive side of the ball that deserve this spot if not a spot higher on the list, that didn’t make it all.” -Joe DiTullio
“Many saw the departure of Demarco Murray as a signal that it was Henry’s time to shine in Nashville. However, Henry’s role is clouded by the signing of Dion Lewis. Given a full workload, Henry would easily make this list. That won’t happen with Lewis healthy. Best case Henry rushes between the tackles and Lewis catches the passes out of the backfield. Worst case Henry is looking at a full-blown timeshare. Either way, it’s not enough for him to make this list.” -Cecil Walker
99. Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns
2017 stats: 18 receptions, 335 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
Gordon’s problem has never been with his talent, but rather what has gone on off the field. When on the field, he has been one of the best receivers in the league. His career has been particularly impressive because he has played for the Browns, but with the new talent around him, he could be in store for another big year.
He played five games last year and with Tyrod Taylor/Baker Mayfield throwing him the ball this season, his productivity should improve.
Comments: “It is tough to predict how good Josh Gordon can be considering the amount of time he has missed over the last several seasons. However, he showed promise in the few games he played last season. Now that Cleveland has Jarvis Landry, defenses won’t be able to just gang up on Gordon. If he can build on his production last year, he could easily be in the NFL’s top 75 players.”- Josh Burris
“Gordon is a player with a ton of talent including great speed and high-point ability who will be great. However, he shouldn’t be on this list this year considering he only appeared in five games with a total of 335 yards and one touchdown. Some players, including Eric Berry who came in at 96 have the recent pedigree to make up for a lack of games played. But Gordon’s only great season came all the way back in 2013 and he only played well but not amazing in his five games this year.” – Pranay Malempati
98. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
2017 stats: 75 receptions, 1,183 receiving yards, 7 touchdown receptions
He has taken the NFL by storm in his first few seasons and actually more than doubled his production from year one to year two. Hill also adds his return ability to the team. He will, however, have to adjust to a new quarterback in Pat Mahomes, who has not gotten rave reviews in the offseason so far.
Hill will be tasked with helping to break Mahomes in but his numbers could take a hit as a result.
Comments: “Hill can do it all: catch, run and return. He is fast and makes a big impact despite his size. There are bigger and better receivers in the NFL than Hill, but his incredible athleticism and versatility make him a valuable threat to have on any team.” -Josh Burris
“Hill, who shocked the league with his playmaking as a rookie, was much more consistent in 2017. He has the explosiveness and speed to be the best offensive/return weapon in the league.” -Pranay Malempati
97. Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE, Jacksonville Jaguars
2017 stats: 30 total tackles, 12 sacks, 6 fumbles forced, 2 fumbles recovered, 1 touchdown
Ngakoue isn’t the most notable name on the “Sacksonville” defensive line, but he had a good season with his 12 sacks and six forced fumbles. His first year he was in the league he had eight sacks, so his natural progression will lead him to have a better season as a 23-year-old in the NFL.
If he gets any more sacks than last year he will show up on even more NFL Top 100 lists after the season.
Comments: “Ngakoue should be much higher on this list. He was a constant disruptor at the line of scrimmage in both the pass rush and run game. Ngakoue had the most pressures of any 4-3 defensive end from the right side of the line of scrimmage with 56, converting 12 of them into sacks. In addition he had an NFL leading six forced fumbles. Only 23 years old and already a pro-bowler, Ngakoue will be a defensive force for years to come.” -Pranay Malempati
96. Eric Berry, S, Kansas City Chiefs
2017 stats: 7 total tackles
While he was only able to play one game last season, Berry makes the list because it looks ahead to next season. Berry has had to go through a lot in his career, battling cancer and injuries to come back on top. He always seemingly comes back and plays well, but father time is undefeated and the injuries add up.
The 29-year-old has come back from a lot before, but can he do it again?
