Rolling out its panel-based player ranking system, ESPN on Monday revealed the NFL’s best ranked from No. 100 all the way to No. 51.
With several Cardinals likely challenging for spots in the top-10 heading into the 2016 season — Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu come to mind — there were also surely a few Arizona players among the players ranked from 51-100.
Offseason acquisition Chandler Jones led a string of four Cardinals who fell from 61-68 in the rankings. The outside linebacker earned an average rating of 82.78 (100 being the best), according to ESPN’s 50-plus member panel of football experts, reporters and analysts.
Jones is 26 and was fifth in the league in sacks last season with 12.5. What else is there to know? In two of his four seasons, he has had double-digit sacks. He’s long, lean and quick.
After Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and Broncos outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware followed at 62 and 63, respectively, Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald came in ranked as the 64th-best player.
Teammate Calais Campbell wasn’t far behind two spots later and left guard Mike Iupati came in two more players down the line at No. 68.
Iupati is a force in the Cardinals’ run game. He helped anchor an offensive line that blocked for 1,917 rushing yards, the most Arizona has totaled since 1988. Of those, 496 were run behind Iupati, according to ESPN Stats & Information.