Fifteen quarterbacks made the NFL Network's The Top 100 Players Of 2016.
It serves as a symbolic nod to Chris Wesseling's beloved "Dalton Scale," which presupposes that Cincinnati's starting quarterback -- at least prior to last season -- served as the prime meridian of signal-callers. Among the league's 32 starting arms, anyone ranked above Dalton looms as franchise material; anyone below him is simply a patch at the most important position in sports.
Dalton landed at No. 35 on this year's list, his first ever appearance in The Top 100. Long-ripped (by me, among others) for seemingly hitting his ceiling as a rookie, Dalton drop-kicked his critics through the door last year, operating at an MVP level before a broken thumb ended his season.
No. 35 is too rich for my blood, but Dalton -- after last season -- certainly belongs in The Top 100. Posting a career high in completion percentage (66.1) and a career low in picks (just seven), he calmly guided the Bengals to a 10-2 mark before his thumb exploded.
Elsewhere in The Top 100:
- You're a NFL general manager: Would you rather build your team around quarterback-crushing Ndamukong Suh (No. 40) or Ravens guard Marshal Yanda (No. 37)? The players went with Yanda, a steady Pro Bowler, but the point is that Suh -- attached to a bad Dolphins team in 2015 -- has been sharply undervalued after ranking 24th a year ago.