Re-ranking the Steelers players featured on the NFL Top 100

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) T.J. Watt
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) T.J. Watt /

The NFL Top 100 recently completed their list of the league’s best players heading into 2020. Here’s where each Steelers player should have been.

The NFL has just released their annual Top 100 list as voted on by the players. Three Steelers were featured on this year’s list: Cameron Heyward (84), Minkah Fitzpatrick (35), and T.J. Watt (25). While It is great to see the Steelers three best defensive players be featured, it honestly feels that they were snubbed from being ranked a lot higher.

The Top 100 is notorious for ranking players in questionable positions and it is no different from the three players mentioned. Today I will be reranking these players and giving my thoughts as to why they deserve to be higher.

Cameron Heyward

Original Rank: 84

Re-rank: 56

Cameron Heyward has once again made the NFL Top 100 but his ranking at 84 is disrespectful. I understand that team record often influences where some of these players are ranked but how is it under Heyward’s control to finish the season 8-8 despite being apart of a top 5 defensive unit.

When comparing Cameron Heyward to the likes of Chris Jones(52) and DeForest Buckner(56), he outranks them in every statistical defensive category. On top of that, Heyward was named First-Team All-Pro, and Buckner was not named to any team, including the Pro Bowl. It is easy to see how flawed this list is but at the same time, both Jones and Buckner’s teams made it to the Super Bowl.

Heyward has been a top 10 defensive lineman in the league for the last four years and while his highest ranking came in 2018 at 48, there is no reason for him to drop in ranking while having similar if not better stats.

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Original Rank: 35

Re-rank: 35

Minkah Fitzpatrick is the only Steeler I feel they got right this year on the list. When Fitzpatrick was acquired by the Steelers early in the season for a first-round pick, many were interested to see how the former Alabama standout would adapt to the city of Pittsburgh.

Sure enough, he did not disappoint and for a while, many considered either T.J. Watt or Fitzpatrick to be a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Minkah finished the season with 5 interceptions, two forced fumbles, and forty-four tackles which is more than the Steelers could have asked for.

The only safety ranked higher on the NFL Top 100 than Minkah Fitzpatrick was Jamal Adams (27) which there is no discussion for yet as Adams is easily the best safety in the NFL currently. I am excited to see another season with Minkah on the Steelers and hopefully, he can become the best safety in the NFL.

T.J. Watt

Original Rank: 25

Re-rank: 15

If someone were to tell you that the 15th best player in the NFL had 19 sacks but ranked lower in every other category compared to T.J. Watt then Candler Jones is your guy. Watt outranks Jones, Kahlil Mack(19), and Nick Bosa(17) in every category except for sacks and tackles for loss. Watt also finished top three in voting for defensive player of the year.

T.J. Watt, in my opinion, has the most controversial ranking on this year’s list as the only reason he was ranked 25th was because of popularity and the number of sacks. T.J. Watt is the face of the Steelers’ defense and after having a season he just had to rank him at 25th is a slap in the face. Watt is only going to get better as time goes on and knowing the mentality of T.J., this is only going to push him further.

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While the NFL Top 100 did a solid job with Minkah Fitzpatrick’s overall ranking this year, I think T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward should have been much higher. I’m willing to bet they outplay their rankings again 2020.