A pair of Patriots rank in the top 10 on Pete Prisco's top 100 players list that was revealed today on CBSSports.com.
Prisco is clear to point out that this is his list based on his eyes and his ears listening to scouts. In some thinly hidden barbs at other top 100 lists (read: NFL Network), Prisco says he doesn't have any fullbacks or QBs who play like fullbacks. Says Tim Tebow wouldn't be in his top 300 players, never mind top 100. (He actually states at the end that Tebow ranked 705 overall!)
Anyway, Tom Brady comes in at No. 2 overall in this list, falling a spot from No. 1 on last year's incarnation, as Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers moved to the top spot.
Rob Gronkowski is No. 10 on the list, the first tight end in the mix. That's pretty impressive considering that Prisco didn't have Gronk in the top 100 at all a year ago at this time. Prisco says that Gronkowski "emerged as the league's best tight end in 2011 and there's no reason why he can't be even better. He's too fast for linebackers and too strong for safeties."
Vince Wilfork is New England's next player, and first defensive name, as he holds down the No. 30 spot. That's up from No. 60 a year earlier, despite the dismal performance by the Patriots defense as a whole in 2011.
Wes Welker comes next at No. 42, surprisingly he was only an honorable mention on this version of a top 100 a year earlier. Prisco writes: "He is the prototypical slot receiver, a vital part of the New England passing game. What would the New England offense be without him?
Logan Mankins is No. 87, another honorable mention from the year earlier, who is the final Patriots player listed.
Prisco does include Aaron Hernandez as the top name on his list of 10 players who "just missed."
What do you think of the list? Patriots who should have made it but didn't? Should be higher? Let us, and Prisco, know with a comment below!