The NFL Network has helped the offseason pass with an interesting but controversial list of the Top 100 Players in the NFL. The list was supposedly voted on by current NFL players, but many fans (including myself) think the list is a piece of crap and doesn't even come close to truly reflecting the best players in the league. For example, defensive tackle Ndomakong Suh was listed at No. 38, while Geno Atkins didn't even make the list.
Anyway. Only four rookies found themselves in the top 100, and they were Cam Newton (40), Von Miller (52), Patrick Peterson (55), and the Bengals' own A.J. Green (77).
For next year's list however, NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah thinks a few more players from that 2011 draft class will "break through and earn a spot on next year's Top 100", and quarterback Andy Dalton is one of them.
Jeremiah didn't add a whole lot of new insight on Andy Dalton, but the inclusion on this list by a former scout and respected tape-watcher adds credibility to the idea that Dalton has a great NFL career ahead of him.
Dalton played outstanding football during his rookie season. He started all 16 games for the Bengals and passed for 3,398 yards, 20 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions. He helped lead Cincinnati to the playoffs and even earned a Pro Bowl invitation. Dalton is an excellent decision maker and throws with great anticipation and accuracy. I expect him to be even better in 2012 and will be surprised if he doesn't crack the "Top 100" next summer.
Dalton's decision making, accuracy, and anticipation have already shown through in his rookie season. With a new group of unique pass-catchers added to the offense, and Dalton's offseason strength training and preparation, it's not a huge leap to expect Dalton to become a Top 100 player by 2013.
The other players to make Jeremiah's list were Julio Jones, Aldon Smith, and Tyron Smith. Certainly a group with a lot of potential.