The NFL Network’s weekly 10-at-a-time reveal of this year’s list of the league’s top 100 players had gone almost three whole episodes before a defensive back appeared on the ranking. That’s either an ominous indicator that there won’t be many more DBs to come, or a promising sign that the league’s top DBs are being recognized with even higher spots on the list than in previous years.
The first DB to appear on the 2016 countdown was Vikings free safety Harrison Smith, who was voted the 73rd best player in the league by fellow NFL players.
In his fourth season out of Notre Dame, Smith recorded 66 tackles, two interceptions, 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble while helping the Vikings win the NFC North. Minnesota lost in the wild-card round of the playoffs in a low-scoring, ice-cold game against Seattle, which was really no fault of Smith or the Vikings’ defense.
Smith, nicknamed “The Hitman,” made the Pro Football Focus All-Pro first team for the second straight year and made his first Pro Bowl.
You can watch the NFL Network segment on Smith HERE, and check out a highlight reel below: