This week, NFL Network began their annual NFL Top 100 rankings as voted on by the players themselves, and one Chicago Bears star made yet another appearance.
Coming in at no. 87 overall was wide receiver Allen Robinson.
Last year, Robinson’s rank was a bit lower at no. 93, showing that his peers are paying even closer attention to what he’s been able to do as a pro with not much going on around him in terms of quarterback play.
In 2020, Robinson came up with 102 receptions for 1,250 yards and six touchdowns while catching passes from both Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles — arguably a bottom-3 quarterback room in the NFL for last season.
It has been said many, many times over Robinson’s career. But, he has hardly had competent quarterbacks to work with. Dating back to his college days catching passes from Christian Hackenberg, Robinson has yet to work with an above-average quarterback.
Obviously, we all know he came from Jacksonville where he caught passes from Blake Bortles, whose days as a starter in the league were short-lived.
This ranking might seem a bit low still for many fans, but it truly is a symbol of respect from his peers. While other receivers ranked ahead of him like Calvin Ridley, AJ Brown and the yet-to-be announced Davante Adams are catching passes from more established quarterbacks, Robinson hasn’t had that luxury yet in his career.
A definitive argument could be made that he was ranked too low, though. Just ahead of him were Chris Godwin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at no. 81, the Minnesota Vikings’ Adam Thielen at no. 80 and Tyler Lockett of the Seattle Seahawks at no. 76.
If these rankings were based off of recent performance, Godwin shouldn’t even be in the top 100. Last year, he caught just 65 passes for 840 yards and seven scores. Thielen was a red zone machine, catching 14 touchdowns, but his receptions (74) and yards (925) were far from Robinson’s total.
Lockett was the closest to Robinson’s overall line with 100 catches for 1,054 yards and 10 scores.
But, looking at Robinson’s quarterbacks and seeing that he’s still able to amass those numbers is astounding. Many of Robinson’s catches come due to his ability to make a ridiculous play.
When listening to some players talk about Robinson during his NFL Network segment on the show, one particular line stands out. Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons had this to say:
"”I don’t think I’ve ever seen him drop a football. Just thinking about it, I’ve seen him make ridiculous catches. If it hits his hands, it’s almost like, he’s catching it.”"
Robinson’s peers think quite highly of him, and regardless of whether or not he should have been ranked higher, it says something that he moved up the ranks after 2020. He might be taking longer to establish respect from the league due to his surroundings, but Robinson has come a long way from being one of the most underrated players in all of football.