Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston is coming off a career year, so it’s hardly a surprise to see him make the NFL Network’s annual Top 100 players for 2014.
What might be considered a mild surprise, however, is that Houston was chosen as the No. 57 player this year, which is eight slots lower than he was ranked last year.
Houston racked up 11 sacks in 11 games last season, compared to the 10 he had in 16 games in 2012. The list is determined by the vote of current NFL players.
Houston is the second Chief to appear on the list; inside linebacker Derrick Johnson checked in at No. 64 last week. A spokesman for the NFL Network said the Chiefs will have five players on this year’s list.
Houston is the seventh linebacker to appear on the list thus far. The others are Johnson, Arizona’s Daryl Washington (No. 96), Buffalo’s Kiko Alonso (No. 84), Green Bay’s Clay Matthews (No. 77), Denver’s Von Miller (No. 76) and Detroit’s DeAndre Levy (No. 57).
You can check out the video of Houston’s ranking here.
Among the players who spoke about Houston are teammate Jamaal Charles, Philadelphia receiver Jeremy Maclin, Houston tackle Duane Brown, Oakland tackle Khalif Barnes, Oakland running back Darren McFadden, Oakland fullback Marcel Reece, Cleveland tight end Jordan Cameron and Baltimore outside linebacker Terrell Suggs.