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'Top 100' stars who might slip in rankings next year


Taking a look at the players ranked from 20 to 11 in the "Top 100: Players of 2012," I'm not sure there's another 10-spot that could undergo as big a shake-up when we stage this exercise a year from now.

Every one of these players are household names. But a combination of age, health and circumstance tells us five of these 10 could plummet out of the top 20 by 2013.

Here they are:

• Terrell Suggs (11): We still don't know if the Baltimore Ravens' All-Pro linebacker will play this season. If he does, look out quarterbacks everywhere. If he doesn't, remember that Peyton Manning dropped 48 spots after his sabbatical year.

• Maurice Jones-Drew (12): MJD earned his ranking after pounding out 1,606 yards behind a jittery Blaine Gabbert at quarterback. The 27-year-old back is entangled in a contract mess with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and they don't appear excited about reworking his contract. Running backs have fared well in this year's "Top 100," but it's going to be a struggle for MJD to do what he did last season unless that passing game makes a leap.

• Ed Reed (16): Reed has toyed with retirement. He's still an effective player, but he's one of two Ravens on this list who are ranked too high (the other isn't Suggs).

• Troy Polamalu (19): We're not predicting doom for Polamalu. He played in every game last season and remains one of the top safeties. Let's just call this a feeling.

• Ray Lewis (20): We're going to irritate some of you in Baltimore for the third time in one post, but Lewis doesn't belong here. If the vote is about heart, leadership and history, we'd place him higher, but Jason Pierre-Paul (24) was more dominant last season. He's not the only one.