Comments: “The Chiefs pulled off a big road victory over the Patriots to open the 2017 season, but they lost eric berry for the rest of the season due to a ruptured Achilles. A five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro selection like Berry would normally be ranked higher. But an Achilles injury causes concern about how good he will be back on the field. We have seen athletes come back even better from injury, but with Berry, we will have to wait and see.” -Josh Burris
95. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
2017 stats: 435 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 80 receptions, 651 receiving yards, 5 touchdowns receptions
Splitting carries with Jonathan Steward limited his productivity, but that will not be an issue any longer. The Panthers did sign C.J. Anderson, but he was cut from the Broncos and Carolina will want to get McCaffrey more touches. His versatility as a running back who can also spread out wide, make his prospects this season intriguing.
McCaffrey has a chance to have a big year with more opportunities and a new offensive coordinator in Norv Turner.
Comments: “Versatility. That is what McCaffrey brings to the table. Without Stewart in Carolina, McCaffrey will get even more carries and receptions. If he can make the most out of those and give Cam Newton a break, he will be worthy of this spot.” -Joe DiTullio
94. Demar Dotson, OT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2017 stats: 11 games started, 2 sacks allowed.
Dotson started 11 games at left tackle for the Bucs before he was injured and placed on IR. In those 11 games, he only allowed two sacks. He protected Jameis Winston’s blindside and will have to do the same for Ryan Fitzpatrick for the first three games of this season.
Comments: “Dotson, because of his age and categorization as a “late-bloomer”, does not get the recognition he deserves. Dotson was one of the best tackles in the NFL last year and excelled in pass protection. As he is 33 years old, it’s unclear how long he’ll be able to sustain this level of production. But if the Bucs have any hope of rebounding and making the playoffs, Dotson will be a big reason why as he anchors this offensive line next season.” -Braxton Angle
93. Adrian Amos, S, Chicago Bears
2017 stats: 67 total tackles, 1 interception, 3 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 touchdown
Amos was one of the best safeties in the league last season at just 24-years-old. The fifth-round pick in 2015 has already outplayed his draft position and as the Bears continue to add more to their defense will continue to get more and more popular among fans.
In his age 25 season, Amos will pair with Eddie Jackson, who together could become one of the best safety tandems in the league.
Comments: “This guy is shooting up people’s lists of safeties and players overall. His raw talent and potential should continue his upward trend.” -Robert Hanes
92. Sean Lee, LB, Dallas Cowboys
2017 stats: 101 total tackles, 1 pass defended, 1 interception
The biggest problem with Sean Lee is his durability, as he has missed a lot of games over his NFL career. He had a great year as a tackler, but again missed games due to injury last season. The best way to see Lee’s impact is to watch the Cowboy’s defense when he is not on the field because it gets significantly worse.
If Lee is on the field for most of the season, he’s a top 100 player, but that’s a big “if”
Comments: “Even though Sean Lee isn’t exactly the second coming of Brian Urlacher as Cowboys fans preach, he is a terrific linebacker. The Dallas defense runs through him and suffers without him.” -Pranay Maempati
“Lee is a tackle machine who does a lot more than what shows up on the stat sheet. Without him, Dallas’ defense looks lost.” -Joe DiTullio
91. Micah Hyde, S, Buffalo Bills
2017 stats: 82 total tackles, 5 interceptions, 13 passes defended
In his first season in Buffalo, Hyde showed how much he could do. He had a great season and helped lead the Bills to the playoffs, even after they shed a lot of their talent. The versatile defensive back will be asked to do much of the same in 2018, but the Bills will have a tough time making the playoffs again.
Comments: “Micah Hyde had a great season, and deserves to be top 50 on this list at least. He transformed from a solid but unspectacular safety in Green Bay into one of the best at his position during his first season in Buffalo, resulting in being selected to second-team All-Pro. Hyde was one of the best coverage safeties last season, including finishing with 5 interceptions.”- Pranay Malempati