Top 100 Reactions  


Top 100 reaction: Show Jamaal Charles some respect!


Jamaal Charles deserves the benefit of the doubt.

The Kansas City Chiefs running back turned up at No. 75 on NFL Network's "The Top 100 Players Of 2016" countdown, a 63-spot free fall from his No. 12 position on last year's list. This is downright disrespectful real estate for one of the greatest running backs of his generation.

Does that sound too hyperbolic? Am I getting carried away? I invite you to check out Charles' career numbers. Seriously. Go do it. They surprise you a little bit, don't they? Bet you didn't realize that he's never had a season in which he's averaged less than five yards a carry. That he has five seasons with at least 1,300 total yards, including two seasons in which he knocked on the door of 2,000? That he once had a season in which he had 19 total touchdowns? That he's done all this playing with quarterbacks like Tyler Thigpen, Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn and -- sorry -- Alex Smith.

Truth time: Jamaal Charles is a couple representative seasons away from the Hall of Fame and the players won't even put him in their top 75. That's cold.

The reason, of course, is the torn ACL Charles suffered early last year. As we learned with Andrew Luck earlier in this countdown, if you're injured you might as well be playing in the Arena Football League to voters. This is dumb, but it's the reality of the situation.

Charles, 29, first tore his knee up in 2011 and came back to perform like the best damn running back in football the following year. Feel free to doubt him doing it again, but I'm going to sit that out.

Elsewhere in the Top 100:

» Chris Ivory (No. 78) is often compared to Marshawn Lynch, which is right -- about half the time. Ivory is a maddening rusher, capable of dominating one week and disappearing the next. We're not saying the Jaguars made a bad investment, but Ivory has lacked the consistency to be a true top 100 talent in my opinion.

» Who was the biggest Top 100 gainer in the 80-71 reveal? That would be Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell, who jumped from No. 99 in 2015 to No. 71 this year. It's a fair progression for the 29-year-old, who is one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in the business.

» Seahawks wide receivers aren't shy about their need for recognition. So it should make Doug Baldwin happy to make his Top 100 debut at No. 72. It's a well-earned honor for the wideout who emerged as Russell Wilson's No. 1 target last season. Baldwin led the NFL with 14 touchdown catches, 10 of which came during an insane four-game stretch that began in late November.

» Jordan Reed (No. 77) always had the ability to be on this type of list and he finally put it together with Kirk Cousins in 2015. He's the fourth tight end to show up after Gary Barnidge (No. 94), Travis Kelce (No. 91) and Delanie Walker (No. 82). How many more will we see other than (spoiler alert) Gronk? I'm guessing not many.