Rankings and lists. Lists and rankings. It is the stuff of every NFL offseason, normal ones and -- like this one -- entirely abnormal ones. I have seen a slew of these lately that involve the New York Giants. Rather than react each and every time I see one of these mostly meaningless lists, here is a summary of what I have come across lately.
NFL.com news: Making a case: Eli Manning heads list of 'Top 100' snubs
Quarterback Eli Manning and defensive end Osi Umenyiora did not make the NFL Network Top 100. A pair of NFL.com analysts tell you why they should have.
Pat Kirwan on Manning:
I said it before, and I'll say it again: Eli Manning should have been in the "Top 100."
Sure, he threw 25 interceptions last season, but he also was tied for being the least-sacked quarterback in the NFL because he gets rid of the ball. Oh, and he wins games for the New York Giants. He threw more touchdown passes than Michael Vick, Josh Freeman, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers, all of whom were on the list.
Jason La Canfora on Umenyiora:
I have a hard time believing Osi Umenyiora isn't one of the top 100 players in the game. Whenever he has been healthy, he has posted double-digit sacks. He's also coming off a season in which he set an NFL record for forced fumbles.
Umenyiora excels as a commodity in short supply in the league -- getting after the passer -- and he creates plays that can shift momentum in favor of the Giants. Say what you want about Umenyiora's issues against the run, but the Giants have found ways to use him very effectively over the years.
You can't tell me there are 100 players better at what they do than Umenyiora is at what he does to leave him off this list.
I have to agree on both counts. Especially when Donovan McNabb was on this list. Eli belongs, and Umenyiora is a game-changer, and each team around the league only has a few of those guys.
An unheralded trait of an elite quarterback is the ability to help wide receivers overachieve. Younger Brother has done that the past several years.
The Times, incidentally, put together lists of the top 10 players at several positions. I have a hard time believing that Hakeem Nicks is not a top 10 wide receiver. If he isn't right now, he will be by the end of the upcoming season if he stays healthy.
PFF ranks Justin Tuck No. 6 in the NFL among 4-3 defensive ends. I might argue for pushing him up one spot, maybe two, on this list. Really, though, I think this is just about right.
Tuck is another player who doesn’t fall into the elite pass rusher category, but he’s more than good enough at that, and so complete that he was always going to finish high up this list, despite bettling a shoulder injury that you’d expect would have impacted him more. Where Tuck has really excelled is in run defense, showing a non-stop motor on every play and finishing with our third highest grade in this respect. The Giants have a number of defensive ends who can get to the quarterback, but only one who can do it all.