Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is No.1 on the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2020 list
The players have spoken and just as the members of the Associated Press (AP) voted to make Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson just the second-ever unanimous league MVP, his peers voted him to the top spot on the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2020 list. Jackson was the final of a league-high seven Ravens revealed on the illustrious list and while one could argue that his teammates should’ve been ranked higher-or lower since the lower the ranking the better—no one will be raising a fuss about him finishing as the top-ranked player period.
“I used to always watch the Top 100s on YouTube and NFL Network and stuff like that, not like thinking I’d actually be the number one player,” said Jackson when he was handed the actual award trophy. “I’m just speechless right now.”
Jackson made the highest jump of any player in the history of the list going from unranked and completely off the list following his rookie season to being ranked No.1 in his debut on it this year.
Not even the great Patrick Mahomes of the reigning Superbowl champion Kansa City Chiefs finished as high as Jackson did following his historic MVP campaign in 2018 and this year, he was voted to the same No.4 spot as last year. The fact that not even Mahomes who Jackson has been relentlessly compared to this offseason in a not so flattering light at times just speaks volumes to just how truly transcendent the Ravens star quarterback’s 2019 season really was.
The race for league MVP last season was viewed as a two-horse race between Jackson and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson heading down the stretch of the second half of the season. And just like he did in that race, Jackson edged out Wilson yet again for the top spot on this year’s players list. It marked Wilson’s highest ranking to date and the first time he’s been able to crack the top 10 even though he’s been on it every year he’s been in the league but it still wasn’t enough to deny Jackson his rightful ranking.
He was hands down the most electrifying player in the league in 2019 and all his fellow pros could do nothing but sing his praises and gush over his sensational season in their interviews when asked to give their thoughts on him.
Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott-
“He made pro football look like high school highlights. He’s just doing stuff out there that not many guys can do that…He’s like a skill player that is a quarterback. He’s got all the elusiveness and speed and agility an elite receiver or an elite running back but he plays quarterback.”
Denver Broncos WR Courtland Sutton-
“That man is a cheat code. Watching him is like when we used to create our players in NCAA [the video game]. Watching him is almost like watching that.”
Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson-
“All the things he can do from running the football to throwing it to the competitive nature that he brings to the game. That’s the kind of football player you want on your team…There’s nothing he can’t do.”
Carolina Panthers WR Robby Anderson-
“They tried to label him as one dimensional but that’s obviously not the case. He just makes it look easy.”
Baltimore Ravens RB Mark Ingram-
“He’s a running quarterback when he has to be because he’s looking to throw. He wants to throw touchdowns. He don’t wanna run but he will. He does whatever it takes to win. If he has to run for 200 yards, that’s what he’s going to do. He’s going to take the game into his own hands and kind of turn the game around.”
Washington Football Team LB Thomas Davis-
“We all heard about him being called a running back but his ability to throw the ball with accuracy and timing…He was just fun to watch.”
Denver Broncos RB Melvin Gordan-
“When you got fans thirsty and craving to see you play that’s one thing. When you got in-field guys thirsty to see you play, that’s different.”
Arizona Cardinals OLB/DE Chandler Jones-
“I don’t even want to call him the modern-day Michael Vick. There’s things that he is doing that is just insane.”
Las Vegas Raider DB Damarious Randall-
“If he can continue this rate that he’s at right now, he’ll be the best player to ever play in the NFL.”
Recently retired tight end and former Raven Ben Watson stated that the reason that he was so proud of Jackson last year was that he obliterated any doubts about how his game would translate to the NFL. While he admitted that he was not a fan of his when their two teams faced off, he did cheer him on in every other contest because of all that he has been through.
“Everybody that I’ve talked to that knows him just can’t say enough about his character and just who he is as a person,” said Watson.
Jackson was overjoyed and in disbelief when he was awarded the trophy for the No.1 ranked player on the list and even joked about needing to build himself a sturdy shelf for all of the awards and trophies that he has and has yet to receive. He admitted to having a chip on his should and said that the next piece of hardware that he needs to mount on his mantle that already includes a Heisman trophy and league MVP trophy is a Vince Lombardi trophy.
“I had a chip on my shoulder,” said Jackson. “And I still do. I’m going to always have a chip until I get me a [champion]chip.”
“I only got one goal right now and that’s to win a Superbowl.”
Other Top 100 Ravens related news:
The Ravens would’ve have broken their tie with the New Orleans Saints for the most players voted to the list if eight-time Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda hadn’t retired earlier this offseason. According to the votes, he would’ve been the 87th ranked player, just one spot behind All-Pro corner Marlon Humphrey who came in at No.86. It would’ve marked a return to the list after a two-year hiatus and his fifth appearance in his career. Per usual, the players that spoke about him in the interviews talked about his toughness and excellent level of consistency year in and year out.
A Ravens player that just missed the cut off was outside linebacker Matthew Judon who would’ve been No.107 according to the player voting. Judon was one of several Ravens, including Jackson, Humphrey, and left tackle Ronnie Stanley to break out in 2019, but he was left off this year’s list by the thinnest of margins. In player interviews, his reputation for being one of the most complete edge defenders in the league was brought up by some of his peers and opponents.