The latest episode of "The Top 100 Players of 2016" aired on Wednesday night, counting down from No. 40 to No. 31, and one of the most noteworthy players revealed was Andy Dalton, coming in at No. 35. That means Dalton is ranked by the players as the eighth-best quarterback in football, ahead of such luminaries as Philip Rivers, Eli Manning and Andrew Luck.
To Dalton's credit, he is fresh off the best season of his five-year NFL career. In addition to guiding the Bengals to a fifth straight playoff appearance, Dalton racked up 25 touchdown passes -- against only seven picks -- and posted a sparkling 106.2 quarterback rating over 13 games. Still, there are those who question Dalton's standing among the best signal callers in the game.
"The Top 100 Players of 2016" airs every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network until the full list has been revealed. The conversation continues on the "Top 100 Players Reaction" show, which airs immediately after at 9 p.m. ET.
Yes, he had a ton of weapons, but he didn't turn the ball over as much as he had in previous years and got the ball in the end zone. He has matured into a veteran quarterback who's proven he belongs in the top 10.
With Hue Jackson jumping ship to Cleveland, it's going to be tough for Dalton to maintain the level of play he displayed last season. Jackson meant so much to that offense, so Dalton is going to have to take command now -- and I'm not sure if he will do that. Look at the competitive nature of
Philip Rivers or
Tom Brady. These guys have an edge to them, and I don't know if Dalton has that. Dalton's leadership is going to be a big deal this year without Jackson in Cincinnati. He has the potential to be in the top 10, but I wouldn't put him there quite yet.
Everybody in my top 10 has won a playoff game, and most of them have won Super Bowls. It's hard to compete with some of the league's quarterbacks if you don't win in the postseason.