In the world of football writing, there is nothing most publications seem to love more than a rankings list. And where fans were once only subjected to pointless top 10 lists that were at least relatively short, the current trend of creating top 100 lists has become a popular offseason past time for several outlets. Designed more to annoy than inform, these list often vary wildly depending upon the outlet and their agenda, while frequently contradicting themselves from year-to-year.
Having already inflicted a number of these list on the BTSC audience this offseason, it seems only fair that readers should suffer along with me after I was unlucky enough to read the latest offering from CBS on Tuesday by Pete Prisco.
A year removed from seeing five players named in his Top 100, the Pittsburgh Steelers are reduced to just two names in 2019 in Ben Roethlisberger and JuJu Smith-Schuster. And while that number would have been doubled if Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown were still a part of the roster, it appears that there is no room for David DeCastro and Cameron Heyward this time around like there was in 2018.
Smith-Schuster is the highest of the two Steelers’ players on the list, coming in at No.45 overall and ranked behind seven other receivers including Brown at No.15. Prisco providing some insightful commentary to accompany his thought process.
JuJu Smith-Schuster - PITTSBURGH STEELERS WR
“He’s now the Steelers’ No. 1 receiver, which will bring on my more scrutiny. I say he handles it well.”
Roethlisberger comes in at No.63 overall, ranked behind eight other quarterbacks and accompanied by a similar level of groundbreaking opinion to explain why he is in exactly the same spot as he was last year despite having led the league in passing in 2018.
Ben Roethlisberger - PITTSBURGH STEELERS QB
“He’s a little lower on this list than some might expect, but he is still capable of carrying the Steelers to a Super Bowl.”
It is difficult to understand what DeCastro did so wrong last season to drop all the way from No.38 to outside the top 100 in 2019. Presumably being part of one of the NFL’s best offensive lines and earning another trip to the Pro Bowl somehow worked against him this time.
Having come in at No.84 after a 12 sacks season in 2018, it is perhaps less surprising to see Heyward outside the top 100 in 2019 following an eight sack year. But those who watched the defensive lineman play would appreciate that he should have been far higher last year and should also have been included this season. How the Los Angeles Chargers ended up with eight players on this list I will never understand.