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NFL Top 100 Premiere: Who should be on list?

Who will make the NFL Top 100?

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Top 100 Players of 2015 is back for another season tonight on the NFL Network.

This is the only ranking of NFL players by NFL players. Players vote on their peers based on the performance of the previous season and their belief of how the player will perform in the coming season.

Unfortunately for the Bengals, they haven't gotten much respect in the past. Last year, only three Bengals made it, despite having a deep roster that won 11 games and the AFC North the previous season.

A.J. Green (9), Geno Atkins (48) and Vontaze Burfict (52) were ranked around where they should be, but guys like Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith deserved to make the list based on their level of play in the previous years.

Which Bengals Should be on it this year?

Of the above names, Whitworth is the only name that absolutely should be on the list this year. He was once again one of the best tackles in football this past year. Even at age 33, there's no reason to doubt he won't be among the best again in 2015. He was Pro Football Focus' No. 3 tackle last year.

After that, Kevin Zeitler should get consideration too. He finished 2014 as PFF's No. 9 guard, but missed four games due to a calf injury. I'd say he's unlikely to be on the list.

Despite missing three games and being limited in several others, A.J. Green managed to break 1,000 yards and finished as PFF's No. 15 receiver. He'll be on the list.

Jeremy Hill took the NFL by storm as a rookie. He led all rookie running backs with 1,124 rushing yards and nine touchdowns while finishing second among running backs with 5.1 yards per carry.

Making his season even more amazing was that during his first seven games of the season, he only rushed for 195 yards and three scores. But, Hill exploded for 929 yards and six TDs over his final nine games. Had he been the No. 1 RB from start to finish, he'd be a lock to make this list.

Defensive tackle Geno Atkins clearly wasn't himself in 2014 after tearing his ACL the previous season. He should still make this list, but don't be shocked if he's left off.

Safety George Iloka, defensive end Carlos Dunlap, left guard Clint Boling and safety Reggie Nelson all had good years, but none are likely to make the list.

Who were last year's biggest snubs that better be on it this year?

As mentioned before, Whitworth should absolutely be on this list, despite never having made it.

Looking across the NFL, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan may have been the biggest snub of last year. Despite playing behind a terrible offensive line with no running game, Ryan finished as PFF's No. 5 quarterback after throwing for 28 scores vs. 14 picks with 4,694 yards and a 93.6 QB rating this past season.

Another snub was Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell. He's accounted for 31.5 sacks, 25 batted passes and 196 total tackles over the past four seasons while missing just five games. Campbell was PFF's No. 4 defensive end in 2014 after being their No. 2 end in 2013.

Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis was PFF's No. 3 outside linebacker in 2013, followed by a No. 4 ranking this past year. He has 328 tackles over the past three years while missing just two games. Davis is overshadowed by Luke Kuechly, but he's still one of the NFL's best 100 players.

Who should be No. 1?

Texans defensive end J.J. Watt might be the greatest defensive player of this decade, and will go down as one of the greatest to ever play the game if he keeps up his torrid pace. Watt was PFF's Player of the Year in 2014.

He doesn't play the all-important quarterback position, but he's as good as any player this league has seen in quite sometime.