The NFL has begun their annual Top 100 Players list, a ranking of the best players in the game, as determined by a vote of the players in the league. The list is released 10 players at a time on NFL Network and NFL.com.
The Dolphins landed their first player on the list for the 2017 on Monday when running back Jay Ajayi came in as the 69th player in the league. It is the first appearance on the countdown for Ajayi, who took over as Miami’s starting runner last season, his second in the league.
“What jumps off the screen with Jay is just his effort,” said San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Jusczyk during the announcement of Ajayi’s position on the list. “This guy just runs through tackles. He’s just a non-stop, locomotive train, and at the same time, he’s not just a power back. I mean, you see his breakaway speed here, and he is able to finish in the endzone. That’s huge as a running back, being able to take a big play and make it an explosive play.”
Ajayi finished the 2016 season with his first Pro Bowl selection, after gaining 1,272 yards on 260 carries with eight touchdowns. Three times during the season he rushed for over 200 yards in a game, joining Earl Campbell (4 times in a season), O.J. Simpson, and Tiki Barber as the only running backs to accomplish the milestone. He also became the fourth rusher to reach that 200-yard mark in back-to-back games, with Simpson, Campbell, and former Miami runner Ricky Williams.
Ajayi might be a little disappointed with the 69th rank, stating during the video that he thinks “40 or 30 would be reasonable for me.” But, even at 69, he is not done with the Top 100 Players list in the coming years, “I’m definitely shooting for that number one spot,” he says as the video ends.
You can watch the video about Ajayi here.
Ajayi is the first member of the Dolphins on the list - though he was not the only member of the team to be revealed on Monday.
2016 NFL Top 100 Players - Dolphins
Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle - 40
Reshad Jones, safety, 64
Jarvis Landry, wide receiver - 98
2015 NFL Top 100 Players - Dolphins
Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle - 24
Brent Grimes, cornerback - 38
Cameron Wake, defensive end - 39
2014 NFL Top 100 Players - Dolphins
Cameron Wake, defensive end - 66
Charles Clay, tight end - 89
Brent Grimes, cornerback - 95
2013 NFL Top 100 Players - Dolphins
Cameron Wake, defensive end - 89
2012 NFL Top 100 Players - Dolphins
Jake Long, offensive tackle - 59
2011 NFL Top 100 Players - Dolphins
Jake Long, offensive tackle - 28
Brandon Marshall, wide receiver - 61
Cameron Wake, defensive end - 63