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NFL Top 100 list reflects DK Metcalf’s skyrocketing ascension

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks have six players who were voted into the NFL Top-100 in 2021. It’s one fewer than last year, with only Quandre Diggs as a new entry. This is also the obligatory reminder that the NFL Top-100 is supposedly voted on by the players themselves during the offseason, so it’s the truest representation of what the competition thinks, yadda yadda yadda.

Diggs joins Tyler Lockett, Jamal Adams, Bobby Wagner, DK Metcalf, and Russell Wilson this time around.

Last year, Jadeveon Clowney had been with the Seahawks, and Chris Carson made his first appearance into the mix.

Lists are much like Whose Line Is It Anyway points and Pro Football Focus - entirely useless and yet we watch them anyway.

For our purposes here I’m only interest in two things. 1) Every player on the list fell from last year, including Carson off of it entirely, with only one exception. 2) That exception is DK Metcalf, who freaking 42” box jumped from #81 up to #22. As mentioned before Diggs is new, but he is somehow an under-the-radar Pro Bowler and I don’t have much to add about that.

Actually that’s not true. I am also interested in 3) KJ Wright moving up to 67 and not being signed.

This is so frustrating and makes no sense other than the completely awesome scenario that every team wants Wright but has denied them all and is just quietly working out the details of coming back to Seattle because he’s a real one.

No love, attrition, or something else?

To put it bluntly, results matter. To put it far less bluntly, injuries also matter, and that is a factor for Lockett, Adams, Carson, and I guess Clowney?

But consider Wilson earned MVP conversation, Wagner did his All-Pro thing for a fifth consecutive year, and Adams set an NFL sack record at his position.

It’s at least considerable, that the perceived three best players on the team that drastically underachieved its midseason expectations with another early playoff exit, were viewed differently this postseason by other players. This particular voting system is ridiculous and inconsistent, yet a team-wide drop across the board is interesting. It’s measurable, at the very least, no matter how slight.

The mainstays on this team that fell (Wilson, Wagner, Adams, Lockett) did so by an average of about 10. Carson fell at least five, and we don’t know how much more. All that really says is a few players over last year felt that those five did not improve their game, or stand out as much as a handful of other players.

Why not?

By all accounts, Bobby had another hall of fame season and his third or so best in his career. Wilson played some of his best football ever...and some of his close-to-worst.

Because I believe players care more about playoffs than they let on at times. Seattle finished 12-4, the second best record in the NFC. They were one of four divisional champions, they were 5-0 at one point, they won some prime time games, they beat the New England Patriots.

These are good things!

And they’re not the postseason.

All this to say that players are effectual liars and they do not treat every game the same. They are not by and large blissfully unaware of the schedule, and the last product the Seahawks put forth was not very good. This matters.

It is also fine because I don’t think anyone believes (or should believe) that the entire top-end of Seattle’s roster is worse than last year.

It was just enough of a bad game to get noticed, and punished for, in something that absolutely does not matter.

Besides these things happen.

Russell Wilson surprised most everyone last year by finishing in second overall. Not a surprise in that he’s undeserving, but in that Seattle simply never does that well in these types of things. A fall from second place to #12 is not overly pleasant, but as is the case in any ranking: it could be worse, and somebody else is more heartbroken somewhere.

Last year’s Top-100 champion Lamar Jackson fell all the way to #24, and one of our own is a source of discomfort:

Speaking of Metcalf, about six paragraphs ago when I said this does not matter I lied to you. It matters very much.

Hard to pay everybody!

Metcalf, man. The first true superstar this team has had drafted since Russell Wilson. Superstar in the sense that he’s broken - shattered, really - through the PNW barriers and is a massive icon around the league. What with his shiny pink hair, Olympic sprinting attempt, and that ridiculous chase down of Budda Baker.

The fascination here with Metcalf is that he, in an age of diva wide receivers and an obsession with the position, is one of the best.

He’s one of the best, is respected (feared, which is mostly the same thing here) around the league and is importantly not an idiot.

A sixty-spot jump is massive, and adequately reflects the imprint Metcalf is beginning to leave on this league. He’s in the same respect-stratosphere as Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs, ranked #15 and #11. In fact, only Davante Adams and DeAndre Hopkins will join the list of the four wide receivers voted higher than Metcalf by his peers.

Metcalf’s final year of his rookie deal is next year, and oh boy. They’ll sign him, but I can’t even imagine all the various ammunition his agent is going to bring to the table.

For what it’s worth, who’s been a Seahawks fan long enough that it’s weird that their top two players are a quarterback and a wide receiver?

Notably absent from the list is Duane Brown, which really solidifies how crazy this whole experiment.