The NFL Top 100 players countdown airs at the end of July
Are any New York Jets players perceived as the cream of the crop in the NFL?
We’ll find out in a few weeks.
Every season, NFL.com counts down the Top 100 players for the upcoming season as voted on by the players themselves.
Last year, only Corey Davis made the list from the Jets, but that was based on his body of work in Tennessee.
It’s safe to say that Davis won’t be making the list this season.
The Jets did not have any players selected in 2020, having traded Jamal Adams to the Seahawks. In 2019, Adams and C.J. Mosley were chosen, although Mosley’s selection was based on his work with the Baltimore Ravens.
If I had to guess, I’d say that the Jets will have a maximum of one or two players on the list, and it’s possible there will be none at all.
Who are the candidates for the honor?
Laken Tomlinson, LG
Like Davis and Mosley, Laken Tomlinson would be selected for his work with a different team, the 49ers, in this case. Making a Pro Bowl gives him a decent shot of being recognized by his peers. Tomlinson was Pro Football Focus’s 10th-graded guard in the NFL last season.
There are some flashier names out there (Quenton Nelson, Zack Martin, Joel Bitonio, Joe Thuney), but Tomlinson deserves a slot in the 80s or 90s. It remains to be seen if he will get it.
John Franklin-Myers, DL
John Franklin-Myers has been a rock-solid Jets defender for a couple of seasons now. He put up six sacks and an 80.3 PFF grade as an edge defender last season. Though JFM figures to slot mainly on the inside this season, all that means is that he has a better shot of breaking the double-digit sack mark.
As the most disruptive Jets defender last season, Franklin-Myers deserves a spot. However, there are so many other flashier defensive linemen that my guess is he will be left on the outside looking in.
D.J. Reed, CB
Like Tomlinson, D.J. Reed would be selected based on his work on his previous team, the Seahawks. Like Franklin-Myers, Reed is underrated around the NFL, still perceived as a slot corner (despite the statistics to the contrary, as laid out by Michael Nania) who cannot go up against top outside receivers.
Reed was the sixth-best corner in the NFL in yards allowed per coverage snap, permitting a mere 0.63 yards in that category. The NFL average was 1.08, which means that Reed was 40% better than the average cornerback in this area.
From Weeks 4-18, once Reed moved from left corner to right corner, where he will be playing with the Jets, he put up PFF’s second-best zone coverage grade in the NFL at 84.0.
Reed has the stats and the film to back up a Top 100 selection. Because he’s so underrated, though, I’m going to guess that it’s unlikely he actually makes it.
Fringe candidates: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG; Jordan Whitehead, SS; Braxton Berrios, WR/returner
If the Jets season goes the way they hope, the list could be littered with Gang Green players next year. Elijah Moore, Quinnen Williams, Breece Hall, Sauce Gardner, Carl Lawson, Alijah Vera-Tucker, and Jordan Whitehead figure to be additional candidates based on their roles on the team.
Other possibilities include George Fant, Mekhi Becton, Tyler Conklin, Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis, and Jermaine Johnson II.
The NFL Top 100 is considered a serious honor due to the significance of being voted in by one’s peers. The Jets hope to field a team of players worthy of consideration in 2022.