The NFL Network’s Top 100 Program has apparently hit the players ranked 31 to 40 range. The NFL Network tweeted out that J.J. Watt was on the list at #35, which prompted a response from Watt.
Was he upset that the voting resulted in him being far lower than you would expect based on his past? Watt has after all been a leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year for most of his career, until he was hurt last year.
No. He thinks it’s a joke because he didn’t earn it.
Watt, of course, recognizes that his placement on this list doesn’t really matter, but the entire NFL Network list methodology is screwed up anyway so no player should ever concern themselves with where they rank.
Last year, I wrote about it when a Patriots site was upset that no New England defenders made the list. Players don’t vote on the top 100; they vote for who they think the 20 best players are. Viewed through that lens, it’s kind of incredible that some players who appear on the list were considered Top 20 players in someone’s mind. Just taking one, someone voted Lorenzo Alexander of the Bills as one of the best 20 players in the league. Adrian Peterson got enough votes to still make the list.
All the way back in 2011, which was the last year I actually watched it, I wrote this about the process:
Not that you needed me to tell you this, but the results are fairly invalid because of the methodology used. The NFL Network puts out a high quality production, and the interviews and highlights are usually great, but players, you shouldn’t get worked up over where you rank. The process doesn’t justify getting indignant. It doesn’t represent how your peers really view you. If we had any doubts, the order itself is fairly meaningless.
I’m glad I now have an ally in J.J. Watt who finds the list to be ridiculous.