— Dan Hoard (@Dan_Hoard) June 4, 2013
So the first Cincinnati Bengals player will be announced this week on the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2012 show. One has to assume with the list down to players 40-31, only two Bengals could have possibly been ranked this high, and they are receiver A.J. Green and defensive tackle Geno Atkins. You could argue that Andre Smith, Leon Hall, Michael Johnson and Adam Jones could have been in the 80s or 90s, but at this point, only Green and Atkins deserve to be here.
So who will it be? My money is on Green. While he is on the verge of becoming a truly elite player, Geno has already established that, and then some.
He’s coming off of an All-Pro season in which he established himself as the league’s best DT, and is even regarded as one of the five-best defensive lineman in the entire NFL. He’s mentioned in the same breath as Denver Broncos DE Von Miller and Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt, and most would agree those are the three best d-lineman in the world.
But while Green will likely be ranked behind Geno on this year’s list, it probably won’t be by too many spots, and going forward, they’ll likely be battling each other for positioning inside the top-20 or even top-10 players in the NFL.