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Instant Debate

'Top 100' surprises: Chris Johnson, John Kuhn, Tim Tebow

NFL Network began to unveil "The Top 100: Players of 2012" list over the weekend, rolling out Nos. 91-100. What was the most surprising aspect of the list?

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  • Gregg Rosenthal
  • Kuhn's inclusion calls into question entire list's validity

It is an absolute joke that John Kuhn is on this list. If NFL front offices were drafting the entire league from scratch, would Kuhn even be in the top 500?

There's a strong argument to be made Kuhn isn't even a top-10 fullback. ProFootballFocus, which watches and grades every play for the entire season, had Kuhn as the 21st best fullback in the league out of 29. He's not on the field that much and he simply doesn't impact the game.

Tebow is a stretch at 95, but Kuhn calls into question the validity of the entire list. Tony Romo was in the top five of quarterback rating and passing touchdowns. He's No. 91. Cortland Finnegan is coming off one of his best seasons and just signed a contract for more guaranteed money than any cornerback in NFL history. He's No. 93. Putting Kuhn between those two standouts is ridiculous.

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  • Jeff Darlington
  • Romo on same level as Tebow, Kuhn? Puh-lease

It isn't so much the inclusion of Tim Tebow -- or even John Kuhn -- that creates some serious difficulty when rationalizing the "Top 100." Instead, it's the proximity of both players to a player like Tony Romo.

What happened to all of that perennial talk about the importance of the quarterback position? If you want to put Tebow on the list because he's a winner and a football player, I'll embrace that. Whatever. But the quarterback is the most important player the field with the most difficult responsibilities, and Romo (despite his faults) is one of the league's statistical best.

We aren't just belittling Romo here. We're belittling the position he plays, as well.

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  • Bucky Brooks
  • Kuhn isn't even top five at his position

There is no way John Kuhn should be included in the "Top 100" and ranked ahead of Chris Johnson and one spot behind Tony Romo.

I understand that Kuhn is a fan favorite in Lambeau, but he doesn't even rank among the top five fullbacks in the NFL. With the position nearly phased out in most offenses, I have a hard time seeing an average player at the position ranked as one of the best players in the league.

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  • Ian Rapoport NFL Network
  • Finnegan disrespected, deserves much higher ranking

A month and a half after cornerback Cortland Finnegan signed a five-year, $50 million deal to become the star of a rebuilding Rams defense, he found out his peers had ranked him as the 93rd-best player in the league. Ouch. Luckily he can use those new crisp dollar bills to wipe away his tears.

Finnegan should be higher. A fierce, physical cornerback for whom the rest of the league is searching, Finnegan is a rare player who can shut down a team's best weapon. And, as his rumble with Texans receiver Andre Johnson showed, he won't back down. As much of a passing league as the NFL is, an elite corner deserves more respect. He should be at least 50 spots higher.

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  • Jason Smith
  • Tebow should be ranked higher; Romo, too

Honestly, I'm surprised Tebow isn't higher on this list.

Forget the name for a minute. Pretend Quarterback X took over a floundering team midseason and repeatedly pulled out games in the clutch. And QB X's team rebounded to win the division. And in the first playoff game, QB X threw for more than 300 yards and won the game in OT with an 80-yard TD pass. How is QB X not celebrated more? But you make it Tim Tebow and some people immediately feel the need to discount his accomplishments. Thus, we end up with John Kuhn ranked higher than Tebow.

I think Tebow is a top-50 player, judging by what he's accomplished, and so is Tony Romo. Quarterback is the most important position on a team and it's not even debatable, so I think that position should be weighted more than it is. It's not just one of 22. You can win with a bad right tackle or strong safety, but there's no way you win with a bad QB.

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  • Adam Rank
  • Kuhn ahead of CJ2K? Please explain the rationale

Well, we lamented this on our podcast this week, but what exactly is the criteria to be included? Is it performances from last year, because Tony Romo had a passer rating of 102.5. Is it based on the upcoming season, because the Jets' backup quarterback is ranked ahead of Chris Johnson.

The thing that stands out the most to me is, in a quarterback league that has rendered the running game nearly useless, we have a fullback on the list. And it's not just any fullback, but one from a team that never runs the ball. Seriously, the Packers run the ball about seven times a game, and John Kuhn is that valuable? Just one spot below Tony Romo?

Imagine if the NFL had a redraft with every player in the league. (Hey, not a bad idea ...) Do you mean to tell me some GM would look at Kuhn and Johnson and say, 'You know, I would much rather start my team with a fullback' than go with CJ2K? I just don't get it.

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  • Dave Dameshek
  • Do NFL players even watch football?

Congratulations, NFL players, you've truly outdone yourselves. I didn't think you could possibly come up with anything more absurd than the 2011 "Top 100," but you've already topped yourselves with this year's No. 92 alone.

John Kuhn?! Ahead of Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for over 1,200 yards and scored 12 TDs?! Ahead of Willis McGahee, who rushed for over 1,300 yards?! Ahead of Chris Johnson, who disappointed by barely gaining 1,000 yards on the ground, but who also caught more than 400 yards worth of passes?! Meantime, Kuhn -- the blocking back on a team that doesn't run the ball -- had 155 total yards from scrimmage. For the season. Matter of fact, forget the insult to the aforementioned running backs -- Kuhn's teammates Ryan Grant and James Starks must be beside themselves.

Either this list is based on something other than football, or NFL players don't watch NFL football games.

*(To hear some more raw emotion on the subject, listen to Adam Rank and I break it down, 100 to 91, on the Dave Dameshek Football Program.) *

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