clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bears DB Eddie Jackson snubbed from NFL Top 100

The Bears only saw two players appear on this year’s list, and the two-time Pro Bowl safety was not one of them.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

After seeing four players crack the NFL Top 100 last season, the Bears’ representation dropped to just two players in the 2020 edition that aired this week.

Allen Robinson earned his first appearance on the list since 2016 after a fantastic 2019 campaign, even if his ranking compared to his contemporaries was...questionable, to say the least.

Joined by Robinson was Khalil Mack, who was announced as the No. 19 player on the ranking this season. Even though he had a down year by his standards, he was still a force to be reckoned with and has a solidified reputation as one of the league’s premier pass rushers.

While both players did deserve to make it onto the list, there’s one Bears standout who jumps off the page as a glaring omission: Eddie Jackson.

While he didn’t put up as flashy of numbers as he did in his first-team All-Pro season in 2018, Jackson finished with a respectable two interceptions and five pass deflections last season. Despite a decrease in ball production, he was still a force to be reckoned with in coverage, allowing the sixth-lowest passer rating and the fifth-lowest completion percentage among safeties in the NFL. He was rewarded for his efforts with a second consecutive Pro Bowl nod at the end of the year.

Jackson ranked as the No. 30 player on the 2019 NFL Top 100 list, a ranking that placed him as the top safety in the league. A fall down the rankings was to be expected, sure, but in what world was he disappointing enough to drop out of them entirely?

Is Jackson really worse than Josh Allen, who had the worst completion percentage in the league, had the fifth-worst bad throw percentage and finished in the bottom 10 in passing yards, passing touchdowns, passer rating? Has D.K. Metcalf proven more in his 58-catch, sub-1,000 yard rookie season than Jackson has? Or how about Larry Fitzgerald, a rightfully beloved icon but one who had 800 yards and four touchdowns in 2019, yet still finished No. 69 overall?

Even Budda Baker, the first safety ranked on the list who is a talented player in his own right, didn’t contribute as much through the air as Jackson did.

Jackson vs. Baker through the air, 2019

Player Comp. % Allowed Passer Rating Allowed INTs PBUs TDs Allowed
Player Comp. % Allowed Passer Rating Allowed INTs PBUs TDs Allowed
Eddie Jackson 53.5 57.6 2 5 1
Budda Baker 72.7 125.3 0 6 4

That’s not even taking into consideration Jackson’s first-team All-Pro season that happened just two years ago, when he had six interceptions, 15 pass deflections and scored three defensive touchdowns.

Sure, Baker led the league in solo tackles and is rightfully seen as one of the best tackling safeties in the game, and this isn’t to say he didn’t deserve to make it into the top 100. In a passing league like today’s NFL, though, one would figure an elite coverage safety like Jackson would be valued more.

Though he wasn’t as flashy as he was in 2018, Jackson has cemented a reputation as one of the best safeties in the league, and his record-breaking contract extension showed the Bears feel the same way about him.

Maybe the NFL Top 100 doesn’t mean much, and maybe all it is is just an entertaining way to prepare for the upcoming season and nothing else. Even after an underwhelming 2019 season, though, it would have made sense for one of the league’s top safeties to get the recognition he deserved.