Every year the NFL Network releases a list of the Top 100 players in the league as voted on by the players and every year the list brings its fair share of controversy over players being ranked too high, too low or failing to make the list altogether.
Pittsburgh Steelers guard David DeCastro falls into the last category. Much to the surprise of us all, DeCastro failed to crack the Top 100 list after being a mainstay in years prior.
DeCastro Ranking on NFL Top 100 Players:
2017 – 97th
2018 – 44th
2019 – N/A
There is nothing that sticks out to the naked eye on how DeCastro managed to completely fall off the Top 100 Players list a year after finishing within the Top 50. DeCastro did not allow a single sack all season long according to our very own charting, brought to you by Alex Kozora.
DeCastro was not the only interior lineman to get snubbed as just two interior linemen managed to sneak into this year’s Top 100.
Jason Kelce and Zach Martin were the only two interior linemen to crack the Top 100 with Kelce coming in at number 72 and Martin at 59. It is no secret that interior linemen are not as valued as their tackle counterparts but it does seem rather unusual for omitting so many talented players.
As for the rest of the Steelers, DeCastro was not the only member of the team to see a free-fall from last season to this season. Cameron Heyward and Ben Roethlisberger were in prime positions on last year’s ranking but both saw their stocks drop significantly.
After coming in at number 48 last year, Heyward fell all the down to 88th this year. Heyward set a career high in sacks in 2017 with 12 and while he was not able to reach double digits once again, he still posted a respectful total of eight sacks.
If stats are everything then do not tell that to Roethlisberger, who led the NFL in passing yards last season while also throwing for a career high 34 touchdowns. Roethlisberger’s career year surely should have led to another strong showing on the NFL Top 100 list but this would not prove to be the case. The Steelers’ franchise quarterback fell from 18th to 44th despite putting together his best season to date.
While both Roethlisberger and Heyward have reason to feel slighted for how they were ranked, DeCastro’s absence feels the most out of place. Thankfully no team has ever won a Super Bowl due to having the most inclusions on the NFL Top 100 because after all, it is just a list. Though if DeCastro and the rest of the Steelers want to make sure they are ranked appropriately on next year’s list, they can do so by reminding the voting players just how good they really are.
Steelers on NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2019:
Ben Roethlisberger – 44
JuJu Smith-Schuster – 47
James Conner – 62
Cameron Heyward – 88
T.J. Watt – 93