To be mentioned as one of the top 100 players in the NFL by your peers is a great honor. It’s even better to be in the top 50. Well, for the second year in a row, Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall has done just that. In the latest episode of The Top 100 Players of 2014, Marshall was named the 36th best player in the league, falling nine spots from his ranking of 2013.
The numbers Marshall put up last year definitely back up his high place on this season’s list. The Pro Bowl receiver was 11th in the league in receiving yards (1,295), fifth in receptions (100) and tied for third among wide receivers with 12 touchdown catches.
However, as productive as those numbers were for Chicago in 2013, Marshall still finds himself looking up to six more unnamed receivers who are ahead of him on the list. Altogether, there are 15 receivers in the top 100, with playmakers such as Jordy Nelson, Pierre Garcon, Wes Welker, DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Demaryius Thomas, Vincent Jackson and Larry Fitzgerald placed below Marshall.
As mentioned earlier, the other six receivers who are ranked higher than Marshall have yet to be named, but I’ll go out on a limb and say that those players are Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, Josh Gordon, Andre Johnson and Antonio Brown. Assuming that I’m correct with this prediction, I feel that there is an argument that Marshall could have been listed ahead of at least one of these receivers.
The six players I predicted all had stellar seasons, but I think that Marshall could at least be ranked ahead of Brown. Yes, Brown was second in the league in receptions and receiving yards last year, but between the two, if I could only choose one to have on the field when needing a big play, it would be Marshall.
Brown definitely proved that he is a playmaker in 2013, but he hasn’t shown that level of consistency over his career so far. On the other hand, Marshall has been arguably the most productive receiver in the NFL over the past several years, and did this while playing with numerous quarterbacks (most of which weren’t that great).
All in all, Marshall is in a great spot on this top 100. However, if we do see Brown unveiled within the coming weeks, there just might be some debate of Marshall’s 36th ranking.