Mankins, Wilfork next up on Top 100


By Tom E. Curran Patriots InsiderFollow @tomecurran
Nobody can argue that the NFL Network sits on its hands and doesn't come up with programming. Whether it's those Top 10 shows filled with knowledgeable and handsome sportswriters or the critically acclaimed "America's Game" Super Bowl retrospectives, if you're in for a minute, you're usually in for an hour on those. I haven't felt as strongly about their current countdown show "The Top 100: Players of 2011" and it's not just because of the awkward grammar (what's with the colon?). I think the main reason is, I don't trust the players to correctly evaluate their peers. There. I said it. Why? Well, most of them are pretty busy on Sundays when the actual games are being played, so I don't trust that they have a complete view of all the teams. And while there's no question a player like defensive end Jason Taylor is 19 times more of an expert than me on who the best left tackles in the league may be -- especially in the AFC East -- I'd be stunned if he knew who the best wideoutsand corners were. When does he actually spend time breaking that stuff down or even pay attention to it?Additionally, I think rooting interests among the players figure into these lists way more than they would if compiled by media types, scouts and pro personnel departments. If you don't think voting coalitions exist, ask yourself ifBrandon Meriweather would have been a 2010 Pro Bowler if he hadn't gone to the University of Miami, a school whose NFL alumni unabashedly promote their fellow Canes.And Lamarr Woodley of the Steelers pretty much agrees with me on this. So I've got that going for me. Be that as it notwithstanding irregardless, the countdown creeps into the top 30 this week and Logan Mankins and Vince Wilfork will be in the mix from 40 to 31. Bill Belichick will present Mankins (further evidence, if you ask me, that the coach is about the biggest fan of the disgruntled guard one can find) and Jonathan Vilma of the Saints will present Wilfork. The two played together at... The U. The shows airs Sunday night at 8 p.m. Willie McGinest will be in on the reaction show beginning at 9 p.m. on the NFL Network.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

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