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From the Hart: Two Patriots rank 21-30 on NFLN


A pair of Patriots offensive stars will appear in this week's installment of NFL Network's ranking of the NFL's Top 100 players as voted on by the players. Wednesday's show (8 p.m. on the NFL Network) reveals Nos. 21-30 on the list.

New England has already had a pair of players in the top 100, with Vince Wilfork coming in at No. 81 and Logan Mankins at No. 64. To see the previously revealed Nos. 31-100, click here.

While there could have been an outside shot that a top remaining Patriots defender might have a chance at the top 30 – although Jerod Mayo and Andre Carter wouldn't seem to rate that high – the NFL release promoting the show indicated that both players from New England play on the team's high-powered offense.

That means the candidates likely come from the pool of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker, Brian Waters and Aaron Hernandez.

A little analysis would suggest that Brady – who was No. 1 overall on last year's Top 100 list – would rank in the top 10 and probably in the top two. So we'll have to wait a couple weeks to see him.

Waters had a very good year for the Patriots earning Pro Bowl honors, but perception-wise most consider Mankins to be the top New England offensive lineman. So I'd put Waters as a long shot.

Hernandez had a very productive season, but clearly played in Gronk's oversized shadow. I think it's unlikely that both third-year tight ends rank in the top 30 of NFL talent. So Hernandez may have to wait until next year to make the Top 100.

By process of elimination that would leave the All-Pros Gronkowski and Welker as the two Patriots most likely to get the nod in Wednesday night's show.

That's how I see it breaking down. Now it's your turn to predict which two Patriots you think will rank 21-30 in NFLN's Top 100 list. Cast your vote now and tune in on Wednesday to find out the correct answer!

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