Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels was revealed as No. 95 on NFL Network's "The Top 100 Players of 2016" on Wednesday. This is Daniels’ first time appearing on the list, with players selected by their peers.
"That means the world to me because your opponents, they know you better than anybody else," Daniels said. "There is none of the games, there is no BS — they know you. They know you the best and no politics involved, they're going to give the honest answer. That's why you see a lot of no-name guys so to speak appear on this list because it's strictly players."
By signing Daniels to a four-year, $41 million contract extension that will keep him in Green Bay through the 2019 season, the Packers kept a building-block defender and young leader. Other than perhaps Clay Matthews, Daniels is the Packers’ top defender. Daniels is power, energy and attitude. He led the unit with 67 tackles, four sacks and seven tackles for losses. According to STATS, he tied Matthews (and tied for 30th in the NFL) with a team-high 21 pressures. According to the Packers, he finished third on the team with 12 quarterback hits. Teams averaged 0.35 yards less per carry when Daniels was in the game.
Daniels isn't satisfied merely cracking the list.
"It feels great," he said. "I'm just excited to make sure I get a much more impressive number. Number 95 is great but I want to make sure I get a little bit lower next season. That's why I work the way I do."
Here's the list thus far:
100. Derek Carr - Oakland Raiders, QB
99. Cameron Jordan - New Orleans Saints, DE
98. Jarvis Landry - Miami Dolphins, WR
97. Richie Incognito - Buffalo Bills, OG
96. Sammy Watkins - Buffalo Bills, WR
95. Mike Daniels - Green Bay Packers, DE
94. Gary Barnidge - Cleveland Browns, TE
93. Jeremy Maclin - Kansas City Chiefs, WR
92. Andrew Luck - Indianapolis Colts, QB
91. Travis Kelce - Kansas City Chiefs, TE
"The Top 100 Players of 2016" airs Wednesday at 7 p.m. (Central) on NFL Network, with a reactions show following at 8 p.m.