Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was ranked No. 1 on the NFL Network's countdown of the top 100 players of 2011. Brady finished ahead of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who finished second. Adrian Peterson, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed rounded out the top five.
Brady was named MVP of the league for the second time in his career last season, leading the NFL with 36 touchdowns and a 111.0 rating while throwing only four interceptions. He holds the record for passing touchdowns in a season with 50, which he accomplished during the Patriots' undefeated regular season in 2007.
Brady was one of five Patriots players on the list, with three of his teammates finishing in the top 50. Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork was ranked No. 35, while offensive guard Logan Mankins came in at No. 39. Wide receiver Wes Welker ranked 50th, while linebacker Jerod Mayo was chosen as the 62nd best player.
The list was chosen by the NFL players themselves, and the list was rolled out in a 10-part series. The rest of the top 10 consisted of Troy Polamalu, Andre Johnson, Darrelle Revis, Drew Brees and Julius Peppers, who finished 6-10.
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