Let me start with a disclaimer.
List are not at all important. The only thing that is important is winning the super bowl. These are just my observations about the list.
But I find the irony of this list irresistible and since there is nothing else to talk about football wise, I have succumbed to paying attention to the list and it's many irregularities. Lets start with our rivals, the Baltimore Ravens who got Ray Lewis in at #4, Ed Reed at #5 Haloti Ngata at #17, Terell Suggs at #40, Ray Rice at #56, and Joe Flacco at #90.
So the Ravens defense, according to the players, has four of the top forty NFL players in the league. Our beloved Steelers defense has 3 defensive players in the entire top 100. Now with this list you would think that the Ravens should have a better defense than the Steelers in the past couple of years. That would be wrong. Lets look at the rankings, which the years are completely arbitrary.
2010 Ravens 10 Steelers 2
2009 Ravens 3 Steelers 5
2008 Ravens 2 Steelers 1
2007 Ravens 6 Steelers 1
Now the Ravens defense hasn't been bad by any stretch of the imagination. But having 2 of the top 5 players in the league regardless of position, 3 of the top 20 players in the league, and 4 of the top 40; more than any other team in the NFL, you would think that the Ravens would have the top defense every year in the league. I personally don't believe that Ray Lewis is the #4 player in this league, I love his IQ and intangibles that he brings to the game; but there is no way he is better than Patrick Willis (as if he doesn't bring any intangibles to the game) at this point in his career.
There are several other issues with the top 100 list. The most egregious in my eyes is Devin Hester at #32. Hester's best year as a WR is 57 catches and 757 yards with 3 TDs. Hester is a difference maker at the return game but to nullify his effect on the game teams have simply stop kicking to him. Tell me how you can be the thirty second best player in the league when your best asset is so easily taken out of the game and as a position player you aren't even in the top 20 in your position.
Which leaves two possible conclusions, the players didn't create this list or the players are so busy with their own personal development and team that they have to rely on hype and reputation to come up with this list. You decide which one you want to believe.