|Kevin Patra /NFL|
|Justin Tuck hits a tackling dummy at Giants teammate Terrell Thomas' football camp Saturday in California.|
"That's a joke," Tuck said of Manning's No. 31 ranking. "No question. He is top five, hands down. Top five."
If chosen among the top five, Manning's placement would have been revealed this Wednesday in the final episode of NFL Network's "The Top 100: Players of 2012."
Tuck's reasoning for putting Manning in so high?
"You win the Super Bowl, you have the season he had, you are automatically top 10," the All-Pro defensive end said while at teammate Terrell Thomas' youth football camp Saturday in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. "But it's how he did it, as far as the fourth-quarter comebacks, leading a team that really didn't have a super, super star wide receiver at the beginning of the year. He made two guys in Hakeem (Nicks) and Victor (Cruz), he made those guys what they are now. I really feel as though he should have been a lot higher than he was."
Manning will be the fourth-highest quarterback, one season after not being ranked at all.
When asked if Eli's last name could have been a reason he still doesn't garner enough respect around the NFL, Tuck said it could be part of the problem.
"Possibly, it's just a shame that his brother (Peyton) didn't even play, and he is only 19 spots behind him," Tuck said. "I know Eli doesn't really care about it that much, but as his teammate, you like to see him get a little more respect than that."
Tuck also disagreed with his own ranking, No. 62, saying only one player each year is content with his place on the list.
"There's nobody on that list that agrees with where they are ranked at, even No. 2," Tuck said. "The only person that agrees with it is No. 1. So the No. 2 guy thinks he's supposed to be No. 1, and the rest of us think we are supposed to be higher than we are."
Tuck added that he plans on climbing the list in 2013.
"I just feel as though it's a blessing to be appreciated by your peers," he said. "I always tell guys, I had an off year this year and was No. 62, so next year, we are going to move up a little bit.â