Ravens: Lamar Jackson, Marlon Humphrey get recognized on NFL Top 100

Lamar Jackson, Ravens (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
Lamar Jackson, Ravens (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens have never taken franchise stars Lamar Jackson and Marlon Humphrey for granted.

Neither has the league, as both Jackson and Humphrey were recently included, at 24th and 38th place respectively, in the top half of the NFL Top 100.

It’s a list that ranks the best in the league as voted by fellow NFL players, and having two players this year in the top 40 this year should make the Ravens’ 2021 season all the more exciting.

This marks Humphrey’s second consecutive inclusion in the Top 100, and needless to say, he deserves it. He upped his ranking by 48 places from last season with the NFL writers having this very worthy compliment to say about Humphrey:

"“Every amateur football coach in America should be showing their secondary tape of Humphrey’s 2020 performance.”"

And you could argue that Humphrey could have been ranked even higher given his numbers in 2020. In yet another Pro Bowl season, the Ravens cornerback recorded a league-high eight forced fumbles and career-high 82 combined tackles, adding 11 passes defended and 2.5 sacks.

Humphrey possesses the physicality, vision, and versatility to be considered one of the league’s best corners, and given his considerably improved Top 100 ranking, his peers respect what he’s accomplished so far.

But if Humphrey could have been included in, say, the top 20 on the list, so could Jackson.

Baltimore Ravens stars Lamar Jackson and Marlon Humphrey rank high on Top 100, but could be ranked higher

Jackson’s 24th ranking is an Icarus-level fall from his No. 1 ranking on the list last year. The Ravens quarterback simply wasn’t able to replicate his 2019 MVP season and was less consistent than Ravens fans would have hoped.

His passing completion rate declined (66.1 percent to 64.4 percent), as did his yardage and touchdown totals. Jackson also threw nine interceptions, the most in a season in his career so far, but he did make history in becoming the first quarterback to produce consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

"“Few ball carriers in the league bring the type of bewildering excitement in open space than Jackson, and he continues to conjure ideas of what a QB in the NFL could be as he enters Year 4.”"

Jackson’s fall from his No. 1 Top 100 perch was inevitable, but his 2020 performance even has some NFL analysts doubting his abilities this year.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler recently made some controversial comments saying that 2021 could be “the year everybody figures out Lamar Jackson.

Dropping 23 places in the rankings is one thing, but the continual doubts and the negative talk more so disrespects Jackson’s reputation.

His competition in the league couldn’t be tougher, as he has to fight for that No. 1 spot against the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Patrick Mahomes.

Continuing his production levels from 2019 would have been nearly impossible, but Jackson still did the best he could and didn’t deserve such a steep fall from the top honors.

Jackson and Humphrey should both be proud of making the elite half of the Top 100 list, but they should also take the field in 2021 with a vengeance knowing they were ever-so-slightly snubbed.

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Their goal isn’t to earn the respect of their peers, per se. Aside from a few analysts’ questionable opinions, Lamar Jackson and Marlon Humphrey’s careers speak for themselves.

Instead, the Ravens stars just want to remind the league what they’ve been capable of all along.