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Khalil Mack makes debut in latest 'Top 100' reveal

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NFL Network continued The Top 100 Players of 2015 countdown on Wednesday, revealing players 50 through 41 on the list. Our five takeaways from the latest episode:

» The voters catch flak for being behind the curve, but they deserve credit for placing Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack so high after just one NFL season. Mack might have been beaten out for Defensive Rookie of the Year by an impressive Aaron Donald, but there are only five linebackers ranked above him on this list.

Curtis Lofton predicts that Mack will be a "monster" this season while former Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith notes that the superpower Seahawks don't have a "beast" like Mack on the roster. Already a premier run-stopper, Mack should at least double his rookie-year sack total (4.0) this season.

» Philip Rivers' No. 43 ranking places him ninth among quarterbacks. Is that a fair assessment? Gregg Rosenthal's Year-End QB Index listed Rivers as the seventh-best quarterback of 2014, so the voters are in the right neighborhood. Rivers was hanging with Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning near the top at midseason, only to crater down the stretch due to subpar blocking and a nagging back injury.

» The players clearly don't believe the narrative that Julius Thomas' two Pro Bowl selections are merely the byproduct of catching passes from Peyton Manning. Six tight ends made the list this year. Just two are ranked higher than Thomas -- who comes in at No. 45.

» Playing through injuries, Kam Chancellor was a coverage liability early last season. To his credit, he bounced back down the stretch, teaming with Bobby Wagner to key a turnaround for the Seahawks' suffocating defense. Chancellor is the second-ranked safety this year, a sign of the esteem with which he's held for his leadership and physicality on a historically great defense.

» Elvis Dumervil has been one of the league's most consistently productive edge rushers, averaging 13 sacks over the past five years. It's nice to see him recognized as the third-best outside linebacker this offseason.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses the best available free agents and the guys play another edition of What's More Likely. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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