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Marshal Yanda's omission from Top 100 draws response from Michael Oher

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The Ravens were treated pretty well in NFL Network’s Top 100 player rankings as voted on by the players. With the top 10 scheduled to be revealed Thursday night, six current Ravens (Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, Jacoby Jones and Dennis Pitta) have been included along with three other members of last year’s Super Bowl-winning team (Ed Reed, Bernard Pollard and Anquan
Boldin
).

However, there was one notable Ravens’ omission and it certainly got the attention of starting right tackle Michael Oher. Despite making back-to-back AFC Pro Bowl teams and consistently grading out as one of the league’s best offensive guards, Marshal Yanda was not recognized in the top 100, prompting Oher to question why.

“Man who votes for the Top 100,” Oher wrote on his Twitter account. “I can’t Believe Marshal Yanda didn’t make it. If the players voted he would have been top 20!!

“I’m shocked,” he continued. “The guy was easily the most dominant Offensive lineman in the league last year easy!! 1st team All pro but whatever!”

Oher is one of the most well respected guys in the Ravens’ locker room because he’s tough, he doesn’t complain and he sticks up for teammates on and off the field. So it’s completely in his character to take up for Yanda in this case.

But it’s probably worth pointing out a few things about the voting. Only six offensive linemen were recognized from picks 11 to 100, and only one of them was a guard – the New England Patriots’ Logan Mankins who was 82nd. The other offensive linemen selected were tackles Joe Thomas (Cleveland Browns, 28th), Duane Brown (Houston Texans, 48th), Joe Staley (San Francisco 49ers, 78th) and Trent Williams (Washington Redskins, 99th) and center Max Unger (Seattle Seahawks, 95th).

Guys that play the more glamorous positions are obviously the ones that get more recognition, evidenced by the fact that 11 quarterbacks have already been ranked and that does not include Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers who are expected to be unveiled in the top 10.

The other issue is exactly the few players who do vote don’t always take it very seriously. Oher said on Twitter that he didn’t vote nor did a “few more people” that he knows. He’s the latest player to express
similar sentiments as Texans linebacker Connor Barwin remarked on Twitter earlier this offseason that “Everyone knows no players actually vote for who’s on that list right?”

I’ve seen a couple of Ravens seated in front of their lockers filling out the rankings in between practices or meetings and let’s just say that they don’t exactly put a lot of time in it.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote about this in March and he spoke to an NFL Network spokesman who acknowledged that only 481 players voted, which is just over 28 percent of all active players. Not exactly a big sample size.      

Don't misunderstand, I'm not begrudging or criticizing NFL Network at all. They unveil the rankings in pretty much the only quiet NFL time of the year: after the draft and before training camp starts.

They serve their purpose in providing programming and keeping people talking about the league and watching the network. However, the specific rankings are not indicative of much nor are they worth getting worked up over. As Oher mentioned, my guess is most offensive and defensive linemen in the league would include Yanda on their top 100 lists.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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