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theScore's Top 100 NFL Players of 2014: 30-11

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The Top 100 NFL Players of 2014 were selected by a panel of theScore's NFL Editors including Gino BotteroArun SrinivasanDan Wilkins and David P. Woods based on the individual players' performance this past regular season.

theScore's Top 100 NFL Players of 2014


Cameron Wake, DE, Dolphins
36 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 3 FFs

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
48 56 16 30

Though his sack production is slightly behind that of the NFL's leaders, there are few pass rushers more dominant than Wake. His speed off the edge forces many offenses to send double teams his way, but even then he often finds a way to disrupt the pocket. Now through his sixth NFL season, the former CFL star just continues to get better. - Dan Wilkins

Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
3,475 passing yards, 849 rushing yards, 26 total TDs

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
9 13 36 84

Shedding the label of "game manager," Wilson's 849 rushing yards were the most by an NFL quarterback since Michael Vick in 2006. Despite not being asked to pass often and rarely playing from behind, Wilson's 72 career passing touchdowns rank as the sixth-highest total all-time among players through their first three seasons in the league. - Gino Bottero

Calais Campbell, DE, Cardinals
58 tackles, 7 sacks, INT

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
32 54 40 11

Look no further than Campbell when assigning credit for the Cardinals defense remaining stout despite the losses of three of the unit’s five best players: Daryl Washington (suspension), Karlos Dansby (free agency) and Darnell Dockett (injury). Campbell's 2014 stats, which include 10 tackles for loss, are particularly impressive considering they came against consistent double-teams and while he fought through a nagging knee injury. - David P. Woods

Luke Kuechly, LB, Panthers
153 tackles, 3 sacks, INT

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
39 52 23 15

He may not be the Defensive Player of the Year, but that's more about J.J. Watt's dominance than it is any sort of drop off from Kuechly. The Panthers' defensive captain was every bit as good this year as he was in 2013, continuing to make his case for the league's best inside linebacker. The third-year pro's performance did well to make up for the defensive front taking a step back, as evidenced by his league-leading 153 tackles. - Dan Wilkins

Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs
1,324 scrimmage yards, 14 total TDs

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
24 42 31 31

In a down year by his lofty standards, Charles battled through injuries to move into the top spot on the Chiefs' all-time rushing list. For the fifth time in his career, Charles surpassed 1,000 yards rushing, becoming just the third player in NFL history to have at least five seasons with 1,000 yards and an average of at least five yards per carry (Jim Brown and Barry Sanders are the others). - Gino Bottero

Ndamukong Suh, DT, Lions
53 tackles, 8.5 sacks

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
11 36 13 47

One of the most dominant defensive players in the league, Suh anchored the Lions' No. 2 ranked defense, notching his third season of at least eight sacks. Despite taking a big hit in the penalties category, Suh graded out as the No. 3 defensive tackle, according to Pro Football Focus. - Gino Bottero

Marshal Yanda, G, Ravens
Rated 1st among guards by PFF

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
19 27 50 9

Yanda plays the least sexy position in football more dominantly than anyone else in the league. It's time for the general public to take note. Ray Rice was cut, Bernard Pierce is a bust and yet the Ravens somehow produced a top-10 rushing attack with a 29-year-old journeyman as the centerpiece. - David P. Woods

Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys
3,705 passing yards, 34 TDs

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
4 3 22 68

Romo didn't put up the kind of gaudy stats many expected from him entering the season due to a lack of volume, but a big reason for that was how efficient he was with the reps he did get - his 69.9 percent completion percentage and 113.2 passer rating each led the league. In the month of December, Romo tossed 12 touchdowns versus one interception, guiding the Cowboys to a perfect 4-0 record and clinching the team's first playoff berth in five years. - Gino Bottero

Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers
98 receptions, 1,519 yards, 13 TDs

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
31 21 24 17

How many top-10 receiving seasons does Nelson have to produce before he’s not only discussed in the same breath as Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones and A.J. Green but actually where he deserves to be: above all three of them. Nelson isn’t simply the product of an Aaron Rodgers-led offense. He’s one of the most intelligent and athletic receivers in the sport. No one tracks the ball on the perimeter and contorts to stay in bounds better. - David P. Woods

Von Miller, LB, Broncos
60 tackles, 14 sacks

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
30 19 18 23

Miller entered the league as one of the NFL’s most fearsome pass rushers. In 2014, he evolved into a complete linebacker and one could make the case that he was even better against the run. The fourth-year pro’s 47 quarterback hurries rank highest among 4-3 outside linebackers according to Pro Football Focus. - Arun Srinivasan

