NFL Network is running a "Top 100" players feature each Sunday night, which is a ranking of the top talents in the NFL based on a players-only voting. The first Patriot to show up in the voting is linebacker Jerod Mayo.
As noted by SI.com's Peter King in his weekly "Monday Morning Quarterback" piece, Mayo checks in at No. 62.
This isn't much of a surprise, as Mayo was the 2008 Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year. He dipped a bit in 2009, in part because of an MCL injury, but returned to form in 2010 to lead the NFL with 193 total tackles. Mayo is the first Patriot to have three consecutive 100-tackle seasons since Lawyer Milloy had five straight from 1997-2001. The 193 tackles last season are the most for a Patriot since Steve Nelson had 207 in 1984, and is the third-highest total in team history.
A first-round draft choice in 2008, Mayo's growth and maturity have been evidenced by being named a co-captain in each of the last two seasons.