Over the weekend, the NFL Network finally got to the Top 10 portion of their “Top 100 Players of 2011” list, which was voted on by NFL players. Two Ravens were not only in the Top 10, but were the highest two defensive players on the entire list.
I’m sure you’ll have no problem guessing which two Ravens were featured.
No, not Tavares Gooden and Paul Kruger.
Ray Lewis came in at #4 on the list, behind only Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Adrian Peterson. Right behind Ray at #5 was Fast Eddie Reed. Cousin It…errr, Troy Polamalu was staring at Ed’s backside at #6.
While it’s probably a stretch to say that Ray Lewis, at 36 years old, is still the best defensive player in the NFL – a league dominated by 25-year olds – it still speaks volumes of the respect his peers have for him. Ray had a good 2010, certainly, but he has unquestionably lost about a step and a half over the past few seasons.
Still, he ranked as the top defensive player in all of football, when you asked current players. Very impressive indeed.
As for Reed being rated above Polamalu, this list will certainly not put to rest the endless “Ed vs. Troy” debate. As Ed always says though, “just look at the resumes.” Not the team resumes – the individual ones. Here, Goob did it for you a while back:
You can see Ray’s segment from the NFL Network here. (Ed’s, for some reason, doesn’t seem to be available on the site – please let me know if you find it).
The Ravens were also the only team to place two players in the top 10. Of course, their highest ranked offensive player came in at a dismal 56th (Ray Rice). Other Ravens on the list were Haloti Ngata (17), Terrell Suggs (40), and Joe Flacco (90).