Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers received a fair amount of media attention on Wednesday after being unveiled as the NFL Network's 11th best player of 2014 and also being named a "Tier 1" quarterback on a poll conducted by Mike Sando of ESPN.com.
Many observers, fans and media alike, have reacted to Rodgers' ranking on the NFL Network list as being underrated, the outlet's own Daniel Jeremiah among them:
Aaron Rodgers is the best player in the @NFL.
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) July 3, 2014
The NFL Network ranking is comprised from an offseason poll of NFL players. The previous season, Rodgers ranked No. 6 overall, a fall of five spots.
Perhaps even more surprisingly, Rodgers came in at No. 14 in a fan vote conducted by NFL.com.
Presumably, players and fans alike took into account Rodgers' missed playing time this past season due to a broken collarbone, sitting out a full seven games and nearly all of another.
The Packers went 6-2 in the games Rodgers was healthy but just 2-5-1 during games in which he was injured.
Rodgers has dropped in the annual NFL Network poll ever since being named the No. 1 overall player in 2012, following his MVP performance the season prior.
In the three seasons the Top 100 list has been aired, the reigning NFL MVP has always taken the top spot.
Rodgers is the fourth Packers players to appear on this year's edition of the list, and the first since Clay Matthews checked in at No. 77. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson and running back Eddie Lacy came in at No. 83 and No. 90 respectively.
Despite Rodgers' seemingly low ranking by his fellow players, he was still hailed as a top-tier quarterback in Sando's poll of 26 league insiders.
Joining Rodgers in the first tier were Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Andrew Luck.
As for the methodology, Sando writes:
I asked 26 league insiders to grade every projected starting quarterback on a 1-5 scale, with "one" reserved for the best and "five" for the worst. Eight general managers, two former GMs, four pro personnel evaluators, seven coordinators, two head coaches, two position coaches and a top executive participated, attacking the project with gusto almost across the board.
Although those polled remained anonymous, Sando probably couldn't have come up with a more expert group of analysts.
Sando gives a brief overview of his results:
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- 14 points