With the NFL’s top 100 well under way, we here at Real Sport thought we would give you our own version; The RS 100. Every writer here had the chance to vote for the 100 best players from the 2015 season. This ranking was done regardless of position value or salary cap cost. It was simply based on who had the best 2015 season. As a result you won’t see quality players like Jordy Nelson anywhere on our ranking as he didn’t play a single snap in the 2015 season. Voting panel: Toby Durant, Remy Cabache, Cameron Tennyson, Rebecca Rennie, Daniel Hernandez, David Pruett, Ryan Tolster
80 Matt Forte, Running Back, New York Jets
(TD: NR, RC: #88, CT: #79, RR: NR, DH: #84, DP: #92, RT: #75) The veteran running back slides in at #80. Even as he hit 30 Matt Forte still produced in 2015. While he only managed to play in 13 games he did put up 1,287 yards from scrimmage and found the endzone 7 times. It wasn’t the kind of special season he had in 2014 when he got a ridiculous 102 catches, but Forte still had enough about him to make life difficult for opposing defenses and much better for Jay Cutler.
79 Tyler Eifert, Tight End, Cincinnati Bengals
(TD: #77, RC: #68, CT: #90, RR: NR, DH: NR, DP: #90, RT: #77) Tyler Eifert finally delivered on some of his draft day promise in 2015. Even as injuries limited Eifert to just 13 regular season games and Andy Dalton’s injury limited his production in the playoffs, his performance over the season was outstanding. He opened up the season with a terrific 9 catch, 104 yard & 2 touchdown game against Oakland and continued to be a fantastically deadly red zone target all year, grabbing 13 touchdowns over the course of the season.
78 Linval Joseph, Defensive Tackle, Minnesota Vikings
(TD: #72, RC: #85, CT: NR, RR: NR, DH: #76, DP: #70 RT: #58) Linval Joseph arrived in Minnesota in 2014 with something to prove. Since then he has brutalised guards and centers, ruining inside run games almost at will. Despite playing just 12 games in the regular season Joseph was incredibly productive, with 56 tackles, 7 tackles for a loss and 4 QB hits. That is a crazy total for someone playing closer to the center than the guards.
77 Doug Baldwin, Wide Receiver, Seattle Seahawks
(TD: #74, RC: #53, CT: NR, RR: NR, DH: #63, DP: #77 RT: #72) No one closed the season with a hotter stretch run than Doug Baldwin. Through the last 6 games of the season he scored an incredible 11 touchdowns that included a crazy 6-catch, 145 yard, 3 touchdown game against Pittsburgh in week 12. While his catch total and yardage wasn’t high enough to push him further up the ranking his ability to make plays for an offense that hasn’t had deadly outside receivers in a long time was impressive.
76 Darrelle Revis, Cornerback, New York Jets
(TD: NR, RC: #62, CT: #56, RR: NR, DH: #50, DP: #96 RT: #49) Revis Island doesn’t really exist anymore. Time and injuries have taken their toll on the Jets star cornerback, and yet he can still make this list showing just how good he truly was at his peak. Revis got thrown on a lot more than in previous years, and while that meant he had his best interception year since 2009 it was also a testament to the fact that he is not the receiver eraser he once was.
75 Terron Armstead, Offensive Tackle, New Orleans Saints
(TD: #36, RC: NR, CT: NR, RR: #38, DH: #33, DP: #54 RT: #82) Terron Armstead is one of the most underappreciated left tackles in the NFL. In over 600 pass sets he gave up just one penalty, thanks to developing truly brilliant timing and quickness with his hands. We knew he had athleticism and fast feet after his pro day in 2013 but the development of his technique through 3 seasons has created a quality left tackle from a 3rd round pick – and that’s not a bad return on investment for the Saints.
74 Fletcher Cox, Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles
(TD: #50, RC: NR, CT: NR, RR: #19, DH: #31, DP: #44 RT: #42) Fletcher Cox isn’t a well known name. He doesn’t gain flashy stat lines or dance on the field too often. Instead he quietly goes about ruining an offensive game plan and making life miserable for the poor souls tasked with blocking him. In 2015 Cox notched 71 tackles and a very impressive 9.5 sacks as he dominated guards even when tasked with two-gapping.
73 Bobby Wagner, Inside Linebacker, Seattle Seahawks
(TD: #57, RC: #19, CT: #35, RR: NR, DH: NR, DP: #29, RT: #44) Wagner continues to be one of the most versatile and impressive inside linebackers in the NFL. While he failed to gain an interception, or even an complete sack in the 15 regular season games he played the presence he has in the middle of the Seattle defense is irreplaceable. From organising, reacting and motivating, he is the leader of the Seattle defense and a quality run defender with excellent coverage skills.
72 Malik Jackson, Defensive End, Jacksonville Jaguars
(TD: NR, RC: #89, CT: #98, RR: #87, DH: #89, DP: #82 RT: #94) Malik Jackson rose to prominence during the playoffs, particularly his touchdown in the Super Bowl. He was a particularly disruptive inside presence but a lot of his production came thanks to being part of a spectacular defense. With Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware holding a lot of attention on the edges life was a little easier for Jackson in Denver than he will have it in Jacksonville next year. The Jags are paying for far more than the 45 tackles, 5 sacks and 16 QB hits he recorded in 2015.
71 Marcus Peters, Cornerback, Kansas City Chiefs
(TD: #91, RC: #69, CT: #78, RR: NR, DH: #98, DP: #81, RT: #96)
The reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year checks in at #71. A lot was expected from Peters, who the Chiefs took 18th overall last year and he delivered. Every quarterback tested him and he passed almost all those tests and he snagged 8 interceptions and took 2 back for touchdowns. He also lead the league in passes defensed and flashed more against the run than was expected. Going into 2016 Peters will have a big reputation to maintain, and avoiding any “sophomore slump” will be key to Kansas City’s chances in 2016.