On Wednesday, the National Football League revealed the final ten players on its list of the Top 100 players of 2016. We knew beforehand that Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson was among those ten players, but we did not know where he was going to ultimately land. Now, we know.
Peterson landed at #5 on the NFL Network’s list. The complete top ten, in order, looked like this:
#10 - Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, New York Giants
#9 - Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
#8 - Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
#7 - Luke Kuechly, LB, Carolina Panthers
#6 - Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
#5 - Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
#4 - Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
#3 - J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
#2 - Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
#1 - Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
Peterson won his third career rushing title in 2015, and as the video from the NFL Network points out, he won the running back "Triple Crown" last season. . .he led the league in rushing attempts, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns (though he tied for the touchdown title with three other running backs).
His position on the list means that he was the top-rated running back, the top-rated player from the NFC North, and the second-highest rated player in the NFC overall, behind only the league MVP. It’s the fifth time in six years that Peterson has found himself in the Top Ten on the list.
When we took a poll of where our readers thought Peterson would end up on this list, the #5 spot ended up being the third-most selected. Given the way the list played out, it appears that Peterson wound up in just about the right spot. . .it would be difficult to make a case for putting Peterson ahead of any of the four players that wound up in front of him.
Peterson’s inclusion means that the Vikings wound up with three players on this year’s Top 100 list. Defensive tackle Linval Joseph and safety Harrison Smith were on the list at #76 and #73 respectively. Having only three of the top 100 players in the NFL (according to a vote of the players) seems like a pretty low number. Hopefully next year’s list will end up featuring a lot more purple.