2014 NFL Top 100 Players List: Charles Clay at 89

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The annual NFL Top 100 Players returned for the 2014 edition tonight. included in the second group of players was Miami Dolphins tight end Charles Clay.

Two sets of NFL Top 100 Players for 2014 have been announced by the league, and two Miami Dolphins players are already on the list.  On Saturday, the league announced spots 91 through 100, with cornerback Brent Grimes being ranked as the 95th best player in the league.  Last night, the league announced the next ten players, with tight end Charles Clay making the list in the 89th position.

Clay is a surprise on this list, as he is not someone fans outside of Miami may immediately recognize (as is evidenced by the "overrated" vote currently on NFL.com's site).  He is, however, someone opponents are starting to recognize as a skilled player, and someone teams are game planning to stop.  Last season, the New England Patriots went so far as to cover Clay with cornerback Aqib Talib, in an effort to slow down the break out tight end.

"He's got size, and he can run," Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly explained of why Clay is a Top 100 player.  "He was a guy we had circled during the week as a 'Where's 42?' "

Entering his third year, Clay was thrust into the role of starting tight end when Dustin Keller was injured for the year with torn ligaments in his knee.  Clay responded with 69 receptions for 759 yards with a team high six touchdown receptions, the second greatest single season performance from a tight end in team history.

"That's a dangerous player right there," Kuechly added.

The NFL Top 100 Players list is voted upon by the NFL players.  The league started the annual list in 2011, with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady being recognized as the top player that year; Aaron Rodgers was in the top spot in 2012 andAdrian Peterson held that spot last year.  All three previous top players were the reigning MVP from the previous year.  Peyton Manning won the award for this past season.  Miami defensive end Cameron Wake was the only Dolphins player to make the list last year, being ranked 89th. 

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