Earl Thomas, S, Seahawks
97 tackles, INT, 3 FFs

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
29 20 11 29

Thomas is the cornerstone of Seattle’s Cover 3 defense; without his unparalleled closing speed, the scheme would not work. Thomas is an outstanding run-stopper with an unmatched ability to diagnose plays at the line of scrimmage. Seattle’s defense led the league in almost every major statistical category, in large part due to Thomas’ all-around brilliance. - Arun Srinivasan

Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos
4,727 passing yards, 39 TDs

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
27 9 6 42

A quad injury limited Manning's effectiveness down the stretch, but that shouldn't allow us to forget just how good he was up until that point. Throwing for 4,727 yards and 39 touchdowns, the future Hall of Famer proved that he is still more than capable of playing at a high level in the NFL. Manning's highlight performance came in a Sunday night win over the San Francisco 49ers, in which his third of four touchdown passes saw him break Brett Favre's all-time career record. - Dan Wilkins

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks
1,673 scrimmage yards, 17 total TDs

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
28 10 21 24

It wasn't supposed to happen this way. The Seahawks were supposed to begin phasing out their enigmatic 28-year-old star, who surely would see his production decline as he approached age 30. Just one problem: Lynch didn't cooperate. Instead, he ran harder and more effectively than ever before. Career highs in yards per carry (4.7), receptions (37) and total touchdowns (17) prove it. Pete Carroll said Lynch had his best year, indicating he knows it’s vital for the team to re-sign its heart and soul. - David P. Woods

Chris Harris Jr., CB, Broncos
55 tackles, 3 INT, 18 PD

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
22 12 34 14

Harris was a relatively unknown player in 2014, but ought to be a household name by now. Harris was the league’s best shutdown corner, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ top cornerback. Lining up primarily at right cornerback, Harris did not surrender a touchdown after playing 1,004 snaps. The Broncos’ star will be a fixture at the Pro Bowl for years to come. - Arun Srinivasan

Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
104 receptions, 1,593 yards, 6 TDs

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
18 18 9 36

The Falcons were looking forward to the healthy return of their star receiver in 2014, and Jones certainly did not disappoint. Though he only found the end zone six times, his 1,593 receiving yards were a personal best and good for the league's third-best mark. Possessing a rare blend of size and speed, Jones is often uncoverable downfield and it showed in a number of his incredible performances throughout the year. - Dan Wilkins

Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants
91 receptions, 1,305 yards, 12 TDs

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
16 25 29 10

Four weeks into the season, Beckham hadn't played a snap due to injury and fans were getting impatient. Fast-forward 12 weeks and the rookie was putting the finishing touches on the best rookie season since Randy Moss tore up the league. If his league-leading averages - 108.8 yards and one touchdown per game - don't get you salivating for what’s to come, just close your eyes and conjure a memory of that catch against the Cowboys. Oh, that catch. - David P. Woods

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos
111 receptions, 1,619 yards, 11 TDs

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
15 16 20 25

Thomas had a slow start to the year, entering the team's Week 4 bye with 13 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown, which only makes his record-breaking finish to the season all the more impressive. Over the final 13 games, Thomas averaged 7.5 catches for 113.7 yards with 10 touchdowns, breaking Rod Smith's single-season franchise record for receiving yards. - Gino Bottero

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
4,952 passing yards, 32 TDs

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
25 6 12 32

Roethlisberger had arguably the best statistical campaign of his career, racking up a league-high in passing yardage to go with a mere nine interceptions. Roethlisberger has never been more accurate, completing a career-high 67.1 percent of his passes. The 11th-year pro remains elusive as ever in the pocket, and was the primary reason why Pittsburgh made its first playoff appearance in three seasons. - Arun Srinivasan

Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots
82 receptions, 1,124 yards, 12 TDs

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
12 14 10 21

Offseason surgeries had the Patriots hold Gronkowski back a little bit in the first few weeks, but it wasn't long before he started looking like the dominant player we have come to know over the course of his young career. Gronkowski finished the 2014 campaign with 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns, reaching double-digit scores for the fourth time in his first five seasons. At this pace, there's every reason to believe he'll become one of the best tight ends of all time - if he hasn't already. - Dan Wilkins

DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys
2,261 scrimmage yards, 13 total TDs

Bottero Srinivasan Wilkins Woods
14 5 19 18

Murray is a key reason why the Cowboys returned to the postseason for the first time in five years, rushing for a league-high 1,845 yards. Murray broke Emmitt Smith's franchise record for most rushing yards in a season, utilizing his unique combination of speed, power and agility. The Cowboys' star has a strong case to be considered as the NFL's best running back after a signature campaign in 2014. - Arun Srinivasan

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