To be clear, the PFN staff was asked to identify who they believed were the best players in the NFL heading into the 2020 season. Each participant provided a list of their top 100 NFL players. Then using a weighted formula, these lists were used to compile the final rankings you see below.
Note: Commentary provided by PFN’s Matt Barr, host of the 4th & Gold Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @MattBarr_
The first player to be named is CB Marlon Humphrey, at No. 92.
“In only three seasons in the NFL, Marlon Humphrey has already cemented himself as one of the league’s top corners. The former Baltimore Ravens’ first-rounder enjoyed a breakout season in 2019 that led to a Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro nod.
Humphrey posted 14 pass deflections, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries with two going for touchdowns, and a pair of forced fumbles.
Despite his already long list of NFL accolades — including “member of the PFN Top 100,” Humphrey is only 24-years-old with plenty of room to grow. The Nick Saban product ranked at number four in PFN’s top 25 cornerbacks heading into the 2020 season.”
I find this a bit too high for my taste. Especially when PFN has Humphrey ranked as their fourth-best cornerback heading into 2020. The math doesn’t add up.
Other cornerbacks among the Top 100-50 above Humphrey include:
- 92 Marlon Humphrey
- 82 Casey Hayward Jr.
- 80 Byron Jones
- 76 Jaire Alexander
- 75 Xavien Howard
- 72 Marshon Lattimore
- 71 A.J. Bouye
- 55 Marcus Peters
Likely, this list will also include, at minimum, Tre’Davious White, Jalen Ramsey and Stephon Gilmore, meaning their Top 100 has Humphrey as the the 11th-best cornerback in the NFL.
The second of four Ravens is placed at No. 84, RB Mark Ingram.
Ingram was a fantastic runner in 2019 and his playmaking, combined with the Ravens production and record breaking offense, helped him land a few pegs higher than I may have placed him.
“After New Orleans split up one of the league’s best one-two punches with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, the former Alabama All-American joined Baltimore’s backfield. Alongside the Raven’s sophomore signal-caller, Ingram joined forces with Lamar Jackson, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill to form one of the league’s most dynamic rushing attacks. Ingram set the tone for the Ravens campaign with a bang, rushing for 107 yards and two touchdowns in week one against the Miami Dolphins.”
Only a few spots down and Calais Campbell makes the list at No. 81.
I think this is a fair placement for Campbell. I may place him lower but I think that’s bias creeping in.
Campbell’s a force to be reckoned with and instantly upgrades a team he plays for. In 2019, he “only” had 6.5 sacks, but he totaled 25 QB Hits, too. He’s still getting after the quarterback. I’m delighted to see PFN mention what Baltimore Beatdown has frequently stated when discussing the Ravens defense and the offseason acquisitions.
“If PFN put together a list of the top 100 players for each of the last 10 seasons, there’s a strong chance Calais Campbell’s name would be inked in every edition. In 2020, nothing is different; the veteran defensive tackle comes in just outside the top 80 in PFN’s top 100 list.
Campbell didn’t match his production from 2017 and 2018, but he still turned in a strong performance in 2019. The 12-year veteran recorded 56 combined tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. Campbell added a pair of pass deflections and a fumble recovery touchdown.
As apart of the Jacksonville Jaguars exodus of the 2020 offseason, Campbell joined the AFC North champion Baltimore Ravens. At age 33, Campbell will have the chance to compete for a Super Bowl alongside Matthew Judon, Brandon Williams and Derek Wolfe.”
If you had not already noticed, the final Raven in the Top 100-50 was mentioned. Coming in at No. 55, Marcus Peters.
As stated previously, the cornerback rankings in this Top 100 are scuffed. Peters is a great cornerback with great production. He’s a playmaker through and through. However, I believe Humphrey is the better corner and many outlets would agree. I think his placement is reasonable if Humphrey wasn’t sitting 37 spots above.
“Marcus Peters has had a rollercoaster of a career. He is a supremely talented cornerback that has worn his welcome thin on two separate teams. Case in point, he had pick-sixes for both the Rams and Ravens last season. His ability to read the quarterback’s eyes and jump routes are second to none. Peters’ boom-or-bust play style has allowed him to lead the league with five interceptions returned for touchdowns since being drafted 18th overall in 2015.
For now, it appears that Peters has found a comfortable home with the Ravens. He produced three interceptions and ten passes defensed during his ten games in the purple and black last season. The Ravens boast one of the deepest cornerback groups in the league and they will need that group to keep the wide receivers locked down with the weakness of their defense being up the middle.”