BOSTON (CBS) — Rob Gronkowski is once again ranked among the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players, landing at the No. 23 spot entering the 2017 season.
Gronk’s spot on the list was revealed via the NFL Network’s Twitter page on Monday night. The three-time First Team All-Pro tight end was sandwiched between Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson at No. 24 and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at No. 22.
The annual Top 100 Players list, voted on by the players themselves, bases its rankings primarily on players’ performance in the previous season. Gronkowski has appeared on the list every season since 2012, after breaking out as one of the NFL’s most dynamic forces with 17 touchdowns in 2011.
Gronk ranked No. 21 entering the 2012 season, No. 25 in 2013, No. 41 in 2014, No. 10 in 2015, and No. 9 in 2016.
Clearly, Gronk’s spot on the list depends heavily on his health and durability. He dropped 14 spots from 2016 to 2017 because he played only eight games in the 2016 season and missed the playoffs after undergoing back surgery. Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt, typically a top-10 player on the list, experienced a similar drop-off, ranking No. 35 after playing just three games in 2016 – and he apparently believes he shouldn’t have even made the list.
Much like Watt, Gronkowski has a good chance of once again landing among the top-10 players if he can stay healthy for a full season (or close to it). Having restructured his contract with a chance to become the league’s highest-paid tight end, Gronk says he’s “100 percent” as he gets ready for 2017 as part of a loaded Patriots offense.