The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have their third and likely final member of the NFL Networks' NFL Top 100 of 2014, as Gerald McCoy entered the list at number 28 today. Vincent Jackson came in at number 44 earlier, while Lavonte David was listed as the 35th-best player of 2014.
Congrats @Geraldini93 who ranked #28 on the #NFLTop100 list! Up 64 spots from 2013! PHOTOS: http://t.co/GS9SQ3lTqD pic.twitter.com/IKSTr4ihkS— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) June 26, 2014
Completely deserved, of course. McCoy is the best three-technique defensive tackle in the NFL, the most productive interior pass rusher by Pro Football Focus' standards, and he notched 9.5 sacks last year (which should have been 10, if not for iffy stat counting). And he did all of that despite playing in a scheme that routinely took him away from playmaking options by design.
Another testament to his greatness: the Bucs managed 35 sacks last year, despite the fact that he was the only remotely capable pass rusher on the roster. Everything revolved around McCoy, and he made a dysfunctional scheme and production-deficient defensive line go. It's not hard to construct an argument that he's even being devalued by this ranking. After all, PFF had him and Lavonte as two runners-up for the Defensive Player of the Year awards behind J.J. Watt, and he was named to his second Pro Bowl and got onto AP list as a first-team All-Pro.
Not everyone agrees McCoy should be on this list, though.
WHO???? #McCoyTooHigh #NFLTop100— The Player Rater (@PlayerRater14) June 26, 2014
Of course, mr. Player Rater (an anonymous NFL player commenting on every ranking) didn't know who Lavonte David was, either, so he probably just hasn't watched any Buccaneers film over the past two years. Or he's actually a Buccaneer who's trying to be sneaky, Charlie.
Player Rater's opinion notwithstanding, McCoy's ranking on the top 100 is very well-deserved. And if he can continue to play the way he has, while staying healthy, he should find himself even higher next year.