The list of accomplishments, accolades and honors in the career of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers continues to grow. Rodgers can now add ‘No. 1 player in the NFL’ to his resume after topping the NFL Network’s “Top 100” list.
Rodgers, at only 28 years old, already has a Super Bowl ring and an MVP trophy. With this newest honor, it’s apparent that players throughout the league have noticed Rodgers’ rise to the top, as they were the ones polled by the network for the list that was revealed in a series of 10-player parts concluding Wednesday night.
“It’s very humbling,” Rodgers told the NFL Network in an interview. “It’s a great honor anytime you’re recognized with that professional respect from your peers, that really means a lot to me, so I have to thank them for the votes. Obviously, this is a recognition that doesn’t get done without an incredible group of people around you. That’s often lost when the focus is on one individual. My teammates, my coaches, our tens of thousands of owners that we have there in Green Bay and across the country, I have to give them a lot of things, as well.”
The rest of the top 10 included: 2. Drew Brees, quarterback, Saints; 3. Calvin Johnson, wide receiver, Lions; 4. Tom Brady, quarterback, Patriots; 5. Darrelle Revis, cornerback, Jets; 6. DeMarcus Ware, linebacker, Cowboys; 7. Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver, Cardinals; 8. Adrian Peterson, running back, Vikings; 9. Haloti Ngata, defensive lineman, Ravens; 10. Patrick Willis, linebacker, 49ers.
“There are so many incredible players on that list,” Rodgers added. “Often the quarterback in our game gets a lot of the focus, but if you look at that list all the way down to 100, it’s a great thing for the league. I’m fortunate and blessed to have this recognition, but Tom (Brady) to me is still that high water mark that I’ve been trying to get to. The way Drew (Brees) has played the last couple years, especially breaking the record last year, he’s been playing incredible. Those are guys whose careers I’d like to model my career after.”
Rodgers was No. 11 in last year’s top 100, and that was coming off a Super Bowl victory. But after putting up 45 touchdown passes and only six interceptions in the 2011 season and setting the league’s single-season record for QB rating, he made the jump all the way up to No. 1.
Five other Packers players made the top 100. Linebacker Clay Matthews was No. 27 overall despite falling from 13.5 sacks in 2010 to six last season. Cornerback Charles Woodson, at 35 years old, showed how much respect players still have for him by coming in at No. 36. Wide receivers Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson were Nos. 56 and 80, respectively. Fullback John Kuhn made a relatively surprising appearance at No. 92.