PML’s Top 50 list consists of the league’s standout players on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. There were 115 standouts to choose from to narrow your list down to 50. There are some teams that didn’t have a single player on the ballot list and others that had multiple, but there will definitely be multiple teams that don’t have players make the top 50 at all. We’re here to talk about the players that should’ve, could’ve, and possibly would’ve made the ballot list had alternative reasoning been in place. We’re going to talk about the snubs of the bunch!
QB Baker Mayfield –
The Browns ended their season at 4-12, hardly the type of season where anyone on the team should get recognized as a top 50 player in the league, but Baker Mayfield did lead the league in passing yards and touchdowns. Mayfield threw for 5,476 yards, 51 touchdowns, and 63 interceptions. He had the second most passing attempts in the league (543) but he had the second lowest completion rate (58.2%) among starting quarterbacks in the league. The league’s top statistical quarterback deserves to be on the ballot at least, right?
QB Trey Lance –
Trey Lance was drafted as the third quarterback in last season’s draft class. He had a chip on his shoulder and wanted to prove that he could be successful as a leader. The two quarterbacks that were selected before him were unable to lead their teams to playoff berths, but Lance managed to lead his team to an 8-8 record, a division title, and a playoff berth. He threw for 4,382 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 46 interceptions. Lance had all the accolades of a first round pick, but his excessive amount of turnovers is what did him in. Lance also compiled 345 yards on the ground and an eye opening 10 rushing touchdowns (3rd best in the league behind Lamar Jackson and Taysom Hill.) If Lance is able to protect the ball better moving forward, he has a shot at being the best quarterback to come out of this draft class.
HB Derrick Henry –
How does a guy like Derrick Henry get snubbed? Henry’s production did just slightly take an impact with the trade for Aaron Rodgers, but Henry led his team to a playoff berth and still posted elite numbers. Henry rushed for 1,671 yards and 22 touchdowns. He was in the top five for rushing touchdowns and in the top 10 for rushing yards. Henry wasn’t as explosive as a pass catcher but he outperformed Saquan Barkley and Joe Mixon (two names that were on the list to choose from.) Henry has been a dominant force in the league for two seasons and he is just one broken tackle away from running in open space at all times.
HB Chubba Hubbard –
The Kansas City Chiefs offense on paper is one of the most electric and explosive offenses in the league but their coaching decisions are mind boggling at times and it takes the air out of the offense. Clyde Edwards-Helaire was drafted in the first round in the NFL draft but the Chiefs were unimpressed with his production in season 1 and drafted his replacement in Chubba Hubbard in the second round. Hubbard rushed for 1,689 yards and 19 touchdowns. His rushing numbers set him apart from bigger known names in the league and he finished in the top 12 statistically in both categories. Hubbard was barely noticeable in the passing game but he did finish the year with 10 games over 100 yards on the ground and a career high of 173 yards week 13 against the Cleveland Browns. Hubbard deserves credit for his explosive rookie season despite the Chiefs 6-10 season.
WR Miles Boykin –
The Baltimore Ravens had one of the most spectacular regular seasons in the league. Lamar Jackson was having an MVP caliber season before resting up for the playoffs and his go to connection was with Miles Boykin. How does a receiver with 17 touchdowns and a knack for going up and making wild catches over multiple defenders get omitted from the list? Boykin’s hunger for touchdowns didn’t match his production in catches or yards. He finished the season with 56 catches and 988 yards which statistically ranked in the bottom 30 among wide receivers in the league. Although if you ask around the league about a receiver who is notorious for making tough catches this season, you’ll absolutely hear Miles Boykin’s name and for that he was snubbed.
DB – Chris Claybrooks –
The Jacksonville Jaguars defensive backs are loaded with speed and Chris Claybrooks had the advantage of playing across from star corner CJ Henderson. Claybrooks had 36 solo tackles, 12 interceptions, 5 deflections, 2 touchdowns, and 1 sack this season. He is an explosive corner with length to beat receivers to the ball consistently. His 12 interceptions were just two shy of leading the league in interceptions and ranked in the top 8 (tied with 3 others.) Chris Claybrooks doesn’t have a household name and he didn’t lead his team to the playoffs but statistically he outperformed some of the other guys that made the list. Patrick Peterson has been in the league for 11 years. He finished with more tackles and deflections than Claybrooks but less interceptions and touchdowns. He only had 13 more solo tackles and five more deflections but if I am making that comparison, I’d rather my corner back have three more interceptions and one more touchdown.
DB – Marcus Maye –
The New York Jets struggled a lot this season but Marcus Maye was one of their shining players on defense. He had 47 solo tackles (second most on the team) and forced five fumbles. His five forced fumbles were one shy of the league most (6). Marcus Maye is one name that you won’t have a lot of statistical reasoning to be on the list, but he is an up-incoming safety that hits hard on every play and has the potential to turn the Jets organization around.