ESPN has started a new series listing the top 100 offensive and defensive players in the NFL – in two separate lists – chosen by experts from the site.
The first installment of the rankings was released on Monday, and there was a surprise at 100. Carolina Panthers third-year quarterback is ranked at #100 on the list, which seems a bit low at first glance.
On the list of players 100-91, Newton is behind quarterbacks Matt Stafford and Jay Cutler, two players who are in the same discussion as Newton as a quarterback, but had Newton been ranked higher than either of the two, it wouldn’t have been a surprise.
ESPN’s explanation for the pick states:
In two seasons, Newton has 62 total touchdowns (40 passing and 22 rushing). The only player in NFL history with more total touchdowns over his first two seasons is Dan Marino. Newton does take a beating though, getting hit on 25 percent of his rushes and drop-backs in 2012 (no other player was over 20 percent; NFL average is 12 percent).
– ESPN Stats & Information (@ESPNStatsInfo)
Through two NFL seasons, Newton has already established himself as one of the most dynamic players in the league.
If ESPN lists another Top 100 list next year, expect Newton to be ranked higher than 100.