Published: June 22, 2018 at 09:39 a.m.
Updated: June 22, 2018 at 10:27 a.m.

Russell Wilson, DeAndre Hopkins deserved top-10 slot in 'Top 100'

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The "Top 100 Players of 2018" ends Monday night, with the 10 highest vote-getters -- as voted on by the players themselves -- revealed on NFL Network at 8 p.m. ET. The names were revealed Thursday in alphabetical order:

» Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
» Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
» Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
» Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
» Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams
» Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
» Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
» Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos
» Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
» Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

A strong case can be made for each one of these guys to be in the top 10, but is there another player who deserves a spot in the elite group? Who is the biggest snub?

"The Top 100 Players of 2018" will conclude Monday, June 25 at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network.

DeAndre Hopkins is every bit as good as Antonio Brown and Julio Jones
DeAndre Hopkins doesn't quite have the panache of Antonio Brown, nor is he the same type of physical specimen as Julio Jones. But the Texans receiver has been every bit their equal with his production and highlight-reel plays over the course of his first five NFL seasons. Adding to Hopkins' greatness is the fact that he's done it without the benefit of a marquee quarterback. Brown and Jones' quarterbacks both appear in the top 30 of this list. Find me a Texans quarterback worthy of inclusion. I'll wait.
There's no cornerback in the top 10 -- isn't this a passing league?
It's well-known that the current NFL is a "passing league," so it's baffling to me that there are no defensive backs in the top 10. Jalen Ramsey became a superstar the moment he set foot on an NFL field, and upped his game last season while helping the Jaguars come within inches of reaching the Super Bowl. He's the league's preeminent pass defender and should have been in the top 10.
Russell Wilson is the LeBron James of Seattle
Russell Wilson just missed the top 10 by one, coming in at No. 11. But just look at what he did for Seattle in 2017. He was involved in 97.4 percent(!) of the Seahawks' offensive touchdowns (37 of 38), the highest percentage by any player in the Super Bowl era. Think about that.
Texans receiver is always a threat regardless of who else is on the field
Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins is a top-tier talent. There's no doubting that. Hopkins has played with more inconsistency around him than any of the guys in the top 10, yet has remained a consistent threat. That's a major credit to his ability.
Luke Kuechly and Russell Wilson deserve more love
This top-10 list is pretty good, but there are two people worthy of being in this company: Luke Kuechly and Russell Wilson.

The Carolina linebacker is one of the better players at his position to come into the league since 1970. A three-down 'backer with great instincts, Kuechly can play the run and excels in space. In six NFL seasons, he's piled up 930 tackles, according to the coach's film, and 15 interceptions. The Panthers lost key players to injury in 2017, but the defense finished seventh overall and was third against the run. That's a testament to Kuechly's leadership and ability.

Wilson will never be a prototype dropback passer, but that doesn't limit his effectiveness. The Seahawks have won 65 games in Wilson's first six seasons, and he possesses the arm, legs, smarts and poise to do everything in the league. He's excellent in third-down efficiency and has run for 3,275 yards and 16 touchdowns, averaging an even 6 yards per carry.
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