NFL Top 100: Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith honored, Michael Crabtree spurned

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

NFL Network will release the top ten in their 2013 Top 100 list. The 49ers will have two more players honored.

NFL Network will wrap up their 2013 Top 100 player list on Thursday, and two more 49ers will be honored. The top ten will feature Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith. Last season, Willis was ranked No. 10, while Smith did not even appear on the list. That says something about Smith's emergence, and also something about the voting that goes on in this ranking.

Speaking of the voting process, I am left to wonder what some of the players are thinking with their voting. Michael Crabtree will not appear in the Top 100. The first episode of this year's ranking took place shortly after the draft, so we know the voting took place before Crabtree tore his Achilles tendon. Given the timing, how exactly could a player justify Crabtree not being anywhere in the Top 100?

I realize NFL Network is simply trying to get responses during the offseason, so I'm playing right into it. That being said, it does strike me as odd. Here are the wide receivers that have appeared thus far:

14. Andre Johnson
16. A.J. Green
21. Reggie Wayne
22. Larry Fitzgerald
26. Julio Jones
27. Brandon Marshall
35. Dez Bryant
39. Roddy White
52. Vincent Jackson
65. Dwayne Bowe
68. Demaryius Thomas
84. Steve Smith
88. Jacoby Jones

Calvin Johnson will make an appearance in the top ten, and that will be it for wide receivers. I can only assume Jacoby Jones is on the list because of the big return in the Super Bowl, and his appearance with Dancing on the Stars. What other reason can there possibly be to include him? He is a solid return man, but enough to justify his inclusion on this list?

I'm not angry, so much as just confused by what this list is supposed to mean. I don't think NFL Network or the voters really know either, so I guess I should not be surprised. Michael Crabtree had a couple tweets on the subject:

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