Pro Football Focus has been releasing their list of the top 101 best players in the NFL right now. San Francisco 49ers OT Joe Staley came in at No. 66 on the list. The ranking is unlike the Top 101 NFL Players of 2015 list, which looked back at that season and evaluated the league's players based on their advanced statistics and some opinions from their staff. This new list, which like the previous one, will be an annual event going forward.
As its name suggests, this Top 101 list aims at identifying the best players in the league right now. "Like the other list, this one does weight all positions equally, so if a run-stuffing nose tackle is that good, he can feature ahead of a Pro Bowl quarterback, even if he can never hope to approach the value of the latter player in today's NFL," says Pro Football Focus.
Writer Sam Monson had the following to say about Staley and his ranking.
"2012 was a good year for the 49ers and for Joe Staley. That season, the San Francisco had arguably the league's best roster, and Staley was arguably the best tackle in football. The 49ers have since crumbled around him, and while Staley hasn't quite hit those 2012 highs since, he is still one of the better tackles around. This past season, he graded well in all areas PFF measures and had good run-and pass-blocking grades for the fourth consecutive season. Staley may never be the best tackle in football again given his advancing age, but he remains a very good OT despite the bad team around him."
There was much discussion among fans about ILB NaVorro Bowman missing out on the Top 101 of 2015 list. Many felt that he should have been included following a season where he led the league in tackles. We will see if Bowman ranks within this new list, especially given that he missed the entire 2014 season recovering from an ACL and MCL tear. That limits the pool of data for Bowman.
Staley came in at No. 70 in Pro Football Focus' Top 101 of 2015 list. You can view what has been revealed from the new list here.