GREEN BAY — The Packers had three players crack ESPN’s top 100 list of NFL players heading into the 2016 season.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was voted second for the second consecutive year, while linebacker Clay Matthews came in at No. 48 and receiver Jordy Nelson ranked 76th.
The rankings, which is based on how good players are, were determined by a survey of more than 50 voters, whose experience levels ranged from former players and NFL executives to analysts, reporters and statisticians.
Rodgers finished second to Houston defensive end J.J. Watt for the second consecutive year in the rankings after completing 347 of a career-high 572 passes for 3,821 yards with 31 TDs and eight INTs.
Earlier this year, he and tight end Richard Rodgers won the ESPY for play of the year after their 61-yard game-winning Hail Mary to beat the Lions 27-23 on Dec. 3.
Matthews, who ranked 40th in 2015, recorded a career-high 84 tackles with 6½ sacks while playing a majority of his snaps inside in 2015. He added another 11 tackles and 1½ sacks in two playoff games.
Nelson was 26th in ESPN’s rankings in 2015 before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in the Packers’ second preseason game in Pittsburgh last August.