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Notes on the Five Saints to make the Top 100 Players of 2011

Brees, Vilma, Evans, Colston and Nicks represent the Saints on the NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2011

Five Saints players appeared on the NFL Network's "Top 100: Players of 2011."

Drew Brees was the highest ranked Saints player at No. 9 followed by OL Jahri Evans (No. 34), Vilma (No. 37), WR Marques Colston (No. 53) and OL Carl Nicks (No. 55).

Below are some notes on the rankings.

#9 Drew Brees

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Brees was selected by teammates as one of five season-long captains in 2011 He started all 16 regular season games and NFC Wild Card playoff contest. He completed 448-of-658 (68.1%) for 4,620 yards with 33 touchdown passes and a 90.8 passer rating. He was the first Saint to be selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls since WR Joe Horn (2000-02).

Quarterbacks on the Top 100

RankingPlayerTeam
#1Tom BradyPatriots
#2Peyton ManningColts
#9Drew BreesSaints
#11Aaron RodgersPackers
#20Michael VickEagles
#26Philip RiversChargers
#41Ben RoethlisbergerSteelers
#52Matt RyanFalcons
#72Tony RomoCowboys
#86Josh FreemanBuccaneers
#90Joe FlaccoRavens
#100Donovan McNabbRedskins

#34 Jahri Evans

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Last season, Evans started all 16 regular games for the fifth consecutive season and opened one playoff contest. He has started every game since being drafted, now having opened 80-consecutive contests – the most for a Saints offensive linemen to begin his career and the second-most by a Saint overall. He is part of one of only two offensive lines in the NFL to start all 16 regular season game.

Offensive Linemen on the Top 100

RankingPlayerPositionTeam
#28Jake LongTackleDolphins
#34Jahri EvansGuardSaints
#39Logan MankinsGuardPatriots
#43Joe ThomasTackleBrowns
#47Nick MangoldCenterJets
#55Carl NicksGuardSaints
#57Andre GurodeCenterCowboys
#59Jeff SaturdayCenterColts
#67Brian WatersGuardChiefs
#77Chris SneeGuardGiants
#79D'Brickashaw FergusonTackleJets
#87Jordan GrossTacklePanthers
#99Chad CliftonTacklePackers

#37 Jonathan Vilma

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Vilma was elected by teammates as one of five team captains last season. He started all 16 regular season games and NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Seattle. He led the defense with tackles for the third straight year with 131 (69 solo), adding a career-high four sacks, one interception, four passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery on his way to being named to the Pro Bowl for the second-straight season and third time of his career.

Linebackers on the Top 100

RankingPlayerTeam
#4Ray LewisRavens
#12Demarcus WareCowboys
#19Clay MatthewsPackers
#21James HarrisonSteelers
#23Patrick Willis49ers
#37Jonathan VilmaSaints
#40Terrell SuggsRavens
#49Brian UrlacherBears
#62Jerod MayoPatriots
#63Cameron WakeDolphins
#82LaMarr WoodleySteelers
#92Lance BriggsBears
#95Jon BeasonPanthers

#53 Marques Colston

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Colston started 11 of the 15 games he appeared in last season and led the Saints in catches and yardage with 84 receptions for 1,023 yards (12.2 avg.) with seven touchdowns. He finished ranked sixth in the NFC and tenth in the NFL in receptions and ninth in conference and 15th in the league in yardage.

Wide Recievers in the Top 100

RankingPlayerTeam
#7Andre JohnsonTexans
#14Larry FitzgeraldCardinals
#24Roddy WhiteFalcons
#27Calvin JohnsonLions
#29DeSean JacksonEagles
#31Reggie WayneColts
#32Devin HesterBears
#45Dwayne BoweChiefs
#50Wes WelkerPatriots
#53Marques ColstonSaints
#58Brandon LloydBroncos
#61Brandon MarshallDolphins
#70Miles AustinCowboys
#74Greg JenningsPackers
#76Santonio HolmesJets
#83Mike WilliamsBuccaneers
#84Josh CribbsBrowns
#91Terrell OwensBengals

#55 Carl Nicks

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Nicks started at LG in all 16 games last season on his to his first Pro Bowl selection. He was part of an offensive attack that finished ranked third in the NFC and sixth in the NFL, averaging 372.5 yards per game. He is part of a line in which all five players have started 22 consecutive regular season games together (dating back to 2009) and four postseason games, the longest current streak in the NFL.

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