ATL'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. J.J. Watt
5. Calvin Johnson
6. Drew Brees
7. LeSean McCoy
8. Adrian Peterson
9. Robert Quinn
10. Philip Rivers

» Rob Gronkowski would have made my list if we went 11 deep. No other non-quarterback changes his offense more than Gronk, including Megatron. But durability is a skill, and it was just too hard to include Gronkowski over guys who are safer bets to stay on the field.

» Shady McCoy has narrowly passed Adrian Peterson as the league's top running back. McCoy out-gained Peterson by more than 700 yards last year. The gap between them isn't that great, but McCoy is better on passing downs and has rounded out his overall game with inside running. McCoy, squarely in the prime of an oddly underrated career, is three years younger than Peterson.

» Watt, 25, has already completed a two-year run of dominance that rivals any defensive lineman since Reggie White.

» Earl Thomas, Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman were considerations for the end of the list. Von Miller and Aldon Smith would be strong picks if they didn't face huge questions this year. In the end, Quinn made it because he was the best pure pass-rusher in the league last year. He's 24 years old and in a great position under Gregg Williams to get even better.

» Manning's arm is not the same as it once was, but he gets the slight edge over Brady for week-to-week consistency.

» It will not surprise me if Rivers has a run of top-level seasons into his mid-thirties like his former teammate Brees has enjoyed.

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