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'Top 100' reaction: Blake Bortles over Andrew Luck?

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Blake Bortles is better than Andrew Luck.

That is this year's wisdom from the hazy legion of NFL players casting ballots for NFL Network's The Top 100 Players Of 2016 countdown.

Bortles made his Top 100 debut this week, appearing at No. 56. Luck had plummeted 85 spots from No. 7 last year to No. 92 in early May.

Prior to last year's disappointing, injury-ravaged season, Luck ranked behind only Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady in an ESPN poll of 35 NFL coaches and executives paid to meticulously analyze game film.

"You want to talk about a guy who makes the team? He is Michael Jordan," one general manager raved. "Their defense sucks. Every game, he has to outscore everybody. He is the epitome of a 1. If I was to draft tomorrow any player in the NFL, it would be Andrew Luck one, Aaron Rodgers two."

Filled with promise as a strapping, strong-armed passer with plus athleticism, Bortles enjoyed an impressive breakout season featuring 37 touchdowns. On the flip side, he led the league with 18 interceptions and made too many careless mistakes that contributed to the Jaguars' 11 losses.

Should Bortles be ranked higher than Luck, who has authored a series of definitive, come-from-behind victories and led a flawed team to the AFC Championship Game?

Of course not.

Luck's preposterously low ranking is merely the latest example of voters struggling to rank an injured star, just as they did in leaving Julio Jones off the list entirely two years ago. Bortles' surprisingly high ranking is likely the result of Jacksonville players turning out in droves to support their offensive leader.

Elsewhere in the Top 100:

» Luck wasn't the only star docked for injuries. Dez Bryant dropped from No. 15 to No. 51 after a foot fracture sabotaged his 2015 season. Bryant led all NFL players with 41 receiving touchdowns from 2012 through 2014.

» It's amazing what a 15-1 regular season and a Super Bowl appearance will do for one of the most unheralded players of the past decade. Finally earning his first Pro Bowl nod, Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis also came in at No. 54 in the Top 100 after being snubbed on last year's list.

» Teammate Kawann Short came in four spots later, making his Top 100 debut as a reward for vying with Geno Atkins as the game's most disruptive defensive tackle not named Aaron Donald.

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