Sessler's Top 10 players of 2014


We've reached the end of the yellow brick road on the NFL Network's The Top 100 Players of 2014 countdown.

On Wednesday night, players 10 through 1 were revealed. The Around The League team offers up our own top 10 selections. Please note that NFL players had zero input in the creation of these lists. We bring glad tidings and overt sanity.

Where's that voiceover lady NFL Network uses? Try to read this post in her sly intonation if you have that ability.

1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Peyton Manning
3. Tom Brady
4. Drew Brees
5. Andrew Luck
6. Ben Roethlisberger
7. Calvin Johnson
8. J.J. Watt
9. Richard Sherman
10. Luke Kuechly

» My biggest problem with The Top 100? I simply can't get behind a list littered with running backs and receivers at the top. My "Final Five" is made up entirely of quarterbacks. I'm tempted to fill all 10 spots with signal-callers. No way do you start a team with a running back over a franchise arm.

» Speaking of the quarterbacks, I'm also tempted to place Luck even higher. He's one of the game's most exciting young passers with the tools to own this position for the next decade. One more year before he begins to displace the Bradys and Mannings of the world on these award lists.

» I valued three premier defenders over every runner and pass-catcher not named Megatron. Watt, Sherman and Kuechly rock offensive game plans on a weekly basis. Case in point? Watch Colin Kaepernick spend the entire NFC title game looking away from Sherman until that final tipped pass.

» Despite my ranting, Calvin is too much of a freak to leave off this list. He's another example, though, of an all-world talent at receiver who can't change his team's fortunes. Premier quarterbacks can tug average teams into January. How often does a wideout do that?

» I've totally fallen for Kuechly. Carolina will struggle to get back to the playoffs, but give the Panthers credit for drafting insane talent on defense of late in Kawann Short, Star Lotulelei and the game's premier middle linebacker in Kuechly. He's on a Hall of Fame arc.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" ranked the top quarterbacks in the NFL today.