By Brady Henderson
Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin checks in at No. 90 in the NFL Network's list of "The Top 100 Players of 2013."
The NFL Network revealed Nos. 81-90 Thursday night. Harvin ranked one spot ahead of Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and one behind Dolphins pass rusher Cameron Wake. He joins center Max Unger (No. 95) as Seahawks to make the list so far.
Recency matters. Players' voting determines the rankings, and recency seems to outweigh reputation in their minds. That would help explain why Harvin's peers ranked him the 90th best player despite his reputation as one of the league's top playmakers. Harvin was limited to nine games in 2012, missing the final seven with an ankle injury after playing at an MVP level for the first half of the season.
Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu, considered one of the preeminent safeties of his generation, fell 72 spots from last year's rankings after missing most of the season with an injury. Wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Jacoby Jones, unranked last year, were Nos. 93 and 88, respectively, after helping the Ravens win the Super Bowl.
Harvin, by the way, didn't take the bait when asked by the NFL Network whether he thought he should be ranked ahead of Jones.
'Percy's ridiculous'. The video montage includes a brief exchange between Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and special teams coordinator Brian Schneider, who were marveling at Harvin's abilities before a Week 9 game against Minnesota last season. "Percy's ridiculous, man," Schneider says to Carroll, who responds, "That was scary watching that last night," presumably referring to film of Harvin.
The Seahawks would have had interest in Harvin even if they hadn't played Minnesota last season, of course, but perhaps studying him for a week and seeing him up close tipped the scales to some degree.
Who else? It's safe to assume we'll see more Seahawks on this list. Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Chris Clemons, Cliff Avril, Marshawn Lynch, Russell Wilson and Russell Okung are the likeliest candidates, in my mind. I'm most interested to see where Lynch and Sherman fall on the list.
Lynch was ranked No. 94 last year. He's coming off a season in which he ran for a career-high 1,590 yards, made the Pro Bowl and was named a first-team All-Pro. Players vote on the rankings, remember, and a lot of them seem to speak about Lynch in reverent tones because of the respect they have for his relentless style of play. I wouldn't be surprised to see him ranked in the top 40 this year.
Sherman was unranked last year, having only been a starter for a handful of games when the voting took place. Some consider him the NFL's top cornerback a year later, but I wonder whether his outspoken nature will factor into the voting. Sherman has a penchant for trash talking and self-promotion, two things his peers might hold against him even though that has nothing to do with his ability to play cornerback.