What makes Wilfork 35th best player

Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork ranks No. 35 on the NFL Network Top 100 players poll, as voted by players.

Wilfork was presented by Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who like Wilfork attended the University of Miami. Some soundbites from Vilma on the NFL Network broadcast Sunday night (video from NFL.com here):

1. “Big. Big. I just watched him get bigger and bigger and bigger.”

2. “He was with me in college for three years, I played against him twice a year when I was with the Jets, and the best thing about him is that as big as he’s gotten, it looks sloppy, but when you watch him on film it’s not. He’s very explosive, very athletic.”

3. “From college, we knew he had good feet, which is pretty impressive for a guy his size to have feet like that. All those things you want in a defensive tackle, that rough, down-in-the-trenches-type mentality, he has that. He’s going to disrupt it. If you’re one-on-one, he’s going to make the tackle. You have to double him.”

4. “You turn on the film and watch that and you know, that was because of him. [Another player] may have gotten the stats, but that was because of Vince.”

5. “He lets you know ‘this is how I’m going to set the tone’ and you love that, especially in a d-lineman, where it’s that big personality. He wants to be that guy who takes the leadership as far as being on the field and showing you how I’m going to play.”

6. “He has a Super Bowl under his belt. He’s got three Pro Bowls under his belt. Year in and year out, you look and watch on film, you [say] ‘He’s a helluva player.’”