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Saints' Jimmy Graham snubbed in 'Top 100' list?

When Rob Gronkowski landed at No. 25 on the NFL Network's "The Top 100 Players of 2013," the New England Patriots star also became the list's final tight end to make the cut.

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Gronk's inclusion is a no-brainer, but a grievous oversight has bubbled up: New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was left out in the cold.

Graham -- with 85 receptions, 982 yards and nine touchdowns in just nine starts last season -- was deemed less worthy by his peers than the likes of Antonio Gates (No. 73), Heath Miller (No. 97) and Dennis Pitta (at No. 100).

While the "Top 100" holds its own as breezy, offseason fare, Graham's omission reveals its true nature as a raging farce.

Yes, Graham battled injuries last season, but he played through the pain to catch more passes than all but Jason Witten (No. 41) and Tony Gonzalez (No. 47) among the list's tight ends. Pitta, Miller, Gates, Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez all caught fewer passes.

Ask the Atlanta Falcons -- scorched for seven receptions, 146 yards and two touchdowns in early November -- if Graham is a top 100 player. Or the Carolina Panthers, who allowed Graham to slash them for nine catches, 115 yards and a touchdown in the season finale.

Graham scored in eight games and had five or more receptions in 11 appearances during a season that required wrist surgery when it was over. Saints coaches are intimately familiar with Graham's versatility. He's used not only as a tight end, but you'll find him split out wide on a regular basis, furnishing the Saints with a field-stretching mismatch.

Entering his contract season in 2013, Graham is betting on a big campaign, but either way, he's fully worthy of the "Top 100." There's no bigger blotch on the player-generated voting results than this.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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